Posted by: mynaturaldiary | February 18, 2018

Signs of Spring

There were signs of spring at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme. A few Skylarks were heard calling in the air, and we had a Water Pipit by the Saltholme hide.

Water pipit (Anthus spinoletta)


There were signs that the ducks and geese are pairing off for this years breeding season.

First, Canadian Geese looking frisky.

Canada Geese (Branta canadensis)

Then Greylag Geese in a pair.

Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

Gadwall were looking very squabbly amongst the males.

Gadwall (Anas strepera)

Shoveler were on the waters, with a spot of prebreeding displays of head shaking, boy to boy.

Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

And Teal too.

Teal (Anas crecca)

Tufted Duck were on Paddy’s Pool.

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

Pintail were close to Saltholme Hide.

Pintail (Anas acuta)

And Shelduck were seen from both Paddy’s Pool

and Saltholme Hide

Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)

Wigeon were also still on the reserve in numbers.

Wigeon (Anas penelope)

And in this footage, sandwiched between sheep.

In the sky, the Barnacle geese were still flying in a ‘V’ shaped skein, so little sign of pairing off.

Barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis)

Redshank were close into Saltholme Hide.

Redshank (Tringa totanus)

Curlew were on the grasslands before Saltholme Hide, hunting in the soft muds.

Curlew (Numenius arquata)

Little Egret were hunting for fish.

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

Notice the Black Headed Gulls, with their heads changing colour back to their summer plumage. It’s best seen here

Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)

A Grey Heron was on the field before Saltholme Hide, with Wigeon in the background.

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

Also Fieldfare were on the grass.

Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)

In the bushes were Stonechat.

Stonechat (Saxicola torquata)

On the grasslands were Golden Plover.

Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)

They often fly with Lapwings when under threat.

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

They normally keep on the ground to feed but on this afternoon we had an unexpected event, when a house caught fire in Port Clarence.

A gas cylinder blew up, sending the Lapwing into the air.

The fires soon died down, and the Lapwing settled back again.

Finally, some Mute Swans, displaying to each other.

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)


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