At last, one of those seasonal mists that Autumn is famous for! This morning, Old Moor looked fantastic, with its pools and reedbeds wreathed with curls of low fog.

As ever, it took a while for this to fade. When it did, the sun broke through to reveal the autumn spectacle in all its glory.

Here is today’s summary of sightings…

Wellies are no longer required if you are visiting Old Moor. Green Lane has now drained following the recent flooding, and all eight hides are once again open!

The Reedbed Trail was well worth a visit today. The recent site work there needs time to settle down, but the effect is already dramatic. New channels have been cleared beside the path to the Reedbed Hide and several areas of the reeds have been ‘opened up’. New views are available and clear access for birding or watching or photography is much improved.

As if to prove the point, there were some crackin’ sightings from here this morning. Watchers enjoyed some terrific views of kingfisher, bearded tit and Cettis’ warbler to name but three. The latter showed beautifully to the right hand side of the hide today.

On the walk out, many folk enjoyed watching a buzzard ‘worming’ around the back of the Bittern Monitoring Hide. There was also – for some lucky folk – a water rail flight here today!

A Cetti's warbler this morning

While all that was going off, to our right a flock of some 400 or so lapwing went up from the Mere. We watched as the stocky silhouette of a peregrine sliced through the melee. Peregrine are becoming a regular sight at the moment and are always a thrill to see. Look for them on the pylons near the reedbeds.

Meanwhile, in the Tree Sparrow Farm highlights included redwing, coal tit and, even smaller, the goldcrest that seems to be showing here regularly at the moment.

On the Wader Scrape the lone shelduck was joined by eight goosander and not far away four goldeneye fed around the islands of the Mere.

Goosander on the Scrape this afternoon

Green Lane now hardly shows any signs of being under water for a week. At one end of it, at Wath Ings, among the pochard and teal and shoveler, was one of the more unusual sightings of the day.

Here at Blog Headquarters, in the sightings files, there is a particularly fat folder labelled ‘strange geese’. We’ve had ‘em all at Old Moor – Canada with a bit of barnacle about it; huge barn yard with a passing resemblance to snow goose; and now this one.

Yes, there was a ‘funny looking’ goose among the Canadas today. It was distant, but the best guess was ‘swan goose with a bit of greylag’. Swan what? Yes, there really is a ‘swan goose’ or ‘Anser cygnoides’. It is a bird that is rare in the wild (China, Mongolia), but a species that has been domesticated with feral birds occurring well outside its natural range. Here in the UK, they turn up as escapees or – as in this case – as a hybrid from an escapee.

Whatever its origins, this particular ‘strange goose’ lent a touch of the exotic to Wath Ings this afternoon, and seemed completely at home among the large flock of Canada geese that are making the most of the deeper waters.

Add to that a few thousand starling ready to roost in the reedbeds at dusk, and that's about it for today.

Until next time.

Anonymous