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|
|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 |
|One of very many Lapwing Vanellus vanellus|
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 http://www.birdingaxarquia.weebly.com for the latest sightings, photographs and additional information