It’s been a while since I have written a sightings post for RSPB Saltholme. The run up to the breeding season has proven to be very busy as we prepare the reserve for all things great and small. This week has been a special one for sightings despite the weather!
On Saturday 7th April 6 cranes were spotted flying north over the reserve, to add to the excitement a Spoonbill was spotted the following morning. The spoonbill has remained on site all week generally around the wet grassland but also popping to Back Saltholme and in front of the Phil Stead hide.
Little ringed plover, ringed plover, white wagtail and yellow wagtail have been frequent in front of the Saltholme Pools Hide. On Thursday we had a sighting of a wheatear near the Sheep Shed and today swallows have been seen at Dormans pool, two mediterranean gulls outside Paddy’s Pool Hide and a sandwich tern flew around the Main Lake!!
If you’re planning to come to Saltholme in the next few days you may be in for a surprise.
Yellow wagtail have been seen occasionally down at the Saltholme Pools Hide (Photo by Lockhart H).
Our everyday lives involve so much plastic that it is hard to imagine life without it. Just think about how much plastic you have handled in the last week and you will get some idea of the scale of the problem. Where does all that plastic go? Can it be recycled? Most of the time plastic ends up polluting different habitats around the world. The marine environment suffers greatly from the plastic problem. It has been reported that 80% of marine litter is thought to come from land, especially by producers and users. Tonnes of plastic enters the ocean every hour. A Greenpeace study predicted that 99% of our native seabirds will have plastic in their stomachs by 2050. Matthew Savoca is just one of the many people researching the problem of plastic in marine environments. He concluded that in the short-term, ingesting plastic makes the animal feel satiated, so they don’t eat. However, plastic provides no nutritional value, so they starve if they eat a great deal of plastic as a component of their diet hence why plastic is a major problem.
The Problem at Saltholme
In a recent walk around our wet grassland assessing habitat condition for the upcoming breeding season, we noticed several gull roosts. In these roost spots there was large quantities of rubbish, mainly plastic. It was clear looking at these plastics that they had been regurgitated by the birds. This was not on the small scale it was everywhere. To see this was not only alarming but very upsetting. Some of the products we found were; rubber gloves, hard plastic, polystyrene, j cloths, plastic bags and rubber bands.
This prompts the question can we do anything to limit the plastic and waste we use in our day to day life ?. Here at Saltholme we are constantly improving how we deal with plastics, we no longer use plastic straws and sachets of sauce. Our takeaway products are compostable.
*I have included a few pictures of the findings. If you look closely you can see fish bones.
Inspired by our colleagues at Frampton Marsh we have decided to try out a new way of communicating current wildlife sightings on the reserve. Today I got the ball rolling with our first video blog featuring wildlife watching highlights from the past week, enjoy!
Our video blog can be viewed on the Saltholme YouTube channel or click the play button on the image below.
Hopefully see you soon on a visit to the reserve.