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  • Blog Post: The benefits of being a warden

    One of the joys of being a warden is being on the reserve in the early mornings. I noticed this female Marsh Harrier on the gauge board in the Wildlife Watchpoint cut this morning as I entered the hide. Ed brought the reserve camera and managed to get this shot as I slowly opened a shutter. Just...
  • Blog Post: Come and see the Avocet chicks

    We have week old Avocet chicks in the Saltholme Scrape in front of Saltholme Hide. Come and see them before they grow up !
  • Blog Post: Juicy insects

    Good weather in June means juicy new insects about. Black-tailed Skimmers have emerged from the Main Lake and are sunning themselves on the paths. When Dragonflies first emerge, they are pale and weak and need about 3 weeks of nice weather and munchy food to mature. In this state they are called ‘teneral’...
  • Blog Post: Peanut etiquette

    You can tell what is feeding in the Wildlife Watchpoint Mouse House by looking at the mess left behind. Wood Mice shell the peanuts, leaving the shell intact on the floor, and then run off with the nice white nut. Bank Voles simply rip the shells off in the bowls and leave lots of bits in the bowl. Common...
  • Blog Post: A bit of ruff

    On Wednesday, we went out in the ranger to monitor the breeding birds on the central wet grassland. Although we do seem to have lost a few chicks here and there, generally things are looking quite good. We have 7 fledged Avocets from 3 nests, with another 7 well feathered. There are 14 part grown Avocets...
  • Blog Post: 10 things you can do with a spoonbill bill

    1 - Eat soup 2 - Row a boat 3 - Play tennis (sort of) 4 - Wedge a door open 5 - Prize a fence rail off (it might break) 6 - Throw a small pancake 7 - Remove a bicycle tyre 8 - Keep some loose screws 9 - Put loads of sugar in a cup of tea 10 - Easily win an egg and spoon race...
  • Blog Post: Chick food ?

    It’s been a bad week for creatures of all kinds out there. The newly emerged Four-spotted Chaser Dragonflies must be wondering why they emerged in the middle of winter, and of course if there are no insects about, then there is no bird food, and even seed eating birds feed their chicks on insects...
  • Blog Post: Here they come

    It’s May which means as well as singing birds and woodland flowers, it’s time for Dragonflies, and in particular, the emergence of Four-spotted Chasers at the Dragonfly Ponds. But with the cold weather in April, things in the Dragonfly world are a bit late. So I was delighted on Tuesday,...
  • Blog Post: 8 legs and curved beaks

    You know when you’re out monitoring Lapwing nests and staring hard down binoculars and a telescope looking for chicks amongst tufts of grass, and you see an Avocet with 8 legs ? Well after checking that Avocets aren’t in any way related to spiders, I deduced that there must something...
  • Blog Post: One of his Terns

    It’s been an exciting week for migrant birds. This includes a Great Reed Warbler which is currently hiding in the reeds by the Allotment Pool. It generally sings (I use that term loosely) at dawn and dusk, although it grunted and squawked with it’s teenagers voice breaking throat at about...
  • Blog Post: Our elusive special bird

    We’ve had to wait longer than normal this spring, but Garganey have once again returned to Saltholme. Fewer than 100 pairs of Garganey breed in the UK, so our 5 pairs last year make this a special bird for us. We estimated that those 5 pairs produced 5 fledged young, which is not very productive...
  • Blog Post: Saltholme Knit-A-Thon

  • Blog Post: We found another Wainscot...

    This week we found another 'first' for Saltholme; the Twin-spotted Wainscot ( Archanara geminipuncta ) It was also only the fourth record in the county, with two records from Washington Wetland Centre in 2008 and 2010 and one record of three adults coming from No. 6 Brinefield in August 2013...
  • Blog Post: Lazy days and Migration

    With just over a week left of the school holidays the team at Saltholme have been reflecting on what a fantastic summer we have had so far. We're on Minibeast week this week and the recent spell of damp weather followed by a brighter spell has meant that the invertebrates of Saltholme have been particularly...
  • Blog Post: Haverton Hill Highlights

    Spring well and truly is in full swing here at Saltholme. The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming and more and more we're seeing wildlife in the throws of courtship. The highlights for the reserve this week have really come from the Haverton end of the reserve, if you venture as far as the...
  • Blog Post: Swallows, Sandmartins and Signs of Spring at Saltholme

    Longer days, milder temperatures and the first of the years bank holidays under our belt, it can only mean that spring is here, and at Saltholme that means two things, lambs and migration. The Easter break has seen us welcoming hordes of families on to the reserve for our lambing live event where...
  • Blog Post: Recent Sightings (from the moth trap)

    After 6 months in a dusty cupboard in the warden's office, the Saltholme moth trap emerged and was set a couple of nights ago for the first time in 2015. It's one of the best things about Spring; the start of the moth trapping season. At Saltholme we have been regularly trapping and recording...
  • Blog Post: Aren't Nature Reserves Brilliant...

    Guest Blog from Site Manager David Braithwaite. I had my binocular fix today with a walk down to the Saltholme hide, there were geese grazing perfectly happily just a few yards from me at either side of the track. Barnacle Geese to the left; about 60, posh little chaps in their dapper monochrome....
  • Blog Post: Friday 26th September

    Today we have a Pectoral Sandpiper showing from the Saltholme Hide. The Great White Egret is still around, but constantly moving between pools in the area. Dorman's Pool still has at least 4 Little Stints and Curlew Sandpiper, but you'll need a telescope for those. Wildfowl continue to arrive...
  • Blog Post: Clay? Sludge? Or just Mud?

    For most of the day anybody watching the main lake on Thursday, from the visitors centre might have been surprised to see us, in the water. The reed beds and banks along the lake are establishing themselves and showing us all this year that things are flourishing across the reserve. The mixed species...
  • Forum Thread: Saltholme

    First time I've been to a RSPB nature reserve today and thoroughly enjoyed it. Had the pleasure of watching a fox close up and spotted a glossy ibis,thanks to a very helpful twitcher standing next to me.
  • Blog Post: Our Cowpen Marsh dam

    Last Decemeber we took up controlling the fresh water and the brackish water as the two waters reached each other from higher water levels and by mixing together it possibly would change the salt levels. By having a dam at Cowpen Marsh we could prevent this. You can have a look at this link for Peter’s...
  • Blog Post: Subtle changes

    The transformation through the spring into the summer months is remarkable, in the summer things change but you notice things in stages. In the middle of summer the breeding animals peak their numbers with the large total of adults and baby animals. The plant life is growing and over the weeks their...
  • Blog Post: Ragwort on the grasslands

    A summer grassland maintenance job is ragwort pulling. This is done throughout the grasslands over the summer at Saltholme and is a continuous job over each summer in order to control the amount of ragwort that is present. When the ragwort grows and begins to disperse its seeds it will increase its...
  • Blog Post: Rails and Voles

    A number of weeks ago the estate team were improving the view that you see at the wildlife watchpoint hide. Last winter a channel was created by removing a section of reeds and opening up the view, as the summer is coming along the growth was obscuring the open area. Now the water levels are really low...