So 3rd time lucky.....
Decided to stay local today and went to Gunby Hall a nearby National Trust property. A lovely place with great grounds and walled gardens, with quite a bit of bird life too.
Birding wise we saw our one and only Buzzard of the week, I never realised to I looked at the books that they were not so common this far east. We added a Kestrel, a Moorhen on the Carp pond. The walled garden though was a haven for small birds; Finches, Tits, Swallows and Pied Wagtail. The most rewarding being when we stopped to sit on a bench and get out the flask, we saw a pair of Blue Tits ferrying insects into a hole in the wall over our heads:
|We have lift off...|
|There's always house work to do!|
So as the weather wasn't as bad as forecast we decided to have a couple of hours back at Gib Point. We were glad we did as we spotted two Little Gulls on Tennyson's Sands, so another new species for us. Just a few highlights from the hides:
|Hiding out of the rain, but we can see you!|
|Avocet mobbing 2 Little Egrets (he nearly took the first ones head off, hence its tucked up!)|
|Oh Deer, you've seen me! (Sorry!)|
We left the hides and decided to walk along the edge of the Old Saltmarsh, but the weather had deteriorated again and there wasn't much about.
An earlyish start for us, as this looked like a reasonable weather day, we had decided to go further afield. Up to Flamborough, via Blacktoft Sands. But because of the roads, traffic and tractors it took us much longer to get to Blacktoft than planned and that was the half way point, so we decided to stay put for the day.
After chatting with a warden to see where was best to go, he said all the hides had something to offer, but there was a Marsh Warbler displaying near the Singleton Hide, just off the path and that you couldn't miss where because:
|It's behind you!|
Or Avocets seeing off all comers (what a gutsy bird):
|Taking on a Marsh Harrier|
|and teaming up to see off a family of Swans|
|The Marsh Harries never came very close, the Avocets saw to that!|
So did we see the Marsh Warbler.... of course we did! We just happened to pop out of the hide when it decided to show, it stayed for about 10 minutes then disappeared again. So did we, too much else to see! A smart Warbler but I'm glad we didn't stand around for hours waiting for it!
We love Blacktoft.... 10/10!
Today we decide to Visit Frieston Shore (RSPB) and Frampton again.
Frieston is a smallish reserve with a Lagoon and Salt Marshes, the lagoon turned out be Black-headed Gull central, the noise was deafening and we have never seen so many chicks in one place!
No trip though is complete without an Oystercatcher photo:
|Having a bath, but if he waits an hour he can have a shower!|
We went for a walk around the lagoon and looked out over the marshes, but it was all fairly quiet. We did see Skylark and Reed Bunting showing off and of course more Avocets on the scrapes. As the weather was starting to look nasty, we decided to leg it back to the car and head a bit further down the coast to Frampton where we know there's a nice warm visitor centre.
Just on the road as we approached Frampton we cam across this juvenile Pheasant, we just hope his parents were around:
As we pulled up at Frampton the heavens opened and we dashed into the visitor centre, with the flasks and had a coffee, whilst we watched the Yellowhammer under the feeder and the Finches and Tree Sparrows on the feeders. Because of the weather it was much quieter than when we came earlier in the week, we did brave the rain and head out to the 360º Hide as this has the best views across the reserve.
There was plenty about if you scanned the scrapes and islets, it was just finding them. We did see (aptly) a pair of Water Pipits, which were nice they didn't seem to mind the weather to much, but everything else was settled down to keep as warm as possible:
|A very wet Lapwing|
|Common Tern with a Little Gull in the background|
|Competition Time: Spot the Bird|
After packing up we paid a last visit to Gib Point, the weather again conspired against us and there was even less about than our previous visits, although the US Air Force cheered me up as two F-15s dropped out of the cloud over the reserve, heading off to RAF Lakenheath I would guess. This has whetted my appetite for this weekend and the RAF Cosford airshow, but the weather again isn't looking great.
So off home via Rutland Water, never been here before and we didn't realise how big the reserve is, so we opted just to have a late lunch in the viewing gallery over the visitor centre as again it was raining and we didn't have time to do it justice. Apart from the usual Geese and Ducks we did see 2 Egyptian Geese just outside the centre, so that was nice. Then it was off for the last hour and a half drive home.
So our full list for the week:
|Species||Gib Point||Frampton||Gunby Hall||Frieston||Blacktoft||Rutland|
|Great Black-backed Gull||x||x|
|Great Crested Grebe||x||x||x|
|Great White Egret||x|
|Lesser Black-backed Gull||x|
|Little Ringed Plover||x||x|