I made another visit to Old Moor today. The days have grown quite short now and there isn’t that much sunshine around. It was a rather gloomy, overcast day in the Dearne Valley when I arrived, but it was reasonably warm at around 10-15°c, which was very pleasant. ‘Big coat weather’ is just around the corner now, but a thin one was all that was required today.
I walked up Green Lane, stopping briefly at the Tree Sparrow Farm on the way. A number of changes have taken place here again, showing that Old Moor is never complacent; lots and lots of improvements have been undertaken in the last few months at various parts of the reserve. A new viewing screen has been installed, along with new feeders, at the Visitors’ Centre side of the viewing area at the Tree Sparrow Farm. It’ll be interesting to see what that brings in the days and months to come.A brief stint in the Family Hide revealed literally thousands of assorted waterfowl, a few Cormorants and gulls, but nothing more exciting than that.
The other big improvement at Old Moor, which I mentioned in my last blog entry, is the revamped Field Pool East Hide and the mere over which it looks. This is a much better experience now. I sat in this hide for a good forty minutes or so today, watching a flock of Dunlin, a couple of Redshank, a pair of Green Sandpiper, a juvenile Pied Wagtail and a Meadow Pipit. That’s by far the biggest haul of birds I’ve seen from that one hide before.
Moving up to Wath Ings didn’t reveal much more; no Golden Plover today – where have they all gone??
As I walked back down Green Lane I noticed the Robins are getting ‘more friendly’ again. They’ll be begging for food and literally eating out of visitors’ hands again very soon now. Helen and I had that privilege at Leighton Moss right at the start of this year, and it’s a magical experience to be physically in contact with the birds, albeit for the briefest of moments. I must buy a bag of bird feed to have in my coat pocket for future birding trips!