Howdy folks, and welcome back to the Frampton Marsh recent sightings. With me, Chris the Visitor Guy.
Right, a bit more time to write the blog this week. So look forward to lots of lovely photos lower down. In the meanwhile, it is time for some maps.
The two black-necked grebes hid for the morning, but showed very nicely in front of the visitor centre in the afternoon.
A full sightings boards for the Sunday. Nice to see grebelings, ducklings, cootlings and wader chicks popping up everywhere.
And then it went all a bit wet.... So we had some trouble putting the sightings on the outside board and had to improvise using the inside boards. These were Monday's sightings
The spoonbill(s) do seem to be quite regular on the grassland.
Wednesday was dry enough to use the outside board. The barn owln was presumably taking advantage of the lull in the rain to get some much needed hunting in. They really don't like it when it is wet. We also had a record of a colour ringed bar-tailed godwit, which turned out to be the first time it had been seen since it was initially ringed September last year in Klepp, in Norway. Interesting stuff!
Back to the really wet stuff for Thursday, and the inside boards again
Interesting to see a report of bearded tit
Finally today, when the weather was much nicer.
Double vole action as well. Good to get a sighting of our elusive water voles. The bank vole was anything but, coming out underneath the centre bird feeders every few minutes.
So, thems the sightings. What about these fancy photos I've been promising? Well, brace yourself, we have just a few...
Lets start on the smaller side. Paul Sullivan doesn't just look at birds, but does insects too. Here we have an alder sawfly, and a flecked general soldier fly.
Insects like flies and bees do like flowers. And our bee orchids are out and blooming. I'm told 58 of them, near East hide. Here are photos by Jim Crowdell
And by Steve Nikols
The flowers will also attract butterflies. Here is a brown argus by Mark Sargeant and a small skipper by Kevin Waterfield
Mind you, sometimes the flowers are just a nice setting. Here is Jeremy Eyeon's photo of a male gadwall, surrounded by water crowfoot
Sticking with ducks (and with Jeremy) he also got a lovely shot of a shoveler mum and her brood
Mark Sargeant captured one of the male red crested pochards that seems to have moved in. I remember when these were a reserve rarity!
And to finish with ducks, here is Steve Nikols with a flying garganey
Staying on the water though, the black necked grebes have been something of an attraction over the past week. When they have been showing. They do like to lurk rather! Anyway, here are photos by Mark Sargeant and Kevin Waterfield.
Onto the long-legged stuff, and Jim Crowdell found this spoonbill having a bit of a lurk. Mind you, it is awake. Whenever I see them they are usually fast asleep!
David Suddards got this photo of a little egret. On its back you can see the nuptial plumes, the fluffy feathers. These feathers used to be used on hats in the Victorian era, leading to the wholesale slaughter of birds. The outcry against this trade which nearly drove the egrets to extinction was the cause of the setting up of the RSPB.
For waders, the male ruffs may have stopped lekking, but at least one of them still has some great colour. Check out these shots by Macca
And these by Steve Nikols
What a handsome lad!
Elsewhere, Ian Bollen gets a nice comparison between black and bar tailed godwits, respectively
Whilst Macca does the same with ringed and little ringed plovers
Macca also provides us with a turnstone
Whilst Steve Nikols gives us a curlew sandpiper
Of course, it isn't just waders passing through which we like, but also those which breed here. So this well-grown lapwing chick, as found by Jeremy Eyeons, is good to see.
Not just waders that breed on the reserve of course. The full beak of this sedge warbler indicates it is finding food for a brood of youngsters. Or possibly the chick of one of the cuckoos that were loitering on the reserve! Mark Sargeant provides the photo
Macca also got a nice photo of a sedge warbler
There it is, in full song. Much like the reed bunting photographed by Jeremy Eyeons
That's the end of the photos, hope you liked the bumper edition!
May I just plus a couple of events people might be interested in. If you have trouble working out which wader is which, we have three upcoming wader ID courses, run by the wardens. They will help you separate your dunlin from your curlew sandpiper, and your bar from your black tailed godwits with plenty of expert advice. On the other hand if flowers are your thing, we will have a couple of wildflower walks, led by a friendly guide. Places are limited, book today!
So there you have it! If you are coming to visit us, you can keep up to date with the 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 #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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