Lucky with the weather again, 9 of us wandered around this RSPB reserve in the Dearne Valley in warm October sunshine.  So we had the pleasure of the sparkle or glitter as the flock of Golden Plovers wheeled around in the sky, having been put up by a raptor or just for the pleasure of it?

Even the Lapwing flocks are wonderful to watch in flight.

In amongst the Lapwing and Golden Plover feeding in the mud, we saw three smaller waders with pale under bellies and light grey top plumage, black legs and the dark beak was of medium length, Dunlin. Later, also feeding in the mud, was a medium sized wader with darker brown upper plumage and pale belly which we concluded was the Green Sandpiper we had seen listed in the sightings book.

Most of the usual Ducks were noted though no Pochard; a variety of Gulls but we don’t go as far as to identify the ages of juveniles – “above our pay grade”, or beyond our ability ?

The lesson of the day for me was to comment to a photographer standing looking at a pylon, “I never find anything on the pylons where I would expect to see a raptor”.  Within a few seconds he had pointed out a Peregrine !  What I realised was the contrast in size between the pylon and the bird, especially when standing against the upright.  Clearly I need to look more carefully in future.  A few small birds were seen and some were heard, but it was good to see a Bullfinch on the feeders.

A total of 42 species were seen by the group.

Josephine Drake