Trip reports

Trip to Frampton Marsh 10th March 2018

Saturday, 10 March 2018

A very 'select group' of 5 birders set off from Two Waters at 07.00 hrs for the RSPB's Frampton Marsh reserve. A welcome breakfast stop was had at Stamford, where Morissons apparently don't know what a small breakfast should be like!

At Frampton we were immediately met by the distant sight and sound of thousands of waders, predominantly widgeon and golden plover, but also brent geese and lapwing. The peace was occasionally disturbed by peregrine falcons, resulting in eruptions of airborne birds.

The feeders at the Visitor Centre were busy as usual, with both tree and house sparrows, dozens of goldfinch & greenfinch, and a reed bunting. The male chaffinches showed off their intense plumage colours, ready to pair off for the spring breeding season.

Walking along the path in the direction of the sea wall, several ruff were seen amongst the widgeon on the other side of the road. Skylarks were also very active, singing high in the sky, but initially difficult to spot as is usual.

At the 360 hide, activity was unusually very quiet. No birds were to be seen along the water edges next to the hide. In the distance a few common pintail were present in their immaculate breeding plumage, as were 30 odd avocets and several stunning shelduck. Brent geese came and went in large flocks, whilst a couple of ringed plovers and a solitary curlew foraged closer to hand.

Eventually, a solitary skylark landed on a small island close to the hide, and commenced foraging in the tussocky grass. This was then joined by two ringed plovers.

At the Reedbed hide, the birds were only to be seen at the far side of the scrape, along with a kestrel using a 'dead' tree as an observation perch.

Walking back to the main path and then down to the sea wall, our attention was grabbed by the sight of a peregrine as it took off from a small tree just in front of us, landing on a fence post a further 20 yards away. Unfortunately, it didn't stay there for long, before disappearing out of sight behind a stretch of reeds.

In the vicinity of the sea wall we spotted a few solitary redshanks in the scrapes, but didn't think so much about this at the time. However, we had previously been advised and were subsequently reminded that there were spotted redshanks about, and in the area we had just walked through! Is that what we actually saw?

Overall a rather disappointing day, not in bird numbers or in species seen (50), but because the birds were unusually distant.

Many thanks to the two drivers on the day, who had the unenviable task of a 2 hour drive each way.

Those attending:
Alan Corner, Michael Doydge, Michael Howard, Alan Sharland and Ian Parker.

Trip report by Ian Parker 14-02-18