Visit Old Moor at the moment and you can’t fail to hear the sound of a squeaking wheel. Not just any wheel mind - the type that you might find at the front of a particularly ancient (possibly rusting) wheelbarrow. Now imagine it pushed slowly along a garden path and you’re pretty much there.

The sound I’m referring to comes of course from a bullfinch and is its spring song. A song I might add that seems out of kilter with such a vibrant, stocky finch. To some ears it has a mournful tone and you can hear it all along Green Lane, especially near Wath Ings at present. It’s another small sign that spring is right around the corner.

The ‘squeaky wheel’ bird aka a male bullfinch

At Adwick Washland today, Gary Stones reported: two ringed plover, two redshank, around 130 lapwing, three snipe, one little egret, four grey partridge, one white-fronted goose, one pink-footed goose, one shelduck, twelve shoveler and a kingfisher. Thanks Gary.

John Seeviour was at Bolton Ings where he found: three mute swan, two great crested grebe, one little grebe, eight mallard, eleven gadwall, twelve shoveler, thirty-one tufted duck, eighteen pochard, three goldeneye (one female), seven goosander (four female), ten cormorant, one grey heron, a little egret, three common gull, seventy-six black-headed gull, 216 coot, a pair of stonechat and a marsh tit. Thanks John.

Keith Saunders provided the picture from Wombwell Ings where there were: seven goosander, two shelduck, a pair of stonechat and five plus pied wagtails. Thanks Keith.

A reed bunting at the Green Lane Screen today

At Old Moor this morning there were four shelduck at Wath Ings along with twenty-five goosander, two oystercatcher, four snipe, twenty linnet, fifty or so lapwing, one grey heron, two herring hull (one adult, one first winter), a pair of goldcrest, eight long-tailed tit, one sparrowhawk, sixteen cormorant and five mute swan as well as shoveler, pochard, teal and wigeon.

On the Reedbed Trail today there were two beared tit, one Cetti’s warbler, three water rail, three little grebe, one peregrine and a cream-crowned marsh harrier.

A fine pair of gadwall

Two siskin were spotted in the Tree Sparrow Farm and a green sandpiper was seen on from Field Pool West.

The only other sighting I have from today was of a curlew on the Mere. I suspect this was early on. There was a fair amount of work happening to the right of the Family Hide today and, when I checked the Mere, many of the birds usually found there had moved elsewhere.

I shall leave you this evening with one last image from the day - one of two flying carrots found at Wath Ings today.

Until next time.

Oh alright, it’s an oystercatcher!

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