The heat of a summer’s day met autumn’s blustery winds in the Dearne Valley today. Here’s what was seen…

Straightaway you’ll have seen a few changes to the recent cast of Old Moor’s birds. First of all, that sighting of spotted flycatcher needs some explanation. The bird was first seen by our warden, Dave Waddington, in the early morning. It was feeding in the trees beyond the large wooden gate that is on your left as you walk from the car park towards the Visitor Centre. Stand at that gate and scan the trees on the left of the track and you might, just might get a view of this handsome little flycatcher.

Yes, I could have zoomed in, but where’s the fun in that?! The smarter of the two buzzard at Old Moor today.

Then there were a pair of sightings - at either end of the reserve – of female blackcap. I never saw the one by the car park, but I did spot a similar bird in the woodland just before Wath Ings hide. In fact, the ‘redcap’ there seemed to be associating with a long-tailed tit flock that picked its way around that end of Green Lane.

At this time of year, it’s always a good idea to watch tit flocks as they often have other birds travelling with them. Goldcrest and treecreeper seem especially fond of forming such alliances.

A little egret shelters from that wind this afternoon.

The great white egret was still dividing its time between Wath and Bolton Ings and there were still good numbers of waders – mostly on mud flats of the main marsh.

Some folk were lucky and found a single golden plover among the two hundred green ones that peeped and squeaked to the right of Wath Ings Hide. Little egret seemed more interested in bug hunting than in fishing today.

But the best views of the day were probably those of the pair of ruff that fed directly in front of the Wader Scrape hide this afternoon. In fact, five ruff were recorded today but the group divided into a three and a two around about midday.

So, to finish off tonight’s sightings, here’s one of that pair. Until next time.