There have been some interesting sightings of late so I thought I’d start tonight with a quick update. On Friday last, six bearded tit were seen in the reedbeds though this quickly became five after a sparrowhawk noticed the group. - As if there weren’t plenty of other birds out there to be targeting!
On the same day, there were two bittern flights seen - although one of those involved it being mobbed by a peregrine! Fortunately, the bittern was luckier than the beardie.
I also note that the numbers of redwing have been building over the last two days. On Friday two were spotted at Old Moor and on Saturday a flock of fifteen or so was seen in the car park hedges.
Add to all that, a bat survey that noted six pipistrelle in residence; sightings of stoat; stonechat; snipe; pintail and goosander; and a few dragonfly still hanging on into late October, and you are pretty much up to date.
All of which brings us to today…
Changes today included the arrival of two goldeneye at Wath Ings. These diving ducks are regular winter visitors to Old Moor and it was good to see two feeding on the Willow Pool this afternoon. Sadly, none of the watchers I spoke to could find yesterday’s goosander.
On the Field Pool, three green sandpiper were still present but visitors today also spotted a black-tailed godwit among the 405 golden plover and over 500 lapwing on the Main Marsh. With these was also a solitary dunlin.
It was also good to see a pair of smart-looking pochard on the Wader Scrape today along with a little egret.
At present sunset is still an hour after Old Moor closes, but I did notice small flocks of starling around the reserve today. We change the clocks this coming weekend so dusk is going to jump forward an hour. This time next week, the sun will set at 16:43 and might just allow us a chance to see what those starlings are up as they go to roost. Set a reminder.
With that, it seems fitting to end with the birds in question. Here’s one of the groups of starling indulging in one of those spontaneous ‘mass bathings’. The birds on the left and particularly the one in the centre, are clearly on lookout – probably for that sparrowhawk!
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