Howdy folks! Welcome back to the Frampton Marsh recent sightings. With me, Chris the Visitor Manager.
There was major excitement down the reserve on Friday 10 July when a Caspian tern popped up, roosting on the reedbed amongst the waders. These are big chunky terns, far larger than the common terns we usually get, as this photo from Ian Bollen shows to good effect.
Rare for the UK, this was the reserve's first ever Caspian tern. The bird was present on site for Friday and Saturday. Mostly it sat on the reedbed, allowing a legion of birdwatchers to come and see it. Sometimes it did disappear for an hour or two (presumably to go fishing, leading to much worry and angst. It eventually left early on Sunday morning.
Or so we thought...
Guess who came back on Tuesday evening? Yes, the bird has re'tern'ed! We will see how long it stays this time.
For those people looking for the tern, there was some good extra added value too. A nicely coloured curlew sandpiper has been pottering around the reedbed. A little stint turned up in the same place on Monday 13 July, and is still there. The knot and godwit flock continues to impress, with peak knot counts approaching 10,000 birds. Other notable waders include common and green sandpipers, spotted redshanks, and the usual array of ruffs, little ringed plovers, dunlin, avocets and so on. A summer plummage golden plover shows that the autumn migration is definitely underway, with birds starting to return from upland breeding areas.
(Little ringed plover by Robert Coudray)
Over on North Scrape, the black-necked grebes can still be found, with the top count being 3 adults and 2 youngsters. The photo here is by Matthew Mellor
Back onto the reedbed, spoonbills have been a daily sighting, with up to four birds present. Talking of things large and white, 'Hula' our resident whooper swan can usually be found there too.
All around the reserve you might well bump into one of the breeding sedge warblers. They and their young seem very prevelant this year, and more confiding than usual. This nice portrait of one was taken by Kevin Mayhew.
Not as common to see, but very colourful, there are increasing reports of kingfishers. This one posed for Jeremy Eyeons.
Moving to the furry side of life, an adult otter with two cubs was seen swimming in the reedbed over the weekend. What a sight that must have been!
If you are coming to visit us, make sure to keep up to date with sightings by following our Twitter account. No need to have an account yourself, we make it so everyone can see it. If you do tweet yourself, please remember to use #RSPFrampton so we can see what you are posting, and also ideally mention @RSPBFrampton. 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.
Above all, please remember we are still in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic. We currently only have one single (accessible) loo open at weekends between 10 am and 4 pm. The reedbed hide is open, but 360 and East Hide remain closed. There are no refreshments available on site. Please be considerate of others, and maintain the 2 metre social distancing. Thank you for your help.
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