Posted by: mynaturaldiary | December 5, 2009

The one that got away

The RSPB reserve at Saltholme enjoyed clear skies and still winds. The skies are filled with Golden Plover and Lawings, taking to the sky whenever threats appear.


On the ground and close by in the air, the Lapwings prominent green shades and crests show up in the sunlight.



Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

The Golden Plover also looked splendid.




Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)

But what of these threats? At a distance, I can’t see them, but the birds can. It’s a hunting Pererine Falcon, as the following shows.

At first the birds rise to the sky as before.

A flicker in the sky reveals the hunt, with a Peregrine on the tail of a Golden Plover…

…which twists and turns to escape…


The turn gives the Plover more space. Each bird is now highlighted by the red circles.

The Peregrine now can be seen more clearly.

Peregrine (Falco peregrinus)
But the Peregrine soon closes the gap…

..the Peregrine panics the gulls, which dart out of the way in alarm…




This last turn allows the Golden Plover to escape, the one that got away.

This last long range shot shows the Peregrine to have no kill in its talons. It must try again later for a meal.

Geese are too big to be threatened by falcons. They fly imperiously into the reserve.

Greylag Goose (A

Mute swans also swept over the waters.

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)

Canadian geese were also on the reserve.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

There were many different types of duck on the waters.

A female Shelduck flew over.

Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)

Teal were at the waters edge.
were at the waters edge.

Teal (Anas crecca)

as were Wigeon.

Wigeon (Anas penelope)

and Shoveler Ducks.

Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

And also an immature Goldeneye.

Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)

I saw only one Little Egret.

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

And in the far distance, a cormorant.

Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

Finally, some waders. First, a Black-tailed godwit.

Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa)

Then a Curlew.

(Numenius arquata)

As dusk falls, a herd of Curlews rush out of the sky to settle on the ground.


  1. […] Frozen Back to the RSPB reserve at Saltholme. All is utterly changed from the last visit in early December, when the skies were filled with birds as the post describes the one that got away. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


%d bloggers like this: