Thursday, 11 August 2016

Frampton Marsh, Lincolnshire

Thursday 11 August

The Avocets Recurvirostra avosetta were obviously feeling the wind
Brother-in-law Chris arrived yesterday afternoon and with one clear day before we all set off north for the wedding and the overnight rain now concluded, what better way to spend the morning than take the drive, just under an hour, over to RSPB Frampton Marsh near Boston back in the UK.  Approaching Spalding a Bullfinch crossed the road in front of us, first record this year, and was quickly followed by a Red Kite along with both individual Crows and a good-sized flock of Rooks.  Then it was through Frampton village and the short, narrow road to the reserve where we recorded both Collared Dove and Wood Pigeon along with Blackbird.

The first bird seen on the reserve was a solitary Heron and, once parked up, we headed for the 360 Hide aware of the great number of waders resting close to the bank to try and escape the very strong cold wind.  Well, you can't have perfect weather on every birding trip!  A dozen or so Little Egrets stood as did the larger white shapes of the Mute Swans and there must have been at least thirty individuals in the Canada Goose group.  A very large charm of Goldfinches was working the hedgerow and accompanied by a not inconsiderable number of Linnets.

Lovely to see the Linnets Carduelis cannabina on a dull, cloudy day
In terms of numbers there must have been well in excess of an hundred Black-tailed Godwits in two distinct groups plus many other smaller isolated flocks.  Again, lots of Avocets and a very large flock of Dunlin with a score or more Redshank working the edges.  At least a dozen Greenshanks noted along with a small number of Greenshank but no Little Ringed Plovers identified amongst the many Ringed Plovers.  More Moorhens than Coots but generally both in very small numbers.  However, one Moorhen had a chick on the path with her that looked to be less than a fortnight old, a very late nester - or form a replacement clutch.  But just the one so, perhaps, this individual is providing home-grown food for the gulls and or harriers!

Just  small section of the many Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa
A reasonable range of ducks with good numbers of mallard and Teal along with the very many juvenile Shelduck but only the occasional adult of the last named.  A single Shoveler was a bit of a surprise and we also noted a handful of both Tufted Duck and Wigeon.  Along with the Little Egrets and a few Herons we also recorded a pair of Spoonbill at the back of the water plus a dozen or so Cormorants and, of course, wherever we seemed to look we could always find an individual Lapwing.

Another lonely young Heron Ardea cinerea
Returning to the car we then walked the anti-clockwise circuit taking in the high bank overlooking the salt marsh and (very) distant Wash.  Very difficult to see clearly with the cold wind blowing directly in to our faces but, including a stop at the East Hide, we did find Pied Wagtail, Black-headed and Lesser Black-backed Gulls.  In addition to the Barn Swallows feeding over the water, approaching the East Hide we also had a small number of House Martins and then a few Sand Martins.  However pride of place probably went to the handful of Golden Plover and a small number of Ruff.  A Reed Warbler flashed by as we left the hide and returned to the car followed by the Visitors Centre for a very welcome cup of hot coffee but not before a stop at the Reedbed Hide had added a Great Crested Grebe.

Whilst at the Centre we also managed to add Tree Sparrow and Grenfinch feeding on the feeders along with a couple of Goldfinches.  Then it was back to the car and home reflecting on the difference a week can make when Chris and I recorded at least a dozen more birds.

Birds seen:
Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Sheldduck, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Tufted Duck, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Spoonbill, Red Kite, Moorhen, Coot, Avocet, Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Dunlin, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Greenshank, Black-headed Gull, Lesser Black-backed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Pied Wagtail, Blackbird, Reed Warbler, Jackdaw, Rook, Crow, Common Starling, Tree Sparrow, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Linnet, Bullfinch.

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