Posted by: mynaturaldiary | August 1, 2009

A welcome visitor

At the RSPB reserve at Saltholme various waders were out in view under very windy and rainy conditions (an English summer 🙂 ). In the morning, in the face of a stiff breeze at Saltholme Pool hide, fine views were had via a digiscope of the unmistakeable Curlew.

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Curlew (Numenius arquata)

and a Snipe probing the mudflats for morsels with its long bill.

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Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)

Our welcome surprise visitor was a Pectoral Sandpiper. This has a sharply defined patch across its breast, hence the pectoral name.

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Pectoral Sandpiper (Calidris melanotos)

Ruffs were also present. This looks like a male out of his spring finery.

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Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)

Eventually he passed close in front of a Redshank, which is bigger bird with red legs, and has a longer bill.

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Redshank (Tringa totanus)

The Grey Heron (last seen in this diary being mobbed by a Black Headed Gull) was also stalking around.

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Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

As all these distant wader displays were going on, the skies were full of Swifts, which zoomed over the waters.

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Swift (Apus apus)

And on the water, a Dabchick.

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Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

My suppressed augury instinct was tested by this fine cloud of Lapwings making a river in the sky, doubtless stirred into flight by a passing predator (unseen!).

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Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

Let’s hope this signals Pax deorum, rather than Ira deorum.

More Soon!


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