Saturday, April 10, 2010

Easter 2010 - Easter Sunday

Back at Frieston shores then, again fewer birds than a couple of years back. The Avocet of yesterday had moved on too. A lone Black-tailed Godwit, moulting into summer/breeding plumage, was having a nap near the car park:



A flock of Dunlin flew in as the tide outside the reserve reached its peak:

video

Before settling:

video

We really do like Frieston Shores and will be regular visitors in the future. From there we decided to try our luck, it being grey, cold and windy (the theme of the week thus far though much better than the continual heavy rainfall forecast) and visit Frampton Marshes, another RSPB reserve.

To our surprise a visitors' centre had been built and was opened, and holds loos and sold tea! Perfect. I'm looking forward to taking delivery of the updated 'Where to Watch Birds in Britain' when it's published this summer, hopefully it will include much needed updates such as this.

From the first hide we visited, we enjoyed very close views of Little-ringed Plover:



Here browsing for food:

video

We picked up from the other birders in the hide that a flock of Twite were about, later than expected, so set-off around the reserve to locate them too. At the farthest hide we enjoyed seeing migrant White Wagtails, currently listed as a sub-species of the Pied Wagtail, so we can't count it as a distinct species in our records:



Heading back to the 360 hide, we finally did encounter Twite, though surprisingly a lone bird:



Seeing this bird, and later the flock, makes me suspect that the sighting we recorded in 2008 was more than likely a Meadow Pipit, so having a firm sighting and a photo to back it up is good.

As an aside I have recently converted all my lists to latin to deduplicate the species that are present in different continents but with different local names (e.g. Kentish Plover in Europe, Snowy Plover in the USA) to make sure that the lists are completely accurate. I have also removed any sightings that don't have evidence to back them up or that on reflection may have been incorrect. This had the effect of reducing somewhat our UK list and quiet notably our life list, though at least both of these are now accurate based upon the current naming and classification conventions, until that is they change.

Back at the 360 hide a lone Dunlin was close enough to photograph, unlike the Common Ringed Plover that remained just too far away:



Helen took this view from one of the hides, as yes, some sunshine finally graced the holiday:



It's amazing how uplifting a really good reserve combined with a few decent sightings and a spot of pleasant weather can be :)

Our last stop of the day as we headed to our next hotel, the Premier Inn at Kings Lynn, was the Roydon LWT reserve. Unfortunately at this time of year it is mostly a bog, with the paths submerged. We managed to get mildly lost as a consequence and enjoyed navigating our way back out of the wood/bog before heading on to the hotel.

We did get to add one more bird to the holiday list though, a Marsh Tit, identified primarily by its song:



The next part of the holiday then is East Anglia proper, starting in Norfolk and concluding in Suffolk.

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