Howdy folks, and welcome back to the recent sightings blog. With me, Chris the visitor guy.
Just to change things up a bit, we will start at Freiston Shore. Not least because the big tides this weekend could well lead there to be a great spectacle there. In face we even have a special walk on Sunday Lots of waders to be found there, including not one but two white-rumped sandpipers. They usually loiter near the reservoir.
Ian Bollen captures one of them here in mid stretch, allowing you to see the white rump. These are scarce American waders, and it is great to have two of them here.
Talking of American waders, and moving back to Frampton, the long-billed dowitcher can sometimes be found on the wet grassland behind the scrapes (position 1). I say sometimes because it does like staying to the edges of pools, and so can be very hard to see through vegetation.
Jumping back to Freiston, did I mention it has been good for waders. How about these numbers... 40 wood sandpipers, 62 greenshanks, 3 curlew sandpipers, 6 green sandpipers, 2 little stints... That's a lot of birds. These are all mostly around the reservoir area. Things like knots and oystercatchers will go onto the lagoon when the tide comes in.
Not that Frampton has been lacking in waders either. Just this morning for example, position 1 saw 1,000 black-tailed godwits, 800 or more dunlins, 18 grey plover, 43 golden plovers, 3 curlew sandpipers, 4 little stints, 8 wood sandpipers, 9 greenshanks and 7 bar-tailed godwit. And that is just one small portion of the reserve. There will be a similar range of species on the field to the south of the sea bank car park (position 2).
If you are up that end of the reserve, do keep your eyes open. Over the last week or two there have been a spate of reports of water vole in the ditches on either side of the path, or crossing the path itself (position 3). Also on the furry side, weasels have been seen hunting around that area.
Back to position 1, and up to half a dozen spoonbills can also be seen there.
Moving onto the reedbed, position 4, the black-necked grebes continue in residence. Well, three of them do. One of the two chicks is now big and old enough to look after itself, so one of the adults has left it to it and moved over to the scrapes (position 5). Where you can also find a fine selection of ducks, including a couple of summering pintails.
The sheltered north end of the reedbed (position 6) is a great place for insects. The air is filled with the sound of Rosesel's bush crickets, for example. And there are lots of common darter, ruddy darter and black-tailed skimmer to be found. Maybe something else too? We know we've had willow emerald damselfly there before for example.
Into the hedgerow (position 7) and you might be forgiven that you'd gone back in time to spring as chiffchaff and blackcap sing. But this is their autumn singing period, as they finish raising young and start to get ready for their journey south. Another migrant are turtle doves, still to be seen in and around the watchpoint (position 8) and the hedgerow. More youngsters have been seen recently, so it looks like our (probably) three pairs have had a successful breeding season.
Right across the site you will find purple clump of knapweed. And quite possibly on them some bright, fresh, painted lady butterflies. There has been a big influx over the last week or so, and they are everywhere!
Where are all these places? The map is below...
If you like the sound of all this, but you aren't confident about your ability to tell one wader from another, you might like to book onto one of our remaining two wader ID courses. One of which is on Monday, coinciding with some great high tides.
Right then, what other lovely photos do I have? Well, lets stick with some waders...
Black-tailed godwit by Steve Nikols
Wood sandpiper by Ian Bollen
Another wood sandpiper, this one by Jeremy Eyeons
Common sandpiper, by Jeremy Eyeons
And you know how we all have that one photo in the family album from our childhood that we hated, but mothers delighted in showing off to girlfriends/boyfriends? I think a certain oystercatcher will be wishing Jeremy Eyeons had never taken this...
Moving away from the waders, Sean Browne gets the warbler photo of the week with this reed warbler. And then follows it up with a skylark.
Finally, butterflies. Mark Sargeant starts us off with a peacock
And then Steve Nikols gives us a couple of painted lady portraits.
So, there we have it.
As a reminder, we are no longer posting sightings maps every day, but will continue to post news of rare sightings to our our Twitter account. There will also be at least a couple of maps a week, just to keep you up to date. No need to have an account yourself, we make it so everyone can see it. If you do tweet yourself, please remember to use #RSPBFrampton so we can see what you are posting, and also ideally mention @RSPBNorfolkLinc. If you have any good photos (or video, or even artwork) we'd love to see that too. Tweet it, or share it on our Facebook page or our Flickr account. It may also be useful for you to know the weather and tide times for the site, which may well have an impact on what is showing.
All the best, take care, and I will catch you next time.
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