Saturday 8 August 2020

Frampton Marsh, Boston

Saturday 8 August

Another warm, sunny start to the day with almost clear blue skies and a gentle breeze but liable to some stiff gusts.  At RSPB Frampton Marsh by 8.30 to see the latest arrivals as autumn migration starts to get underway but with the added pleasure of being accompanied by Jenny, albeit this somewhat restricts last minute changes to set plans and rules out deviations on the way home!

Both Kestrel and Collared Doves as I approached the site and then welcomed by the usual Wood Pigeons, House Sparrows and a couple of Carrion Crows.  On this occasion straight to the bottom car park near the high bank and looking south over the large area of wet grassland immediately made contact with the Lapwing.  But not just Lapwing.  It would appear that the first of the wintering Golden Plover have arrived with about a score in sight.  As I scoped and made use of the camera a small charm of Goldfinch made their way along the thistles and away to my right.

Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria

Checking the grassland and pools to the north inside the boundary fence, a handful of Little Egrets and a large resting flock of Black-headed Gulls.  Close by a single Greenshank and then a Black-tailed Godwit.  As a lone Moorhen made its way towards the water I also picked up Mallard and a single Dunlin along with a good number of Avocet.  Meanwhile, a steady passage of Barn Swallows overhead and to the far north of the reserve a murmuration of hundreds of Starlings creating a massive cloud in the sky.  Only a handful of Greylag Geese as we made our way to the end of the path and up onto the high bank.

Black-headed Gulls Larius rudibundus with Little Egret Egretta garzetta (front left)

Looking down on the small pools from above we could now see more of both the local Avocets and Greylag Geese.  The nearest pool held a quartet of Curlew Sandpipers and a single Ruff.  With the Avocets a juvenile Shelduck and the adult found further away with another couple of youngsters.  A Reed Warbler dashed across the pool from one set of reeds to another and Jenny noticed a Reed Bunting on the fence below.  Returning to the path below, the stream alongside the high bank held a quartet of Ruff plus Avocet and single Oystercatcher.

Curlew Sandpipers Calidris ferruginea

So back to the main car park and chance to check out the main water from the picnic area, the Visitors Centre still being closed.  Over twenty Spoonbill (highest count was 27) in sight along with hundreds, maybe thousands, of both Black-tailed Godwits and Dunlin.  Immediately in front of me on the beach of a grassy island a wandering Pied Wagtail and foraging at the edges both Greenshank and Redshank.  A Snipe was observed and then the Coot before returning the larger scope to the car and making my way to the Reedbed Hide with the smaller portable scope.  Once settled in the hide a good view of the long-staying Whooper Swan along with many more Black-tailed Godwits and the next island holding a handful of Cormorant.  
Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus with Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa

In the distance the only Heron of the morning as both Greylag and Canada Geese paddled by in front of me.

Greylag Goose Anser anser

No sooner had a handful of Wigeon moved across the water nearby than a couple of Common Tern flew over behind me as I made my way back to the car park.  Re-joining Jenny she noted the high raptor and I was able to identify a passing Marsh Harrier.  We finally found our first Mute Swan of the morning and at the entrance to the reserve the Barn Swallows were beginning to start collecting together on the overhead wires but, most strangely, also a single Yellow Wagtail (suffering from an identity crisis!!!) and even a few Sand Martins had joined the band of Barn Swallows.

Barn Swallows Hirundo rustica starting to flock-up 

Our last port of call was to take the narrow farm track down to the back of the southern end of the reserve in search of the summering Turtle Doves.  No luck on this occasion but the meadow in front of their favoured site held a Meadow Pipit  and on the other side of the path, on the field in front of the large irrigation pool, a couple of Sky Larks and a trio of Tufted Duck on the water itself.  So began the journey back to Stamford with a Blackbird in Frampton village and near Market Deeping both a hunting Red Kite and a trio of Jackdaws.
One of very many Lapwing Vanellus vanellus

Birds seen:

Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Shelduck, Wigeon, Mallard, Tufted Duck, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Spoonbill, Red Kite, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Ruff, Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Greenshank, Black-headed Gull, Common Tern, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Sky Lark, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Blackbird, Reed Warbler, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting.

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa

The main Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia flock

Check out the accompanying website at for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

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