Posted by: mynaturaldiary | July 8, 2018

Farewell to old Saltholme hide

The hides have been replaced at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme, with only Saltholme Hide to be done. The plans are stunning

and I recorded what could be seen from the hide before the work begins over the summer. Apart from the tower and the glass windows, there will be landscaping work, joining the two lakes together by removing the land currently separating them.

There’s been a prolonged hot spell, which has reduced the levels of the lake, and led to a large number of flies on the mudflats. This in turn has drawn waders to feed.

One bird we don’t see so often are Ruff, now out of their breeding finery.

Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)

They tend to be Autumn passage migrants for us, so maybe it is an early sign of Autumn to come, despite the heat.

The other bird you can see in the video was a Black tailed Godwit. These are very elegant, long billed birds.

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Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

This Redshank was resting on one leg before deciding to search for more food.

They work the waters searching for insects, crustaceans, although I have seen one trying to tackle a fish.

Redshank (Tringa totanus)

Lapwing were also on the mudflats. They move much more deliberately than the constant searching of Redshank.

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

Notice the little birds in front of the lapwing – they are Dunlin, one of our smallest waders.

Dunlin (Calidris alpina)

Now two plovers; first the Ringed Plover.

Ringed Plover (Charadrius hiaticula)

Notice the lack of an eye ring. Next the little ringed plover which has a yellow ring around its eye.

Little ringed plover (Charadrius dubius)

There can be no confusion about identifying the next wader. Avocets are black and white waders with long up-curved beaks.

Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)

More birds seen from Saltholme hide were a Cormorant, spending his time preening.

Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

A Grey Heron was hunting in the middle of a lake. Notice when it moves, its head keeps still for as long as possible when it creeps forward at the beginning of the video.

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

Both Mute Swan and a solitary Black Swan were in the far distance.

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) and Black Swan (Cygnus atratus)

Also in the distance were Greylag Geese with their steadily growing youngsters.

Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

On Paddy’s Pool were large numbers of Canadian Geese, together with their youngsters, who are smaller than the adults.

Canada Geese (Branta canadensis)

Tufted Ducks were chaperoning their chicks, and keeping them from the ever present danger of predatory Gulls.

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

Black headed Gulls nest on the island in the middle of Paddy’s Pool. They too have young chicks to care for.

Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus)

They have grown substantially from the last time I was on the reserve 4 weeks ago.

Common Terns also nest on the island.

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

Up at the visitors centre I saw a solitary Sand Martin emerge from the nesting site build for them.

Sand Martin (Riparia riparia)

In the bushes were butterflies,

Large Heath (Coenonympha tullia)

Finally, along the paths basking in the heat were large numbers of Dragonflies, including Common Blue

and Common Darter

 


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