• January WEX - Worms!

    Hello again, it's time once more for our monthly WEX blog from our young enthusiast, Freddie. The group met last Saturday and I'm sure that you have guessed the theme from my title today!

    Over to Freddie who, as per usual, has written a fabulous account of their meeting. 

    This month at WEX we did all about wormeries and how worms help us in our daily lives.

    While we were waiting for everyone to arrive, I completed…

    • 25 Jan 2019
  • Happy 40th BGB! - Sightings, 24 Jan

    What were you doing 40 years ago?

    While you ponder that, here’s today’s summary of sightings from Old Moor…

    Forty years ago, I had not long started Secondary School (Yes, really!!) and very probably watched the episode of BBC’s Blue Peter when Lesley Judd, Simon Groom and Christopher Wenner asked viewers to take part in the very first Big Garden Birdwatch.

    The idea was brilliantly simple. Volunteer…

    • 24 Jan 2019
  • Nippy - Sightings, 22 Jan

    Evening Folks! Here’s today’s summary…

    • 22 Jan 2019
  • Whoopers and Friend - Sightings, 20 Jan

    Old Moor welcomed twenty-eight members of North Staffordshire RSPB group today and by all accounts they chose a crackin’ day to visit!

    Here’s the summary of birds seen…

    One of the more unusual sightings of day was the arrival of twenty-six whooper swans that had chosen to rest themselves on Wath Ings. What’s more, they’d brought a friend – a black swan, a bird that breeds in the southern…

    • 20 Jan 2019
  • Brilliance - Sightings, 17 Jan.

    It may have been cold in the Dearne Valley this morning but what the low winter sun lacked in warmth, it made up for in brilliance.

    Here’s the summary of sightings from today…

    It was good to see the Tree Sparrow Farm full of birds this morning. Partly this was because of that nearby field of teasels which was attracting a flock of thirty or so goldfinch. A smaller flock of long-tailed tits also provided…

    • 17 Jan 2019
  • Redpolls and Red - Sightings, 15 Jan.

    Just a quick blog tonight, though today's sightings show a terrific mix of birds, especially for January!

    It was good to see the mealy redpoll and fifteen 'lessers' were back at Old Moor again and also great to see 'Red' (ringed peregrine 'PAA') gracing the reserve with her presence. Mind you, I doubt other birds felt the same!

    Here's the summary...

    • 15 Jan 2019
  • On Display – Sightings, 13 Jan

    Bright but with blustery, reed-flattening winds out there today! Here’s the summary…

    At Edderthorpe today, John Clarkson reported: thirteen shelduck, 113 shoveler, three male pintail, a male goldeneye and a buzzard among other birds. Thanks John.

    Paul Dennis added peregrine to that list at Edderthorpe – and subtracted one from the total of lapwing seen! Thanks Paul.

    A pair of very handsome common…

    • 13 Jan 2019
  • 2018 Catch Up... Reserve team blog – January ‘19

    I thought it was about time that I got down to writing about what we’ve been up to as it’s been a while since I wrote the last one!

    New Signs.

    I’m sure you will have noticed the updated signs on the roadside outside the reserve. Very smart and colourful!

    … and also the new information signs at Adwick.

    These were put up last July, so you should have noticed by now!

     

    Scrub Clearance.

    The lush…

    • 12 Jan 2019
  • 'Pale Plover'? - Sightings, 10 Jan

    Plenty of flopwing around Old Moor today… No? How about ‘peewit’? ‘Green plover’? – Oh alright, ‘lapwing’ if you must. And among them one that caught everyone’s eye. But first the summary….

    John Seeviour’s report from Bolton Ings today included: two mute swan, sixteen mallard, four gadwall, four tufted duck, six pochard, two male goldeneye, ten goosander…

    • 10 Jan 2019
  • Taken As Red - Sightings, 8 Jan

    Tapping the glass on the Old Moor ‘Species-o-meter’ this evening produced a reading of 48 bird species and one terrific mammal! Here’s the summary…

    Once again, bearded tits were seen (and heard) around the Reedbed Trail along with two marsh harriers, a Cetti’s warbler and - well, the peregrine was taken as ‘Red’.

    The peregrine in question from Paul Peters via our Facebook Page…

    • 8 Jan 2019
  • Over to You - Sightings, 6 Jan

    Brilliant, blue skies meant today felt more like early spring and less like midwinter. Here’s the summary of birds seen during the day…

    The Reedbed Trail was definitely one of the reserve ‘hotspots’ today and if you were lucky, there were five great birds to see over and above the supporting cast of wildfowl and reed buntings.

    It was here that most visitors saw our semi-resident peregrine – left…

    • 6 Jan 2019
  • Appealing - Sightings, 3 Jan

    Regular visitors to Old Moor know that, as the season changes, so does the ‘mix’ of birds seen. Although I didn’t see all of them myself, today for example I reckon there were around 45 species of bird seen on the reserve. Here’s the summary…

    But there is one small bird that I haven’t recorded on the sightings for some months now and I admit I’m getting a bit worried. So my question to…

    • 3 Jan 2019
  • In a Nutshell - Sightings, 30 Dec

    Back from my Christmas break (very nice, thanks for asking) and ready to see out the year! In a moment, a look back at some of the highlights of 2018 and another remarkable year of sightings in the Dearne Valley.

    But before all that, here’s the summary of birds seen today at Old Moor…

    I’m bound to miss something from the year, but that’s because – wonderfully - there is so much to remember. – And, before…

    • 30 Dec 2018
  • To Roost - Sightings, 20 Dec.

