Old Moor – 12 Sep 2017

I visited Old Moor for the first time in a while today. There had been a favourable weather forecast and I hadn’t visited my ‘home’ reserve in several weeks, so today was finally the day.

Unfortunately, the weather was a bit of a disappointment – there were a few brief sunny interludes, but mostly it was grey and rainy.

Not to be daunted, I set off towards the Bittern Hide, hoping to see some of the recent regularly-spotted Kingfishers and/or Green Woodpeckers on display there. There were quite a few serious birders present in the hide, and the hot topic of conversation amongst them was the Kilnsea Wetlands reserve near Spurn Point. I made a mental note to visit there as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, things were very quiet from the Bittern Hide today – a Kingfisher flashed across in front of me briefly, but it didn’t land at all, so no photos were possible during the three seconds or so the bird was visible! After about half an hour, I decided to walk up Green Lane to try my luck there instead.

Green Sandpiper

A lone Green Sandpiper at Wath Ings

My first call was at the Family Hide, where I was very pleasantly pleased to see that the mud-scrape area in front of the hide has been hugely improved since my last visit. There’s plenty of scope for waders to be there now, and indeed, a good number of Lapwing were present at the water’s edge today. Several Cormorant were also present, drying their wings, perched on the few boulders near the hide.

Next, I moved up to Wath Ings to see what was going-on up there today. Once again, the dominant bird-species present was the Lapwing, with several hundred being present on the mud here. A few Golden Plover were also present, and numbers of those will surely increase in the next few weeks. After I had scoured the large flock for a few minutes, I noticed a single Black-Tailed Godwit amongst them, and whilst I was watching that,  a small wader flew across and landed quite near the hide. I was pleased when I quickly recognised it as a Green Sandpiper – I hadn’t seen one of those for ages! As it was to turn out, that bird was to prove to be my greatest photographic success of the day.

The last hide I visited today was the Wader Scrape. Hundreds of Canada Geese were on the islands and the grass bank just in front of the hide. A small flock of Starlings were flying around, presumably practicing for the murmurations that, hopefully, will soon be thrilling the early-evening visitors to Old Moor again soon.

As I left the reserve and walked over to the car park, I spotted a Kestrel flying overhead and managed to fire-off a few shots of it before I departed for home.

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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