Frampton Marsh – 15 Jul 2018

Alan's Ramblings

On our way home from our Norfolk Birding Weekend, Helen and I couldn’t just drive past Frampton Marsh – a reserve that we’ve visited a good many times previously and enjoyed so much!

The weather has been oppressively-hot all weekend, and once again today it was up around 30°C on arrival at the reserve. If anything it felt even hotter here, away from the coastal breeze which took the edge off the temperatures at Titchwell.

Helen and I decided against walking the perimeter of the sea wall which separates the main marsh from the salt-marsh and the Wash today. A visit to the 360° Hide would be more than sufficient in this heat.

Godwits Black-tailed Godwits feeding on the lagoon.

On my last visit to Frampton, in April, I had spent much of my time in the 360° Hide facing North-East, watching numerous waders, including Little Ringed Plover and Ringed-Plover quite…

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Cley Marsh and Titchwell Marsh (again!) – 14 Jul 2018

Alan's Ramblings

The second day of our Norfolk Birding Weekend took us on a return visit to Cley Marsh, about twenty miles Eastwards along the North Norfolk coast from Titchwell Marsh. And if Helen and I had though it was a hot day yesterday at Titchers, well today was even hotter still! 30°C at around 11am, with no breeze whatsoever. Phew!

We quickly decided that we wouldn’t be able to visit all of the reserve today and prioritised going to visit the cluster of three distinctive thatch-roofed hides which provide views over the main marsh.

The walk from the main car park to the hides is on a board-walk through a very high reedbed – mostly about 6-8 feet tall. On the way we had heard a variety of small bird song from within the reeds, but had had no sightings. It was quite oppressive walking to the hides in the heat…

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Fewer Spotted Redshanks


blog stalkingIt’s usually a good day if you see a Spotted Redshank in Britain or Ireland. How about a flock of 60?

On 27 July 1975, I was fortunate to be part of a Wash Wader Ringing Group cannon-netting team that caught 60 Spotted Redshanks at Terrington, on the Lincolnshire border of Norfolk. When we fired the nets, we knew that there were some Spotted Redshanks in the catching area but, as these birds were part of a mixed catch of 414, most of which were Redshank and Dunlin, the total number of these elegant ‘shanks came as a very welcome surprise. Why so many, what did we learn about Spotted Redshanks and what do we know now?

How to catch Spotted Redshanks

blog water groupThe spring of 1975 was very wet in East Anglia, with twice the annual monthly rain as is normal in April. Pools formed in fields, seed failed to…

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Fall Migration Begins – Malibu Lagoon, 22 July, 2018


Young Brown Pelican (L. Loeher 7-22-18)

Parking was jammed on Pacific Coast Highway and in the park’s car lot, an early indication that we were part way through yet another week – or longer – of triple-digit temperatures. The beach was crowded; surfers covered what few waves leisurely rolled in. At 11am our car claimed it was only 79° but it felt hotter. A half-hour later it was 104° as we crept through Woodland Hills in the San Fernando Valley. But enough about global warming.

About 40 people showed up for the 8:30am walk and another 30 for the 10am parents and kids walk. Several were new to birding. This is a good trip for new birders because: we take our time, we loan binoculars, free checklist!, ask all the questions you want, short walking distance, nice views, most of the birds (ducks, waders, shorebirds) don’t move quickly and you…

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