Saturday, 15 August 2020

RSPB Frampton Marsh, Boston

 Friday 14 August

Twelve of the twenty-eight Spoonbills Platalea leucorodia at Frampton Marsh

Arriving back in Stamford from Frampton Marsh near Boston in Lincolnshire I came across a handful of Jackdaw so taking my species total for the day up to a round 60.  The day had started cold, cloudy and quite windy as I set off, recording a pair of Magpie and Rooks on the way.  Upon arrival I immediately recorded Wood Pigeon and House Sparrow along with a number of Barn Swallows as I made my way to the far car park near the high bank.  There was a handful of Dunlin working the stream to my right and the first charm of Goldfinches was working the thistles adjacent to the hedgerow.  A single Mute Swan rested on the bank of the stream and the first Little Egret of the day was noted.

Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta, Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa and Ruff Philomachus pugnax

Juvenile Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta

Checking out the grassland with its many muddy pools to the north I soon added Greylag Goose and both Mallard and Teal, noticing many of he latter so these ducks are obviously making their way home. A lone Moorhen then an adult Shelduck before the first of many Avocet, including lots of fledged youngsters.  A lone Little Ringed Plover to my right and as I made my way up the slope to the high bank the first of the Canada Geese came into view.  From the top, just inside the gate, I was soon picking up numerous Black-headed Gulls and Black-tailed Godwits along with Lapwing and Coot.  A couple of Cormorant took their leave before I added both Pied Wagtail and a Common Redshank.

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa

Moving further along the bank to the first seat I next recorded a quintet of Ringed Plover alongside a pair of Little Stint.  Three Little Grebe were feeding in a deep pool and then a close view pf my first of many Ruff.  On the salt marshes below the bank a half-dozen Yellow Wagtails were following a small section of the grazing cattle whilst, in the background, a hovering Kestrel.

Ruff Philomachus pugnax

Returning along the bank then following the path back to my car a Reed Warbler exchanged reeds to the other side of the path and a couple of Meadow Pipits were seen on the path with another Pied Wagtail.  Working my way back to the main car park I noticed the single Mute Swan on my left and from the parked car picked up a Carrion Crow resting on the grass.

Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis

Then it was across to the picnic area next to the Visitors Centre to check out the main water.  It was immediately obvious that the mass of white belonged to Little Egrets (a total of 116 was counted) rather than the 27 Spoonbills.  I have never seen so many Little Egrets gathered together, all packed together like a raft of godwits.  In amongst the serried ranks were at least a dozen Heron along more ducks including a number of Gadwall.  Nearer to hand on the small island in front of me a Green Sandpiper and an even closer Snipe.

So many Little Egret Egretta garzetta with over 100 on site

A clockwise walk round the water revealed numerous Goldfinches including a charm of over 100 individuals and a couple of Great Tits before I duly arrived at the Reedbed Hide.  Opposite the hide a mixed flock of Greylag and Canada Geese also contained a single Egyptian Goose.  Once inside the hide, a small number of Starling were seen on the dead tree in the centre island and a few Lesser Black-backed Gulls and then I noticed a good number of Tufted Duck along with a handful of Wigeon, the latter all resting on the nearest island.  In addition to the many Spoonbill and Little Egret I could now see the increasing rafts of Black-tailed Godwits and Dunlin.  Also present was a single Pochard and a single Great Crested Grebe with five Little Grebe feeding immediately in front of the hide.  A number of Swifts flew past in front of the hide alongside the mainly Barn Swallows and as we followed them back to the trees we were also able to identify a few House Martins.  At this point we were joined by a male Blackbird on the nearby island which revealed a couple of Common Gulls as I followed the bird and even managed a couple of Great Black-backed Gulls.  Checking the resting ducks and Avocets on a far island to the left I noticed not only a Ruff but a Common Sandpiper working its way along the water's edge.

Maybe only two Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia  but over a thousand Black-tailed Godwits Limosa limosa

So back to the main car park with a stop to take a closer look at the long-staying Whooper Swan which conveniently woke up, stood and presented its beak to confirm identification.

Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus with Mallard Anas platyrhynchos

Time to take a drive back down to the bottom car park in order to recheck the pools from the high banks and pleased to say that I found a quintet of Spotted Redshank.  Not only that but also a handful of Curlew Sandpiper and in the wet grassland to the south of the track I finally found the Golden Plover but only five on this occasion. And so I made my departure towards home noting the lone Collared Dove before reaching Frampton village.

Three distant Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus (centre left)
Dunlin Calidris alpina

However, rather than straight home I made a slight deviation to call in at Baston Gravel Pits for fifteen minutes, especially as the weather was no much warmer.  Lots of Greylag and a few Canada Geese along with Mute Swans.  Ducks included Mallard and Tufted and of course the usual Coot plus a single Moorhen.

On the western pool  both Great Black-backed and Black-headed Gulls whilst the eastern pool haled a couple of resting Common Terns.  Naturally, there was a small number of Lapwing to be seen and always a Wood Pigeon or two passing overhead.  The final birds recorded were a number of Sand Martins flying around the adjacent sane quarry.

More Little Egret Egretta garzetta with Black-headed Gulls Larus ridibundus to front

Birds seen:

Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Mute Swan, Whooper Swan, Egyptian Goose, Shelduck, Wigeon, Gadwall, Mallard, Pochard, Teal, Tufted Duck, Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Little Egret, Heron, Spoonbill, Kestrel, Moorhen, Coot, Avocet, Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Golden Plover, Lapwing, Curlew Sandpiper, Dunlin, Little Stint, Black-tailed Godwit, Ruff, Snipe, Greenshank, Spotted Redshank, Common Redshank, Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper, Black-headed Gull, Common Gull, Lesser Back-backed Gull, Great Black-backed Gull, Common Tern, Wood Pigeon, Collared Dove, Common Swift, Sand Martin, Barn Swallow, House Martin, Meadow Pipit, Yellow Wagtail, Pied Wagtail, Blackbird, Reed Warbler, Great Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Rook, Carrion Crow, Starling, House Sparrow, Goldfinch.

Distant record shot of the Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria

Wigeon Anas penelope

Spoonbill, Little Egret, Grey Heron Ardea cinerea, Black-headed Gulls, etc

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

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