Posted by: mynaturaldiary | March 30, 2014


Haar, the breath of the sea, encompassed the RSPB reserve at Saltholme, restricting the visibility, due to high pressure to our east.


Birds have to get on with their lives under these conditions. We welcome back the summer migrants that have made it so far to brave the English weather.

First the Sand Martins have returned. They are checking out the artificial bank made for them.

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Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)

It’s great to see them again! A passing Avocet landed in Back Saltholme.

(pic soon!)

In the skies, skylark were singing, but they visually were lost in the mist.

Lesser Redpoll are still with us.

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Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis cabaret)

They are not to be confused with female Reed Buntings

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Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

The males are more distinct with their black heads.

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Another bird that is similar to a Lesser Redpoll is a Tree Sparrow.

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Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)

The Lesser Redpoll have a red head, whereas the Tree Sparrows have a brown head. There was an unmistakable male Chaffinch in his fine breeding plumage.

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Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

and Blue Tits. calling out.

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Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Lapwing were displaying on the grasslands, and over the water, as they get ready for the breeding season.

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Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

A Little Egret spent time grooming itself.


Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

Overhead flew Greylag Geese.

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Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

And the Black headed gulls have returned to Paddy’s Pool, to begin their summer’s long breeding residence.

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Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)

On the waters were Tufted Duck.

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Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

These are diving ducks, so it’s a case of seeing them, then waiting for them to resurface somewhere else on the water. Goldeneye is another example of a diving duck.



Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)

Teal are an example of dabbling ducks.



Teal (Anas crecca)

You can tell the male ducks, by their fabulous striped head, and more often than not, the white triangle near their rear when they upend to feed.

Wigeon seem to be residents now, as a few don’t migrate northwards.


Wigeon (Anas penelope)

This next picture shows Wigeon in the background, with a solitary Avocet in the midground, before a majestic Mute Swan sails past them both.


Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

The Mute Swans are very much a Saltholme resident, unlike the Avocet, which come for the summer.

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Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)

These are large birds!

A more dainty wader is the Redshank.


Redshank (Tringa totanus)

Cormorants were on the water before Paddy’s Pool.

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Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

And finally, Red breasted Mergansers graced Saltholme pool.



Red breasted merganser (Mergus serrator)





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