Weekday and Weekend Walks, and Weekend Coach Outings

Gibraltar Point Field Station 2014
WEEKEND away

Date: Friday 10 October 2014 13:00 to Sunday 12 October 2014 14:00

Details:

All roads lead to Boston, but due to road works, it took a long time to get out again!  Having done so, some of the 27 people making the annual pilgrimage to Gibraltar Point arrived at The Castle pub, Freiston, for lunch. In this agricultural land of plenty, they had run out of jacket potatoes!

Pink-Footed Geese, Ruff and plovers had been seen at RSPB Frampton Marsh in the morning and after lunch, we stopped at RSPB Freiston Shore before going on to Skegness.  A fortuitous chat in the car park, as we watched Tree Sparrows, led us to a Grey Phalarope. Then, as we walked back, a Crow feeding on part of a Mallard.   Brent Geese, Little Grebe, Little Egret, distant Knot and a Marsh Harrier were among those seen before we continued our journey. 

Crown Hotel at dawnThe Crown Hotel is only a few minutes drive from Gibraltar Point National Nature Reserve. After settling into our rooms, we had our evening meal, including a birthday celebration, before adjourning to the bar.

On a pre-breakfast walk to the coast on Saturday morning, braving an incoming tide, Swallows, House Martins, a ‘cloud’ of Knot or Starlings were spotted …. and a Kestrel – “flying under the moon” (which was still very visible) …  and at Gibraltar Point - a Merlin, Pink-Footed Geese and Blackcap.

Breakfast over, we descended on Gibraltar Point for the day, many donning wellingtons (handy when paddling back from the beach!). Some headed for the shore as others first visited the hides. Mosquitoes were constant companions as we wandered through the autumnal landscape with its larder of berries ready for the winter migrants.

From a viewing platform, Oystercatcher, Great Black-blacked Gull and waders were picked out…. a Weasel thought twice about running past us, but found another route and Skylarks sang.

More mammals including Hare, Roe Deer and Rabbits were also spied and a colony of seals basked on a distant sandbank.   Goldfinches swirled in “charming murmurations” over the marsh and many ducks, geese and waders were present including Shelduck, Teal, Curlew, Redshank, Black-tailed Godwit and Dunlin.  A real treat, for those lucky enough to see them, were the 18 Whooper Swans.

Kestrels hovered, a Barn Owl had a close call, Goldcrests flitted through the firs…… and a patient Kingfisher provided a nice photo opportunity.   

There had been a 50% chance of rain, and a few spots fell at lunchtime, but the weather remained fine until late afternoon when we were back in the hotel. Where, having again adjourned to the bar after dinner, we worked on the lists of birds seen (thanks to Sandy Studd for compiling).

Early morning fog on Sunday was burnt off by the time we checked out after breakfast. Those who re-visited the reserve in bright sunshine had a second chance of seeing the Spoonbills.  A Water Rail popped out of the reeds right in front of a hide, Lapwings mocked a Buzzard, and a Green Sandpiper was also in clear view.

By lunchtime, having had a good weekend, most, if not all of us, were on our return journey.  Some stopped at Willington seeking a reported Hoopoe, but the bird had flown.

Grateful thanks go to Linda and Brian Reeve for liaising with the hotel and making the arrangements for our visit.

Thanks also to the helpful and friendly staff at The Crown Hotel.

Sandra        

Click Here to see our photos from Frampton Marsh and Freiston Shore

Click Here to see our photos from Gibraltar Point

 

List of birds seen or heard

Gibraltar Point weekend Frampt. Freist. Gib. Pt Gib. Pt
   10th am 10th pm 11th 12th
  Sunny Sunny Sunny Sunny
Mute Swan
Whooper Swan    
Pink-footed Goose  
Greylag Goose
Canada Goose
Barnacle Goose      
Brent Goose
Shelduck  
Wigeon
Gadwall
Teal
Mallard
Pintail      
  Frampt. Freist. Gib. Pt Gib. Pt
Shoveler
Tufted Duck  
Eider      
Pheasant   Heard
Red-throated Diver      
Gannet      
Cormorant
Little Egret
Grey Heron  
Spoonbill    
Little Grebe
Marsh Harrier  
Sparrow­­hawk
Common Buzzard      
Kestrel
Merlin      
Water Rail      
Moorhen
  Frampt. Freist. Gib. Pt Gib. Pt
Coot
Avocet      
Oyster­catcher    
Golden Plover    
Grey Plover    
Lapwing
Ringed Plover  
Curlew
Black-tailed Godwit
Bar-tailed Godwit      
Turnstone    
Knot  
Ruff  
Sanderling    
Dunlin    
Grey Phalarope    
Spotted Redshank    
Greenshank    
  Frampt. Freist. Gib. Pt Gib. Pt
Redshank
Snipe    
Black-headed Gull  
Common Gull      
Lesser Black-backed Gull      
Herring Gull    
Great Black-backed Gull    
Stock Dove    
Wood Pigeon
Collared Dove    
Barn Owl    
Kingfisher  
Great Spotted Woodpecker    
Magpie
Jay      
Jackdaw  
Rook      
Carrion Crow
  Frampt. Freist. Gib. Pt Gib. Pt
Goldcrest    
Blue Tit
Great Tit  
Skylark
Swallow    
House Martin
Cetti's Warbler Heard      
Long-tailed Tit    
Chiffchaff      
Willow Warbler      
Blackcap    
Reed Warbler     Heard  
Treecreeper    
Wren  
Starling
Blackbird
Song Thrush    
Robin  
  Frampt. Freist. Gib. Pt Gib. Pt
Stonechat    
Wheatear    
Dunnock  
House Sparrow    
Tree Sparrow      
Pied Wagtail  
Meadow Pipit
Chaffinch  
Brambling      
Greenfinch    
Goldfinch
Linnet
Reed Bunting    
Corn Bunting      
         
99 Bird Species        
         
Other wildlife        
Brown Hare        
Rabbit        
Stoat        
Weasel        
Roe Deer        
Chinese Water Deer        
Seals        
         
27 People