Posted by: mynaturaldiary | May 25, 2010

Gaggle of Goslings

At the height of the breeding season, this years youngsters can be seen at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme. The adult Canadian Geese watch over their brood as they make their way in the world.


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Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

They aren’t the only birds that are proud parents. Here’s some pictures taken at long range of Great Crested Grebes looking after their brood, giving two of them a croggy (the lazy things).


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Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)

This Coot pays attention to its young.

Coot (Fulica atra)

Nests are very much in evidence on the island at Paddy’s Pool, now frequented by Black Headed Gulls and Common Terns.


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Like all seabird colonies, this one is very noisy!

It’s a delight to see the gulls gather and carry nesting material this time of year.


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Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)

The Common Terns arrived in force shortly after my last trip to the reserve. They cover the skies, calling, hovering and diving.


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Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

Other, more regular birds fly over the waters. This Mute Swan had a very noisy flight.

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)

A little smaller was a Grey Heron, caught initially against the outline of the local beauty spot, Roseberry Topping.

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

It got closer to the hide, before hunting on the waters.


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Then flying off again!

Even smaller still, but not much in evidence flying were Shelduck, seen at distance on the grasslands.

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Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)

Another gorgeous duck on display were a pair of Shovellor ducks.


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Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

There’s a Mallard Drake to the right of the last picture. Here’s a close up of him .


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Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Gadwall also showed up well in the bright sunlight.


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Gadwall (Anas strepera)

Lapwing were flying on display.


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Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

On the ground, their crest can be seen in fine detail.


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Oystercatchers, another type of wader, were seen all over the reserve.


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Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)

Coots outnumber Moorhens on the reserve.  Here’s a photo of a Moorhen, with its  green legs.

Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

Standing in front of the hide at Paddy’s Pool were a pair of Lesser Black Backed Gulls.

Lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus)

Summer migrants were all over the reserve.  Yellow Wagtails shone in the sunlight.


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Yellow wagtail (Motacilla flava)

And Sand Martins darted before their nest holes.


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Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)

The warm sunshine also brought out a few other types of wildlife; butterflies and foxes.

Wall Brown (Lasiommata megera)


Small White (Pieris rapae)

The foxes were a particular unexpected delight, again seen at long distance.


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Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)

This post started with geese, so let’s end with another type.  Barnacle Geese were out in force, with seven in a gaggle seen at far distance from Saltholme hide.


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Barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis)


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