    Sadly those beardies were elusive today, though fellow volunteer and all-round good egg Rob Robinson did spot a male bird near the Reedbed Screen this morning.

    Here’s a summary of the birds seen at Old Moor today…

    Seen briefly today were three goosander heading from Bolton Ings towards the river; a lesser redpoll that seemed not to have stopped on the reserve; and – just up the road, at Wombwell I…

    • 20 Dec 2018
  • Happy 'WEX'MAS!

    Hello again. Last Saturday our WEX group held their last meeting of the year. Unsurprisingly they had a Christmas party! Freddie was there and here is his report. Thanks very much Freddie for all your blogs this year and a thank you to Evelyn too.

                                                                                    

                                         

    This month at WEX we had our WEXMAS PARTY!!! Every Christmas at WEX we all gather together to do fun activities with…

    • 19 Dec 2018
  • Mid-December - Sightings, 18 Dec

    In wintery conditions, the hardy watchers at Old Moor still managed to compile a creditable list of forty or so bird species today. Not at all bad - for mid-December. Now to dry off those notebooks!

    Here’s the summary…

    Paul Dennis visited Edderthorpe Flash and reported: five pochard, four shelduck, eighty or so lapwing, eleven mute swan, two common gull, four grey heron and three cormorant. Thanks Paul.

    • 18 Dec 2018
  • Well Worth It - Sightings, 16 Dec

    Mild, bright, still. Perfect for a walk down to the reedbeds where – well, you never know your luck do you?

    Here’s the summary…

    While many tried their luck with the beardies, there was another turn up and not that far away. Over at The Garganey Trust’s, Broomhill Flash (a short walk down the Trans Pennine Trail) four Egyptian goose were spotted.

    Now we have had multiple Egyptian geese in the…

    • 16 Dec 2018
  • Bean Back – Sightings, 13 Dec

    Evening Folks! It was another beautiful winter’s day in the Dearne Valley with plenty of sun - even if the big coats were finally getting some use.

    First, the summary of the day’s sightings…

    In the reedbeds today, along with that singing Cetti’s were (yet again) ‘pinging’ beardies. I’d almost given up hope of seeing them today when their calls alerted listeners to a location about 30m north of ‘Bittern…

    • 13 Dec 2018
  • Essential Reedling - Sightings, 11 Dec.

    For the third day in a row now, a small group of bearded tit have provided some exceptional views for visitors to Old Moor. Further details on that in a moment, but first the summary of sightings from today…

    Not to take away the forty or so other bird species at Old Moor right now, but today the highlight for most visitors were those incredible beardies.

    So, if you are a person who has yet to see these birds in…

    • 11 Dec 2018
  • Wonders - Sightings, 09 Dec

    What more could you want from Old Moor in December? - A (fairly) mild day with beautiful, clear sunshine; some brilliant bird sightings; and even a concert band playing carols!

    Here’s the summary of sightings…

    It was the perfect day for a saunter down to the reedbeds. After watching a kingfisher flashing along the channel in front of the Reedbed Screen; and a buzzard sunbathing; a Cetti’s warbler made us…

    • 9 Dec 2018
  • Breezy - Sightings, 6 Dec.

    Sunshine may have been in short supply but it was mild at least and dry and there were an impressive fifty or more bird species at Old Moor today! Here’s the quick summary…

    At Bolton Ings, John Seeviour reported: two mute swan, one great crested grebe, twelve mallard, three shoveler, three gadwall, four wigeon, twelve tufted duck, nine pochard, nine cormorant and two grey heron. There were also five common…

    • 6 Dec 2018
  • Surprises - Sightings, 4 Dec.

    Turned out, it was a day of surprises at Old Moor today. Crisp frost and sunshine lasted for the best part of the morning with much of the action taking place against a blue, winter sky.

    Here’s the summary…

    Now the map above provides headlines for those that want just that, but today’s sightings book contained far more detail than I could fit beside it.

    For example, in the Bird Garden, watchers saw…

    • 4 Dec 2018
  • Around Half Three - Sightings, 2 Dec.

    It was great to see so many folk ignoring the pull of seasonal shopping in order to take in the delights of Old Moor today.

    Here’s a summary of the birds seen…

    And it was a surprisingly mild one with temperatures up around 13°C. It is true that the day was mostly overcast but, when the sun did break through, it was all the more welcome.

    A cormorant on the Mere enjoying the winter sun

    As well as four…

    • 2 Dec 2018
  • What Next? - Sightings, 29 Nov.

    It was like a scene from a film. This afternoon the storm abated and the skies cleared. Not only were there rainbows, but a male hen harrier flew past watchers at Bolton Ings!

    If anyone there spoke, it was probably to say, ‘Blimey! Look at that!’ ( -or something similar).

    Here is today’s summary from Old Moor…

    As I’ve already mentioned Bolton Ings, John Seeviour reported: three mute swan…

    • 29 Nov 2018
  • Drizzlin’ - Sightings, 27 Nov

    Though the morning was dry, this afternoon was so damp animals started to pair up! - Still that’s what hides and good boots are for. Here is today’s summary of birds seen at Old Moor…

    News from elsewhere in the valley starts with a report from David Bamforth at Broomhill Flash. He recorded: three black-tailed godwit; a jack snipe; one dunlin and twenty-six shoveler. Thanks David.

    Alan Stonier provided…

    • 27 Nov 2018