Cautious folk reading this may well take a sharp intake of breath, but the Dearne Valley today felt decidedly Springish! Coats were left on the back seats and visitors to Old Moor enjoyed both the birdsong and this range of sightings…

First stop for many was the Tree Sparrow Farm where the number of reed bunting today surprised most visitors. Among them were at least one yellowhammer and a female brambling. There were also four lesser redpoll feeding near to the screen, providing watchers with excellent views of this dapper little finch.

A lesser redpoll in the Tree Sparrow Farm this morning

Out on the Reedbed Trail, both male bittern could be heard early on, along with a male Cetti’s warbler. If you missed those, then two (or maybe more) bearded tit could be picked up calling to each other as they worked their way through the reedbeds. Finally, for this part of the reserve at least, ten pochard (mostly) slept on the calm waters in front of the Reedbed Hide.

On the Field Pool, a single redshank could be heard calling today and nearby, on the Mere and Wader Scrape, goosander and shelduck were joined by two oystercatcher and two green sandpiper.

A wigeon looking smart in the sunshine

Finally, at Wath Ings, nine goldeneye fed towards the eastern edge of the main marsh. Here too was a good collection of gulls: around sixty black-headed gull mingled with two herring gulls, a lesser black-backed gull and a lone common gull. At one stage in the afternoon these were dwarfed by the presence of two great black-backed gulls though probably to the relief of the former, the latter didn’t stay long.

A drake tuftie sums up the carefree mood of the day

And that’s about it for tonight except to say that I’m off wandering in darkest Lincolnshire for the next few days. Be back same time next week. Until then.

  • Nice photos. An afternoon walk at Adwick revealed 2 ringed plover (Harlington side of the viewpoint), a couple of buzzard sitting in a tree at the east end and also ‘yaffling’ from an unseen green woodpecker.