Sunday, 11 August 2019

Frampton waders

Frampton was once again calling on Sunday 21/07, with plenty of waders on show, a couple of rares about and the potential for more if my luck was in!

With such good offerings on show, it was always going to be busy, so I wasn't surprised to find an almost full car park when I arrived. Luckily for me though, I managed to grab pretty much the last space left - bonus!

I started off having a scan by the visitor centre and quickly found both parent Black-Necked Grebes feeding a single youngster each. This year is the first time Black-Necked Grebes have bred here and will be yet another feather in Frampton's cap if they can establish themselves here. I watched them for a bit, with both the adults and the juveniles diving for food, before the adults would approach the youngster and feed them anyways!

By way of a change, I decided to walk the large loop around the southern edge of the reserve, mainly to look for Turtle Doves. Unfortunately, I wasn't in luck, however I did add a few additions to the day including a Pintail, Greenshank, Marsh Harrier and Common Sandpiper, among the more commoner residents.

I made it round to the area near the top car park, where most of the wader interest was, with both White-Rumped Sandpiper and Long-Billed Dowitcher reported as still present earlier on.

Scanning from the sea-bank produced stacks of Dunlin, as well as a lone Garganey, a Grey Plover and the first of 2-3 Spotted Redshank. A good scan, at quite a distance failed to locate either yanks, so I moved down to the top car park for a closer look.

Still, neither myself or it appeared, anyone else could locate either rare waders, so I went and grabbed some lunch from my car before returning. I then had a look the opposite side, north of the top car park and there amongst a group of Black-Tailed Godwits on the grass, was the Long-Billed Dowitcher. I got a couple of people onto it before it was spooked by something and scuttled off into the vegetation. Almost simultaneously, a load of people had suddenly appeared behind me, as apparently the White-Rumped Sandpiper had just flown in on the opposite side of the path. How lucky was that! It showed really well for quite sometime at fairly close quarters, affording fantastic scope views, albeit into the sun a bit. A treat to see both species in breeding plumage, within a matter of minutes.

I turned my attention back to the area the Dowitcher was some 20 mins previously. After a short while, someone rediscovered it skulking around in the vegetation. It's reappearance caused a massive scrum of people, not the most enjoyable of experiences to be honest. However, just when I thought it was time to wriggle out of the crowd, the bird promptly flew right towards us and plonked itself down right in front, in full view! Stunning views were had for 5 minutes or so, before it really was time to extract myself from the dude swarm!

The rest of my time was spent walking a circuit around the northern part of the reserve, with 4 Spoonbills and lots more Black-Tailed Godwits. I had one more look at the area by the top car park again, hoping to come across a Little Stint or Curlew Sand, however not today! I did though get to have one more look at both the Dowitcher & WRS before I left.

There was one last treat in store. As I reached my car, I was greeted by the sound of a purring Turtle Dove. Setting the scope back up, I soon found two sat in dead branches with Woodpigeons a little way off. The ideal end to another worthwhile visit to Frampton!

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