Thursday, May 04, 2023

Stellar Day at Frampton

We chose RSPB Frampton as our venue on the basis of a stellar list from the previous day. We arrived at a packed car park and saw the fantastic wader habitat that now stretches from the car park to the back of the reserve. We had two Wood Sandpipers on a small near-by pool before we'd even got out of the car, and went on to add a Spotted Redshank in dusky summer plumage, many Ruff, a pair of mating Little-Ringed Plovers (the first of five pairs on the reserve) and as we moved towards the centre added two Black-Winged Stilt in the corner. Frankly we could have gone home then more than happy. 

Down the path on the NW side we added Lesser Whitethroat singing, Cetti's and Sedge Warbler, then on the walk along the western edge we added Whimbrel, Common Sandpiper, a few Yellow Wagtails, many Whitethroats, along the sea-wall a few Mediterranean Gulls flying around, a line up of birders fruitlessly searching for the Blue-Winged Teal (see previous post), a few Pale-Bellied Brents amongst the thousand plus Dark-Bellied out on the marsh then along the road back to the centre we had about fifty Dunlin and a cracking Spoonbill feeding in a channel. 

Lunch then back for another go at the Teal which proved successful, and that was more or less our list for the day, but we had two further sightings of the kind that make birding a challenge not just wildlife tourism. The Temminck's Stint had been seen the previous day rom the road, and as we went through the Dunlin I picked up a likely candidate; nice pectoral band, spangly back, all white belly, and called a few people over as a likely. But on comparison with a Dunlin thats arrived it was the same size and had a longer curved bill than the Stint, so we had to write that one off as a Dunlin. 

Almost back at the centre and a large bumble bee appeared, a real whopper and all black. On checking this later it matches the black form of Bombus Ruderatus, the Large Garden or Ruderal Bee. I'm not going to claim it as I know from experience bees are tricky creatures and you have to get very good photos to be sure, but exciting to see this beast nevertheless. 

The lasting impression was not the list but the quantities. I haven't even mentioned the Shelduck, Shovelers, a few Wigeon, flocks of Black-Tailed Godwits, the many Avocets, the vast gull colony; the feeding Brents across the fields, and the 60+ Ruff, many males in splendid black and orange. One was so near even I could get some photos. Just imagine if these were taken by a decent photographer, or even someone with a basic knowledge of the settings

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