Posted by: mynaturaldiary | July 29, 2012

Phil Stead Hide on a Sunday afternoon

You can see the Phil Stead hide from the car park when you arrive at the  RSPB reserve at Saltholme.  It overlooks the bottom tank. Being well flooded it’s the home to many waders, including Snipe.

Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)

and Lapwing, which wandered very close to the hide.

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

There was also a Dunlin, a very small bird.

Dunlin (Calidris alpina)

It’s clearly marked by the dark belly and the gently curving downwards bill.

Another bird with a curving down bill, but much larger is a Ruff.

Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)

A delightful sight was a Greenshank.

Greenshank (Tringa Nebularia)

There were about a dozen Little Egrets at one point!

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

The birds rest side by side.

Notice how the Little Egret fishes. It stands on one leg and waggles the other one in the water to make its prey move and be caught.

Still on the waters were two regulars. Coots

Coot (Fulica atra)

and Dabchicks (Little Grebes).

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

Away from the waters, high in the sky, a passing Marsh Harrier.

Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)


Back on the ground in the undergrowth, this summer has been wet and cold; bad for butterflies, but great for snails.

Garden Snail (Helix aspersa)

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