Hello from a chilly Old Moor! There was a fine sprinkling of snow this morning and it remained 'brisk' all day. The leaves, in shades of gold and red and some great wildlife, ensured that a walk today though, was filled with colour and a cuppa in the cafe was well earned!
An autumnal robin sings among the berries which fill the hedges with colour and food. Thanks to Ian Butler for this pic.
There was some action in the Garden by the Visitor Centre today, with repeat sorties from a male sparrowhawk and bullfinches, greenfinches, chaffinches, collared doves, great tits, tree sparrows and blue tits.
Richard Tadman sent us this picture of a cheeky chaffinch in our garden, sizing up what's on the menu, I think! Thanks Richard!
The car park feeders and hedgerow had plenty of greenfinches, a party of 15 long tail tits and tree sparrows, which also attracted the attention of a sparrowhawk. Not that he was seen catching anything here either....
Russ Pinder sent this wonderful picture of a male sparrowhawk, taken at Old Moor. What stunning birds they are. Thanks Russ!
There were flocks of winter thrushes seen around the reserve and flying over the visitor centre. 20 fieldfares were in one flock and 4 redwings were also reported in the diary. A green woodpecker feeding on the grass next to the driveway was another good start to a visit for another lucky person.
A beautifully clear picture of a collared dove from Richard Tadman, makes you look twice at a bird we often take for granted. Thanks Richard!
There were more autumn and winter 'specials' to be seen around the Wildlife Ponds area. Small flocks of siskins and lesser redpolls were seen around here. A late common darter dragonfly and bush cricket were also seen.
Matt Mulcahy sent this amazing macro shot of a common darter, taken at Old Moor. Thanks Matt!
Green Lane had a weasel dashing across it. I'm not sure whether it was weaselly recognised (!!) or as good as the stoat sighting in the Garden yesterday, but it's always nice to see these hyper-active little mustelids.
This is one of the pictures which Ian Butler got of the stoat reported yesterday, which ran around the garden, climbing trees and even managing to climb part way up the visitor centre wall! I put it on our Facebook page last night and it has been 'favourited' by Autumnwatch on their flickr site! That means Ian is in with a chance of getting his picture shown live on the programme. How cool is that?! Well done Ian. Just remember who made you famous.... ;-)
There were beautiful views for one visitor of a handsome male kestrel hovering right above her from near Wath Ings. From this hide, 2 green sanpipers, redshank and around 50 golden plover were reported. The frosty conditions last night and this morning, have seen the goldy flock shrink drastically, as food is hard to get out of solid mud! Let's hope they haven't left us altogether just yet.....
There was a male goldeneye seen on the Mere and one seen at Bolton Ings. A jay was also seen over at Bolton along with a very exciting report of a hawfinch. This was a male bird, seen at 8.35 am. It flew from here, along the Trans-Pennine-Trail, following the edges of our Field Pools. This is a very unusual record and it was exciting to hear that it (presumably the same bird) was picked up later at the Sewage Works bordering our Wombwell Ings reserve at 12.05 pm!
Lynz Harston sent us this jay picture. What beautiful coloured birds they are. Thanks Lynz!
There was more excitement today aswell, once again involving the sewage works!! The great grey shrike which was seen at Broomhill yesterday, was tracked down hanging around this fragrant area. What can you say? Maybe the wonderful Old Moor cafe isn't to everyone's taste?!..... Let's hope that we see a bit more of these two unusual birds and that they aren't off again tomorrow.
It's well worth having a look around Wombwell Ings and the Broomhill area at the moment. yesterday evening, Ian Butler rounded off a successful day with another shot I can share with you, of one of the two short eared owls which has been around this area!
A magpie has obviously decided to give it a bit of hassle. What a great thing to see though, along with all the lovely autumn tree colours! Thanks again Ian!
A couple of things to finish off..... At Wombwell Ings itself, there was a little egret and there was a flock of around 100 pink footed geese flying north east this morning.
Sea buckthorn berries provide some of the bright colours around Old Moor at the moment. Not an obvious sight, this far in land! Thanks to Bob Burkill for this shot.
Hope to see you all soon.
Nice report and some lovely photos. Thanks for sharing them. :-)