Friday 25 July 2014

Year Listing

I had a phone call from my owling buddy Paul in the week, saying that he was having a few days off, and that when he had finished decorating the kitchen for Dame Gaynor [Pauls wife] he was at a loose end....... so, after a brief discussion it was decided we would head for Frampton Marsh in Lincolnshire so Paul could add a few ticks to his year list. On Thursday at 6am, we were on our way. A quick brekki stop in Boston at Macky D's, then on to the marsh. On arriving and walking down the track you could see that the return migration for the waders had really started - there were hundreds of Black-tailed Godwits. We picked up a Ruff - a year tick for Paul - before heading for the 360 hide to hopefully get a few photographic opportunities. There were lots of waders about - Avocets and a few chicks, Greenshank and Redshank, L.R Plover - all new ticks for Paul - and over 40 Little Egrets. Whilst talking to a couple of mates we bumped into on our way to the next hide, Paul picked up a Glossy Ibis in flight - a nice bird, but sadly not a new tick for him. The next hide was much of the same, so back to the centre for a coffee. The warden there pointed us in the right direction for Turtle Dove not far away, so off we went in search of them. More or less as soon as we got there, Paul picked up on a bird in flight and it did the right thing and landed in clear view for us, down an hedgerow - too far for any images, but we did find another Turtle Dove as they called to each other. I can't remember the last time I saw Turtle Dove in the UK! It was then a short drive to Frieston Shore. The water levels here were really low and not much about - mostly Oystercathers and a few Avocets.  I did pick up a small wader across the far side, which turned out to be a Knot.  Paul picked a little flock of 6 Common Sandpipers and  I found a Whimbrel flying towards us, though it never landed near the hide. We did see it on another couple of occasions in flight though. We also saw  Marsh Harrier and Kestrel here -  the first and only raptors of the day; also 3 Green sandpipers appeared from nowhere and flew over the embankment to feed. As it was low tide, what we thought was a scrape being a bit sparse,  turned out to be a good couple of hours, and all in all a good day out! We had getting on for 50 species, and Paul added a few ticks to his year list. Below are few images from the day
Avocet Chick

Action shot Black-tailed Godwit

Black-tailed Godwit with a snack



Hope you have enjoyed your visit!!!

Sunday 6 July 2014

Boxing Clever

I was out with my mate Paul this weekend to start renumbering all the boxes and amending the records; this means now that all the boxes have a small disc which has a number engraved on it, which we stick to the front of the box. This then makes it easier for Paul, when he returns home, to know which boxes we have been to, instead of trying to remember which site/ who's land it's on/ where exactly the box is |(as some farms have more than one box), and whats happening at the box during the breeding season. We also keep information on what state the box is in, and whether it is in need of repair etc. Going around the boxes, we came across quite a few of the juveniles which we had ringed in the middle of June.... wow! how much they have grown!.... two have already fledged at one site, and it will not be long before all the others are on the wing. At one of our sites, Paul was taking the ladder in, and two of the juveniles which were roosting on the beams in the barn took flight - one flew to a hedge and disappeared, the other decided not to fly too far and landed in the field more or less in front of us - just enough time for an image!
Note the ring on the birds right leg

Pity about the grass in front of it's lovely face

We carried on and numbered a total of 16 boxes. At our last site of the day,we have both a Barn and Little Owl box; although this place is perfect, for some reason, neither Paul or I have ever seen an owl here until today - as Paul pulled the landrover into the barn, there on top of the barn owl box sat a juvenile Little Owl - result!! another new site for Paul! On the way back home, Paul stopped off at one of his reliable sites for Little Owl, and we were not disappointed as a juvenile appeared just long enough for an image. We did hear the adult calling, but it stayed well hidden. All in all, another good day
Not a brilliant image but a record shot of the Little Owl at the newest site
The last Owl of the day

Hope you have enjoyed your visit