Another afternoon of survey on The Wash, preceded by a short visit to Frampton Marsh RSPB reserve, where the Spoonbills were again absent. This was more than made up for by a couple of Little Stint who were feeding on a couple of scraper (see extra). These tiny waders are very charismatic and beautiful, still retaining some of the chestnut hues of their late summer plumage. I was rather distracted for some of the time as we bumped into a botanical friend, who I'd last seen in January. There were air hugs involved!
Our survey stretch was from Wrangle to Leverton. We drove down through a farm to Wrangle Pumping Station, which was very helpful and saved a lot of walking. I then went north, along a rough, ungrazed bank, skirting a breach dating back to 2013. A new section of bank had been constructed inland, and the resulting area of mud and young saltmarsh held a variety of waders including some fine Grey Plover (see extra). I was also lucky to spot a Merlin hunting over the saltmarsh.
I met up with Chris again at Old Leake, where we visited an old fried who owns the cottage at the end of Sea Lane. She wasn't able to offer us a cup of tea as the electricity was off, but fortunately we both had our own flasks of coffee!
Time was getting on so we both headed south from there towards Leverton. After a few hundered metres I headed back to fetch the car, and Chris continued south to the Leverton Pumping Station. I meandered back to the car, watching a group of Whooper Swans on the edge of the marsh, and skeins of Pink-footed geese flying high overhead. The bank in this section has recently been re-built and the borrow pits behind supported a fine assemblage of saltwort, which glowed in the low evening sun (see extra).
It was after 7 p.m. when I picked Chris up from Leverton PS - I was rather miffed because he'd had excellent views of a Short-eared Owl just before I arrived- the first of the winter. We then set off for home - I arrived back just after 8, and was greeted by a wonderful vegetarian Indian meal cooked by Pete, Ben and Sarah. Much better than a takeaway!!
- Canon EOS 70D