Today was another quiet day, as I agree to take a friend birding so waited until the afternoon before setting off. The destination: Old Moor, hoping to get hobby and maybe an early barn owl. I also wanted to see the Bee Orchids that were supposed to be around the bus stop next to the reserve.
As a result as soon as we got off the bus I tried to find them, but failed and after about 10 mins searching I decided that they must mean the bus stop on the other side of the road, and so decided to have a look on the way back and just wander into the reserve.
We first went to the bittern hide, where the highlights were Common Tern, Cormorant and a Great Crested Grebe with a chick. Ideally some more unusual birds would have been ideal to promote birdwatching but alas it was not to be.
We then headed on to the wader scrape hide where hopefully there would be a few more species. Indeed there were, including Redshank, Lapwing, Shoveler and the highlights of late Wigeon and a few Avocets.
We spent a while in this hide while I tried to find a hobby but was unable to, despite the number of small black specks that I checked out through the scope. I picked out numerous Swifts, Carrion Crows and Woodpigeons
We headed up to the next hides to see what was around, but there was not much, the only additions being Pochard and good views of Cormorant. The Pochards were all sleeping however so I was unable to get any photos. There was a Cuckoo calling from the trees behind the lakes, but unfortunately it did not fly and we did not see it at any time.
We continued round the reserve but only really picked up Little Grebe and Brimstone butterfly. We had a look in the bird garden and here got decent views of Bullfinch, Stock Dove and Goldfinch, so a nice end to our trip round the reserve.
The final thing to do was to go for the bus and see if we could find the Bee Orchids. As soon as we arrived I spotted them rising from the grasses. I was so surprised by just how many there were, there were at least 20 stalks, though probably fewer plants. They were much taller than those in Dorset, and seemed to have more flowers, possibly due to the tall nature of the grasses around them. There were a lot in flower, more than I had anticipated given that they were being reported as 'fading' but there was not evidence of this among the flowers growing. The only real way to relate them is to show you the pictures of these stunning flowers...
So there were no unusual birds to promote the hobby but there was plenty of wildlife, topped of with these beautiful flowers. So follows today's species list.
Old Moor RSPB: Black-Headed Gull, Canada Goose, Graylag Goose, Mallard, Gadwall, Common Teal, Tufted Duck, Magpie, Woodpigeon, Cormorant, Lapwing, Lesser Black-Backed Gull, Carrion Crow, Feral Pigeon, Common Tern, Great-Crested Grebe, Coot, Moorhen, Swift, Sand Martin, Redshank, Avocet, Wigeon, Starling, Grey Wagtail, Shoveler, Mute Swan, Little Grebe, Pochard, Swallow, Stock Dove, Willow Warbler, Goldfinch, Bullfinch, Pheasant, Blue Tit, Chaffinch, Great Tit, Reed Bunting, Oystercatcher, Jackdaw, Brimstone, Common Blue, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Large Skipper, Common Blue Damselfly, Common Blue Tailed Damselfly,