There's a lot to be said for the 'chores' of opening up the visitor centre.... I was helping Tony with the task this morning when I happened to accidentally glance out of the window with my binoculars (anything to avoid cleaning the loos!). I was rather surprised to notice a black-winged stilt just wandering around as if it owned the place. As I was watching the bird and trying to explain to Tony where it was another one walked in front of it. A pair! A few frantic phone calls later and other local bird watchers had joined us. Just when I was beginning to think they'd get a mortgage, marry, have kids and what to call them, they decided to fly off (booo!). They had been chased by an avocet on one occassion, then perhaps the final straw was one was pursued by a young little gull. I've never seen a little gull chase anything before, they're usually afraid of their own reflections! and they left in a huff..... 'Ahh zut alore, dis place is a disgrace eu know!, with dese littel gurls you are spoiling us' (Mr & Mrs Stilt are French you see).
Certainly this made up for a miserable day weather wise.
Oriental pratincole - still showing well from the path before the East Hide this morning. The first for Lincolnshire and about the seventh for the UK. It should have stopped off in China or India from Australia, but has overshot by quite some considerable margin!
Garganey - male from the 360 hide
Curlew sandpiper - 2+ from the 360 hide
Little gull - 2+ 1st summer birds on the scrapes or reedbed
Common buzzard - 1 over the wet grassland
Ruff - up to 8 on the scrapes
Little ringed plover - up to 10 on the scrapes and reedbed
Whilst the oriental pratincole is creating excitement over by east hide, the rest of Frampton is looking great too! So if you fancy taking a walk away for the crowds, why not stroll over to the Marsh farm side of the site. There enjoy the tranquillity of listening to the skylarks, meadow pipits, redshanks, and lapwings whose songs/calls fill the area. In the muddy patch by the cross bank steps you may find a turnstone, along with the ringed plover and dunlin. And see if you can see the brown hares hiding in the grass.
But what had caused the assistant warden to head to this area of the site this morning? The answer, Lapwing chicks! For the first time ever we are trying to get an idea of productivity (ie. what proportion of lapwing chicks become large chicks and then fledgings!) So I am following a few broods as they grow from little fluff balls into something more resembling a lapwing. Its exciting watching them grow up, and great to see them scurring around in the grass, so why not come over and see how many you can spot?
So if you don't fancy coming to Frampton to see an oriental pratincole...I suggest its worth a visit to see some lapwing chicks!