A new tour showcasing the wonderful wetlands of Lincolnshire & Rutland where birding hotspots such as Frampton Marsh & Leiston Shore RSPB, Gibraltar Point and Rutland Water offer superb opportunities in early Autumn.
With species such as Curlew Sandpipers, Little Stints, Arctic Skua, Little Gulls, Western Osprey, Eurasian Hobby, Eurasian Spoonbill, Garganey, European Pied Flycatcher, Common Redstart plus the chance of a rarity such as Black Stork, Barred Warbler, Common Rosefinch and Pacific Golden Plover which were all seen in early September 2021. Our accommodation is ideally placed for all the birding sites which should produce some excellent early autumn birding!
Tour Leader: Steve Grimwade
Maximum Group Size: 7
From our base in Essex with possible pickups on route we head north to the fantastic RSPB reserve at Frampton Marsh. This amazing wetland reserve was created from arable fields in 2007 and is now one of the best birding sites for waders and wildfowl in the UK! The numerous scrapes and flooded areas provide feeding and roosting places for waders such as Little Stint, Curlew Sandpiper, Little Ringed Plover, Pied Avocet, Black-tailed Godwit, Spotted Redshank, Ruff and Common Greenshank amongst others and the network of paths and hides give amazing views.
Eurasian Spoonbills regularly visit and all these waders and wildfowl attract good numbers of raptors including Peregrine Falcon, Eurasian Hobby, Eurasian Sparrowhawk, Western Marsh Harrier and in early autumn Merlin and Short-eared Owl are often seen hunting on the saltmarsh. The reserve also boasts a visitor centre and a new café which was opened in late summer 2022 and this will give us the chance to get some refreshment after a good day’s birding.
We arrive at our accommodation early evening and settle down for our evening meal.
After a good breakfast we drive north to the famous seaside resort of Skegness and then south to Gibraltar Point National nature reserve. Situated at the northern mouth of The Wash, this peninsular of land attracts migrants as they move south from northern areas. In suitable conditions, the bushes and scrub can often harbour Whinchat, European Pied Flycatcher, Willow Warbler, Eurasian Blackcap, Northern Wheatear, Common Redstart and the chance of something scarcer.
The beaches and coast are great places for roosting waders, terns, gulls and wildfowl and Common and Sandwich Terns often attract the attention of Arctic Skua. Little Gulls move south through the area in early autumn and the first returning Dark-bellied Brent Geese rest on the shores after their long journey west from their Siberian breeding grounds.
Slightly inland there are a variety of scrapes and pools which are great feeding spots for hundreds of Black-tailed Godwits plus Ruff, Common Redshank, Little Ringed Plover and the occasional Little Stint, Wood Sandpiper or Curlew Sandpiper. As with Frampton Marsh, Eurasian Spoonbills are numerous in autumn and can often number over 20 individuals. There is also an excellent visitor centre and café offering amazing views from the rooftop.
Today we head to Rutland Water, England’s second largest man-made reservoir and home to good numbers of migrant and resident species which makes it an ideal location for an early autumn visit.
Western Ospreys will be preparing for the long journey to their African wintering grounds and Red Kites glide over the surrounding woodlands. With over 30 hides to visit there is plenty to keep us occupied! The many lagoons situated around the reserve are a great place to see migrant waders including Wood Sandpiper, Little Stint, Common and Green Sandpipers and the occasional rarity. Yellow-legged Gulls frequent the reservoir and hirundines such as Barn Swallow, Common House Martin and Sand Martin feed before making their southbound journeys.
After breakfast we drive the short distance to Freiston Shore RSPB reserve, an area of saline lagoons, wet grassland and scrub that is home to resident Eurasian Tree Sparrows plus a healthy population of Yellowhammer. Eurasian Spoonbills commute between the reserve and Frampton Marsh RSPB reserve and if there are high tides, it is a good place to watch waders roosting including Black-tailed Godwits, Common Redshank, Eurasian Oystercatchers and Pied Avocets amongst others.
The scrub attract migrants that may include Common Redstart, Whinchat, Northern Wheatear, Western Yellow Wagtail and maybe we will be lucky enough to find Eurasian Wryneck or Red-backed Shrike! After lunch we make the journey southwards after what will have been an excellent tour!
Full board accommodation for 3 nights
Full guiding throughout
Drinks and items of a personal nature
Lunch on day 1
Relaxed, two to three miles walking per day
Expect between 110 and 130 species
Tour Cost: £850
Single Supplement: £90