Posted by: mynaturaldiary | February 28, 2016

Spring Stonechat

It was cold at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme and the waders have largely gone. A mixture of sunshine, clouds and a small shower of rain produced a mini-rainbow.

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On a walk down to Saltburn Hides, a Stonechat appeared by the side of the path.

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Stonechat (Saxicola torquata)

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He flew off (caught in the act!)

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Finches were on the feeders. First, a Greenfinch.

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Greenfinch (Carduelis chloris)

And Goldfinches

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Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

and Tree Sparrows, with their brown head crest.

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Tree Sparrow (Passer montanus)

also Chaffinches.

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Chaffinch (Fringilla coelebs)

These birds are all residents on the reserve, so can be seen relatively easily.

The Lesser Redpoll, however is more of a rarity.

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Lesser Redpoll (Carduelis cabaret)

At the back of Wildlife Watchpoint, one of the hides on the reserve, is a reed bed.

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Home to warblers in the summer, they are also home to Reed Buntings throughout the year.

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Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Underneath the reed beds is a feeder, with a special attraction; a Water Vole, who occasionally comes out.

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European water vole (Arvicola amphibius)

Up in the trees by the visitors centre was a Long-tailed Tit.

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Long-tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus)

Now for some birds with black and white markings. First, a Magpie in flight.

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Magpie (Pica pica)

I saw more than one, so it’s not all sorrow, since according to the rhyme that predicts your luck from however many Magpies you see, one is bad luck.

The other piebald bird was a Pied Wagtail.

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Pied Wagtail(Motacilla alba)

On the waters edge was a Snipe.

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Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)

The camera catches the Shipe’s flight, and the very steep angle its wings make.

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Grebes, both Great Crested and Little were seen.

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Great Crested Grebe (Podiceps cristatus)

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Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

A Redshank flew close to Saltholme hide.

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Redshank (Tringa totanus)

and in the distance of Wildlife Watchpoint, a Little Egret.

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Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

Ducks and geese are always at Saltholme. Teal looked fabulous in the sunshine.

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Teal (Anas crecca)

as did the Mallard.

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Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

and the Gadwall also looked good in bright light, showing off their delicate patterns.

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Gadwall (Anas strepera)

And Wigeon are still on the reserve in numbers.

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Wigeon (Anas penelope)

Greylag geese flew overhead.

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 Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

And Canada geese were on the waters.

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Canada Geese (Branta canadensis)


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