Posted by: mynaturaldiary | February 22, 2015


Wind chill is a blunt tool; it freezes you just as surely as colder conditions. The RSPB reserve at Saltholme suffered brisk north westerlies as an Atlantic low swept down cold air from further north, freezing all.


That includes the birds and mammals, but they seem to take it in their stride.

A Snipe showed well at the Phil Stead hide.

150222# (87)

Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)

150222# (92)

He often hid in reeds where his natural camouflage served him well.

150222# (83)

He turned to face the hide and revealed the eyes at each side of his head.

150222# (84)

This allows the bird to see a larger field of few than we can with binocular vision. They can see most of what’s behind themselves, with panoramic, almost 360° vision. It’s a useful trick if  you are being constantly threatened by predators. But what might those predators be?


150222# (57)

Least weasel (Mustela nivalis)

and Red Foxes for two.

150222# (56)

150222# (60)

Red Fox (Vulpes vulpes)

This fox is being very lazy, eating the spilled seeds from the feeders above. On the feeders across the reserve were a range of birds, including Greenfinches and Goldfinches, the latter squabbling mid air with each other over who gets to feed.

150222# (64)

150222# (65)

150222# (66)

Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)

150222# (76)

150222# (79)

150222# (77)

150222# (78)

150222# (80)

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)


150222# (61)

Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

Tree Sparrows


Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)

Reed Buntings (on the ground)

150222# (62)

Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

There were Blue Tits,

150222# (69)

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

Great Tits

150222# (71)

Great Tit (Parus major)

and occasionally a pair of tits together.

150222# (70)

Also Starlings

150222# (48)

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

and Pheasants

150222# (82)

Pheasant (Phasianus colchicus)

Up in the skies were Barnacle Geese.

150222# (49)

150222# (52)



Barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis)

And on the waters, a Tufted Duck

150222# (53)

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)



Wigeon (Anas penelope)

And finally Teal.

150222# (88)

150222# (90)

Teal (Anas crecca)


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