Trip reports

Old Moor RSPB

Old Moor RSPB
Little egret - Jill Islam

Tuesday, 18 September 2018

The first trip of the season took us across the Pennines to the Old Moor Wetland Centre near Rotherham.

At Field Pool a little grebe was swimming and diving just below the hide. A kingfisher was also in close proximity, strangely fishing by taking off from the muddy banks of the creek and hovering before diving into the water. A grey heron was lurking further down the channel, and in the field opposite a few stock doves could be found feeding with the woodpigeons and starlings.

At the Wader Scrape the water level was quite low but still houses a number of ducks in the form of wigeon, gadwall, teal, shoveler, tufted duck and pochard, though most seemed to be asleep, as were the Canada geese. On the water great crested grebe and cormorant were attempting to feed by diving while a couple of little egret trawled the narrow channels. A few swallows flew over the water and green sandpiper and common sandpiper probed the mud. A few pied wagtails and a small number of linnets could be seen on the islands.

As we walked down the path to the next hide a hobby flew low above us.

At Wath Ings, though there were a few ducks similar to before, the majority of birds were waders. Here along with coot and moorhen, we could see ringed plover, lapwing, dunlin, ruff, snipe, black tailed godwit, redshank, spotted redshank, greenshank, and common sandpiper.

Almost nothing was seen at the tree sparrow farm, mainly due to a sparrowhawk perched up waiting to harvest the crop.

After lunch while walking to the reedbed side of the reserve a buzzard drifted high above us and both a peregrine and a kestrel flew through.

A great white egret could be seen in flight but the reed beds and pools gave us nothing different for the day other than mute swan, black headed gull and lesser black backed gull.

The feeding station at the centre which usually gives excellent views of the more common woodland birds especially for photographers wasn't in use, presumably because of a rat problem, though most of these common species were observed at some time during our wanderings.

7 attended, 52 species seen.