Tuesday, 12 June 2012

A Week Near Skegness - Part One

We have just come back from a week staying in a Caravan near Skegness. (Actually 3 caravans, but that's a long story!) We took advantage of the double bank holiday to explore some of the birding sites in Lincolnshire and apart from the Sunday, when the weather was so bad we stayed tucked up in the van and watched the Thames Pageant (even then we managed an hour at Gib Point) we were out and about visiting Gibraltar Point NNR (Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust),  Frampton Marshes (RSPB), Frieston Shore (RSPB), Blacktoft Sands (RSPB) and Gunby Hall (National Trust - Not a birding visit, but of course managed to find a few!), we came back via Rutland Water where we just stopped for lunch, so we didn't go around the reserve as the weather was awful yet again!

We started off on the Saturday by spending the day at Gib Point. Firstly I have to say this is a great place with a wide variety of habitats, scrapes, pools, reed beds, salt marsh, estuary, grassy dunes and beach. The only draw back was the weather! But that wasn't the LWTs fault, well I don't think it was!

On arrival we went to visitor centre and had a coffee of course,there the recent sightings board showed that there had been a Spoonbill there that morning, but as we had had a lie in, (another integral part of our trips is to catch up on some Zeds!!) we didn't give it a thought, until we sat down in the first hide (Jackson Hide) and there it was, our first bird of the trip and it was lifer! You can't ask for better than that. It was a fair distance away across the pools, but unmistakable: For the record a really poor long shot:
After about ten minutes it upped and left, that's how lucky we were! As it departed towards the coast it came a little closer, so got a slightly better if somewhat grainy shot:
So what else did Gib have to offer that day: loads of Avocet, Curlew, Shelduck and Black Headed Gull, plus some Redshank, Common Tern and Little Plover. We bagged 37 species for the afternoon, with 2 Short Eared Owls hunting over the dunes just before we left. Just a few other pics for the day:
Little Egret Hunting

There were about 20-30 avocets around the various pools

Loads of Rabbits around the dunes

Redshank Flypast!
Oh and how could I forget to mention a Muntjac!
As I said earlier day 2 (Sunday) was a wash out so we enjoyed watching boats on the Thames and chilling out for a change. We did nip out about 4ish as the rain had stopped, to Gib Point for an hour as it was only 15 minutes away by car. From the hides we didn't pick up anything new but after walking the Grass dunes and being stared down by some Dexter Cows (I just kept thinking Sunday dinner!) we came surprisingly across a lonely Pink Footed Goose lurking in the long grass. We then retired back to the van as the weather was turning nasty again for G&T and a bottle of Old Peculiar before Tea!

So day 3 we headed down the coast through Boston (Traffic was a pain, it should have only taken about 35 minutes, it took us nearly an hour) to Frampton Marsh. The weather improved a bit when we got there and the sun came out! Another great place, nice warm visitor centre with friendly RSPB volunteers. The visit got off to a good start again with Yellowhammer,,Tree Sparrows, Goldfinch, Greenfinch and Tits at the feeders visible through the visitor centre window, whilst we had our first coffee! The visitor centre has great views across the lagoon, where Avocets, Lapwings and all manner of Ducks were showing, plus vast numbers of Hirundinidae and Swifts were to be seen.

There are number of good walks around the lagoons and meadows so we opted to walk around the lagoons visiting all the hides en route. Just a few highlights:

You looking at me?

Britain has got the Ahhh Factor!

Tree Sparrows Hanging Out

By Gad.. its a Little Egret

The real thing was better!


Sedge Warbler, first one for 2012

1 comment:

  1. Glad you guys managed to connect with the Spoonbill...they are such stunning but odd looking birds!