Mon 8th Aug 2016
Our Monday jaunt saw us at Freiston again, the pec we discovered last week was still enjoying itself on the reservoir, probing and pec-ing continuously. It must be really well fed and ready for off to who knows where. Keeping it company were a few greenshanks, black-tailed godwit, dunlins, common sandpiper and lapwings.
Along the wetland trail track, towards the reservoir there were a lot of small birds, early morning. Several bright yellow juvenile willow warblers looked immaculate. Tree sparrows seem to have done very well here , with many juveniles. Yellow wagtails fed around the cattle. Best of all here, a smart female whinchat, our first of the autumn, showed very nicely.
Before leaving the wetland trail we witnessed a hobby in pursuit of a hirundine, great to watch. A lone pink-footed goose chomped on the grass.
Next we went to the hide where Alison, a good birder that I’ve bumped into a few times at Kirkby, had an arctic tern lined up for us, right in front of the hide. Over a hundred common terns ensured we kept searching for other species. Some of the terns here are still hatching young, in fact I noticed an egg next to two baby terns.
The tide was at it’s peak and scores of waders rested on the lagoon islands. Mainly redshanks and oystercatchers, the flocks also held quite a few turnstones and ringed plovers, a couple of knot and plenty of dunlins. Alison was in form as she picked out a spotted redshank.
The sea was next, Alison came with us to the seawatching hide. Whimbrels were calling and flew around in the saltmarsh. A super flock of about 350 bar-tailed godwits showed well on the shore and in flight. A handful of grey plovers included a couple still in summer plumage- smart! there were lots of curlews, too.
Seawatching was poor, shame the wind was in the wrong direction. A couple of distant gannets, an even more distant skua and a couple of great crested grebes were seen along with one or two little terns. There were dozens of common terns fishing, some way, way out. Some could have been arctics. We only noted one sandwich tern.
Close inshore were 14 eiders and, surprisingly for early August, 16 brent geese.
Back at the lagoon again, a marsh harrier and a buzzard put in an appearance. The arctic tern was still there and a juv little tern had joined the commons.
The whinchat boosted my Lincs yearlist to 215 (BOU), 220 (UK400).