Coach Trip To Old Moor & Far Ings - Sunday 10th November

The weather was full sunshine and blue sky from dawn to dusk, with no rain forecast during daylight hours. The wind was from the North West, but was so gentle as to be hardly discernible and the temperature about 11°C in the sunshine. What a brilliant November day for bird watching.

After an early start we arrived about 10am at Old Moor, an RSPB reserve, and dispersed into small groups to view the birds. The Mere, Ing and Wader scrape were all dotted with water birds and wildfowl. The all-year-round ducks were easily spotted (mallard, tufted duck, gadwall and shoveler etc), as well as the winter migrants, such as teal, wigeon and goldeneye. Waders were also present, actively feeding on the muddy areas, and included common and green sandpiper, redshank, dunlin, curlew and golden plover. In addition lapwings were seen resting, feeding and flying around the pools and islands. Gulls were also present on the water. A small number of wood pigeons and four stock doves were seen feeding on the spit of land between the Mere and Wader scrape.

Some of the group walked to the Reedbed hide to try to see the bittern but were unlucky in their quest. Whilst others saw a kingfisher sitting on a post, from the Field pool west hide. Overhead a sparrowhawk was spotted flying low over the reedbeds. Elsewhere on the reserve both a kestrel and a buzzard were seen.

Although the green lane leading from the Visitor’s centre to Wath Ings hide was lined with hawthorn bushes with a bountiful supply of red berries, few little birds were seen in that area. However, the bird feeder next to the coach attracted titmice, house and tree sparrows, greenfinch and chaffinch, a female bullfinch and a dunnock with a small growth on its face!

Old Moor reserve didn’t disappoint, but we had to leave to get to our next destination – Far Ings. Far Ings reserve is run by Lincolnshire Wildlife trust and is a National Nature Reserve situated on the banks of the Humber estuary and close to the Humber Bridge. The original clay pits dug to produce clay for tiles, bricks and cement, have been transformed into this reserve with its freshwater reedbeds and stretches of open water.

On reaching Far Ings, we set out on the Chowder Ness path, which initially runs parallel to the Humber, turning left down Ness farm track where some of the group had a good sighting of the kingfisher. On reaching Ness End Farm several tree and house sparrows were seen attracted by the rich pickings from the hanging feeders. A walk across a field path brought us to a large hide overlooking Ness pit. Here there were numerous shoveler, which as a group were swimming in circles, bills dredging the water and presumably catching the food source that had been disturbed by their swimming. Other water birds were seen including little grebe, coot, moorhen, mallard and tufted ducks. A lone snipe flew from the reedbeds. As the sun dipped lower in the sky a bittern was seen near the Scrapes. Just before we departed, the feeders at the Visitor Centre brought a selection of goldfinch, greenfinch and titmice.

On this field trip in a very sunny Yorkshire and Lincolnshire a total of 63 species were seen.


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