It’s 3.15 in the morning and having already stirred from my slumber I’m in the kitchen preparing my lunch ahead of the two hour journey to the Wash, much to my wife’s disgust.

By 4.15 I’m already on the road happy and full of anticipation about the day ahead. The journey is easy and event free as at that time there are hardly any cars and I don’t experience any tailbacks, it’s a lot quicker than I thought.

By 6.15 I’m on site at Frampton Marsh RSPB reserve and as I’m parking up there is already a fellow on site photographing a very tame lapwing. Within a few seconds I get my first (of many) lifers, a Black Tern is circling the Marsh Bed in front of me before heading off in the distance.

This Brummy Birder is very happy.

I knew at that moment that this is a very special place and the many birders I’ve talked too recently have said it’s a must-visit, I’m glad I took their advice. This place is incredible.

Within half an hour I’ve already clocked up many different special birds include a couple of lifers, Little Owl, Brent Goose (yes I know these are very common, but there still a lifer for me) as well as a spoonbill. I’m heading down the pathway that runs alongside the first marsh by the visitor centre and I’m clocking up flocks of Dunlin and Godwits as well as many Brent Goose & Avocets.

Spoonbill @ Frampton Marsh

Heading back towards the visitor centre I’ve clocked up at least thirty species including many Warblers and three Cuckoo. On the main road and just before the visitor centre is another lifer in the form of a Marsh Harrier.

After a quick chat with the workers and a sip of hot coffee I’m heading towards the sea bank that overlooks The Wash and I cannot believe the amount of birds that are on display. Another lifer in the form of a couple of Yellow Wags while yours truly is being buffeted by the sea wind.

The Sedge Warblers are really easy to see and capture along this pathway. Everyone here now is searching for the Red-Breasted Goose but I’m not that bothered having seen a few these past few weeks.

Sedge Warbler in full voice @ Frampton Marsh.

Along the sea bank I get an excellent view of entire reserve and it’s huge. I cannot help but think that there is no way I can do all of this in a day. Sill I carry one and greeted with not only many thousands of Gulls but a few LRPs running around the place.

There are huge amounts of Avocets on site and can be seen all over the place. They are a certainty along with the unmistakable Brent Geese.

Lone Brent Goose @ Frampton Marsh
Group of Avocets @ Frampton Marsh

Heading back towards the visitor centre as it opens at 10am I’ve already been on site a good three hours and I’m yet to pay a visit to a hide.

The first one I get too is a 360 ° one and I’m greeted with more Gulls, Godwits and some lovely Ring Plovers as well a more than a few Redshank that are numerous across the reserve. As I move back towards the Visitor centre I get to the reedbed hide and am greeted by Little Gull and a couple of Marsh Harrier.

A lovely Lifer again this time a Little Gull.

Moving on and opposite the reedbed hide is another path that leads towards another 360° hide and just before that I get a few more lifers, Ruff, Turnstone and a couple of Spotted Redshank.

Not the best quality but another lifer in this Ruff.
Redshank are all over the place here. Very hard not too spot.
Spotted Redshank in full summer plumage.
A second Spotted Redshank.

Moving back to the Visitor Centre I stop for more coffee and some lunch before carrying on back down the first pathway hoping to spot some turtle doves.

By this time I’ve been on site over six hours now and clocked up 80+ species of birds. Heading down the path I’m greeted with a Black Winged Stilt and Greenshank.

Greenshank @ Frampton Marsh

It’s now Nine hours since I arrived and I’ve decided to head home because it cannot get much better. After all my lifers for the day include Black Tern, Black Winged Stilt, Brent Goose, Cattle Egret, Knot, Little Gull, Little Owl, Marsh Harrier, Ruff, Spoonbill, Spotted Redshank, Turnstone, Woodsand and Yellow Wagtail.

I head back to the Visitor Centre to say my goodbyes and start to pack up the car when all of a sudden at the Marsh in front of the car park and I’m about to drive off home a Lesser Yellow Legs lands right in front of me. My final lifer of the day. Unfortunately everything is packed away and I’m unable to capture another blurry picture.

Out towards the sea from the sea bank.

That’s a total of 15 Lifers for the day. Thanks for indulging me and thanks to Frampton Marsh for being as spectacular as I had hoped. I will be back.

Phillip | Brummy Birder