Posted by: mynaturaldiary | February 7, 2020

Dancing on ice

The birds were dancing on ice  at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme.

The thin ice on the waters at Saltholme were succumbing to the wind and waters, living in the never world between solid and liquid.

The birds slid across the ice.

Coot (Fulica atra)

Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

Or stood there.

Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)

Nearby were Lapwing.

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

The small amount of open water meant the wildfowl congregated around it.

Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)

Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

Wigeon (Anas penelope)

Pintail (Anas acuta)

Teal (Anas crecca)

Gadwall (Anas strepera)

A Pied Wagtail was looking for food at the waters edge.

Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba)

As was a Black-tailed Godwit

Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

A Kestrel was hunting near the Visitors Centre.

Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

And a Reed Bunting was sitting on a fence.

Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

and a magnificent Snipe displayed well at the Saltholme Pools hide.

Finally in the distance, the crazy beauty of the reserve with the industrial backdrop of chemical plants and North Sea oil platforms being decommissioned.

 

Posted by: mynaturaldiary | February 1, 2020

Blackwits

Black tailed Godwits (or Blackwits as they are affectionately known locally) were showing in numbers at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme.

Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

These birds weren’t the only long billed birds on the reserve. First Snipe.

Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)

Then Curlew.

Curlew (Numenius arquata)

In the distance with Curlew were Wigeon.

Wigeon (Anas penelope)

Pochard were also seen.

Pochard (Aythya ferina)

As were Teal.

Teal (Anas crecca)

Little Egret

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

Water Rail

and Red Breasted Merganser were hunting.

Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)

A Little Grebe was preening itself out of the water.

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

Finally Blackbird were feeding on the ground.

Blackbird (Turdus merula)

 

Posted by: mynaturaldiary | January 24, 2020

Reflected light

Sunlight reflected off the wings of flying Golden Plover and Lapwing at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme.

A beautiful sight, and with a purpose to dazzle a hunting Peregrine Falcon.

The Golden Plover landed on the grasslands.

Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)

On the round, the Golden Plover and Lapwing were bathing.

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

Among them were feeding Wigeon.

Wigeon (Anas penelope)

Snipe were tucked in on the ground.

Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)

A Moorhen preened itself

Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

On the waters were Gadwall

Goldeneye

and Red Breasted Merganser, followed by ever hopeful Black headed Gulls.

Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)

and

Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)

Through the windows around and beneath the feeders were birds tucking in.

Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

Great Tit (Parus major)

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)

Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)

Finally, Barnacle geese flew overhead, reflecting more of that delightful midwinter sun.

Barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis)

 

Posted by: mynaturaldiary | January 23, 2020

Did the Earth move for you?

I can’t say it did – I slept through it!

 

 

Posted by: mynaturaldiary | January 18, 2020

First Snowdrops

smart

Posted by: mynaturaldiary | January 17, 2020

Predators on parade

There were four different species of predator on show  at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme. From largest to smallest there were

Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)

Peregrine (Falco peregrinus)

Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

They, of course, regard each other as a meal if they could get their hands (or is that claws?) on. But normally these birds are too agile or fierce for that.

Curlew were all over the reserve.

Curlew (Numenius arquata)

Among them were Shoveler

Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

and Cormorant and Coots

Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

and

Coot (Fulica atra)

Ducks included Mallard

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

and Wigeon

Wigeon (Anas penelope)

also Teal

Teal (Anas crecca)

Mute Swans were in a group.

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)

Finally, in the distance was a Black tailed Godwit, the first one I’ve seen for months.

Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

 

 

Posted by: mynaturaldiary | January 10, 2020

Hovering

A male Kestrel was hovering at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme.

Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

Notice in the last video how still it keeps its head as the bird hovers .

A delightful skein of Barnacle Geese flew in.

Barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis)

Lapwings were also in the sky, forming a deceit.

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

Golden Plover were alongside the Lapwings.

Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)

And Curlew can still be seen in numbers.

Curlew (Numenius arquata)

Redshank were at the Phil Stead hide.

Redshank (Tringa totanus)

Greylag geese were in the fire station field

Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

A Little Egret was hunting in front of Saltholme Hide.

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

One of these birds disturbed some resting Pintail.

Pintail (Anas acuta)

A delightful Teal was dabbling at Phil Stead hide.

Teal (Anas crecca)

Finally a diving Little Grebe, rewarded!

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

Posted by: mynaturaldiary | January 4, 2020

A pair of owls

Through into the New Year at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme, marked by a sighting of a pair of Long Eared Owls.

Long-eared Owl (Asio otus)

There were two roosting in the thickets of Haverton Scrubs. They are sometimes impossible to find, but in the winter they are there!

A very prominent Stonechat hopped briefly onto a fence.

Stonechat (Saxicola torquata)

Snipe were sitting out in the open, well camouflaged close to Saltholme Pools hide.

And one was feeding close to the Phil Stead hide.

Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)

Wigeon still can be seen across the whole reserve

Wigeon (Anas penelope)

As were Shelduck.

Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)

Lapwing were in the skies and on the ground.

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

And finally, a bird that will play a more prominent role on the reserve in the summer months, a Black Headed Gull.

Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)

Note that it is still in winter plumage, with its head showing only a dark spot. In some 16 weeks by May they will be chocolate brown all over and nesting in their hundreds!

Posted by: mynaturaldiary | December 21, 2019

Winter Solstice 2019

The light reached a minimum this time of year at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme at the Solstice.

First a beautiful bird, a Red Breasted Merganser.

Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)

These were diving for fish just in front of the Saltholme hide, and they put on a great show.

Fieldfare were in trees in large numbers.

Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)

and one went onto the ground to drink.

The skis were still full of Lapwing and Golden Plover

Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

Wigeon were also on the reserve in numbers.

Wigeon (Anas penelope)

Curlew were also there.

Curlew (Numenius arquata)

Bottoms up now, from feeding Teal

Teal (Anas crecca)

and Mute Swans

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)

A Little Egret was hunting

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

And Shelduck were on the waters.

Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)

Finally, geese were flying across the skies.

Canada Geese (Branta canadensis)

Barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis)

 

Posted by: mynaturaldiary | December 15, 2019

Red Grouse in the snow

Snow falls onto North Yorkshire.

In the woods, the snow hangs on trees.

The path to the top of the Moor is bathed in midwinter sunlight.

Highcliffe Farm is covered in snow too.

The Moor looks spectacular.

In the snows, Red Grouse feed.

Red Grouse (Lagopus lagopus)

You can see them feed by digging in the snows for the heather.

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