Hello again, it has been an absolutely stunning day at Old Moor with glorious sunshine, many sightings and a few stories!
Here's the sightings summary from today. As per usual, click on the photo for a larger and sharper view.
From the satellite sites today I have news from Bolton Ings via John Seeviour. This is what he saw - 2 mute swans with 2 juvs, one little grebe, 16 mallard, 1 tufted duck, 3 male pochard, 7 cormorant, 3 grey heron, 3 goosander, 6 LBB gull, 8 common gull, 9 herring gull, a bittern, a cc marsh harrier, a green woodpecker and a jay. Thank you John.
John Clarkson was at Edderthorpe and gave us highlights of a red head smew, redshank and goosander. Thank you John.
So to the 'stories...' The herons on Wath Ings and the Wader Scrape are very entertaining to watch at the moment. They squabble and even have 'fights,' eat big fish, preen, chase cormorants and squawk noisily. The entertaining story from today is of a grey heron spearing one of the very huge carp( edit - just been told it might be a tench, I have no idea so any advice gratefully received) on Wath Ings.
As far as I understand it, the tale goes something like this...After spearing the carp/tench, the heron tried to drag it out of the water so it could eat it. It was a bit big for that and quite understandably, the heron had a bit of trouble. As it was doing this, black headed gulls and crows thought that it would be good to wait a while for a few 'pickings.' The heron didn't like this much so it chased them away. It then returned to the carp and had the same problem...if ever there was a 'heron head scratching moment' then this was it. In the end it left it alone - probably very wisely. However, I saw it return to the carp/tench and have another go. It ended with the same result for the heron but not before we could see the puzzlement it had over this enormous fish.
Here's a little video of the bit that I saw when the heron went back for another go.
But here's a photo from visitor Mike where you can see just how huge the carp/tench is! Mike told me that it took 30 minutes for the heron to abandon this catch. Thanks Mike :)
My second tale is one from the reedbeds as the clock moved towards dusk. Around 4pm there was a lot of pinging on the path towards the reedbed screen. Great flight views were had and we thought that maybe there were 6+ beardies in various places. Whilst the pinging was going on, a Cetti's warbler was singing but as per usual, heard and not seen. Then a cc marsh harrier was spotted hovering over the reeds just beyond the reedbed screen - we had a great view but that wasn't all! Whilst watching the marsh harrier, a kingfisher flew up the channel and literally flew just over our heads! And, we could still hear pinging! Phew, what excitement!
But that's not the end...starlings were starting to gather, ok not loads, maybe around 700 this eve but it is a start and wonderful to watch nevertheless.
Here's a video I took on my phone. Apologies but the quality seems to have got lost in the transfer from phone to computer but you get the idea.
Whilst that was going on, there was yet more beardie pinging - you might even hear a bit on the video - and it was difficult to know where to look first!
And that's about it. Enjoy your visit if you are planning to come to Old Moor this weekend.
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