Howdy folks! Apologies for thelack of sightings blogs recently. The Christmas break and staff leave did cause a bit of a hiatus. But Poppy has been slaving away, creating another bumper two week package. So let's see what she has for us...
Hello everyone and Happy New Year! Even it is somewhat belated. But here we have the first blog of the decade. Apologies for the delay in getting this out. We have had lots going on here at #RSPBFrampton! Lots of work for the new year and welcoming some new faces to the team. The year ended with some fantastic sightings and it also started with some too, so it seems only right to summarise these.
We ended 2019 with sightings of bullfinch in the hedgerow at location 1. Some fantastic numbers about on the reserve too which included 1648 wigeon, 1328 lapwing, 6273 golden plover… the list goes on!
We started off the new year with some interesting weather. But still lots of raptors about on the reserve, with ringtail hen harrier, marsh harrier and peregrine spots mainly around the saltmarsh. Again, we also had 1000s of golden plover, lapwing and wigeon around, a frequent spot if you look to the wet grassland areas of the reserve, particularly whilst walking up towards the sea bank.
The weather certainly brightened up on the Friday 3, with plenty of spectacular sightings about. Greenshank and kingfisher were both spotted from 360 hide at location 2. There were also some great spots from the visitor centre, with the water rail keeping up appearances for at least the 4th day in a row and a weasel popping up from the reeds on occasion.
Saturday 4 saw over 100 whooper swan move onto the reedbed at dusk, showy bank vole under the visitor centre feeders and 10,000 golden plover providing us with more spectacular sights on the grassland. Sunday 5 saw our summer intern Toby Carter (@TobyWarbler) join us at #RSPBFrampton for a special birthday visit. With views of hen harrier (1 male and 2 ringtail) over the saltmarsh, accompanied by 3 merlin, 2 marsh harrier and peregrine, it certainly was a spectacular day.
Ruff have been around at location 3, with bearded tit spotted between 8 and 10 January, often moving between location 4 and 5. Kingfisher and cetti’s warbler have also been spotted at the same location. Barn owl have also been seen around the pond dipping platform (location 6). These have started to become a bit more of regular January spot if the weather is right.
The bullfinch spotted at the end of last year was spotted again in the hedgerow (location 1) on the 9 Jan but has not been reported since.
Starting to move into this weeks sightings, Sunday 12 saw big numbers of pink-footed geese on the reserve at location 7. The spoonbill reappeared on the saltmarsh after some time away and it was another epic day for golden plover activity. There were between 6,000 and 10,000 golden plover on the go throughout the day as peregrine, harriers and merlin spooked them from the grassland. Also happening on the same day, we took part in the WWT whooper swan survey and counted 85 in nearby fields, a favourite spot for them is location 8, where they spend the day and return to the reedbed at dusk.
Monday 13 saw the reappearance of the short-eared owl, reported at location 9 at around 8am. There were further sightings of the spoonbill at location 10 and a spotted redshank was seen at location 11. Plenty of raptors were also still about on the saltmarsh, including hen harrier, peregrine and merlin. While marsh harrier was spotted over the car park and wet grassland at location 12.
On Wednesday 15 there were a further 14,000 golden plover spotted over on the grassland, definitely fulfilling the #Plovercane title. With great egret spotted at location 12, the spoonbill seen again at location 10 and 20 ringed plover spotted at location 13.
So… what are you likely to see if you make a visit to #RSPBFrampton? The golden plover are still a spectacular sight on the reserve, with numbers seemingly increasing. The #Plovercane is definitely one to watch for, especially with plenty of raptors around too. A good place to look for them is over the wet grassland, they are definitely easy to spot when they’re on the go throughout the day, being spooked by birds such as peregrine, marsh harrier, hen harrier and merlin. The spoonbill was last spotted on the 15 Jan on the saltmarsh at location, so there is potential it is still about (although with the winds of the last few days it may have moved on). The water rail is always a fantastic spot on the reserve and has been hanging around mostly since the start of January, moving between location 14 and the visitor centre. As well as these fantastic sightings, there are plenty of the regulars about.
You may have seen we are running an introductory course to the ins and outs of using trail cameras. A course which allows you to work with automatic cameras that can capture either stills or amazing film footage. This course is now FULL! But not to worry. Demand has been so high that we have put on a second course, on Saturday 29 February. To book, follow the link: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/introduction-to-camera-traps…
It is a busy time of year down on the reserve, with lots of work going on using machinery. This means that paths may be closed, or muddier than usual. To discover which areas are affected, please read our blog at: https://community.rspb.org.uk/…/frampt…/posts/can-you-dig-it or pop in to the visitor centre.
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 #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.
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