A spoonbill at Old Moor

I’ve had a fantastic day today! I was volunteering at Old Moor, helping lead guided walks showing people baby birds around the reserve to tie in with Springwatch. Plenty was there to see, including coot, little grebe, Canada goose, mallard and black-headed gull chicks, and lapwings and kestrels on the nest.

Adding an extra dimension to it all, however, was a spoonbill, which landed on the reserve half way through the first walk, just in time for me to take our group to see it! It then handily stayed in the same place all day, and I must have shown it to about 40 people throughout the day. It was for me a life tick, and for once I was in exactly the right place at the right time for a rarity.

I also picked up two year ticks – reed warblers were chattering away in the undergrowth, only showing the tiniest glimpse, and a few common terns were on the reserve, often engaging in aerial dogfights with black-headed gulls. But, of course, the spoonbill wins today!


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My name is Pete

4 thoughts on “A spoonbill at Old Moor”

  1. Good morning, sorry this is not very connected with your post, but I just wanted to tell someone that right now (and for the last couple of mornings) I can hear a skylark singing, and I live on City Road quite near to town (not far from City Road post office)! Have you ever heard of something so bizarre? It definitely is a skylark, I grew up in the Leicestershire countryside where they were often singing very high above the fields in summer. But to hear one so close to town? I’d be interested to hear from anyone else who’s heard about this (or heard the skylark as well as me!)


  2. Hi Joey,

    In the 1985 ‘Birds of the Sheffield Area’ atlas, skylarks are reported as the most widespread bird in the entire region, and are confirmed as breeding in the tetrad that contains your part of City Road (SK38T).

    Obviously there’s been a massive decline since then, and I’m not sure what the situation is up there now. It might be worth getting in touch with the Sheffield Bird Study Group http://www.sbsg.org.uk which will be be able to give you far more details than I can,

    Hope that helps,

    Best wishes,


  3. Cheers Pete! I had no idea that they were breeding in this area back then. I’ve lived here for over 10 years and never heard them in all that time, so would be wonderful to find that they’re breeding locally now.

    Skylarks’ song is probably my favourite of all birdsongs!

    Cheers and have a good evening

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