Well, this is just getting silly now! Today twelve bearded tits happily fed in the sunshine, six feet from a small crowd of watchers, FOR THREE HOURS!

I mean, these birds are supposed to be tricky to find, flighty, easily spooked! More details in a moment but first, for those in a hurry, here’s the summary of sightings from today…

On Bolton Ings today it was great to see a pair of pintail reported along with goosander, green woodpecker and jay.

Just the one peregrine on Broomhill today and down the road from Old Moor, that scaup is still showing beautifully on Manvers Lake.

But, as I mentioned earlier, at Old Moor, it was the Reedbed Trail and those bearded tit that stole the show!

Between the Screen and the Reedbed hide, on the left hand side of the path, twelve birds began to feed as one large group around midday. They were still going at three-thirty!

Obviously such exceptional views meant time to get to grips with some of the birds’ behaviour. The flock included five males and all the birds were feeding on reed seed. On such a still day, the birds were mostly two-thirds up the reed stems, preferring to flutter through the reeds to the next stem, rather than fly above the line of the reed heads.

If they felt threatened at all, their response was to drop – as a group – to the bottom of the reeds. But, I’m glad to say they soon regained their confidence. They also seemed to be following the sun, preferring to feed in whatever part of the reedbed that was catching the best of the low winter sunshine.

Now, before I go this evening, a quick reminder – as if you needed it – that this weekend is the Big Garden Birdwatch. If you’ve been doing it since Peter Purves was a lad, then fine. If not, then all your questions are answered here.

…So, never seen a beardie up close? You know what to do.

Until next time.

  • A somewhat different day for me today. Full of enthusiasm from seeing the Manvers scaup, I headed to OM and the Reedbeds. But it was cooler and breezy and a bit overcast. No sign of beardies. But it seems others did spot them. Ah well, there’s always another day!

    I was interested to see how the works are progressing. The car park work is in full swing, the wild play area is taking shape with several of the new features now created or installed, albeit still some way from completion and there’s a lot of mud! The reserve team were hard at work digging ‘Heather’s Pond” - a new feature next to Grandpa’s Garden. Will be good when finished and make a nice welcome feature to the reserve.