Monday, September 08, 2014

RSPB Frampton

As I left the boat this morning before sun up the winter constellation of Orion was shinning brightly to the east, with Jupiter to the left in Cancer and Venus low on the horizon, winter is definitely on the way!

Some late summer work still to do for this Goldfinch!
When I reached RSPB Frampton Marsh, Lincolnshire a few hours later the early mist had given way to a gorgeous morning with at least a dozen or so Barn Swallows on the wires to greet me. The car park was alive with Meadow Pipits, Yellow Wagtails and Goldfinches and by the time I'd got organised and ready for my walk I'd added Linnet, Skylark and Yellowhammer to my day list. I managed distant views of a small raptor which sent things scattering, I had the distinct impression this was a Merlin, which was happily confirmed by one of the RSPB early birds a few minutes later, my first of the autumn.

Nice size comparison, grooming Curlew Sandpiper/Little Stint
First stop was going to be the East Hide for the early morning waders and I wasn't disappointed with (4) Avocet, (6) Curlew Sandpipers, (2) Little Stint and a distant but adequate view of Pectoral Sandpiper. Plenty of Ruff, Black-tailed Godwit and (4) Ringed Plover before an overhead pass from a Common Buzzard scattered the lot. I enjoyed a further half hour or so with Common Snipe, Golden Plover and (6) Northern Pintail to add.

Next was a walk along the 'Tabb's Head track' which eventually runs along to the mouth of the River Witham. In fact I didn't have to walk far before my target bird, a reported Barred Warbler was located. Several birders and photographers had their eyes and cameras firmly on a bird perched atop a hawthorn bush. Unfortunately as I approached said bird decided to do what these birds are notorious for and go a skulking! The usual happened next, happy photographers showing off their superb images. Anyway I managed a couple of half decent views after an hours vigil, well, one from deep within another hawthorn and the best one when the bird appeared in the open but all too briefly, time to move on!

Obliging but slightly distant Whinchat
A stroll along the sea-bank next with ♀Marsh Harrier and a rather sick looking Brent Goose, poor thing. The walk back along the wet grassland trail had a nice and obliging Whinchat, the Glossy Ibis was still in it's usual spot, (2) Spotted Redshank and a second look at the Pectoral Sandpiper, which was nestled among (8) Curlew Sandpipers.

Little Stint
Lunch in the 360 Hide gave up my one and only eclipse Garganey of the day, (2) Pochard and various numbers of Wigeon, Shelduck, Little Egret, Little Grebe, Teal, Gadwall and Northern Shoveler. Other notable's seen during my stay included House Martin, Chiffchaff, Blackcap, Willow Warbler, Reed Warbler, Redshank, Curlew and Peregrine ended a top days birding.