Posted by: mynaturaldiary | May 20, 2012

The Vixen and Hare

It sounds like one of those English Pub names, but these were special visitors to the  RSPB reserve at Saltholme. First, the Vixen. She was bold as brass, and walked straight past me.

Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)

Then, after passing me,

she slid off into the wood by the Phil Stead hide.

She’s in search of dinner. One of these would do nicely, if she could catch a Hare.

Hare (Lepus europaeus)

It’s looking all the time for a predator, and swiftly runs away once I move a fraction closer.

In this last photo, you can see its left eye scanning a wide field of vision; still watching me as it runs away. That needless to say is a trick we humans can’t do, given our forward vision (for hunting!). The Hare, like the Rabbit has a wide, side based wision with close to a 360˚ arc.

There are plenty of Hares on the reserve this day, more than I’ve ever seen before.

Off they run, into the long grass. Watch out for those foxes…

The sky is filled with Swallows and Swifts.

Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

Swift (Apus apus)

A pair of Greylag geese flew overhead.

Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

And ever present Canadian Geese flew in.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

On the waters, a Great Crested Grebe, hunting for fish.

Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)

Also Mute Swans.

One makes a threat towards a pair of swans.

before flying away, having lost the argument.

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)

Common Terns now cover Paddy’s Pool and are seen all over the reserve.

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

Very close to the RSPB reserve, Greatham Creek Saline Lagoon  offers a fine place to see Avocets, as they nest.

Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

They wheel over the little island, chasing away passing gulls.

Some settle on the waters edge.

Others continue to fly over the lagoon.

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