Dearne Valley

Old Moor & Dearne Valley

Old Moor & Dearne Valley
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Dearne Valley

  • Ambiguous Sparrowhawk - Sightings, 7 Oct.

    Hi Folks! A bit of rain today may have dampened a few spirits but it is October after all! Like me, you may have noticed that this autumn is having a slow start and that can only be good for those incredible displays of colour. In fact, the Old Moor wind turbine was barely turning when I arrived to pick up the sightings this evening.

    Speaking of mild, clear evenings, it will soon be time for ‘Stargazing Extra’ or ‘planets, pies and peas’ to you. Yes, Old Moor’s regular astrological event returns and this year the date for your diary is Saturday 17 October, 6 to 8.30pm. More details can be found at the Visitor Centre and the number for bookings is 01226 751593.

    A bird this big needs a long run-up! A mute swan from Sunday.

    In fact, while I’m doing averts here’s another. Until the 20 October there’s twenty percent off those 12.75kg sacks of bird food in the shop (excluding peanuts). Maybe time to stock up? We’ll even help you to the car with them!

    Okay, okay, no more ads I promise. On to those sightings. In the Tree Sparrow Farm today there were large numbers of greenfinch and goldfinch together with robin, wren, dunnock, blackbird, tree sparrow and bullfinch. I bumped into Craig on brief visit to Old Moor today who told me that he had also seen numbers of magpie there today drawn not to the feeders but to those feeding!

    He also told me of a (very) mini murmuration (one arch of an ‘m’?) of 100 starlings. Like the golden plovers, that’s a number that will grow noticeably over the next few weeks.

    Still at Adwick Washlands the pectoral sandpiper, here photographed by Rod Rolt. Thanks Rod!

    At 11.45 today there was a bittern sighting over on the Reedbed Trail and the sightings book also records a sparrowhawk with a symbol next to it that looks like the ‘shield and spear’ male sign that is used by scientists, but in this case the ‘arrow’ points directly downwards so it could easily have been a female. Dunno.

    The marsh harrier seen a lot recently was over towards Bolton Ings today and that pair of tardy swallows (get a move on chaps!) were still hawking over the Wader Scrape.

    There was no mention of lapwing numbers in the book today but I think it's safe to say 'lots'.

    From Wath Ings hide were sightings of eight common snipe (no jacks today), two dunlin, two green sandpiper and ‘400+’ golden plover.

    And finally, Gwen the great white egret is still at Old Moor and was seen from Wath Ings this morning along with nine little egrets and seven water rails in the reedbeds. Those spotted redshank are at Broomhill Flash at the moment by the way.

    That's almost it for this evening and I shall leave you with another hanger-on from summer's party - a migrant hawker photographed last Sunday.

    Until next time.

  • A Word from the Wildlife Explorers!

    Many thanks to Jo for writing this post from the Wildlife Explorers - apologies from me that it is so late (technical issues!) - Tallulah

    Summer Memories and September Scavengers!

    Wildlife Explorers Club was back with a bang after the summer break for our September meeting.

    It was wonderful to welcome back our regular familiar faces again. The Visitor Centre have done a great job of spreading the word to families visiting Old Moor during the holidays so we also said hello to lots of new members- thank you! So, it was all very cosy with a full house and a bunch of keen and eager Wildlife Explorers raring to go!

    The sun was shining, perfect for a woodland scavenger hunt…eager eyes soon had everything ticked off their lists, and a few extra things were spotted along the way. Once back in the classroom, it was time to play with clay. There were all manner of fabulous creatures created and adorned with the scavenger hunt finds. Oh, and glitter…they do love a bit (or a lot!) of glitter!

    While the clay dried, and the glitter spread, it was time to investigate the summer memory boxes. The children took a box home with them in July and have spent the holidays decorating and filling them with bits and bobs, finds and photos of their holidays. It was like taking a mini- worldwide safari in a box hearing about the wonderful places and wildlife the children have experienced this summer…From Alligators to (Mickey) Mouse, rummaging in rock pools to sky gazing at shooting stars, it was fantastic to hear about them from the children and that they have had these wonderful experiences and connections with the natural world. Nature will be safe in their hands!


    Diary Date for budding Wildlife Explorers

    The next Wildlife Explorers meeting is Saturday 17th October, 10am-12pm when our theme for the session will be Autumn - The season of seeds and fruits! If you know any children who you think would enjoy our group then come along and join the fun! New members are always very welcome.

    Please note a change of date for our November session, this will now take place on Saturday 14th November, the second Saturday rather than the 21st.


    Wildlife Explorers Group Information

    Would you like to know more?

    Wildlife Explorers is a fun, friendly group for children who enjoy exploring nature and wildlife. The group normally meets in the classroom at Old Moor on the third Saturday of the month from 10am until 12pm and costs just £1 for rspb members, £2 for non-members. Each meeting has a different theme and usually a mixture of outdoor and indoor activities, exploring, games and crafts all led by a team of CRB/DBS checked volunteers. The group is aimed at children of Primary School age (5-12) but under 8’s must be accompanied by an adult for the duration of the session. 

  • 6th October & the Sightings

    Hello, a quick blog from me this eve so here goes!

    On Wath Ings we had sightings of about 549 golden plover along with a much larger flock of lapwing. Also from here were the great white egret, a grey wagtail, black tailed godwits, 4 green sandpiper, water rail, snipe, 2 dunlin and a kingfisher.

    Talking of kingfishers here's a pic from yours truly from the weekend from the Bittern Hide. It was fishing here for about 15 mins or so, very nice to watch too :)

    Over to the Wader Scrape next where there were sightings of 2 ringed plover and 3 swallows!
    There were 4 pink footed geese on the Mere and 11 of them at Broomhill along with a spotted redshank.

    There are 2 Cetti's warblers still in the reedbeds. If you're thinking that you have no idea what a Cetti's warbler looks or sounds like then check out this page from the RSPB about them. Check out their call especially as you are more likely to hear one than see one....

    Finally for today from the book is a sighting of a little holly blue butterfly in the garden.

    That's it....enjoy your tea :)