Posted by: mynaturaldiary | February 10, 2019

10 years a hide guide at RSPB Saltholme

I started being a hide guide at the RSPB reserve at Saltholme  10 years ago. Every time I’ve been I”ve seen nature at its best, set against the industrial background of Teesside.

You can see Wigeons flying onto the waters of Saltholme West pool, followed by a deceit of Lapwing in the skies as something disturbs them.

Wigeon are wonderful to watch this time of year as they keep together for safety’s sake on both the water and the grasslands on which they feed.

Wigeon (Anas penelope)

They are the most numerous ducks on the reserve, but they aren’t the only ducks there (they never are!). Pintail were showing well.

Pintail (Anas acuta)

And Shoveler with their large bills have started their mating endless circling of each other.

Shoveler (Anas clypeata)

Teal are also numerous.

Teal (Anas crecca)

They too are beginning to pair off for the breeding season.

Mallard are always on the reserve.

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

as are Shelducks.

Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)

Also on the waters were Little Grebe.

Little Grebe (Tachybaptus ruficollis)

There were also Mute Swans and Tufted Ducks.

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) and Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)

On the causeway of Saltholme West pool were Starlings and Lapwings.

Starling (Sturnus vulgaris)

Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)

These birds form a  wonderful display once in the air en masse.

On the shoreline another great wader to watch are Redshank.

Redshank (Tringa totanus)

On the grasslands and waters were geese.

Canada Geese (Branta canadensis)

Greylag Goose (Anser anser)

Barnacle goose (Branta leucopsis)

and in the trees a delightful Reed Bunting.

Reed Bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)

Finally a bird that is special to watch; Curlew with their fabulous long bills probing the mud for their food.

Curlew (Numenius arquata)

It’s reward enough to watch these birds after ten years a hide guide.

You can see my highlights of the past ten years from Saltholme here

and see how the reserve has changed over the years.



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