I went to look for the wood sandpiper today on Wombwell Ings but it had heard that I was on my way ....
I did manage 2 greenshanks, 2 little-ringed plovers, a common sandpiper a black-tailed godwit and at least 4 redshanks though to make up for it .
There were 2 little gulls and a cuckoo reported from Bolton Ings.
On Old Moor the Wader Scrape was quite busy, present here were a common tern, ringed plovers, an oystercatcher, a dunlin, plenty of redshanks and the usual good selection of wildfowl which can always be found.
A shower of rain brought the hirundines down to 'eye level' and it was really nice to watch the swifts executing high speed manouvres over the water.
The Med/blackheaded gull hybrid is still hanging around and was last reported as being seen on Wath Ings.
As for Harry ...
Apparently seen this morning but nothing actually confirmed though ..
For the plant lovers among you ..
Old Moor now has red clover showing along with birdsfoot trefoil (which is important for the dingy skippers to lay their eggs on) .. also there are oxeye daisies which are loved by the bumblebees.
Reports came in from Wombwell Ings today...
The wood sandpiper is still on the reserve along with black-tailed godwits and greenshanks. No reports of the ringed and little-ringed plovers but there is every chance they will still be around to see.
The little gull was still hanging around and was flitting between Bolton Ings and Wath Ings on Old Moor.
A walk around Warbler Way, Wath Ings and Green Lane (the main path through Old Moor Reserve) produced willow warblers, chiffchaffs, lesser-whitethroats, common whitethroats, sedge warblers and reed warblers .. You can possibly also find blackcaps and the odd grasshopper warbler too..
A proper warblerfest !!
A yellow wagtail was reported from the Field Pool East on Old Moor .
I asked about 'Mr Harrier' but was told that he was presumed absent today as no-one had reported any sightings of him .....
Maybe he has gone to his 'girlfriends' for tea .....
Reports were sadly lacking today from Old Moor although the male marsh harrier is still giving great views as he 'does his bit' over the reedbeds at the far side of the reserve ..
Willow warblers, whitethroats, lesser whitethroats, grasshopper warblers and chiffchaffs can all be heard at various points along Green Lane. Keep an 'ear out' as you walk the reserve to try and locate both reed and sedge buntings.
Wombwell Ings had better reports and present here were a wood sandpiper, 2 greenshanks, a black-tailed godwit, 4 little-ringed plovers, ringed plovers and white wagtails.
A little gull was reported from Bolton Ings.
Another late shift on Old Moor today,
Still good things to see of course ..
There were 2 cuckoos reported from the Trans-Pennine Trail which are always a pleasure to hear following our 6 month Winter.
Sedge warblers, willow warblers, lesser whitethroats and a grasshopper warbler were all reported from Green Lane.
There were dunlins, ringed plovers and redshanks all reported from Wath Ings and the Wader Scrape..
This evening, myself and a couple of volunteers were sitting on the viewing bench on 'Harrier Hill' watching the male bird cruising around the reedbeds when we spotted the female returning .. Apparently she has been seen on and off through the day so things are now looking good again. We were even treat to a display over the Mere where the male passed the female a small stick during a spot of aerial gymnastics.
I found that quite uncanny, as I had already predicted that if the female did return after being away for so long that the male bird would 'give her some stick' ..
Just shows you !!
Young, Handsome Male, with one previous relationship, seeks female of similar age with view to setting up home and starting a family. Very smart and agile with his own 250-acre Real Estate to offer suitable partner, in the mature reedbeds of the prestigious Old Moor Reserve in the heart of the beautiful Dearne Valley.
OK – so by now you’ll have guessed this isn’t a desperate plea from any of the male staff members here (all of whom, I hasten to add, are extremely young and handsome and I’m sure not in need of a Lonely Hearts column. Also, to my knowledge, none of them actually live in the reedbeds). No, it’s our poor old Marsh Harrier, who appears to have been deserted by the lady friend he was wooing at the weekend.
We are not downhearted though as he’s still busy building his display platform and displaying his little heart out – so it looks like he’s determined to find his match.
Meanwhile, although we’re all very preoccupied with his exploits, great stuff is still carrying on elsewhere at the reserve and there are more `not-to-be missed’ events coming up next week for you.
We’ve another of our hugely popular Wild Monday’s this Bank Holiday (3 May). Family fun with pond dipping, bug hunting and crafts – there’ll be something going on whatever the weather. Running from 11am-3pm, activities are free, but reserve entry fee applies to non-members. Then, there’s a real treat on Wednesday evening (5 May) with a guided tour and walk to discover Old Moor’s Wild Flowers. It runs from 6pm-8pm and costs £2 for RSPB members; £4 for non-members. Booking’s essential for this one though, so for this and information on all events, call us on: 01226 751593