Posted by: mynaturaldiary | December 2, 2018

Welcome, Saltholme Hide!

The newly refurbished Saltholme Hide has opened at the  RSPB reserve at Saltholme .

The turret offers a 360 degree view of the surrounding pools, and it has glass windows in the 240 degree sweep downstairs looking at Back Saltholme Pool to Saltholme West Pool and the Scrape Field.

This time of year the reserve provides a home to thousands of waders, especially Golden Plovers and Lapwings.

Golden Plover (Pluvialis apricaria)

They take to the skies at the slightest hint of danger of predation.

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

This isn’t an abstract or imagined threat; Peregrine Falcons are hunting them all the time. Watch closley in the following video and you’ll see single and pairs of Peregrines in the air as the Lapwings circle around.

Eventually the Peregrines give up, and one landed on Back Saltholme Field West in the far distance.

Peregrine (Falco peregrinus)

On the Scrape waters before Saltholme Hide was a Redshank, with it’s reflection mirrored in the waters surface.

Redshank (Tringa totanus)

In the far distance were Curlew.

Curlew (Numenius arquata)

And with the Lapwings were Shelduck, Britain’s largest duck.

Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)

Gadwall were feeding

Gadwall (Anas strepera)

and Tufted Duck

Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

In the far distance were Shoveler with long bills

Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

and Pintail

Pintail (Anas acuta)

Wigeon have returned in numbers.

Wigeon (Anas penelope)

Canada Geese and Barnacle Geese were feeding on the grasslands

Canada Geese (Branta canadensis)

Barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis)

Despite having similar colourings we can tell the two geese apart, since Barnacle Geese are smaller than Canada Geese and have more white markings on their head.

Fieldfare were in the trees

Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)

And Mistle Thrush were on a little man made island on the Main Pool

Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus)

In the woods by the Clarences Scrub, two Long Eared Owls were roosting.

Long-eared Owl (Asio otus)

Hidden the the reeds is a much sort after bird, seen briefly – a Little Bittern (was seen in this country in the middle of the 19th Century).

Above the reeds, the Starlings performed their murmuration.

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

In the distance the golden sunset reflects off the Transporter Bridge; our local landmark.

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