Posted by: mynaturaldiary | April 26, 2015

Garganey

It’s always a delight to see a new species, and this visit to the RSPB reserve at Saltholme  yielded two for me.

First, a striking duck; the male Garganey.

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Garganey (Anas querquedula)

The male’s striking white supercilium marks it out from all others. Its plumage is striking all over, as this better picture shows of both the male and female. As a summer visitor, they have recently arrived back on the reserve, after wintering in Africa. They are normally quite elusive, hiding in the vegetation on pools.

There were, of course, other ducks on the waters. This one is a male Tufted Duck.

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Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

Another colourful male duck on show was the Teal.

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Teal (Anas crecca)

Male Gadwall are an interesting duck to look at. At a distance, they are grey, but close up, they show a herringbone pattern.

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Gadwall (Anas strepera)

The Shelduck is a large bird, closer to geese in size. It’s magnificent.

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Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)

Another male duck that has similar markings to the Shelduck is the Shoveler. The Shoveler has a very large dark bill to distinguish it.

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Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

During the breeding season the males have a characteristic head bobbing that this short clip demonstrates.

There were plenty of waders on the reserve too. The Black-tailed Godwits showed well, some in their red summer plumage. They are known locally as Blackwits.

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Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

The Little ringed Plovers have returned to us!

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Little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius)

You can clearly see the yellow ring around the eye socket which clearly identifies this bird. Another unmistakable wader was teh Oystercatcher; the ‘sea Magpie’.

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Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)

Another summer visitor that’s returned in small numbers are the Common Tern,  with five of them lying on the shoreline.

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Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

I can expect to see more of these in the summer.

As promised there was another bird that was a first for me; the Common Sandpiper.

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Common Sandpiper (Actitis hypoleucos)

Also a real rarity, the Wood Sandpiper, with the video clip taken at very long range.

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Wood Sandpiper (Tringa glareola)

This passage migrant is unlikely to stay on the reserve long.

More Soon!


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