Sunday, 21 April 2013

Smashing springtime at Frampton Marsh

Today was the West Midland Bird Club's monthly coach trip, this time to RSPB Frampton Marsh. With spring finally arriving and a good weather forecast we had high hopes for the day, and were not disappointed! 

Frampton Marsh.
The highlight of the day was probably a female merlin tucking into her prey (we thought probably a lapwing due to the profusion of black and white feathers) on the ground in the wet meadow area. A lapwing would have been a sizeable adversary for her but as everyone knows merlins are well'ard. This must be a good spot for raptors as about 10 minutes later we also saw a female sparrowhawk doing the same thing!

Brent geese loitering.
Merlin wasn't the only winter visitor still hanging around due to the delayed onset of spring, there were also hundreds of brent geese still present. However there were many signs of spring too:

Toads! Yay!
White wagtail.
Little ringed plover.
There were plenty of new spring friends around, I saw my first sedge warbler, whitethroat and little ringed plover of the year. My favourite though was the yellow wagtails that kept popping up all over the reserve, this was actually the first time I'd seen them in this country having only seen them in Malta previously:

Yellow wagtail struts his stuff!
My camera is not great but you get the gist, and luckily he came right up to the hide giving us super views! I didn't get any photos but another highlight of the day was the brown hares that were bounding around the reserve, love seeing hares.

Some more pictures of the reserve and surroundings:

Mmm, lovely saltmarsh.

Not as yellow as a yellow wagtail.

And I did do some sketching too although it was a bit quick as there was so much to see, I didn't want to miss anything!

Sketches of black-tailed godwit, gadwall, avocet and lapwing.
I think the best that can be said is that it's an improvement at least on my previous field sketches.

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