Posted by: mynaturaldiary | March 27, 2010

A prayer of Godwits and a special visitor

Larks ascend to the sky calling out at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme, but they are too high for me to see. But I can see a fine display by Black-tailed Godwits.

Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa)

I love their elegance. One bird gets especially close to the Wildlife Watchpoint hide, allowing a good view.


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Nestling in the reed beds is a Curlew, now declining in numbers from last month as they make their way out to their breeding grounds.

Curlew (Numenius arquata)

The Lapwing have almost all gone, again to their breeding grounds.

Greylag geese are still present and I catch one coming in to land over the reed beds.


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Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

On the ground I see a watchful individual transcend from being calm to cantankerous in seconds at an approaching threat.
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Life on a hairtrigger… Then back to calm, for now.
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In the far distance are a group of Barnacle geese.

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Barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis)

Closer to the hide is a Shelduck, the symbol of the Teesmouth Bird Club



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Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)

On the water were a pair of Mallards.  The drake normally has a green looking head, but in this light it looks distinctly blue.

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Closer to Wildwife Watchpoint, a female duck Mallard gets very cheeky.


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That table is surely for seed eaters only?  This is more where you belong!

Wigeon were in the air

The seeds belong to species like this Goldfinch.


Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

Wigeon were in the air.

and on the ground

Wigeon (Anas penelope)

Teal were also showing well.

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Teal (Anas crecca)

The colour of the Drake strikingly compares to that of the duck in the first picture above.

This post promised a special visitor. Here it is.



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Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus)

It’s a female, and a long way from home.

More local is a Gadwall.

Gadwall (Anas strepera)

Finally, the Great Crested Grebes are back and in the process of building a nest in the reed beds by Paddy’s Pool.


Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)


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