Saturday, November 19, 2011

Hectic Week

It's been such a hectic week I haven't even had the time to update the blog with details of our last day before coming home from Lincolnshire last weekend, when we visited RSPB Freiston Shore on the Friday.

One of the main reasons for my lack of blog time has been the work involved in finishing a presentation that I gave at Brandon Marsh on Wednesday evening, which covered my birding exploits in Canada. I have to say that it was really enjoyable to relive the moments of our RV tour last September and it was a good turnout too!

Freiston Shore for those who have not visited before lies around 4-miles east of Boston and consists of salt marsh, lagoons and off shore flats. Dee and I visited last year and thought it would be a nice end to our trip. The weather certainly didn't improve during our whole week and as it started, it finished with low cloud, mist and a cold easterly.

The highlights of the day was a healthy population of Tree Sparrows and good mixed flocks, which consisted of Goldfinch, Siskin and Lesser Redpoll. The lagoons held excellent numbers of Wigeon, Shelduck, Little Grebe and Teal, the surrounding marsh had Brent Geese, Pink-footed and 8 Barnacle Geese, which were our first of the week.

A walk out to the observation point which looks out to the distant sea, (once again the tides were unfavourable), yielded Marsh Harrier, Merlin and plenty of Redshank and Curlew. Finally, a small tidal pool at the rear held a lone Black-necked Grebe, a good end to the week.

When I stepped off the boat this morning on route to Brandon Marsh it was a crystal clear sky, by the time I arrived at Brandon some 30 minutes later the mist had rolled in making observation difficult. I'm definitely ready for those Atlantic lows to start taking control. I spent a half hour vigil overlooking Sheep field in the hope of Short-eared and Barn Owl, but alas it wasn't to be.

However, things improved when I accidentally flushed my first Woodcock of the autumn when one took flight right in front of me. Despite several sightings of Bittern over the previous week the bird continues to evade me, although a few of the other chaps in the conservation team have managed views. I'll never here the last of that one!!!

Also of note during my early visit were: 2♀ and 2♂ Goldeneye, Gadwall (5), Snipe (9), Golden Plover (32-over), Cetti's Warbler (7-heard), Goldcrest (2), plus various numbers of Pochard, Teal, Tufted and Shoveler on the pools, with Siskin, Redwing, Fieldfare, Lesser Redpoll, Kestrel and Buzzard elsewhere.

While completing my boating chores after arriving home a large group of around 150 Fieldfare took flight from the direction of Napton Reservoir, closely followed by a couple of Sparrowhawk s!!