Howdy folks! And welcome back to the Frampton Marsh recent sightings blog. With me, Chris the Visitor Guy!
Well, what do we have for you this week? Well, if spoonbills are your thing, you could well be in luck. There is a fairly regular 5 birds, including one that was colour-ringed in the Netherlands and done quite a journey since, that like to mooch about on the wet grassland between the scrapes and the sea bank. This is position 1 on the map.
Here are two of them, as photographed by Jeremy Eyeons.
And another, taken by Sean Browne.
Of course, one thing Frampton is known for are waders. And with the start of the autumn migration, numbers are building. Good high tides this weekend too, so you could be in for a treat. Curlew sandpiper, several spotted redshanks, a couple of little stints have all been in location 2. Add onto that the growing flock of black-tailed godwits, with a few bar-tailed godwits scattered amongst them, some dunlin and a few knot and you get the idea... Talking of knot, here is a lovely photo of some taken by Ian Bollen.
Much of the attention of the last week or two has been the family of black-necked grebes. The parents seem to be each looking after one chick, and favour different parts of the reedbed. Location 3 on the map gives you an idea of the two places to look.]
Sticking with around the reedbed, the north-western end (position 4) is warm, sunny and sheltered. An ideal place for butterflies, dragonflies and damselflies. I personally walked around there on Monday and was blown away by the sheer volume of them there. I wish I knew what they all were! I did know black-tailed skimmer, ruddy darter and common darter. But if you like your odonata and lepidoptera, this could be the bit of the reserve to head towards. You might get some nice photos as Guy Branston did of this meadow brown.
Or Benno Zeelte did of these green-veined whites.
Moving south a bit, and the turtle doves are often still showing well in the old dead tree at position 5. Please do not try to get a view from anywhere other than the turtle dove viewing point though, X marks the spot, as we don't want to cause disturbance to them or any other wildlife.
Back to the north, and there is at least one corn bunting singing away at position 6. Check the hawthorn bushes as they like to sit on top. They do sometimes sit in the farmers fields just of the reserve too.
Out on the saltmarsh, short-eared owls can sometimes be seen by those prepared to get up early or stay late. Check out especially position 7.
Finally, back to the waders and location 8, where a dozen green sandpipers, plus some greenshanks have been regularly seen.
If you would like Toby our residential volunteer to go through that again, here it is.
So, what other lovely photos do I have for you? Well, we have already seen one taken by Guy Branston, but here are a few more. In order, a goldfinch, sedge warbler, one of the new Hereford calves, and a white-lipped snail.
In addition to his spoonbill picture, Jeremy Eyeons also sent in a photo of an unusual find on the reserve. This is either a narrow or broad-leaved everlasting pea, normally to be found in gardens but it does get out. Thanks to Lisa Mason for the identification.
And if you want a different view of the reserve, you can go on one of the seal and birdwatching cruises organised by the South Lincs local group, The boat travels along the coast past the reserve, and you are certain to see harbour seals. Mark Sargeant took this picture of two of them.
If all this has whetted your appetite, let me direct you towards some great upcoming events that might make your visit even better!
You can join our warden Toby (as opposed to our volunteer Toby, though he might be there too) on his monthly survey. There is just enough time to book onto this weekend's walk, after which the next is on Sunday 4 August. Details and booking can be made via this link.
Also on 4 August there will be a high tide wader spectacular at our sister reserve, Freiston Shore. Join friendly volunteer Les to see hundreds of waders pack onto the lagoon.
If you would like a masterclass in how to tell one wader from another, we have wader ID courses on 5 August and 1 September.
Moving away from birds, but still things with wings, we are getting together with the Lincolnshire Bat Group to do a bat evening on Saturday 3 August. Last time we ran one of these we saw and heard five different species.
Finally, if flowers rock your world then we have a flower walk on Sunday 11 August.
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.
Chris, I hope you will also post the maps here as well as on Twitter, please, please, please! You needn't make any commentary so it should not take too much of your time!
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