I arrived at the Frampton Marsh slightly on the early side. I had a lovely ride in, its surprising how much quieter the A16 is at ten to seven than ten to eight! I rode down to the reserve to find no cars and no people. – I actually had the whole place to myself! Parking in the old car park I wandered up onto the seawall, listening to the reeds rustling in the breeze. And just enjoying the solitude of a morning stroll. But I wasn’t quite on my own, their were plenty of gulls calling as the flew over my head between the freshwater habitats and the saltmarsh. But there are some sounds that just grab my attention, and one of them is the call of a lapwing! As one took off from marsh farm, I felt a smile on my face. Next to be disturbed by my presence, was a green sandpiper, hiding in the corner near the sluice. However, what I was after was a sighting of a bird I have never seen – a Montagu’s harrier, and with reports of them in the area over the last few days, I decided that this morning was the time to look. I went down to the Raptor viewpoint to sit and watch out on the saltmarsh for one but failed to even see a Marsh Harrier! However, I didn’t return disappointed, as Frampton Marsh is a wonderful place to be and beautifully quiet and peaceful at that time in the morning. I didn’t see I soul, until on returning down the entrance track, I met Tony, one of our faithful volunteers, on his way for a morning walk.
While out on the seawall, I spotted to cows on the ungrazed section. I had a quick check of the fences at either end of this section of seawall, and found a bit of barb wire down. Graham (Warden) and I headed over to this area with the intention of moving the cows back, and fixing the fence, as our first task of the day. – only to find the cows were back!, and discovering they were walking round the fence and not over it. This meant we needed to extend the barb wire into the ditch, so we had to get more tools and a fence post. We did this afternoon, so now we hope the cows will stay on the grazed area!
The other big job of the day was to re-hang a couple of pedestrian gates, which are at the entrances to the reedbed trail. We were hanging them with the top bolt offset from the bottom one, so that they will close of their own accord. We were delighted to find that our efforts worked on the first, and went straight to work on the second! However, were forced to take a break for lunch when the second drill battery died and we had to went for one to charge up. But enjoyed a pleasant lunch out on a picnic bench near the Visitor Centre, which was a change from sitting at our desks in the office!
And, while I have yet to see a Montagu’s Harrier, today wasn’t a bad bird day for me. Two yellow wagtails, a greenshank, two ruff, several more green sandpipers, and my first whinchat of the autumn, were just a few of the species I saw while out working on the reserve today.
There are always birds to spot and wildlife to see, so come down and explore Frampton Marsh for yourself.