Dearne Valley

Old Moor & Dearne Valley

Old Moor & Dearne Valley
Do you love visiting our Dearne Valley reserves? Share your thoughts with the community. Or if you're thinking about visiting and would like to find out more, ask away!

Dearne Valley

  • Three Year Firsts!

    Hello, it's been a glorious day at Old Moor with lots and lots of sunshine....lots! The title refers to three year firsts for me today, a whitethroat, a wasp and a little holly blue butterfly! The whitethroat was singing away on Green Lane at the end near Wath Ings, the wasp was also on Green Lane and the holly blue butterfly was in the ivy by the courtyard gates. 

    I'll start with the sightings from Green Lane today. It was a veritable symphony of birdsong walking down here this morning with chiffchaff, blackcap, reed warblers, sand martins, robins, dunnocks, blackbirds, reed buntings, bullfinches, great tits, blue tits and long tailed tits heard and seen....a very enjoyable walk indeed!

    Here's a pic of the whitethroat I was lucky enough to see. As you can see, it has a white throat!

    The water from the Wader Scrape was looking pretty gorgeous, deep blue in the sunshine and here we had sightings of a common tern, pochard, tufted ducks, kestrel, redshank, oystercatcher, lapwing, gadwall, 3 avocet, a little ringed plover, black headed gulls, coots and swifts. A pair of coots decided to build a nest near one of the islands to the right of this hide, much to the consternation of a couple of black headed gulls who didn't seem to be able to decide whether or not to leave it alone or harass the coots!

    From Wath Ings there were sightings of a dunlin, a little grebe, lapwing, black headed gulls, greylag and Canada geese and coots. A green woodpecker was heard from the TPT from here.

    A kestrel was seen from the Field Pool West.

    Over to the reedbeds next and from the reedbed hide there were sightings of great grested grebes building a nest, tufted ducks, sand martins, a swallow, tufted ducks and of course those black headed gulls.

    Here's a photo of one of the great crested grebes from today.

    On the water behind the reedbed hide were 2 mute swans, tufted ducks, a great crested grebe, coots and moorhens.

    In the garden hide today we had all the usual birdies which included willow tits and yellowhammers but no great spotted woodpecker that I know of...

    From the Toyota pond dipping platform I watched the coot nest with coots & chicks as well as a little grebe and a female mallard with 4 down from yesterday. Fingers crossed the remaining chicks get to grow up...

    Butterflies seen today were that gorgeous little holly blue, green veined whites, orange tips, speckled wood, small tortoiseshell and a peacock.

    Here's the holly blue that I saw...

    That's it for today unless you know any different...

  • Whimbrel!

    Hello, there's been a whimbrel at Old Moor today. It's been there all day, or at least it was until I left which was about 4pm. It was asleep or just sitting/standing quietly for quite a chunk of today and then mid-afternoon it woke up and started to feed. It had been behind grasses to the right of the Wader Scrape hide but when it woke up, it came out into the open giving great views! If you'd like to know a bit more about this bird, then here is the RSPB webpage about them. The whimbrel and the curlew do look a bit similar but if you look at their beaks you'll see that the curlew has a longer and more curved beak.

    Here's a photo of it from me, a bit distant but great to see in the bins/scope :) 

    It's been a mixed day weather-wise but much better than the forecast suggested. Lots of warm sunshine today but there have been a few heavy showers this afternoon...good job there are hides!

    I arrived first thing this morning to be greeted with wonderful birdsong from a blackbird and a dunnock near the gates to the courtyard. I then spent half an hour or so in the garden hide which was pretty busy and managed to get quite a few great views of a willow tit! Later on in the day I went back there and saw 2 willow tits at the same time...let's hope for chicks :)

    Here's a photo of a willow tit in the bird garden today.

    Also seen in the bird garden today were yellowhammers, dunnocks, mallards, wood pigeons, stock doves, m/f bullfinches, m/f chaffinches, m/f greenfinches, goldfinches, blue tits, great tits, robins, reed buntings and magpies.

