After yesterday’s news, it was no surprise that Old Moor was a very busy place today with many watchers torn between Wath Ings and the Reedbed Hide. More of that in a moment, first a summary of what was seen today…

On Wath Ings, a great white egret dropped in for most of the morning, eventually flying off northwest around 11.30. As far as I know, it was not seen again today. However, also on the marsh were: black-tailed godwit, green sandpiper, ringed plover, ruff, snipe and that pair of spotted redshank.

At the Reedbed Hide, watchers waited patiently for a sighting of the recent spotted crake. While they waited, they also recorded: bittern, hobby, kingfisher, little egret and a juvenile water rail that gave some excellent views today. Also present were: great crested grebe, coot, mute swan, kestrel, little grebe, cormorant, shoveler, peregrine, lesser black-backed gull, snipe and gadwall.

And the latest news is that, as I write this blog, the spotted crake has indeed put in an appearance. Seen from 17:00 on the right-hand side of ‘the scrape’ by Peter Walsh and others, it is good to know that this shy and rare bird is still around.

Juvenile water rail today

With two rarities at Old Moor today it was easy to lose sight of just how diverse the reserve is at present. In fact, an impressive sixty-five species of bird were recorded today!

Alongside those were small white, speckled wood and comma butterflies as well as more than twelve migrant hawkers on Green Lane. And if that wasn’t enough, a stoat gave watchers in the Family Hide a good show this afternoon as it hunted around the edges of the Mere.

With two weeks left until Old Moor changes to a 5pm closing time, there is still plenty of time to enjoy the final days of a fantastic summer.

Until next time.