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Toby is back with another of his regular blog posts. Let's find out what he has been up to this week...


Reaching 100 species with thanks to the Frampton Yankees

We said that high tides were heading our way over the course of the 18-21 July and boy they didn’t disappoint.

News broke midday on Friday that a long-billed dowitcher had been found by the top car park near the sea bank. Sadly, despite searching myself in the evening whilst the heavens opened, I couldn’t re-find the bird but with higher tides the next morning I kept my toes and fingers crossed. The Saturday arrived but before I could go looking for the dowitcher, I had to help with the monthly Wetland Bird surveys (WeBS). To my amazement I found three singing corn buntings, despite not being a wetland bird these were great to see given the fact I’ve barely seen this species before. It was only 8 am but had managed to see 67 species, with the rest of the day to go birding I set myself the target of seeing 100 species at Frampton!

Was walking back to the top car park along the sea bank when my phone started ringing, news broke of two adult white-rumped sandpipers at the top car park, so I ran as fast as I could and was rewarded with amazing views of these American waders close-up, next was finding this dowitcher… This didn’t take long as half an hour later I’d re-found the bird feeding away from the crowds amongst a flock of godwits. Spent most of the day sat on the sea bank showing the masses of birders these American vagrants, what a way to spend the day. As the evening approached, I was nearing 90 species with still a few more to easier species to see such as barn owl and greenfinch, but by 10pm I’d managed to hit 100 species thanks to a dozen red-legged partridge almost flying into me as I cycled back to the office. Now an honorary member of the #100sp club.

Video of the white-rumped sandpiper

Video of the dowitcher

Another day, another rare damselfly found…

At the start of my stint here at Frampton, I was told to look out the for beautiful willow emerald damselflies as they would be out on the wing soon. This is a species I’ve never seen but at the top of my list to see and given my recent luck with finding rare and interesting damselflies/dragonflies I thought I was in with a chance.

One evening instead of cycling out onto the reserve I decided to walk from the office which took me through the hedgerows near the turtle dove watchpoint, suddenly as I was walking through I disturbed a damselfly which I saw out of the corner of my eye, instantly I thought “Ha wonder if that was an emerald…?”. To my astonishment it was! I was taken back by the beauty of these insects with their iridescent, metallic green colours, but like the London buses you don’t see any then they all come at once… I found no fewer off 15 of these willow emeralds along 100m stretch of the hedgerow.

School's out for Summer 

It’s that time of year, the kids are off and the summer is now here! Hope everyone enjoyed this recent heatwave, it reached 36.4 degrees here at Frampton on the 25th! But with the summer holidays here it means we’ve got activities on for the kids; mini-raft building on Tuesday, pond dipping on Wednesday and bug hunting on Thursday, this week has been success with up to 14 stickleback fish caught in one session and plenty of grasshoppers and crickets caught when bug hunting.

Female short-winged conehead

Peacock butterfly

Roesel's bush cricket