Posted by: mynaturaldiary | October 26, 2014

Saltholme Spoonbill

In the far distance at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme is a Spoonbill, feeding on the waters.

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Spoonbill (Platalea leucorodia)

This is the first one I’ve seen on the reserve for over a year. You can see it filtering the water in search of food through its large bill with flattened ends.

They aren’t the only slender billed wader; another beautiful bird is the Black-tailed Godwit.

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Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

You can see why it’s called a Black-tailed Godwit from this picture.

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One hides its bill under its wing before setting down for a few minutes rest.

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Then it starts to preen.

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Lapwings are beginning to congregate in numbers, taking to the skies at the first sign of threats.

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Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

They are right to be wary. In the skies were kestrels

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Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

And a much more impressive bird, a female Marsh Harrier.

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Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)

The geese on the reserve are rather too large to fear either of these predators.

 

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Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

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Canada Goose (Branta canadensis)

But they would be vulnerable to this predator if he caught them.

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Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)

Redshank were on the waters edge.

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Redshank (Tringa totanus)

And in the distance, Little Egrets.

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Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

You can see their bright feet in this picture.

Carrion crows are regulars on the reserve.

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Carrion Crow (Corvus corone)

Ducks included

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Teal (Anas crecca)

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Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

and

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Wigeon (Anas penelope)

Also on the water were Little Grebes.

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Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

Black Headed Gulls are now in their winter plumage.

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Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)

Cormorants were fishing on Saltholme pool, and flying across the sky.

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Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

As the light fell, the Curlews put on a  fabulous display, descending out of the sky to feed before Saltholme hide.

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Curlew (Numenius arquata)

The summer migrants have long since gone. There is a feel of winter in the birds, but not yet in the weather. That’s just about right for this time of year.


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