Thursday, 5 March 2020

RSPB Frampton Marsh, Boston

Wednesday 4 March

Brent Geese Branta bernicla over Frampton Marsh
With a Kestrel resting in a tree as I approached Langtoft I was soon over to Boston, passing the rookery where the Rooks were putting the finishing touches to their nests and a couple of Pheasants were feeding in the adjacent field to the entry to RSPB Frampton Marsh Reserve.  A couple of Collared Doves and accompanying House Sparrows were around the last cottages.  Clear blue skies and relatively mild as I spent over three hours touring the site and recording 49 species before making my way back to Stamford before the promised afternoon rain (yet to arrive!).

Just a few of the thousand plus Brent Geese Branta bernicla
Lots of recent rain has left the site very wet but some scrapes still relatively "dry" and many flooded fields.  Not just the usual hundreds of Lapwing spread all over the site but Brent Geese numbers probably totalled over a thousand and more than the Wigeon population.  After a quick look at the main pool in front of the Visitors Centre which held Wigeon, Mallard, Teal, Pochard and Coot along with Greylag and Brent Geese, I drove down to the far car park to walk up onto the elevated marsh bank to check out the surroundings with my scope.  Hundreds of Brent Geese, Wigeon, Teal and Lapwing to be seen as well as the continuous swirling of the wintering Golden Plover flock which still totalled almost 5,000.  The occasional Magpie and Carrion Crow drifted across the site and walking southwards along the bank I found a pair of Oystercatchers to my left and a few Redshank on the reserve side of the bank.
Distant record shot of Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus

Apart from the above, everywhere seemed to be full of Brent Geese, there were a few Black-headed Gulls and the occasional Moorhen.  A handful of Ruff were recorded plus a pair of Grey Plover and a lone Merlin perched on a distant post on the saltmarsh.  Also present a quartet of Little Egret and a sole Little Grebe feeding in a deep pool below the bank. Scattered Mute Swans in most area but the wintering Whooper Swans were much further aw to the south so I gave them a miss.  Making my way back to the car I also encountered a very small number of Black-tailed Godwits, a Spotted Redshank and a handful of Curlew.
Wintering Ruff Philomachus pugnax

Having parked in the main car park I then took a closer look a clockwise walk top, north-western corner of the site adding Blue Tits and a couple of Reed Bunting before reaching then Reedbed Hide.  From here, in addition to the many Brent Geese, I also found a few Greylag Geese and Wigeon plus a pair of Goldeneye.
Male Goldeneye Bucephala clangula

Refreshments were consumed at the 360 Hide whilst I watched the nearby Wigeon and a pair of Canada Geese.  A Redshank was bust feeding to me left (north) and a quartet of Ringed Plover were a little further away.  On the far side a bout a dozen Dunlin were feeding.  Distant Shelduck were also seen and to the front, eastwards, I had a pair of Oystercatchers, a Stock Dove and a couple of Curlew.
Common Redshank Tringa totanus

The walk back to the Visitors Centre produced a score of Common Starling in the hedgerow and more Coot on the nearby water.  Both Gadwall and Tufted Duck were also recorded.  Finally, on saying farewell to the wardens I noticed that the small number of House Sparrows at the feeder had been joined by a single Tree Sparrow and Great Tits whilst the distant island held a trio of Avocet and the pair of Great Crested Grebes were busy putting on a courtship display.  No surprise to come across a couple of Pheasants as I exited the reserve.
Male Wigeon Anas penelope

Birds seen:
Greylag Goose, Brent Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Shelduck, Gadwall, Wigeon, Mallard, Shoveler, Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Goldeneye, Pheasant, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Little Egret, Kestrel, Merlin, Moorhen, Coot, Oystercatcher, Avocet, Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Grey Plover, Lapwing, Dunlin, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Curlew, Spotted Redshank, Redshank, Black-headed Gull, Wood Pigeon, Stock Dove, Collared Dove, Dunnock, Blackbird, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Magpie, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Tree Sparrow, Goldfinch, Reed Bunting.

More photos:
Male Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus
Black-trailed Godwit Limosa limosa

Wintering Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus


Wigeon Anas penelope (female on left)

Male Teal Anas crecca
Canada Geese Branta canadensis


Check out the accompanying website at http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information

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