Posted by: mynaturaldiary | May 19, 2013

Growing Goslings

The Canadian Geese goslings

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explore their surroundings under the gaze of their alert watchful parents

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who call to them to join them on the waters at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme.

They dutifully follow.

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Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

Greylag Geese fly into the reserve.

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Other Greylag Geese also have their goslings close by on the waters. They lead them out onto the waters edge.

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The goslings graze on the vegetation

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whilst their parents also watch over them.

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Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

There’s a good reason for all this care. High in the air, a female Marsh Harrier circles, looking for a quick meal.

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She swoops lower, and the geese get to safety on the water.

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All the other birds keep a low profile.

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One last fruitless pass, before moving on in further search.

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Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

The rest of the birds come out again with the passing of this predator.

A Moorhen takes to the air with nesting material in its beak.

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Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

On the water, a pair of Great Crested Grebes nest.

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Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)

One rather lazy winter visitor plainly forgot to follow the leader north for the summer.

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Whereas the next few ducks I’d expect to see all year round.

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Pochard (Aythya ferina)

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Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

A Grey Heron stalked the waters edge.

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Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

In the far distance was a Pectoral Sandpiper and a pair of Wood Sandpipers

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Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)

Some more usual birds were Lapwings (doubtless nesting on the reserve)

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Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

and Blue Tits

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Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

It was warm enough for the insects and butterflies to come out in numbers.

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Large White (Pieris brassicae)

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Hoverfly (take your pick!)

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Peacock (Nymphalis io)

Despite it being a cold spring, it’s great to see these out and about. They provide food for our summer migrants.

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Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)

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Their song covers the reed beds.

They aren’t the only birds in the reeds.

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Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

In the trees, are the sound and sight of Whitethroats.

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Whitethroat (Sylvia communis)

And Meadow Pipets

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Meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis)

In the skies are Sand Martins.

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They are nesting in carefully prepared burrows.

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Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)

Finally Common Terns and Black Headed Gulls are back nesting on the island in Paddy’s Pool.

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Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)

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Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)


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