Posted by: mynaturaldiary | February 21, 2011


On the RSPB reserve at Saltholme this time of year, you can see a wonderful display from a male Goldeneye!

He has fine black and white markings.

and, of course, a magnificent golden eye.

Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)

The day belonged to ducks, with very few waders seen at all. Pintail were out on the waters

Pintail (Anas acuta)

as were Teal

Teal (Anas crecca)

and Wigeon.

Wigeon (Anas penelope)

Pochard were close to the hide.

Pochard (Aythya ferina)

As were Gadwall

Gadwall (Anas strepera)

Shelduck were on the reserve in numbers. They have a beautiful pattern, with a dark green head, a prominent red beak with a knobble, and a chestnut band around the body.

Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)

Little Egret have returned, having weathered the worst of the winter.

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

In the skies were clouds of Curlew.

They land on the foreshore.

Curlew (Numenius arquata)

They will soon depart for their moorland breeding grounds.

Greylag geese passed over the waters.

Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

In the far distance were some Canadian geese.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

A Skylark was on the ground. This photo was taken at long range under poor light, so it isn’t the best picture you’ll ever see!

Skylark (Alauda arvensis)

More identifiable (a dead cert for Brit birdwatchers) were the Goldfinch on the feeders, close to the visitors centre.

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

Finally, a real treat at the visitors centre, a Great Spotted Woodpecker.

Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major)

Happily pecking away at the nuts, which is why we put them up, after all.

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