Posted by: mynaturaldiary | March 12, 2017

Avocets at Saltholme

Avocets are back at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme.

They constantly sift the waters for invertebrates. This pair were swimming in the scrape before Saltholme hide, overlooking Saltholme West pool. Their action is ceaseless (see video here and here).

You can notice how one is beneath the water whilst the other is above, keeping a careful watch.

Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

On the waters of Saltholme  West pool were some Goldeneye ducks, including this male, displaying.

He has a very distinctive white patch on his head between his eye and bill.

Goldeneye (Bucephala clangula)

Red Breasted Mergansers made a fine sight.

Red breasted merganser (Mergus serrator)

(see video here).

Wigeon are still on the reserve (see video here).

Wigeon (Anas penelope)


Gadwall (Anas strepera)


Pochard (Aythya ferina)


Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Tufted Ducks (see video here)

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

and Teal were also on the reserve (see video here and here).

Teal (Anas crecca)

Pintail put on a fine display.

Their name comes from the tail feathers, seen as an upended male searches for food.

(see videos here, here, here and here).

Pintail (Anas acuta)

Notice in the background of the picture above, an Oystercatcher, with its beak folded under its wing, resting.

Another wader seen were Redshanks (see video here).

Redshank (Tringa totanus)

Black tailed Godwits were searching for food.

Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

(see video here and here).

And tucked away, a small Dunlin was seen from Saltholme hide.

Dunlin (Calidris alpina)

(see video here)

Our standard members of the rail family were seen. First a coot (one of many!)

Coot (Fulica atra)

and Moorhen (see video here)

Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

across the reserve were Black headed Gulls. They are getting their brown heads back, ready for the summer.

Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)

A gulls life is a squabbly one (see video here); and these birds were displaying.

In the air were a pair of Greylag Geese.

Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

On the feeders at Wildlife Watchpoint (undergoing a refurbishment) were

Blue tits

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)


Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

and Reed Buntings (see video here).

Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Finally, a spectacular sighting of a female Kestrel – first, in the air, hovering.

She then moved to a fence post to rest, allowing fine views.

(see video here)

Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)

She eventually flew away, hovering, searching for the next meal.

Finally, the Blackthorn blossom has returned.

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