It was hard to know which was moving faster – the work to transform ponds, paths, car park and play area; or the weather! Close, but my money was on Mother Nature as she threw a bit of everything at Old Moor today.

Here’s the summary of sightings…

As watchers, we had to work fast. One minute perfect conditions to see everything as far as the flood bank: the next, the lights were turned off and we struggled to identify the ducks in front of us!

One of the two buzzard seen over the Mere today

Speaking of ducks, there are excellent views of goldeneye from the Wader Scrape at the moment. Unlike the goosander, the goldeneyes are feeding in the shallows near the hide. There's a terrific chance to see these beauties up close, even performing some of their peculiar display behaviours.

Goldeneye-to-eye

Once again, despite all those who might say ‘You don’t see bearded tit when it’s too rough’; there they were. ‘Only’ four today but showing beautifully to within a few metres. – Just goes to show, the birds don’t read those books!

But the main entertainment today came in the form of all those immature gulls. Typically adolescent, they slept in until noon then passed the afternoon playing games and squabbling.

One favourite game at the moment involves either a stick or a stone. The lucky finder makes a huge fuss about having such a sought-after object. Then they show-off to their peers by flying high over the Mere and dropping the plaything only to catch it again by out-accelerating gravity! Whether you see this as play or practise, it is great to watch.

And….

The catch!

Like over-enthusiastic parents, watchers in the Scrape Hide took great delight from these daredevil dives. The other gulls? – Not so much. What they really wanted to do was hunker down and get some kip.

Until next time.

Anonymous