The 07:30 arrival time for the early birds seemed to be quite frankly ridiculous while driving up the M1 in heavy traffic and pouring rain and to make matters worse, it was dark. The leader messed up by being half an hour late and even then, it was difficult to discern much from the Broomhill Flash hide in the gloom. The 3 stalwarts who had got there on time did have quite a list of wildfowl to report including Pintail, Goldeneye and Pochard.
Undaunted by the rain that was continuing to fall, we decided to move on to Wombwell Ings where a half kilometre walk brought us to the anti vandal hide (constructed from breeze blocks). Here we had a greater variety with a large flock of Golden Plover and
Lapwing, Wigeon whistling and Meadow Pipits hunting in the grass. This place in better weather certainly deserves more time spent there especially in view of the improvements made by the RSPB recently with a lot more fencing keeping grazing livestock in and humans out.
At 09:30, the full group of 8 assembled at Old Moor and after some direction from the RSPB meet and greet team, set off for the Family Hide (should be renamed the “little Children’s Hide because most of the seating is only 1 foot high) with a prize for the first person to spot the drake Scaup. However, it was one of the locals who finally spotted the elusive ‘diver’ and then at a distance and briefly because it promptly disappeared behind an island. Also of note were the 3 Great White Egrets.
Down at the Wath Ings Hides, the highlights were the the large flock of Golden Plover, 10 Dunlin and 3 Green Sandpipers.
To finish the day off, 5 members moved on to Edderthorpe Flash just north of Old Moor and accessed from a lay-by off the busy A6195. This is definitely worth a visit although sadly the people that pass by have turned the short approach into something resembling a landfill site. A brief walk of 30 metres brings you onto the line of an old railway with a good view of the Flash. Here we had sightings of a couple of Ruff, 3 Spoonbill, a very large flock of Golden Plover, Dunlin, Snipe, a single Avocet, a Peregrine and a Green Woodpecker.
In total, 61 species – not a bad haul for such a poor day.
Photos thanks to Val Jones who persevered in spite of the appalling light.