My Winterwatch News from RSPB Dearne Valley Old Moor

Last Saturday (10th Feb) the weather was a little wet and cold, but it didn’t dampen my excitement, as I was going to RSPB Old Moor. I had about 4 layers of clothes on, so I was nice and toasty.

I was filled with anticipation of what I might see.

RSPB Old Moor

The reserve is made up of pools and reed beds, mainly with many reed dwelling birds, like bitterns and bearded reedlings. It is a relatively flat walk with 5-6 bird hides and a handful of ponds. I met lots of friendly people, who give you lots of advice on spotting things. You would miss things if it wasn’t for their help and advice

This is a fantastic place to spot a wide variety of birds and it’s a great place for families as paths are flat and easily accessible. There’s a play area and ponds for pond dipping

I’ve really got into photography recently and have been using a bridge camera, I’m saving up for a DSLR. I took all these photos myself by the way; now let’s get straight down to what I saw:

Snipe – a dumpy wader, with a bill as long as it is, with superb camouflage as you can see – or maybe not – in the pictures below

Reed bunting – with its black bib, brown coat, white Texas moustache and white collar.

It’s nice to see ’em ‘cos you don’t see ’em all the time and they are nice attractive birds.

Peregrine falcon – a smart bird, with a grey suit and striped shirt, with an eye patch like a robber! This was a young female, named red, because of it ring and came from a nest at Wakefield Cathedral. Not a great photo ‘cos it was really far away and I had the camera on full zoom

I got this cracking shot of a woodpecker; it’s colours are so striking and amazing

It’s probably my favourite garden bird ‘cos they’re so pretty and beautiful.


Gadwall – plain and grey, but beauty still lies within, with a little black tail and beak.

Again, something you don’t see everyday in your average garden pond!


Widgeon – with excruciating detail and a funny orange cap and a little white patch and brown head

Sometimes, lots of water fowl don’t look any different from a distance, but close up they are really attractive birds

Yellowhammer – brown with yellow streaks across the face. The male is a lot more yellow, with a bird song of, “a little bit of bread and no cheese

I’ve only seen yellowhammers in one other place – Wales – so it was great to see this one

This little grebe was fishing really close to the bird hide and caught what we think was insect larvae from off the bottom of the pool

You can never tire of a robin!

It was a lovely tame robin, which me and RSPB volunteer, Nicola tried to feed by hand, but it didn’t have the courage to do so. It liked my Dad’s Eccle’s cake though!


RSPB Old Moor with the beige reed maze moving like a wave in the breeze, hide and seek snipe, bitterns booming and bearded reedlings hiding in the reeds, I’ll be sure to come back soon!

Here I go into the half-term holidays, with wonderful wildlife to watch and gardening plans to be made; I’m looking forward to lots of February fun!

Have a great week yourself!

About greenfingeredgeorge

RHS Young Ambassador Gardening Geek and Nature Nerd!
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13 Responses to My Winterwatch News from RSPB Dearne Valley Old Moor

  1. Linda Moore says:

    Take a closer look at the Gadwall, George…the detailing in those feathers is beautiful.


  2. Joan Mycroft says:

    What a exciting day George wow great seeing all these birds we have a woodpecker too they are beautiful and we have seen a few Robins this year what a shame it didn’t come to your hand. Hope you have a exciting week George and see and do a lot, good luck.


    • Hi Joan, yes I think woodpeckers are my fav garden birds, their colours are so striking. I love seeing them on the birdfeeders. I’ve got a few things planned and my mum has got a surprise for me on weds but she’s not telling me what!!


  3. spugwash says:

    Great blog about a great place to visit


  4. love it G x think I’m a dumpy wader rather than a snipe 🙂


  5. David Lee says:

    Great blog George. The photo you have of a female yellowhammer looks more like a female reed bunting to me. Ask some of the helpful volunteers if you can visit again.


    • oh blimey me and my Dad weren’t sure and someone next to us in the bird hide said it was a yellowhammer. It’s so difficult to ID birds sometimes isn’t it – thank you for pointing it out I can see it’s a female reed bunting now. I shall correct it on the next blog post I write. Thanks so much


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