Old Moor – 09 May 2016

‘Old Moor never disappoints!’ I said that to Andrew Leggett in the Visitor’s Centre at Old Moor as I was leaving today. I had just come from Wader Scrape Hide where I’d been photographing a beautiful Grey Plover, resplendent in full-breeding plumage. I’d only seen a Grey Plover once before, at Titchwell Marsh, and that one was a bit distant. Today’s bird was a beauty! Poor Andrew, who is one of my birding ‘heroes’, taking the most marvellous bird photos as he does, hadn’t seen the bird at that point and was soon scurrying-off to the Wader Scrape in the hope of finding it still there…

Anyway, back to the start, I suppose…

It was really warm today – 29°c on the car’s thermometer when I set off from home for Old Moor. However, it was quite breezy once I was on the reserve, and this was keeping many small birds out of sight today.

I walked up Green Lane first of all, and met Andrew, (who co-writes the Old Moor Blog with Nicola, one of the other Old Moor volunteers), in the Wader Scrape Hide. At that point there wasn’t much around, (so long as you ignored the hundreds and hundreds of nesting Black Headed Gulls, that is!), just a Med Gull sitting on a nest on one of the islands in front of the hide and a rather attractive Redshank combing the mud for food. The breeze was blowing straight into our faces, and whilst welcome on a warm day, was making it rather hard to breathe!

Following a discussion with Andrew about our recent Birding adventures, we ended up standing outside Field Pool East Hide together trying to photograph warblers in the trees. There were a good many butterflies around today: notably Brimstone and Orange Tip, but not too many warblers.

However, that was all to change when I eventually bade farewell to Andrew and made my way back down Green Lane. I managed to photograph a beautiful Chiffchaff in one of the trees. Andrew and I had been discussing how difficult it was to distinguish between Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers; well, there was no doubt with this one as it was singing its heart out! The iconic ‘chiff-chaff-chiff-chaff’ song is the giveaway!


‘Chiff-chaff-chiff-chaff’ – yes, it’s a Chiffchaff!

I felt pretty pleased with the Chiffchaff, but as I made my way back to the Visitor’s Centre another birder informed me that a Grey Plover had recently alighted on the Wader Scrape, so back I went! As you can see from the pictures below, I got some decent shots of the bird.

When I got back to the VC, Andrew was updating the sightings journal with today’s birds so far. That’s when I discovered he hadn’t at that point seen the Grey Plover…

Back to the top of the page please…

About Alan Gordon

I am a retired teacher and former RAF Musician. I live near Sheffield and enjoy taking photographs of wild birds throughout the UK.
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1 Response to Old Moor – 09 May 2016

  1. Helen says:

    Sounds like a great day. I just wish I had been there!

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