A good day out today that started well before it really began, with a kingfisher and two grey wagtails by Lady’s Bridge on the way to the station. From then on it was the train and bus combo to Old Moor, taking a quick detour to Wombwell Ings on the way for a change. I’m glad I did as I got some good birds there, including spotted redshank, ruff, dunlin, golden plover and grey partridge.
There is a partridge in this picture, honest…
Onwards to Old Moor, where I feared I wasn’t going to see much due to maintenance work going on, but despite the diggers and tractors trundling away there were still a good few waders around if you looked hard. Good numbers of green sandpiper were still around, a greenshank lollopped around, and I caught up with my target species for the day… curlew sandpiper.
Yep, those blobs are juvenile curlew sands, take my word for it!
I always like catching up with curlew sandpipers, they’re quite endearing waders, superficially and fairly confusingly like dunlin but a good shade more elegant and fairly easy to pinpoint when you know what you’re looking for. I spent a bit of time watching them and buffing up on their salient features for next time, as they’re not a species I see very often around here – distinct supercilium and face pattern, longer bill, plain underparts, peach-washed breast, and taller with longer wings and tail than dunlin.
Unfortunately the juvenile garganey that’s been at Old Moor recently seems to have gone (I think I’ll give up on that species for this year…), and was unable to get a water rail at the new (and rather good) Bittern Hide, although apparently there was one skulking around in the vegetation. Hopefully that will become a place to rival Potteric for views of water rail and bittern come the winter.
Elsewhere I have word from their discoverer, Dave Simmonite, that the Langsett black redstarts are still in residence. Well worth a look if anyone’s around, as they’re cracking birds and not easy to find in these parts.