    Next to the Wader Scrape where there have been sightings of that whimbrel, 7 dunlin, 2 rabbits, 2 little ringed plover, a common gull, 2 avocets, 2 lesser black backed gulls, tufted ducks, gadwall, redshank, greylag and Canada geese, many black headed gull, a cormorant, an arctic tern flying over, 2 common terns and swifts. 

    Talking of swifts, I saw my first swift of the year when I was on Wath Ings today, there were around 9 that we counted. Very nice to see too! Also seen here were 2 greylag geese with 7 goslings, a little grebe, a kestrel, lapwing, gadwall, a barn owl, 2 oystercatchers and 2 snipe.

    On the field pools there were sightings of 3 redshank, 1 little ringed plover, sand martins, a little grebe and 2 oystercatchers. It was great watching the sand martins fly around and also to hear their 'chattering!' There were approx 100 of them flying around the Mere today.

    On Green Lane I saw robins, heard a chiffchaff and blackcap and saw orange tip and green veined white butterflies. A reed warbler was merrily singing away in the reeds on the pool behind the family hide.

    Here's a photo I took of the green veined white butterfly, very nice to see too!

    Next to the reedbeds where a barn owl was seen early on today as well as 2 mute swans, a little grebe, coots, moorhens, tufted ducks and a grey heron.

    Over to Adwick next where there was a sighting (and no doubt a hearing) of a cuckoo. 

    I had a good wander around the ponds area and did a bit of a cheer when I saw that the gorgeous bogbean plant has started to flower! It's a very beautiful, delicate plant and I always think that it should really have a name that is more in keeping with how it looks. It's in flower in the pond on the left before you head off to the reedbed screen & hide. This plant also flowers along Green Lane, but at the moment there are only buds to be seen here.

    Here's a photo of this wonderful plant!

    Another wonderful area of flowers is the garden near Grandad's shed. There are a few dandelions flowering among the forget-me-knots...a very lovely combination.

    A female mallard and her remaining 5 chicks were seen crossing the path and then they went onto the pond by the Toyota pond dipping platform. 

    That's it for today I think unless you know different...

    Here are a few photos to finish with.

    First from Dale, a hare at top speed taken at Adwick today.

    From Keith, aka Bridgeman, a glorious singing reed bunting, thanks Keith!

    From Jason Fisher, lovely to see a photo of a red tailed bumblebee, thanks Jason :) 

    And the final photo from today comes from John Sanderson, more cootlets! Thank you John :) 

  • Another kingfisher sighting!

    Hello, it's always a good when whenever you catch a glimpse of a kingfisher, usually a flash of brilliant blue that zips on by and doesn't stay for you to have a good look! Today somebody did have that moment on the bridge from the car park to the TPT, great stuff!

    I've quickly had a look at the sightings photo and another one stands out, a Canada goose attacking a cow with photos to follow, can't wait!

    EDIT : Here's a photo of this from John Sanderson, thanks John!

    I'm going to start with the lovely butterflies that were seen today - comma, small white, orange tip, small tortoiseshell, peacock, brimstone and speckled wood.

    Here's a photo I found in the archives of an orange-tip butterfly. I took it around this time last year :) 

    Willow warblers were seen and no doubt heard near the Toyota pond dipping platform and on the reedbed trail. Also around this pond there were reed buntings.

    The garden hide birds seen today are -  bullfinches, chaffinches, greenfinches, goldfinches, blue tits, great tits, mallards, moorhens, yellowhammer, dunnocks, reed buntings and tree sparrows.

    Over to the Wader Scrape now where 2 little ringed plovers were seen. A coot + cootlets were seen around the ponds, a rabbit was spotted on Green Lane as were chiffchaff and willow warbler.

    2 common terns and 2 dunlin were seen, I'm guessing they were on the Mere.

    That's it for today so I'll leave you with a photo from fellow volunteer Paul P, what a great lapwing pose! Thanks Paul :)