Posted by: mynaturaldiary | July 3, 2014

Two special visitors

You never know what may arrive at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme. Paddy’s Pool this time of year is home to many Black headed gulls and Common Terns. They cover the island.

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Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)

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Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

But among this mass of wheeling birds are two surprises; first a Roseate Tern. They look at first glance similar to the birds above.



Roseate Tern (Sterna dougallii)

Notice the darker bill, and the longer tail feathers compared to the Common Tern. These are identifying features for these birds.

The second surprise was a Mediterranean Gull, which at casual glance looks like a Black headed gull.


Mediterranean Gull (Larus melanocephalus)

You can see the black cap and red bill, in contrast to the brown cap and bill of the Black headed gull in the background.

On the water were a Great crested grebe and her chick.

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Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)

{There were two chicks on the same pool about a week ago…}

And a Shoveler, with its huge bill.

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Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

Sand Matins flew over the waters.

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Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)

In the reeds by Wildlife Watchpoint was a male Reed Bunting.

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Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

And running across the mud before the hide, a Water Rail chick.

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Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus)

And on the feeders, a Greenfinch and Goldfinch.

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Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)

The butterflies have returned, with Small Tortoiseshell showing well.

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Small Tortoiseshell (Nymphalis urticae)

Finally, back home at Cafe Twitch, a Hedgehog appeared in the garden at dusk.

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Hedgehog (Erinaceus europaeus)





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