Howdy folks! Welcome back to a double-sized helping of Frampton Marsh sightings, with me Chris the visitor guy. No post last week as I was off on leave, so we'll cover it all this week too. Best get to it!
"What is a Jet Provost?" I hear you cry. Well, it was an old RAF trainer from the late 50's. Really quite rare, not many about these days...
As you can see, really some quality birds about at the weekend, with lots of visitors to see them. Great to see so many of you
Kate being last year's conservation intern, now working for the South Downs national park
No map for Tuesday 5 September, it was too wet to write on the board!
Bonus spot of a bittern for a lucky few. It dropped into the reedbed and was never seen again...
Missing from the board is a Catalina flying boat which performed anti-submarine duty during the Second World war. Only 22 airworthy planes remain around the world.
Saturday also had a fantastic starling murmuration in the evening. You can see a brief portion of it here. See if you can spot the photobombing spoonbills...
More great weekend birds...
Second day in a row a ring-tail hen harrier had been seen. looks like autumn is here.. Having not been seen for a few days, Anthony our assistant warden had a pectoral sandpiper over the scrapes, maybe a new bird?
Hurrah! Back up to date.
As you will have seen on a few of the maps, sea aster mining bees are a bit of a thing. Rather rare, they only live in certain coastal areas in northwest Europe. Populations are scattered, and prone to destruction by rising sea levels or human interference. so it is great we have a thriving colony here. Especially as they are globally classified as 'near threatened'. Look for small black and white bees, often around the sea aster (purple and yellow flowers).
One of the key birds of the past two weeks has been the great white egret. Previously this species has been a source of some confusion with people saying "I saw an egret, but it looked a bit bigger than usual. Might it be a great white?" Well, probably not. As you can see in this photo by Kevin Mayhew, the size difference is *very* noticeable! As is that honking great yellow bill.
Of course, egrets aren't the only large white bird about. Spoonbills too. Mark Johnson managed to snap this synchronised pair
And the lone whooper swan is still waiting patiently for its friends to return from Iceland. (Photo by Andyno43)
It is often a feature of this time of year that normally shy biords can come very close. in the case of ruff and snipe, right up against the visitor centre windows!
Yellow wagtails too have been extra confiding (both photos by Jeff Everett)
Mind you, not everyone is happy to get close! Redshanks have been a bit quarrelsome. Nigel Sprowell caught these two in a bit of a spat.
Nigel also took a photo of this smart curlew sandpiper
Regular readers will know I always like to sneak at least one photo by Neil Smith in here somewhere. This week, an unusual view of a cormorant.
Quite a dark bird are cormorants. Wish a similar taste in fish but very much brighter (and very hard to see sitting still) Jonathan Savory was lucky to find this kingfisher posing so well
To finish with though, what has to be one of the best features of the reserve at this time of year. The sunsets can be really spectacular, with or without the starling flocks. This photo was taken by Mark Sargeant
You may be interested to know that Bird Watching magazine will be paying us a visit next Friday, to catch the nice high tide which is due. They will be on the reserve from about 7 am, probably down at the sea bank car park, and possibly also the 360 hide. Do come and say hello to them and see what wonderful waders the high tide brings in.
If you are coming to visit us, you can keep up to date with the sightings by following our Twitter account. No need to have an account yourself, we make it so everyone can see it. If you do tweet yourself, please remember to use #RSPBframpton so we can see what you are posting, and also ideally mention @RSPBNorfolkLinc. If you have any good photos (or video, or even artwork) we'd love to see that too. Tweet it, or share it on our Facebook page or our Flickr account.
I hope you all have a great week, take care, have fun, and I will catch you next time.