Wednesday, November 09, 2011

In The Gloom!

Whooper Swans @ Frampton Marsh
Over the previous couple of days Dee and I have managed visits to both Frampton Marsh and Gibraltar Point. With our non birding friends joining us at our holiday cottage for the remainder of the week we thought we’d try and cram in as much birding as possible before their arrival.

RSPB Frampton Marsh is around a 30-minute drive and boasts coastal wetland, reedbed, large freshwater scrapes and wet grassland. The reserve also has 3 hides, two of which offer 360-degree views, plus there are over 3km of footpaths to explore. Despite the gloom, constant drizzle and bracing north-easterly wind the birding, although no prolific, wasn’t too bad and taking occasional shelter in the hides we managed a good session.

Raptors included Kestrel and Merlin but the highlight was watching a Peregrine making several attempts to capture a very tricky Redshank. Fortunately for the lucky Wader the battle ended Waders 1 Peregrine 0.

At Frampton the newly arriving Whooper Swans continue to pass through and Dee managed to capture an adult bird and juvenile in flight despite the awful photographic conditions, 7 birds were seen in total. Also beginning to arrive in small numbers are Pink-footed Geese and we recorded 5 during our stay. Also seen of note were: At least 500 Brent Geese and various numbers of Shelduck, Goldeneye, Pintail, Pochard, Gadwall, Little Egret, Redshank, Curlew, Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit, Dunlin, Golden Plover, Skylark and Meadow Pipit.

The weather had only improved slightly by the time we reached Gibraltar Point on Tuesday morning, at least it stayed dry, but once again Dee and I enjoyed a decent day. This reserve covers 3 miles of coast from Skegness to the Wash. Habitats include sandy and muddy seashore, sand dunes, saltmarsh and freshwater marsh with ponds and lagoons.

Grey Plover in the gloom!
On arrival a quick look at the recent sightings board revealed Twite, Woodcock and Snow Bunting and you’ll be interested to know that we bombed on all three! However, another very enjoyable days birding which included Marsh Harrier and some great views of Grey Plover, Dee taking the opportunity of a prolonged photo session, one of which is posted above!

 Despite the tide being way out a good selection of species to report with: Sanderling, Turnstone, Oystercatcher and Grey Plover on the beach area, plus further large number of Brent and more Grey Seals. Large numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare continue to flood in on the easterly wind but sadly no Waxwing amongst them yet!

At the cottage a Tawny Owl can be heard nightly and through the night last night some decent passages of Whooper Swan and Pink-footed Geese could be heard regularly, in fact as I post another 20 or so Pink-footed are passing through.