Friday, June 22, 2018

πŸ“– #41 ~ RSPB Frampton Marsh

☀️22C Friday 22nd June 2018 ~An overnight stay in Boston gave me the opportunity to start early and spend the day at RSPB Frampton Marsh before heading off home. This is one of my favourite reserves, which, unlike other reserves I could mention is very well managed, and always seems to produce the goods.

It was another glorious day weatherwise, the wind, such a feature over the last few days, finally easing off. I began my walk by taking the Grasslands Trail, which leads you firstly through low trees and Hawthorn, Lesser Whitethroat heard while along here, before opening out by the road, where the residing Turtle Doves seem to spend most of their time. It was actually very frustrating! I could hear at least two birds but they spent the whole time calling from deep within the rapeseed field, refusing to materialise!

Broad-bodied Chaser
Back onto the trail, Yellowhammer, Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler and Yellow Wagtail but there was plenty on offer away from the birding. Two Brown Hares over the grassland and my first Small Skipper butterflies and Common Darter Dragonflies of the year. This along with Broad-bodied Chaser, Black-tailed Skimmer, plus Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Large White and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies, the latter producing a total count of eight.

Record image of Red-necked Phalarope which stayed pretty distant!
I'd just about reached the seawall when news came through of a Red-necked Phalarope on the pools over towards the 360 Hide. Greenshank and Marsh Harrier across the saltmarsh and a Little Gull fishing just as I reached the road down to the centre, where I could see a small group of birders marking the spot. The Phalarope was in with a small group of Black-tailed Godwit, which looked pretty stunning themselves in summer plumage, and preferred unfortunately to keep its distance, but as I said earlier Frampton always produces and here was the evidence.

I continued on after the Phalarope, rejoining the sea wall and completed the circuit of the reserve taking in all hides. The strangest sighting was at the East Hide, where a lone Pink-footed Goose was sat on one the Islands, strange in itself but this bird sported a large blue neck collar, with numbers I couldn't make out, pretty over the top actually! From here I managed to locate one of the apparent four Spoonbills on site today, asleep as normal tucked into the reeds.

As you'd expect at this time of year wader species were in smaller numbers but further sightings of note today included a second Little Gull, Curlew, Oystercatcher, single Bar-tailed Godwit, Ringed PloverLittle Egret and 20+ Common Terns.