Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Old Moor

Today was my last day at home prior to my return to Uni. I had decided to head back a little earlier so that I could travel around and pick up some great birds, and it started today. My mum had long wanted to go to Old Moor so we decided to call off on the way back to the flat.
We arrived at 10.30, the weather warm but humid. I was secretly hopeful of an arctic tern since so many seem to have decided to drift inland over the last few days. However, it was not to be. At the first hide there was plenty of Black-Headed Gulls, as well as some Sand Martins and a couple of Tree Sparrows, but there was little else. I tried hunting down the med gulls but failed to find any.
Moving onwards to Wader Scrape the continued to be ample Black-Headed Gulls, but there was not much else besides. I did however, though overhearing birder conversation, track down a small group of 3 Avocets, one in the water, 2 sleeping (pictured). It was nice to see them so far up north, they are my first outside of Norfolk. Sadly though, they were quite a way away and I was unable to get any decent photos.
The other hides passed much the same, with Little Grebe, Pochard and an elusive Sedge Warbler being the highlights. I did also track down a very vocal blackcap singing from the top of a small tree. That would also be a highlight.
On the way back I found my parents, who had decided to go for a coffee when I had set off. They had also not seen anything, and since it was now nearly lunchtime we decided to go to the cafe. Once done we then  set off again. We decided to call in at the family hide, still no arctic terns to show for it though.
However, after a while my dad said that he had found a Med Gull, and I was able to confirm it for him. It seems that I just can't find these birds for myself, as whenever I look they are never there.
We continued looking and finally found my own, different Med Gull on a different island. Then I found another. After a short while bird two and bird three started to sit together, possibly suggesting breeding?
-Med Gull 1
After that we decided that there were too many screaming kids around and that we could probably do better elsewhere. As a result we decided to call it quits at Old Moor and head off elsewhere. On the way out however we decided to have a look at the feeders. There was some good stuff; Stock Dove, Collard Dove, Bullfinch but the highlight was when my dad said that he had seen a siskin. When we got eyes on it though it was actually a stunning male Yellowhammer. It spent about 10mins foraging around the feeding area before we lost it into the nettles. It was a great view though, and of a great bird.
And that was the last act of our brief trip to Old Moor. Sadly it did not really live up to previous occasions, but at the same time we had seen some lovely things. It would have undoubtedly been better if there were fewer screaming kids. 

Species List:
Old Moor RSPB: Black-Headed Gull, Woodpigeon, Magpie, Coot, Tufted Duck, Gadwall, Sand Martin, Tree Sparrow, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Cormorant, Redshank, Canada Goose, Oystercatcher, Willow Warbler, Moorhen, Mallard, Mute Swan, Graylag Goose, Lapwing, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Starling, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Chaffinch, Shoveler, Avocet, Sedge Warbler, Blackcap, Pochard, Shelduck, Stock Dove, Collard Dove, Great Tit, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Blackbird, Reed Bunting, Mediterranean Gull, Great Crested Grebe, Yellowhammer, 

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