Leader: Nick Edwards
Reporter: David Laurie
Six of us met at the car park at 8:30 on a sunny morning with a light NW wind. Alongside were some fine Yellow Wagtails among the cattle, plus Pied Wagtails, a Meadow Pipit and a few Swallows overhead. A good start.
Setting out towards the sea wall we found Greenfinch, Goldfinch, House Sparrow and Reed Bunting in the planted strip beside the path and in the hedgerows, while the pools to the left held a good selection of ducks, still mostly in eclipse, and waders including Snipe, Black-tailed Godwit and Dunlin. There were plenty of Little Egrets today, but no Spoonbills on
Further on Nick spotted a group of seven Red-breasted Geese. Are they wild birds or escapes? One had a blue ring so possibly escapes, but either way these were beautiful birds. We also had an excellent view of a Water Rail preening itself in the sun while a passing Moorhen allowed a good comparison of their respective sizes and shapes.
Turning left on the Wash Trail there were more Dunlin, Redshank and Stonechats. We worked our way around to the hides which gave us Little Grebe, ducks including Pintail and lots of Wigeon, one of which was a very unusual pale bird. A flock of Dunlin was accompanied by a Little Stint and as we returned to the pool by the visitor centre we found two elegant Curlew Sandpipers, always a good bird to see.
Marsh Harriers and Kestrel made up the birds of prey, so no late Hobby or, surprisingly, any sign of a Buzzard.
Arriving back at the car park it was time for lunch, taken at the cars as the picnic area and Reedbed Walk remain closed off. The new visitor centre and cafe is still under construction and looks some way from completion.
In the afternoon we set out along the Grassland Trail to the lake where we found Tufted Ducks among more Wigeon and another Little Grebe. We startled half a dozen Snipe from a ditch and, although it was now cloudier and the wind was strengthening, we saw Migrant Hawker and Common Darter dragonflies and a butterfly identified (after some debate) as a Small Copper.
Five then headed back to the car park while I elected to walk the rest of the Grassland Trail. I added Chiffchaff, Golden Plover and Grey Heron to our list and had excellent views of Kestrel and more Yellow Wagtails, but I missed the bird of the day - a Nightjar spotted on the edge of the path by eagle-eyed Emily Leonard. Nightjar is rare bird by any standard, to see one in daylight rarer still, and it is exceptionally unusual for Frampton.
It was an excellent day out, much enjoyed by us all. Our thanks to Nick for organizing the outing and for the bird list, complied using the new version of the BTO BirdTrack App, which he highly recommends.
app-birdtrack if you want to take a look.
Please feel free to read through our reports from our monthly outdoor meetings.