Howdy folks! And welcome back to the Frampton Marsh recent sightings. With me, Chris the Visitor Manager.
Blimey, feels like an age since I last did one of these. Paige is having a well deserved rest this week, so I will give you a quick run down of what is about.
OK, we shall start with our stars of the moment, the family of black-necked grebes that have nested on the reserve. For the second time in two years. They are on North scrape, at position 1. They are best viewed from the path that runs along the northern edge of the scrape, though can often be hidden by vegetation. With a bit of patience though you should get some good views.
Position 2 is a place to go to in order to get your wader fix. Several hundred each of knot and bar-tailed godwit are in this area during high tides. Dunlin too and, if you have the optics and patience to search through everything, a curlew sandpiper. Definitely an area to keep your eye on as we start to approach wader migration time.
Back to North scrape and position 3. Not for a bird though. This is where some bee orchids are blooming. Look for the wooden stake in the ground and you will find 4 or 5 in this area. We do have others on site, but these are the most accessible (and easiest to photograph)
One of the attractions of the site at this time of year are our turtle doves. They are being a bit elusive at the moment, your best bets are the two positions marked 4 on the map. In the trees by the car park, or in the hedgerow the far side of the grassland reservoir. On less windy days you may hear them purring.otherwise keep a sharp eye open for them flying or feeding on the ground.
On the reedbed an Egyptian goose seems to have taken up resident. At times joined by a pink-footed goose (who seems to have decided migrating wasn't on the cards this year), a barnacle goose and a week ago, a red-crested pochard. You may also hear the "yee-oww" of a Mediterranean gull cutting through the noise of the black-headed gulls. And Cetti's warblers give voice to their explosive song from a couple of spots. Talking of warblers, young sedge warblers seem to be everywhere, and are often really quite confiding.
Back down to the reservoir for position 6, which is where you might find our lone whooper swan. Over the last few days this is also where green sandpipers have started to turn up.Well, that is a quick run through of the major points of what is about. But no doubt plenty more to find out there. If you find anything good, be sure to let us know either on twitter (please use #RSPBFrampton or @RSPBFrampton ) or on Facebook.
Oh, and for everyone who has been asking... the tall yellow plant that is growing in the long strip by the visitor centre is tall melilot. A fodder plant, it was in the mix we sowed a couple of years ago to provide nectar for bees and butterflies, and later seeds for birds.
So there we have it! If you are coming to visit us please note the hides are all still closed, and the path along the northern edge of North scrape is locked between 4 pm and 9:30 am each night. The visitor centre is still closed, although I am now opening one loo at weekends between 10 am and 4 pm.
So long, take care, and I'll catch you next time!
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