It was an extremely busy at Old Moor today: three parties – two coach, one birthday. The reserve welcomed watchers from Leeds Birding Group and RSPB Sutton Coldfield as well as Ava, now aged 8, and her friends and family.

Here’s what was seen out there on this sunny Sunday…

Many folk headed to the Tree Sparrow Farm first of all and found excellent views of both brambling and lesser redpoll. The latter fed quite happily within a metre or so of the screen.

On the Mere, two green sandpiper could be seen feeding near the sand martin bank and visitors couldn’t fail to notice the impressive numbers of black-headed gulls, each vying for position of the islands there. Also on the Mere were two little egret, one shelduck and a pair of oystercatcher.

A black-tailed godwit could be found (mostly) on the Field Pool but it was the Reedbed Trail that drew most visitors. The power and – let’s be honest – sheer weirdness of the bittern’s call, enticed many to hope for a glimpse of this rare resident.

And they weren’t disappointed. Around three o’clock, a bittern flew into the channel in front of the Reedbed Screen. Sadly, around two o’clock, I’d headed towards Wath Ings! Ah well, can’t see ‘em all!

Also on the trail today were pochard (in front of the hide); Cetti’s warbler (around the screen) and a fleeting glimpse of a single bearded tit (between screen and hide). Several water rail could be heard “singing” nearby.

And that’s about it for this evening. I’ll leave you with a photo from Paul C Dunn of the brambling feeding among goldfinch and chaffinch that he shared via our Facebook page. Thanks Paul.

Until next time.

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