What a contrast from the sunshine of yesterday! Today was a wet and windy day here at Frampton Marsh.
I spent much of the day in the Visitor centre with Tony (Volunteer), and in contrast to my expectations quite a few visitors braved the rain, ranging from locals to a couple who live out in South Africa! The Mid Nene local group came for a visit this afternoon, having spent the morning at our neighbouring reserve of Freiston Shore.
The birds didn’t seem to mind the weather, with highlights including 5 little stints which were quite active flying around near Reedbed hide. From here, there were also several Dunlin to watch, and I got a good view of a curlew sandpiper this afternoon. The barn owl was seen hunting at the western end of the reedbed this afternoon.
Highlights on the scrapes included teal (200), wigeon (150), snipe (3), black tailed godwit (8), ruff (1), curlew sandpiper (2), grey plover (5), dunlin (3), turnstone (2). Also, spotted was a hobby as it flew across the scrapes.
So despite some typical British weather, we’ve had a good day here at Frampton Marsh! Please do come and see what you can spot for yourselves.
The sun has got his hat on...
The sun shone today after yesterday’s rain and, although there is a good breeze, it is actually quite warm. The reserve looks brilliant with the water shining in the late summer (ok maybe that’s should be early autumn) sunshine, and the reeds rustling as they blow in the wind! So come enjoy a September day at Frampton Marsh.
…And the birds came out to play!
The most unusual sighting of the day was 8 gannets which flew over the Scrapes, possibly some of the 500 seen at Freiston this morning. There were wigeon (150), teal (150), black-tailed godwit (15), curlew sandpiper (1), and ruff (2 ) to be seen on the Scrapes., along with about 5 ‘bog chickens’. If you don’t know what a ‘bog chicken’ is come down and find the answer along the trail to 360 and reedbed hides! Meanwhile, the highlight on the reedbed was 9 little stint. Sightings on the saltmarsh included buzzard (1), marsh harrier (2), peregrine (1) and kingfisher (1).
If you are a regular visitor you may have noticed a few changes during recent visits. Our two spoonbills are now resident outside reedbed hide overlooking the scrape, and we hope that these willow sculptures add a new dimension to the reserve. If you look out the front of reedbed hide you will notice a couple of new structures. The first looks like a tree sticking out of the water; this is our new and improved kingfisher perch – if you could tell any kingfishers you see to use it I’d be grateful as it would make Graham’s day to hear that it was being used! The other is a series of posts at staggered heights; these are gull or tern perching posts.
Another change on the reserve you may have spotted is the removal of the vegetation alongside the reedbed trail to the left of the Visitor centre. This is part of our pollen and nectar strips, which we get money for maintaining under an agri-environmental scheme. As this section had become grassy with few wild flowers growing this year, it was cleared before being re-sown with a wild flower seed mix on Thursday evening. So although it may not look like much at the moment, hopefully there will be lots of flowers to attract the bees and butterflies next summer.
Unusually for a weekend there has been some estate work going on today. As with Simon enjoying a weekend off, I'm on duty and with two great volunteers looking after the Visitor centre, I have been able to enjoy the sunshine myself! Making the most of the good weather, I have been mostly strimming around benches and signs across the site, although I also fitted in a bit of painting and a few odd jobs.
So come and enjoy a day here at Frampton Marsh, and why not let us know what you think of our reserve using the forum.
Yesterday was my day off, so what better to do with my spare time than have a nice walk round the site at Frampton Marsh with a friend. With curiosity we approached the car park, keen to see what willow wader was being created. We crossed the road and approached the marquee to find Sue (Willow weaver) with Wendy (Volunteer) wrapped up against the wind. And not a willow sculpture but two – the first instantly recognisable at this stage in the afternoon as a spoonbill. The second spoonbill had yet to have its distinctive bill created. Finished they both look great and have been treated so they will withstand the weather. We hope to have them up and on site shortly, so we will always have a pair of spoonbills on the reserve!
Today, I spent the morning out at the cross bank steps onto the seawall from Marsh Farm footpath. The view of the saltmarsh from here is brilliant with both the ungrazed and grazed sections in view. These steps were looking a bit tired after the summer’s use by visitors, so I treated them to a coat of paint to cheer them up a bit! I also, treated the steps themselves with an anti-slip coating.
There are lots of waders about on the reserve at the moment, including several little stint, black-tailed godwit, green sandpipers, greenshank, ruff and dunlin. So come and see what you can spot for yourselves.
I have to admit my bird highlight of today was not here at Frampton but at our neighbouring reserve of Freiston Shore, where I saw my first Pectoral Sandpiper!