So .. Here we are again my friends .. The final day of 2011 !!Hopefully this year has been a good one and you all have some happy memories ..Here are today's sightings for you to digest (assuming that your digestive systems are still functional)..As a habitual curry eater I don't have such problems ;-)
There were 2 great spotted woodpeckers reported from the Bird garden along with 14 long-tailed tits, great tits, blue tits, goldfinches, bullfinches, tree sparrows, blackbirds and chaffinches ..
A kestrel was seen in the car park and there were 24 pheasants and a few yellowhammers seen on the Tree Sparrow Farm ..
On the Mere were a green sandpiper, 3 dunlins, 3 goldeneyes (1m+2f). There was also a common buzzard and a curlew seen passing over ..
Another great addition was a woodcock which was seen near to the path on the way to the Bittern Hide ..
Wath Ings had a redshank and 3 shelducks ..
The goosander numbers had climbed to 25 when I left at 4:00 ..
Old Moor had some great birds this year .. We had a brilliant stone curlew on the 5th of May and the least sandpiper on the 26th of May was another cracker !! Redhead smew, Jack snipe, Cetti's warbler, white-winged black tern, gannet !! .. The list goes on !!Through the year we normally get our fair share of waders .. Greenshanks, redshanks, spotted redshanks, oystercatchers, green sandpipers, common sandpipers, wood sandpipers, curlew sandpipers, ruff, little stints, sanderlings, dunlins, knot,turnstones, ringed and little-ringed plovers, avocets, lapwings, golden plovers, snipe, black-tailed godwits, the odd bar-tailed godwit, curlews, whimbrels .. All great stuff !!Don't forget the wildfowl !! .. We always have a great selection to see and as well as the normal residents, we sometimes get a visit from pintails and the odd garganey too ! .. Goosanders galore !! .. Geese !! Greylags, Canadas the odd barnacle .. The 'redhead' smew was a great find on the Field Pool (The same place as the stone curlew was found) which goes to show how very important it is to check out the more 'underrated' areas !Terns !! .. Common terns, Arctic terns, black terns and the white-winged black tern (which I skillfully managed to miss) ..Gulls .. It was nice to see the return of the Mediterranean gulls to the Mere and fingers crossed they will return again next year .. The lesser black-backed gulls nested on 'Cormorant Island' and certainly reduced the number of black-headed gull chicks .. They then proceeded to adopt one !! Sometimes there's no explaining Nature !Warblers .. Whitethroat, lesser whitethroat, blackcap, chiffchaff, willow warbler, Cetti's, reed, sedge, grasshopper !! Lots to see and hear ..Grebes .. Great-crested grebes doing elaborate displays which are always wonderful to see .. little grebes .. the black-necked grebes which paid us a visit were little beauties too !!I can go on and on here .. Water rails, little egrets, barn owls, tawny owls, peregrines, buzzards, sparrowhawks, kestrels, hobbys, marsh harriers, merlin, maybe a red kite !! .. Willow tits, bramblings, goldcrests, yellow wagtails, whinchats, wheatears, kingfishers, tree sparrows, grey partridges, pheasants !!Swallows, sand martins, swifts, house martins !!Ah yes ... and the bittern !!I won't go on too much ;-)Suffice to say that the next time I complain when other areas get divers, sea ducks, shearwaters and other 'juicy stuff' but we don't see such things, I'll take a minute to remember the birds which we see on Old Moor and think to myself ..'Nah .. really shouldn't grumble'...I have only been birding for about 2 and a half years and have seen 147 different species on Old Moor up to now without breaking a sweat .. I have enjoyed each and every one !!So .. Grab your bins, bird book, notebook and a pen .. See you there !!OK .. The time has come for me to thank each end every one of you for taking the time to read my posts here on the Blog .. Admittedly they have been at times, bizarre, but hopefully everyone has found something to interest them.. Some people just want a list of birds .. Others enjoy a story .. Others are as daft as I am !! Hopefully I have managed (eventually) to strike a 'happy balance' .. I try to add a 'Human element' as opposed to just churning out lists and hopefully this works OK for you ..So there you go .. My final post of 2011 .. May the New Year bring you health and happiness and may it bring Old Moor a Great-Northern Diver ...Hang on .. I'll just go and slap myself ;-)HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU ALL !!!!Bert xxxx
It's that time of year again... we look back and review what went on and make a few plans for the next one.
How about sharing a few of those wonderful wildlife moments which made 2011 a good one?
My waxwing encounter on Tues 18th Jan at Old Moor was definitely the highlight for me. I've wanted to see one for years, but never managed to be in the right place at the right time.... until then. Unforgettable.
And yes, a tear was shed, as many people never tire of reminding me!
Other wonderful moments include an encounter with a manic weasel without even having to leave the comfort of the Visitor Centre. A visitor called us and we looked through the window just in time to see the weasel wrestling with a rat which was about the same size as it! It dragged it off under a bush where it was no doubt dispatched speedily. The rat never stood a chance!!
Cute, yet vicious!!
I'd love to hear all about your best bits from 2011.
Have a fantastic 2012 to all our brilliant visitors and members. I look forward to welcoming you to Old Moor in the new year and wish you many more happy hours of magical wildlife encounters.
Hi readers ..
Lots of good stuff to see on Old Moor today .. I took another trip to avoid the naughty rain ...
The Tree Sparrow farm was very busy today and seen here were 3 yellowhammers, reed buntings, tree sparrows, blue tits, great tits, a dunnock, 2 robins, greenfinches, chaffinches, 2 moorhens and a total of 20 pheasants !!
Next .. To the Bittern Hide .. Seen here were a water rail, a mute swan, a great-crested grebe, a little grebe, tufted ducks, coots, moorhens and 4 goosanders .. The Cetti's warbler was also seen at the far side ..
The Reedbed Hide had coots, moorhens, mallards, gadwalls, tufted ducks, shovelers and a cormorant .. A redshank flew over but then decided that the Mere looked nicer ..
Wath Ings had shovelers, mallards, wigeons, teals, gadwalls, a pintail, tufted ducks, a shelduck, a cormorant, coots, moorhens, a redshank, a green sandpiper, 2 goosanders, greylag geese, Canada geese, pheasants and 2 grey herons ..
The Wader Scrape had mallards, wigeons, teals, gadwalls, coots, moorhens, goosanders, stock doves, carrion crows,pheasants, and a flock of linnets ..
Loads of stuff on the Mere today .. Seen here were mallards, gadwalls, teals, wigeons, tufted ducks, shovelers, pochards, 4 goldeneyes (1m+3f), coots, moorhens, great-crested grebes, little grebes, lapwings, golden plovers, 2 dunlins, 2 redshanks, cormorants, mute swans, Canada geese, grey herons, pheasants, black-headed gulls and 2 common gulls ..
Also reported were a kingfisher on the Wildlife Pond, a great spotted woodpecker in the Bird Garden ..
A peregrine falcon was seen on Broomhill Flash ..
A final count of the goosanders was 30 birds which were split between the Wader Scrape and the Mere ..
The bittern ?.. Tried hard and failed I'm afraid .. I ended up camping out in the Wader Scrape Hide with my scope, squinting through the dark and feeling decidedly chilly .. At which point I went home !
A very good day though !!
Have a good evening everyone ..