Last Wednesday myself and Keith went on a trip to RSPB Frampton Marsh in Lincolnshire and then onto RSPB Titchwell Marsh in Norfolk.
It's about a two hour drive from Keith's house to Frampton and an early start was called for...so, up at silly o'clock, a 30 minute drive later and I was knocking on Keith's door at just before 6am.
With heavy overnight rain and a reasonably mild temperature the journey started out being rather damp but as we traveled further northwards the sky started to clear and the temperature began to fall, the forecast was for a cold sunny day! We arrived just before 8am as the sun was beginning to rise and the temperature had settled for 2°C
|Which way to go? The sun rises over the sea wall|
First things first and it was time for a coffee as we donned boots and coats and made ready for a walk around the reserve. Almost immediately we were treated to a wonderful sight as a large flock of Pink-footed Geese flew directly overhead followed by varying sized flocks of Dark-bellied Brent Geese all making their way from their overnight roosting spots to graze on the arable fields further inland.
From where we'd parked the car we could see Reed Buntings flitting through the bushes and out on the wet meadow and marshes, Curlew, Redshank, Little Egrets together with the usual gathering of the more common water fowl.
|A Redshank flies by!|
There were also very large flocks of Lapwing and Golden Plover that every so often would take to the air and fill the sky with a spectacular whirling display.
|Just a few! of the Lapwings and Golden Plovers taking to the air.|
|Sunrise over the reserve, looking back from the sea wall.|
Next up it was a visit to the hides to see what else we could find and within a couple of minutes of getting settled in the first hide eagle eyed Keith had found six Common Snipe just showing through the vegetation on one of the small islands.
Unfortunately one problem encountered at Frampton is that from the main hide at this time of year you look directly into the rising sun so viewing and photography are rather hampered, hence no decent photographs! However we did manage to spot a single Ruff and a pair of Pintail in amongst the usual overwintering ducks. And on the way back to the car three Skylarks foraging in the grass beside the pathway.
|The visitor centre and a newly established Reedbed|
After more coffee and a bite to eat whilst watching the Greenfinches, Chaffinches and Tree Sparrows on the feeders by the visitor centre it was time to make the one hour trip around the bottom of the Wash to Titchwell. With a total count of thirty seven different species could the day get any better?...it certainly could!! More in part two.