Posted by: mynaturaldiary | October 5, 2012

Return of the Plover

The season moves on at the  RSPB reserve at Saltholme. Autumn is here again. The Lapwings and Golden Plover congregate on the reserve on the grassland of the Big Field at Back Saltholme.

These birds rise into the skies at the first hint of trouble which at a distance is hard to see.

The cloud of birds is a mixture of the two species,

but as time passes, the Lapwings tend to keep together lower to the ground,

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

whereas the Golden Plover fly very high,

Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)

before settling back down on the grasslands.

The birds live on a hairtrigger, so the slightest hint of danger sets them off into the skies. The dangers are reals though; from one cloud of Plover, an empty clawed Peregrine Falcon emerged.

Peregrine (Falco peregrinus)

There were also hunting Kestrels

Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

and Short Eared Owls

Short-eared owl (Asio flammeus)

The Lapwings and Golden Plover are probably right to keep watching!

On the waters were Teal and Shoveler.

Teal (Anas crecca)

Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

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