All eyes today where on those white, painted markers (see previous blog). Had the flood waters diminished at all? Thankfully, while we pondered that question, the Dearne Valley was (mostly) bathed in bright, late autumnal sunshine.

Here’s the sightings summary….

The first news of the day was that, having hung around for two days, the snow buntings at Wombwell Ings were not found this morning. This, of course, doesn’t mean they are not still around somewhere nearby.

The next news was more encouraging. Old Moor’s Reedbed Trail was open once again. As you can see above, there was one bittern sighting today along with glimpses of Cetti’s and water rail. There also seemed to be an influx of tufted duck today.

Redwing continued to attack the berries around the Tree Sparrow Farm and today a bold jay was seen both in the Bird Garden and near the pond dipping platforms. Although jays are relatively common around the edge of the reserve, it is uncommon to see them so close to the Visitor Centre.

Sadly, Green Lane is still underwater so Wader Scrape, Field Pool East and Wath Ings hides are inaccessible at present. Also out of action is the Bittern Hide as the path to it is submerged. To my eyes, the water level seems to be subsiding – but slowly.

However, there are still views of the Mere from the Family Hide, where goldeneye, green sandpiper and yellow-legged gull were all reported today. A single great black-backed gull and three snipe were also seen from here along with pochard, teal, wigeon and shoveler.

And sadly, for today that’s about it. Until next time.

  • I hope the levels ARE going down. Certainly the R Dearne at A635 at Darfield Bridge looked much lower when we crossed it earlier today. Likewise, the Don at St Mary’s seemed down a lot but still a b higher than normal. There does seem to be many Jays about this autumn.