Return to Old Moor RSPB

Today we made a welcome return visit to one of our favourite reserves near Barnsley, Yorkshire. The birds were a bit shy so for most of the day the highlights were sightings of the cute young of various waterfowl and we failed to see the reported bearded tits. As we made our way back to the visitor centre Barbara saw a large bird being mobbed by gulls and then someone said ‘Bittern!’ It had landed in front of a nearby reed-bed in full view. I managed a few shots before it flew.

The upper picture shows the typical camouflage stance against the red-bed background

Finally someone pointed out a pair of Mediterranean gulls nesting among the ubiquitous black headed gulls on one of the islands. I had difficulty in distinguishing them from the BHGs but they have much blacker heads, a red bill and the black marking extends over more of the head compared with the BHG. A life-time first for both of us – so it turned out to be a good day’s birding.

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