Monday, 25 September 2017

The Bird Club Trip To Frampton Marsh RSPB Reserve

Frampton Marsh is a popular reserve for Northants birders as it’s relatively close to the county and has become a wader hotspot in recent years.

This Sunday’s trip didn’t disappoint as thousands of waders were present with large numbers of Black-tailed Godwits & Dunlin with smaller totals of Curlew Sandpiper, Spotted Redshank and Little Stint. Avocet, Knot and Common Redshank also made up the numbers. A lone Great (White) Egret kept its distance from the long lenses whilst the double figure counts of Little Egret barely get a mention these days. 

Newly arrived Brent Geese flocked in from the Wash and small parties of Pintail hesitantly dropped in to join the masses of Wigeon & Teal while a resident Whooper Swan with a damaged wing grazed close to the path. A juvenile Kestrel allowed close approach as it eyed up prey from a fencepost becoming the most photographed bird of the day by the Club’s keen shooters. A handful of Yellow Wagtails fed around the cattle as they disturbed insects from the short grass.

Three members decided to take a short walk to a nearby reservoir where Red-necked Grebe, Wood Sandpiper and Greenshank were observed at long range.

This was a day of two halves with the morning thronging with activity and much fewer birds after lunch as the tide turned exposing mud rich with worms, bivalves and other invertebrates, the favourite food for many waders. 

Nevertheless, the weather was perfect with sunshine until mid-afternoon when it was decided there was little more to be seen or photographed and we headed for home.

Please contact Bob Gill if you want to join future trips, space permitting.

Common Kestrel

Spotted Redshank

 Brent Geese

Yellow Wagtail

Little Stint

Meadow Pipit

Whooper Swan



As a footnote to Dave's article I thought I might share some distant images from a day spent earlier in the week at Frampton.
Frampton with all its waterfowl and waders has the ever presence of raptors. So when all the birds take to the air I immediately scan for a peregrine or some such, this time a low flying Sparrow Hawk was on the hunt.
After I had picked it up at some distance it grabbed a hapless Ringed plover  an inexperienced young bird. All the waders gave chase and called frantically but to no avail the poor bird was tightly held in sharp talons. It was carried some distance before being plucked whilst still alive, its sad to see the poor plover being  killed but nature is cruel sometimes.

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