Dearne Valley

Old Moor & Dearne Valley

Old Moor & Dearne Valley
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Dearne Valley

  • Friday the 12th of Feb & the Sightings

    Hello, it's time for the Friday sightings from the book from Old Moor today.

    I'll start again with the good news that the bearded tits have been seen today! 3 of them were seen in the reedbeds at about 11.45pm and then there was a further sighting of one from the reedbed screen at 12.45pm. As yet I don't know of any more photos of the OM beardies, if you know any different then please let us know. We'd love a photo!

    All the usual birdies were seen today in the bird garden and the tree sparrow farm with the exception of another coal tit sighting from the bird garden.

    There was another sighting of a goldcrest on Green Lane and one the Mere we had a juv greater black backed gull.

    People on Wath Ings reported sightings of snipe, a redshank, a barn owl, goldeneye and shoveler.

    A photo of a fine looking male tufted duck on the Mere.

    Finally for today from the book we have some of the 'no fixed abode' sightings - probably the Mere. They are - a great crested grebe, little grebes, coots, tufted ducks, cormorants, 2 grey herons and a pintail.

    That's it from the book today so over next to the sightings from Twitter via the Barnsley Birders (@Barnsleybsg).

    About 70 pink footed geese flew over the reserve this morning and on Wombwell Ings today were 2 little egrets, 2 shelduck, 2 goosander, 147 wigeon, 85 golden plover, 15 gadwall and 7 shoveler.

    Further sightings at Old Moor via Twitter were 6+ water rails and a Cetti's warbler in the reedbeds.

    Just in from Jeff Wragg from Adwick are sightings of a short eared owl, a water rail, 7 snipe, 2 mealy redpoll, 38+ lesser redpoll, around 150 chaffinches, around 55 greenfinches and around the same number of yellowhammer. Fantastic!

    A final photo for today of a goldfinch looking very 'golden' in the bird garden!

    More good news from Old Moor today is that we now have WiFi in our cafe! So, this weekend, why not come on down to browse the internet with a cuppa & lunch or a bun and then go out on the reserve to enjoy the fresh air, birds and nature? :)

  • An extra one...or maybe more?!

    Hello, my title refers to the news that today we had at least 5 bearded tits in the reedbeds, 3 males and 2 females. That in itself is wonderful news but there's more! It seems that at around the time they were seen on reedbed 5 by some of our staff, another 2 were seen between the reedbed screen and reedbed hide. That's such good news & deserving of a rather loud cheer!

    As if to celebrate the news, this robin was having a 'right good sing!' Thanks go to Roland Rodgerson for the photo.

    Also in the reedbeds this morning were 2 Cetti's warblers and a water rail.

    I've just raided the archives for a water rail photo as we've not had one for a while. I've seen a water rail a couple of times from the channel seen from the left hand side of the reedbed hide.

    From a blog I did on the 30th July last year, it seems I took this pic. I didn't remember it when I found it which tells me that I'm either getting too old, or that I take too many photos, or both!

    Joint sightings today from the bird garden and the tree sparrow farm. Here we had brambling, siskin, yellowhammer, blue tits, great tits, long tailed tits, robins, blackbirds, bullfinches, chaffinches, goldfinches, greenfinches, moorhens, stock doves, reed buntings, wood pigeons and pheasants.

    A goldcrest was seen from the Field Pool East hide and also along Green Lane.

    From Wath Ings today we had sightings of 10 goldeneye and a green sandpiper. A green sandpiper was also seen on the field pools.

    A little egret and 15 goosander were seen from Wath Ings and a final sighting from the book today was of a ruff with the lapwing from the Field Pool West hide.

    Whilst looking at the Twitter news today I came across this photo from the Rotherham Advertiser (@rotherhamtiser). It's Craig & Liane with a cuppa and a scone because.... (and I quote)

    The Rotherham Advertiser has teamed up with RSPB to offer every reader the chance of FREE entry to RSPB Dearne Valley Old Moor Nature Reserve, plus a tea/coffe and a scone worth £7.50. All you have to do is fill in the coupon attached and take along to RSPB Dearne Valley Old Moor Nature Reserve. 

    It is in the paper this week. So if you know of any friends who love nature, wildlife, a bit of fresh air and a very good cuppa + scone then let them know about this offer. If they enjoy their visit then they may decide they'd like to become members of the RSPB & if they do and they sign up at Old Moor, then we get a bit of their subs to help manage our fabulous reserve.

    Back tomorrow, have a lovely evening.

  • On the Spot - Sightings, 10 Feb.

    Hi Folks! As promised by the forecasters, it was a bright, sunny day in the Dearne Valley today and there was, as ever, plenty to see. Don’t just take my word for that, one look at Old Moor’s car park would tell you that there were tons of visitors today all enjoying the late winter sunshine.

    Tonight’s sightings start at Bolton Ings. Today there were three siskin, a ruff and about a hundred lapwing reported by John Seeviour via Twitter (@Barnsleybsg). Thanks John. Later Bolton watchers added a female sparrowhawk and seven common buzzard in the air simultaneously over the ings.

    In fact, the early news of the day was of a hen harrier sighting in the ‘goldie fields’ or at Billingley Ings at about 9am. Sadly, there were no later reports of this bird.

    At Old Moor, a kingfisher was seen at Field Pool West and in the Bird Garden a male brambling was seen by many visitors.

    The Tree Sparrow Farm provided great views of siskin, yellowhammer and all the usual favourites.

    From the Family Hide there were reports of three common gull, a lesser black-backed gull and a juvenile herring gull.

    A male pochard stretches his wings in the sunshine.

    Redwing continue to be seen around the Trans Pennine Trail that borders the Old Moor car park along with song thrush and bands of long-tailed tits.

    I arrived on the reserve late today after a visit to Doncaster and headed straight for the Wader Scrape. Something told me this was the place to be and I was not disappointed.

    First up, I enjoyed the curious feeding behaviours of the shovelers that are looking very smart around the reserve at present. These birds were feeding furiously and doing it in a surprising act of cooperation. Two birds swim side by side, one with his or her head close to the others’ rear end and the two feed whilst simultaneously swimming in a circle. My guess is that the water is shallow enough so that the feet of one bird disturbs the sediment in a way that makes it easier for the other bird to feed.

    A male and female shoveler feeding at the Wader Scrape.

    The effect is oddly hypnotic as the two shovelers turn on the spot, feeding as they go. Watch out for this when you’re at the Wader Scrape or Wath Ings.

    The other thing that caught my eye today was the fantastic courting displays of the goosander. The males hold their heads skywards and swim confidently – even though they can have little idea of where they’re going. The females follow, placing themselves low in the water with the tip of their bill at the surface level. The pair swim in this odd formation for some distance before mating.

    Goosander courtship today on the Wader Scrape.

    This afternoon one such pair were joined by a female goldeneye – the one who thinks she’s a goosander. Needless to say, the drake goosander made his feelings known about this interloper.

    Two's company, three's a crowd!

    Meanwhile, on Wath Ings, today there were fifteen or so goldeneye and a similar number of lapwing. With these were shoveler, teal, tufted duck, grey heron, cormorant, coot and pochard.

    I shall leave you tonight with one last image from the day – the splendid sight of lapwings catching the last of the sunshine.

    Until next time.