Sunday, March 30, 2008

(not) Spring 08 holiday, day 2

We decided to start day 2 by heading back to Freiston Shore and see what was about because it wasn't raining and because from here heading on to Gibraltar point wouldn't prove too tricky. Note to self: to avoid being stuck in traffic for an hour, don't drive through Boston during the working day, therefore book accommodation to the North of the town on the next visit!

On arrival this Curlew was showing well from the car park:















The bird's plumage was very crisp and I love the fact that its bill is open, click on the pic for more detail.

After a while it took off and I caught it (nearly in focus!) as it flew past:




















We walked to the hide to watch the birds coming and going for a while. Almost immediately this (Greater) White-fronted Goose landed on the island in front of the hide:















We've only seen these birds at some distance before so seeing it up close was a real treat. The goose wandered about on the small island browsing for food, and disturbed this Snipe, which had probably been asleep:















We certainly hadn't seen it, yet it can only have been three metres away, which shows just how good their camouflage is! Having been 'flushed' into plain view the bird promptly resumed its slumber:

















We decided to head to Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve (http://www.lincstrust.org.uk/reserves/gib/), both for lunch and to have a walk around the reserve. It is a huge reserve but the tide was a long way out, the light poor and the wind blowing, so no photographs worthy of sharing. We do however intend to visit the reserve again in an April, as I suspect there will be many more birds around. One disturbing feature was a major shoot occuring on farmland adjacent to the reserve, which tends to depress any walk as you cannot escape the continual sound of gunfire and its obvious consequences on the local wildlife, directly and indirectly.

As the day wore on we headed back (again!) to Freiston Shore in time for the roost. We'd timed our holiday (accidentally) well as the time spent in Lincolnshire and the first two days in Norfolk coincided with Spring Tides, driving more birds into the roost than would normally occur.

We started off in the hide again, with this Knot foraging very close up:















and another Redshank:















The birds started to move into the roost in flocks, here you can see Dunlin landing in the roost, already comprising Dunlin and Oystercatchers:















The light was much better on this second evening so the photographs are sharper with more individuals in focus:















We really do rate Freiston Shore, it's a wonderful nature reserve and one to which we will return regularly.

On the way back to the B&B for our last night in Lincolnshire we spotted this Barn Owl quartering a field:









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