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Joined: 08 Jun 2005
Posts: 377
Location: Brierfield, Nelson, Lancashire

PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 11:13 pm    Post subject: OLD MOOR NEAR BARNSLEY WEST YORKSHIRE Reply with quote

It should have been Clumber Park today but the foul weather forecast yesterday and the prospect of a cold windy wet day and very little shelter resulted in a straw poll yesterday changing the venue to Old Moor RSPB reserve near Barnsley the closest possible venue with a compact site and plenty of hides and a nice reception café area.

We met early: the shorter journey meant we could be there before the 9.30 opening time. Immediately on arrival bird activity was apparent and redwing and fieldfare and other birds were seen in the car park boundary trees.

The feeding station adjacent to the shop was alive with tits and finches. I could quite happily sit in the viewing hide all day but there is much more to be seen,
The tree sparrow village area likewise buzzed with yellowhammer, tree sparrows, reed buntings and Brambling. I didn’t see the Bramblings until later in the day but when I did it was a lifetime tick for me….what beautiful little birds.

There are good paths to the hides and conditions underfoot were not as wet as anticipated. Lots of ducks and gulls and plenty of others kept interest up throughout the morning.

We picnicked in the car( group custom rather than a reflection on the excellent Catering at Old Moor) and in the afternoon we went out to see what was happening in two new (to all of us) hides and an observation screen on the reed beds and we revisited the two feeder areas. We half hoped to see the reported Bittern but not surprised or too disappointed when it didn’t happen. This area had a smaller range of birds, mainly tufted ducks, coots and wigeon, and I spent some time timing the period that the tufted ducks remained submerged when they dived (dove?) Varied between twenty and twenty six seconds.

On the way home we called in briefly at Broom Hill Flash and in fading light watched more bird life, adding Ruddy Duck and Snipe to the list for the day.

My personal list for the day came to 55 species seen and in addition I heard a wren and a green woodpecker and what could have been a skylark singing. I know the group list was just a little bit longer than mine. We also saw grey squirrels and a fox.

Wildfowl etc : Little Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Canada Goose
Ducks :Wigeon, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Goosander, Ruddy Duck.
Raptors: Kestrel
Waders: Lapwing (a considerable number), Snipe (one bird), Redshank(one bird)
Gulls: Black headed, Common, Herring,
Pigeons: Stock dove, Wood pigeon, collared dove, feral pigeons.
Miscellany: Pheasant, Moorhen, Coot, Kingfisher, Greater spotted woodpecker, Pied wagtail, Dunnock, Starlings, Tree sparrow, house sparrow
Thrushes: Robin, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Redwing.
Tits:Long tailed, Willow, Coal, Blue, Great
Corvids: Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook , Crow
Finches etc: Chaffinch, Brambling, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Bull finch, Yellowhammer and Reed Bunting.
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