Saturday, 14 May 2016

Crap pictures, but great birds.



If you're superstitious, then Friday 13th is a day to avoid. Don't travel, stay in, and keep 'safe'.


So me and Whisky took a visit to RSPB Frampton Marsh.


We left ridiculously early and arrived by quarter six in the morning.
Quite a strong, cold wind was blowing, and it was very cloudy and overcast; not a good day for taking pictures, but I always enjoy this reserve.
They always have some goodies here, plus I can take Whisky round most of it; apart from the central part with the hides. But no problem, most of what's here can be seen from the public paths.


Like the last visit, and unbeknown to me, there happened to be a rarity that had dropped in.


We set off down the small road towards the sea wall that overlooks the saltmarsh of the Wash in the distance.


Lots of birds flying overhead; Swallows, Swifts, Lapwings, honking geese and a few assorted gulls. A lot of Black-headed Gulls are nesting on the islands in the reserve, and very noisy they are too.

From the reeds at the side of the road, the calls of Sedge Warbler, that always pose beautifully along here.




Sedge Warbler



As we got nearer the small parking area half way down, a couple of cars began to arrive.
We stopped to look in the flooded fields and I began to scan through the hundreds of Dunlin and Ringed Plover to see if anything else was there.



A Curlew Sandpiper was soon found.




Not a good picture, but they were all quite distant.



By now the cars occupants had got out, and began setting up their respective scopes.
A couple more cars were coming down the road too.



Another find amongst the Dunlin ...........





a Little Stint, in summer plumage.



Soon the shout went out from the growing throng of 'scopes';
"found it!"


Found what, I wondered.


I turned to the bloke next to me. "What is it?" I asked.
"Broad-billed Sandpiper" he replied.

I'd never heard of it before, let alone seen one; waders are not my strong point.
He pointed out to where it was, and I tried to find it with my binoculars. No luck.
He kindly let me look through his scope.
What a stunner!
Small, but in its breeding/summer plumage. A striking black and white wader, with a very noticeable stripe on its head.
My picture does not do it justice.



Broad-billed Sandpiper


As more people began to arrive, myself and Whisky decided to leave.
We headed off towards the sea bank, the idea being to walk along, see what we could find on the reserve from here, then make our way down the path towards the sea.
A long walk, but pleasant ........... usually.
Today the wind up here was quite strong, and cold.
We got to where the steps drop down to the reserve, and the path bends towards the 'sea walk'.
Unfortunately there were quite a few cows here, (not usually a problem), but these had calves with them. I never trust cows in a group that have their calves with them; far too unpredictable, so we turned back, and made our way back from where we came from.


The group in the car park had grown bigger. We stopped briefly, a quick look in the field, and then made our way back towards the car.


A warming drink for me, a cool drink for Whisky, and then we set off down the small track nearby.
Good for singing birds in the trees, and to our left, more flooded areas that attract waders.


A lot of Ruff in varying stages of plumage.






It's no wonder I get confused.




There were also a few of these,






Greenshank.




A bit further down, and another cracking wader.




Wood Sandpiper




A few Redshank amongst the Ruff, and Lapwing wheeling overhead, and then we began to make our way back.


A quick look at the reserve from the visitor centre gave a Little Ringed Plover,





and then it was time to make our way home.




Great day as always.

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