Trip Report – Jan 13 2024 – Frampton, Deeping, Willowtree

A promise of a bit of winter sunshine saw 14 of us set off for Frampton Marsh. Surprisingly, the weather forecast was absolutely spot on with a cloudless sky and little wind. We started down by hunting down the long staying Lesser Yellow Legs. Always obliging, this busy little wader showed well in the sunshine. The group then split into two with some choosing to take a clockwise walk around the reservoir and along the sea wall. The others took the direct lane from the visitor centre. Highlights included Ringed Oliver, Peregrine, Whooper Swan, Pintail, Avocet and, at least for me, 3000 plus Golden Plover. Disturbed by the Peregrine, the Plover took to the skies and danced and shimmied, filling the deep blue sky like a shower of golden glitter ( I need to stop now, I’m filling up).

Having dried my tears, we set off for Deeping Lakes with the promise of a Long Eared Owl. A pleasant stroll led to us into a hide where we met a fellow birder who eagerly pointed out our target. Five, yes five metres to the right of the hide window sat a very relaxed owl. A magnificent sight.  We took a circular walk back and up onto the river bank and crossed paths with a local couple who kindly pointed out the Glossy Ibis! What a day we were having.

Willowtree Fen was the next stop. The small car park was busy as we arrived with birders awaiting Common Crane returning to their roost. Sure enough, and as the sun started to leave us, in they came. We saw 5 in all. Great views for a few minutes of failing light. Five Marsh Harriers then came in to add to the late display. Someone decided that one of them was a ringtail Hen Harrier but the light was virtually gone by that time so I can’t say I saw it.

A couple of our group bypassed Deeping Lakes and so, unfortunately, missed out on the Long Eared Owl and the Ibis but their early arrival at Willowtree got them a Barn Owl and a Short Eared Owl. Not a bad consolation prize.

A great day, which, hopefully can be a regular on the Club trip list.


Steve Slack


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