RSPB Old Moor. 22nd February 2017


This is a place that we’ve visited a good few times now since moving to Leeds, and which is only about 45 minutes away down the M1.  I guess that like many such sites in West and South Yorkshire this was an industrial area, maybe open cast mining, which has become a quite wonderful centre for fresh air breathing and wildlife watching.

We’ve not seen it in quite this mood before though!  There’s a storm called Doris – yes really! – developing to the West of us and it’s due to clobber Yorkshire tomorrow, and today seemed to be a sort of precursor.  Bright and breezy doesn’t quite tell it – it was blowing the proverbial “hoolley”, which meant that many of the birds were hunkered down, but the reedbeds and indeed the surface of the water were quite spectacular in their movement.  Some of the still images point to that – I’ll try to post a video which makes it much clearer!

I do enjoy this place, wherever the weather.  They serve a good cup of coffee and decent food in the cafe, the environment is very visitor friendly being well signed and well pathed and the visitors seem to have a shared sense of enjoying the place and the experience.  There is a sort of hierarchy (perhaps only in my imagination in truth) which is based on the length of camera lenses and the casual shoulder carrying of ‘scopes on tripods, which can be just a touch intimidating.  In truth though I’ve never found an “expert” here unwilling to share their expertise, and generally in a non-patronising way!

So we were glad to be there.  In the midst of all that’s going on in our world today there’s a real refreshment “blowing in the wind” in places like this, which makes them resources beyond price.

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