Yesterday was my first birding trip in about three weeks. Helen and I went to Frampton Marsh because, amongst other reasons, the weather forecast was most settled for there yesterday. It’ll soon be ‘big coats weather’ again now so it was nice to enjoy a fairly warm day (for mid-October!)
When we reached the Visitors’ Centre we discovered that a number of really interesting bird species had been seen on the reserve in recent days; a juvenile Long-Billed Dowitcher had been making regular appearances near the 360° Hide for one. A Green Woodpecker had been sighted early yesterday morning along the hedgerow path along with a Brambling. Also, a number of Bearded-Tits had been seen in the reeds down near the sea-wall. All in all, a plethora of opportunities for good bird sightings!
Helen had never been along the hedgerow path which runs along the top of the car-park in a roughly East-west direction, so we decided to try there first. A Green Woodpecker is high on my ‘deirables hit-list’ now, and I was very much hoping to see the one which had been reported here earlier that morning.
Sadly, and although we could hear dozens of birds as they flit (flitted?) back and forth in the hedgerows, none were showing today. We had occasional, tantalizing glimpses, but no birds wanted to be photographed today. And, although I scoured the field from the open space viewing point halfway along the path, there was no sign of any Woodpeckers, Green or otherwise!
Next we went straight down the path towards the sea-wall. Most of our best bird sightings have taken place down here on previous visits to Frampton. Water levels had fallen substantially since our last visit, and few birds were around for us to see. One notabble exception, however, was a beautiful Greenshank which we got some lovely close-up shots of before it flew off across the marsh.
On reaching the sea-wall, we scoured the area we could see from our high vantage point. A Curlew, a lone Redshank and a distant group of Wigeon were about all we could see today. There were no signs today of the ‘squadrons’ of Brent Geese we witnessed flying overhead on our first visit to this spot; it must be a bit too early for them to take up their Winter residence at Frampton just yet.
As we walked back up the path towards the car-park we took some great photos of a Little Egret which allowed us our closest-ever viewing of an Egret. I had to zoom my lens right in to its shortest focal length in order to get the entire bird in the frame of my camera – now that is close!
Not our best day at Frampton then, but still a pleasure to visit the reserve and enjoy the fresh air and sunshine.