By way of a change, I thought I’d tackle tonight’s sightings in a slightly different way. Comments, as ever, appreciated.

Around dawn this morning six little egret left the roost on Wath Ings. With them were 49 cormorant and, unlike the egret, most of them stayed around the Mere for the rest of the day. There were also three grey heron.

Today the warden’s count was of 161 Canada geese and 42 greylag. There were also 16 mute swan.

Ducks around the reserve included: over ninety mallard, 126 teal, 83 shoveler, 170 gadwall, 295 wigeon, 185 tufted duck, 41 pochard, 7 goldeneye and 3 goosander.

Waders included: 8 oystercatcher, around 60 lapwing; one black-tailed godwit (on the Mere) and one dunlin (on the Field Pool).

Shoveler preening in the shallows of the Mere

Easily the largest group of birds – the gulls – comprised of: c4000 black-headed gull; 11 lesser black-backed gull; six great black-backs; 120 herring gull; 1, second year yellow-legged gull and an adult Mediterranean gull. The latter could be found on Island 1 of the Mere.

There were also plenty of coot and moorhen with water rail heard calling in the reedbeds. Visitors also counted two great crested and eight little grebes on the reserve today.

Birds of prey seen today included: three buzzard, one kestrel and one sparrowhawk. There were also crows, magpie and, surprisingly, a flock of around 40 jackdaw around the Mere.

Once again, that special heron, the bittern, was booming on and off throughout the day.

Wigeon as seen through the glass of the new Family Hide!

All of which leaves the birds found in the Bird Garden, the Tree Sparrow Farm and the lanes of Old Moor. There you could find blackbird, blue tit, bullfinch, chaffinch, dunnock, goldfinch, great tit, greenfinch, long-tailed tit, pheasant, reed bunting, robin, starling, stock dove, woodpigeon and wren.

Add all those up and you get a healthy mix of 54 bird species seen at Old Moor today!

Not bad at all, though there are quite a few regulars missing from that summary. If you visited today and spotted something I’ve missed out, please leave a comment below.

Until next time.

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