It has been another windy but mild day today at RSPB Frampton Marsh. Sightings highlights have included:
Whooper swan 26
Pink-footed goose 9
Brent goose 1150+
Black-tailed godwit 36
Little stint 2
Curlew sandpiper 1
Hen harrier 1
Corn bunting 5
The weather for the weekend:
Saturday- Sunny and bright with highs of 12C. The wind will continue to come from the south.
Sunday- Sunny intervals with highs of 17C. The wind will shift round and come from the south east. (Hopefully this will bring in some more migrants!)
High tides for the rest of the month:
Thanks for reading,
It has been a glorious start to the weekend. There was a little frost and fog to start with, but the strong sunshine has soon burnt that away.
Site manager John Badley, is lucky enough to be on Scilly for a couple of weeks, so I have been drafted in to do his wetland birds survey (WeBS). This is a very nice job to do, as it involves doing a survey of the whole reserve, counting every wetland bird that can be seen.
The only problem with this morning is that Wales play France in the semi final of the Rugby World Cup, so an early start was required so I could get back for kick off!
Seen on the reserve this morning were:
Mute swan 10
Canada goose 104
Barnacle goose 3
Brent goose 364
Greylag goose 156
Pink-footed goose 4
Wigeon 17 (812 on Wednesday)
Little grebe 13
Little egret 5
Black-headed gull 19
Herring gull 4
Golden plover 3
Black-tailed godwit 32
Snipe 5 (50+ on Thursday)
Ringed plover 5
There was also female merlin terrorising the large charm of goldfinches.
Lots to see on the reserve today, so why not visit while the weather is still good?
love productive days…it always feels satisfying to come home feeling tired! But
there are two things that make a productive day even better: The first is good
company, and with the practical volunteers I couldn’t be in anything but that!
The second is great moments with wildlife!
I was joined by a big team of the practical volunteers, for one of the biggest
tasks of the year on site (at least as far as man power goes!) Sometimes
machinery doesn’t have the answer and the vegetation clearance of the islands
in the reedbed is just one of those tasks which requires many hands. So I
pleased to find a large crowd on arriving at the Visitor centre today!
first task of the day was to get people out to the islands we were working on.
Island hopping takes a little time with only a two man boat. But soon the
volunteers were hard at work hand weeding the first island while I went onto
strim its neighbour. By lunchtime, we were all glad of a break, and treated to
the sight of 5 whooper swans on the far side of the reedbed – stunning birds!
Then as we were getting ready to leave, a marsh harrier was spotted flying over
from the Visitor centre windows.
Whooper Swans (Photo: RSPB Images - Ben Hall)
afternoon, the volunteers spent raking the two islands which were strimmed.
They were distracted by small toads hiding in the vegetation, and then loads of
small sticklebacks enjoying the piles of cut stuff in the water on the edges of
one of the best sights of the day, was to be seen as we made our way back to
the car park at the end of the day – 220 pink-footed geese flew over!! These
birds are a wonderful sight!
that’s enough of the assistant warden’s ramblings…come and enjoy Frampton Marsh
...so come and have a look! Currently onsite is a bulldozer, this is creating some bunds (areas of higher ground) on the wet grassland which should help us to hold more water onsite. To get the spoil to do this we are creating new pools, which will also help us to hold water for longer into the spring and increasing the breeding habitat for waders, such as lapwings and redshanks!
Buldozers at Frampton Marsh (Photo: LWR)
So do come down to Frampton Marsh and take a look at the big machinery we have onsite! The bulldozer isn’t the only piece of machinery we have been using – last week we had a 360 excavator (aka a JCB) which moved the barn owl box into a more sheltered area in the hedgerow nearer the Visitor centre, and dug out the pond where we will later be putting in a pond dipping platform, as well as doing a bit of work on the wet grassland.
Whilst this work doesn’t make the site look too pleasant, these changes will make the site even better for the wader species which are habitat management is aimed at.
But the big machinery doesn’t get to have all the fun...sometimes the only way to do a job is by hand. So on Thursday and Friday this week, I will be out with teams of our practical volunteers clearing the vegetation off the islands in the reedbed and on the scrapes. This work creates bare ground, shingle, cockles, so provide breeding habitat for little ringed plovers, avocets and common terns next spring. It is important that we do this but it will cause some disturbance to areas of these habitats on these two days – but there will still be plenty to see as only a small area will be disturbed at a time.
Well thats a bit of a round up of the changes occurring on site this week, so come along and take a look at the big machinery we have on the reserve, as well as doing a spot of birdwatching.
we have had a very mild but windy day today at RSPB Frampton Marsh. We were joined by the Ogston Bird Club and a group from Newbury, Berkshire.
Sightings highlights have included:
Pectoral sandpiper 1
Spotted redshank 5
Little stint 3
Marsh harrier 2