Back to the birding then after a day off and what better way to get back into routine than by a trip to old moor, my first time at this praised RSPB reserve. Public transport ran me close but I made it in good time and the weather was decent, so all seemed good. I went to the feeding station first. when I got there I flushed a sparrowhawk which had been sat at the entrance to the viewing screen. I spotted it later in the hedge preening, though the view was obscured and poor. On the feeders I got greenfinch, finally, plus tree sparrow and reed bunting, as well as other garden birds.
Next onto the reedbed hide, here it was very quiet, only a few birds on the pond
-Common Snipe, my first this year
-Stock Dove pair, Displaying on a raptor box. Very enjoyable to see, as well as being my first this year
I made my way to the 'family hide' which felt a little tacky with plastic chairs and the like but had great views of many wildfowl species, in great numbers too.
-Wigeon, Gadwall, Lapwing, Coot, Mallard
On the main islands there were hundreds of ducks, as well as moorhens and coots. Below is the list of species on this main pond
-Wigeon, my first of the year
-Black Headed Gull
And a yellowhammer flew across the front of the hide, my first of the year, although it was a brief view to say the least
The rest of the reserve provided more of the same, just in smaller numbers sadly. There were a few other species, goosander and pochard were the main species not already mentioned, though there were a few very tame robins, which I got great views of.
After my wander round the reserve I headed back to the feeding station to see if anything else had turned up. While I was there a few lovely male yellowhammers turned up, as did long tailed tits, to add to the great variety of birdlife already there. I was joined by another gentleman who asked if I had spotted the brambling that was there. To be honest I had not really tried to hunt down the brambling, though it would have been nice, but while we were talking about yellowhammers and greenfinches he spotted the female brambling above the bird table. It came down to the floor to feed and got some great views but went after about 5 mins. Still, I got great views of a very unexpected bird on my behalf. I also got some shots of the bird, which are much better than those I got at Cley last time I saw them.
-Female Brambling, right hand bird
That left me buzzing and feeling great. I decided to wander over to Wombwell flash to see if the whooper swans reported were still there. I thought I had them at one point but they turned out to be mute swans, so that was a disappointment. Then best bit about that site was 8 grey herons roosting all in a line. I was then screwed over by public transport as my bus failed to show up, so that put a downer on what had otherwise been a great day.