Posted by: mynaturaldiary | October 23, 2010

Duck delectation

Winter ducks return to the RSPB reserve at Saltholme.

Wigeon are back en masse.

The orange stripe on the Males forehead is very obvious, as is the pink breast.

Wigeon (Anas penelope)

They are delightful to see, and make a loud plaintive cry all over the reserve.

Gadwall are a similar size duck.

Gadwall (Anas strepera)

The black tail patch on the male is very distinctive, as is the white wing patch. Close up the grey markings on the body show an exquisite pattern of bars which is only just discernible in the pictures above.

Pintail were on the reserve.

Pintail (Anas acuta)

As were Pochard.

Pochard (Aythya ferina)

And Shoveler ducks, with their enormous beaks.

Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

Mallard are permanently resident on the waters.

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Teal are a beautiful small duck. In the late evening light, their speculum reflect irridescent; sometimes green, sometimes blue.

The head of a male Teal is chestnut brown, with a green stripe bounded by orange stripes.

And their white triangular patch on their rump is especially visible when they are dabbling.

Teal (Anas crecca)

In the far distance, two waders. First, a Black-tailed Godwit.

Black-tailed godwit (Limosa limosa)

Then a Curlew, with its distinctive curved beak.

Curlew (Numenius arquata)

A Little Egret flew onto the waters before Wildlife Watchpoint.

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

On the feeders by Wildlife Watchpoint were very wet bedraggled looking finches.

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)

A Magpie seemed to fair better.

Magpie (Pica pica)

As ever this time of year the skies above Saltholme occasionally erupt with Golden Plover.

Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)

Why do they do this? To escape predators! Hot on their tail is a Peregrine…

Peregrine (Falco peregrinus)

Gute Jagd!

Once the danger has passed, the Plover settle on the ground. That’s until another Falcon passes nearby..

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