Posted by: mynaturaldiary | October 14, 2018

Deluge (with Ducks)

It was siling down

at the  RSPB reserve at Saltholme, but that didn’t seem to mind the Green Sandpiper.

Green Sandpiper (Tringa ochropus)

The raindrops made a great pattern on the surface of the waters by Phil Stead Hide. The Water Rail made its way through the reeds, hunting for its prey of small fish, snails and insects.

Water Rail (Rallus aquaticus)

In the distance were Black tailed Godwits.

Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa)

Notice at the end of the following video how quickly they take to the air for defence. Such skittishness is a necessary part of their lives, as the following link shows when an occasional bird gets caught by a predator.

They were joined by Teal.

Teal (Anas crecca)

Also Lapwings.

Notice the birds hunkering down in the rain.

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

And once the rain has passed, much more alert.

Again flying away at the first sign of danger.

Their numbers are building back up again as they return from the surrounding fells of County Durham and the North Yorks Moors.

Another bird that is doing the same are Golden Plover. These also take to the sky at the first sign of danger en masse; a congregation of Plovers.

Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)

We can expect much more of this as the weather turns colder and the winter season beckons.

One bird that seemed happy being out in the open was a Cormorant, seen from Paddy’s Pool.

Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo)

At the opposite end of the size scale are Little Grebes.

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

These dive underwater to catch insects larvae and small fish. When hunting they are barely on the surface of the water before diving under.

Here’s a picture of one alongside some Wigeon.

Wigeon (Anas penelope)

We also expect more of these soon.

Pochard were seen.

They also dive for their food.

Pochard (Aythya ferina)

And Shoveler.

Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

Gadwall were displaying on the muds by Phil Stead Hide.

Gadwall (Anas strepera)

Beneath the feeders at Wildlife Watchpoint were Mallard and Moorhens.

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)

On the feeders were Goldfinch

Goldfinch (Carduelis carduelis)

and Greenfinch (a soggy looking one).

Finally in the distance, a skein of Barnacle Geese were coming in to roost in the wet.

Barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis)


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