Posted by: mynaturaldiary | June 17, 2012

Summer’s Peak

OK, so it is cold and wet, but it is the peak of the British summer as we approach the solstice on the  RSPB reserve at Saltholme

The lack of a warm summer is affecting the overall number of birds, although this year’s new chicks are on the reserve.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

The best display of youngsters were from a veritable gaggle of Greylag Geese and goslings, now beginning to flock together. The young geese are smaller than their parents, and form a large squadron on the waters of Saltholme.

On land, the ever watchful parents call to their young to enter the waters.

Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

The geese fly across the waters.

Other wildfowl in the air were Shelduck.

Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)

Swifts and Swallows streaked across the waters, in between the showers.

Swift (Apus apus)

Swallow (Hirundo rustica)

On the grass verges, Mute Swans relax.

A pair wandered over to the hide.

Close up, the elegance of their head is revealed.

The moment passes, and the swans begin grazing again.

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)

The reserve is home to Common Terns this time of year. They are very prominent, bringing in sand eels from the Tees Estuary, to feed their young.

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

They are beautiful to watch in flight.

and when they rest.

The Terns still wheel over their island, where they nest.

as does the occasional passing Lesser Black-Backed gull, which will take a chick if it can.

Lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus)

Remember what happened when these passed to close to the Tufted Duck’s young last year? Keep a watch out, this time.

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

Waders were noticeable by their lack of numbers. But there was an Oystercatcher showing well in front of Paddy’s Pool.

Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)

and Lapwings.

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

Also Avocets.

Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

A Meadow Pipet rested upon a post for a short while.

Meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis

Mind you, regarding the weather, it wasn’t so good this time last year. Plus ça change…

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