Posted by: mynaturaldiary | April 22, 2012


At Paddy’s Pool on the RSPB reserve at Saltholme, the Common Tern island has a regular visitor preparing to nest; Black Headed gulls.

The gulls wheel over the island scrapping and feuding.

Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)

A closer inspection of the tern island reveals a wonder – a pair of nesting Avocets!

Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

These are the first Avocets to nest on the reserve. They tend to their nest with care.

But once settled, they relax, placing their bills under their wings.

We’ll have to wait and see what happens.

A pair of Canadian Geese flew over the waters, landing on them.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Greylag geese were also on the reserve.

Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

Taking off and landing with such a large bird makes a great spectacle.

And pairs of geese double the delight.

A Little Egret was present at the edge of the Bottom Tank, overlooked by the Phil Stead hide.

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

On the same waters were Tufted Ducks and Gadwall.

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

Gadwall (Anas strepera)

A delightful Little Grebe came close to the hide.

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

That is until he dived!

Over the far side of the reserve, by Haverton Hill, was a Great Crested Grebe.

Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)

We also had a special visitor; a Glossy Ibis.

Glossy Ibis (Plegadis falcinellus)

This is probably a different bird to the one that visited the reserve in October 2011. That bird didn’t have a ring on it’s leg, whereas our present visitor does.

The image was taken at very long range, and eventually he flew away.

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