Trip reports

Visit to Dearne Valley - Old Moor

RSPB Old Moor nature reserve landscape

Sunday, 20 October 2013

We set off along the Green Lane Trail stopping off briefly at the Family Hide which overlooks the Mere. Plenty of wildfowl on view here with mallard, gadwall, shoveler, teal, wigeon, Canada goose and mute swan. Great crested grebe, little grebe, cormorant and many coot were also on view.

Pressing on towards the Wath Ings Hides we could see c2000 golden plover swirling around in the sky possibly spooked by passing raptor. By the time we reached the hide all had settled down again. What a lovely sight and sound these plovers make.

Other waders included black-tailed godwit, ruff, dunlin, snipe, lapwing and a lone grey plover. Another loner was a golden plover with a small group of lapwing which we tried to convince ourselves was the previous day's American golden plover.

Lunch was taken and a distant sparrowhawk was spotted before we moved off to visit the Wader Scrape Hide. Here a little egret afforded close views and a distant female pheasant briefly glimpsed flying over the distant reedbed might easily have been a bittern!

The visit concluded with a walk to the Bittern and Reedbed Hides from which both kestrel and buzzard were seen. The meadow alongside the Reedbed Trail held a
small herd of highland cattle. The cows at one end and a lone bull at the other!

One of the biggest changes since our last visit was the absence of tree sparrows. This we were informed was caused by last winter's severe weather.

The weather finally lived up to its billing just south of Sheffield when the M1 was hit by torrential rain during a thunder storm.

Peter and Lesley Berrill