Posted by: mynaturaldiary | August 12, 2018

Beautiful blue

Insects were plentiful at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme, despite it being noticeably cooler than earlier in the summer.

Common Blue (Polyommatus icarus)

The star was the Hornet Hoverfly, a mimic.

Hornet Mimic Hoverfly (Volucella zonaria)

This was about 40mm in length (or over an inch to older Brits), and quite striking.

The acorns on the trees

speak of autumn to come, and yet some will never get there, having been attacked by gall wasps whose larvae secret chemicals which induce a blight

which dominates the acorn in time.

On the path was a tiny Common Toad.

Common Toad (Bufo bufo)

Since Saltholme hide is shut down, Paddy’s Pool offered an alternative and good birds to see. First, a Ruff, which is a passage migrant for us.

Ruff (Philomachus pugnax)

And a beautiful Snipe, which blended in well with the surroundings.

Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)

There was a Little Egret fishing

Little Egret (Egretta garzetta)

You can see it with a fish in its mouth below, just about to be swallowed (gulp).

A Little Grebe and their chick were hunting on the waters, which they do by diving underneath to hunt for fish and invertebrates.

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

Common Terns were still on the reserve, having not migrated back to Africa yet.

Common Tern (Sterna hirundo)

Coots were on the island in the middle of the pool.

Coot (Fulica atra)

Phil Stead Hide showed Moorhens.

Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

There were also Mallard.

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Lapwing are returning in numbers.

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

Finally, there was a Grey Heron hunting.

Grey Heron (Ardea cinerea)

You can see its slow movement with head still, followed by a rapid darting movement for a fish.

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