Monday, January 01, 2018

πŸ“– 2018/Update #1 ~ RSPB Freiston Shore

πŸŽ† ☔️ ⛅6C Monday 1st January 2018 ~ This year's birding exploits began with a visit to RSPB Freiston Shore on New Years Day! We arrived just after noon, just as a passing rain belt began to deliver and so made our way to the only hide on site, which overlooks the large lagoon.

PDF of Freston Shore ~ Download HERE
Of course, it wasn' long before the new year list hit double figures with lots of wildfowl on offer, which included an excellent count of (37) Pintail on the islands. With low tide, waders were in smaller numbers but by the time we'd moved on to, what I call the bus shelter, which overlooks the saltmarsh, we'd managed various counts of Curlew, LapwingBlack-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Snipe, Ruff, Little Egret and 1000's of Golden Plover. Unfortunately, the saltmarsh offered little in the way of raptors but huge numbers of Brent Geese, Wigeon and to a lesser degree Shelduck were all noted.

Stonechat ~ Freiston Shore
By the time we'd completed a full circuit of the lagoon, with Meadow Pipit, Mistle Thrush and Stonechat all additions to the list, the sun had arrived. We spent the remainder of our stay in lovely winter sunshine walking the concrete road as far as, what is referred to as the North Sea Camp Land! I'm guessing this term refers back to the fact that years ago Freiston was a major holiday destination with two hotels and a racecourse.

Snow Bunting ~ Thanks to Dee for the record shot!
This trail has an observation screen which overlooks the banks and reservoir and here the discovery of a half dozen Snow Buntings on one of the islands. However, a bonus was a single bird within the group, a Twite, which didn't stay long but thankfully provided a nice early year-tick! A few more additions both here and on the walk back included Turnstone, Grey Plover, Linnet, Reed Bunting and Kestrel. With the light fading, we made our way back to the car with a creditable 56 species on the list. Thanks to Dee on route back to the cottage a Barn Owl ensured we ended the day with a further addition to the day list!

Another of Dee's Snow Bunting pics!