• Visit to Cliffe Pools by RSPB East Surrey Local Group

    The RSPB East Surrey Local Group had a successful day at Cliffe Pools recently and got in touch to share their sightings.

    Some of the highlights of the day were raptors.  They were showing well with 5 Marsh Harriers, 2 Buzzards,1 Peregrine, 2 Sparrow Hawks and a Kestrel.

    Ducks included 5 Goldeneye, 9-10 Pintail, Gadwall, Widgeon, Teal, Potchard and Tufted.

    Waders - good numbers of lapwings in which there were 3 Golden…

    • 15 Mar 2016
  • Walking in a winter wonderland...

    It was a pleasure to read my first email of the day!  It was from a local chap, new to birdwatching, and keen to share with us his experiences when visiting Northward Hill and Cliffe Pools Nature Reserves yesterday.  Thank you Tim Harris for writing to us and for allowing us to publish this for others to see.

    The day was grey with the odd bright patch and the continual threat of a shower. Very mild for December and a slight…

    • 15 Dec 2015
  • Visit to Cliffe Pools - Friday 21 August 2015

    Blog by Eric Brown

    CLIFFE POOLS - Friday 21 August 2015

    Group - Tony Dunstan, Eric Brown, Phil Cliffe

    Weather - cloudy warm turning hot in the afternoon .Temp. 24-27C. SW breeze.

    Time : 1040 - 1600 hrs.


    We slowly slalomed around a host of potholes towards the observation mound speculating on how many more winters it would be before the black barn track becomes completely impassable to vehicles less robust than tractors…

    • 24 Aug 2015
  • Visit to Cliffe Pools and Northward Hill


    Eric Brown, Phil Cliffe, Janet Newiss

    Weather: cloudy but warm 18c to 23c

    9.50am to 3.45pm

    Defied gloomy BBC website forecasts of heavy showers for the second successive week and were rewarded with another rain-free day. Highlights at Cliffe included the appearance of a black-winged stilt on the black barn pools and a brown cuckoo, possible juvenile or brown morph female, near…

    • 15 Jul 2015
  • Cliffe Pools Recent Sightings

    For details of the latest recorded sightings at Cliffe Pools please use the link below to the Kent Ornithological society website:


    • 13 Jul 2015
  • A bird's point of view

    Each year, on or around March 13th, I take a flight in a small microlight aircraft, called a Flexwing, over the Thames Estuary; I have just completed that flight.

    This is the fourth year on the trot that I have enjoyed a bird's perspective of the North Kent marshes, and it is really only from 1,000ft that one can appreciate fully the incredible work of the RSPB's volunteers and staff.

    The nature reserves are…

    • 16 Mar 2015
  • Ecological Enhancement of RSPB Cliffe Pools Southern Lagoons

    The RSPB is working in partnership with Boskalis Westminster (one of the most experienced dredging and marine contracting companies in the UK) to enhance the ecology of RSPB Cliffe Pools. A joint planning application has been submitted to Medway Council so we can import suitable material to shallow the pools so they are more attractive to the internationally important wildlife that uses the site. We have been doing this…

    • 11 Mar 2015
  • Christmas is coming...

    And so the count down begins.  During the Christmas period many of the RSPB staff will be taking a well earned rest but the reserves remain open for you to walk off the Christmas turkey and mince pies.  If you wish to visit Cliffe Pools during the holiday season you may find on occasions that the car park is closed.  Please do not let this deter you, as you can still enter the reserve by foot.  We would ask that you park…

    • 19 Dec 2014
  • Cliffe Pools smashes UK record for avocets

    On Sunday September 14th, local ornithologist Murray Orchard counted 2,450 avocets roosting on the high tide at RSPB Cliffe Pools. This beats the UK record by more then 400 birds and accounts for one third of all the avocets that spend the off-season in this country.

    This spring Cliffe also accommodated 124 breeding pairs of avocets, the largest colony counted in the UK.

    So, summer or winter, RSPB Cliffe Pools is c…

    • 16 Sep 2014
  • Threat to Lodge Hill SSSI sets national precedent

    Medway Council’s Planning Committee has voted unanimously in favour of the Lodge Hill Outline Planning Application to destroy the site that is now a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest. It was frankly a pathetic sight to witness a Planning Committee convince its self of what it wants, hiding behind a thin veil of understanding when quite clearly councillors had failed to understand the environmental risks.…

    • 5 Sep 2014
  • 50+ species reported so far this week

    We have received a great list of species for Cliffe Pools this week, some  from our own volunteers based at North Kent Marshes and also from Margaret Bailey visiting the area from her home in Bedfordshire. Included in the sightings are: Avocet, coot, little egret, mallard, pochard, litte grebe, great crested grebe, lapwing, marsh harrier, starling, great tit, black headed gull, crow, lesser black backed gull, widgeon,…

    • 29 Aug 2014
  • Bird count taken on Sunday 24th August

    Murray Orchard, a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic birder and volunteer of the RSPB, conducted a bird count at Cliffe Pools on Sunday 24th August confirming the following sightings:

    Avocet 1,425 (Flaming Pool / Ski Pool), black tailed godwit 875 (Ski Pool / Black Barn Pool),  common redshank 166 (Elf Pool / Conoco Pool), grey plover 48 (Ski Pool / Flamingo Pool), black tailed godwit 1 (Ski Pool),  dunlin 27 (Ski Pool)…

    • 26 Aug 2014
  • Cliffe Cafe now open

    Our neighbours at Buckland Lake Reserve have worked hard to restore the old chalk quarry for public use.

    The lakes have been a venue for fishing for some years now - including access for the disabled.

    Tamsin, Gina and Doug have now realised the next step in their vision for the site, opening the Cliffe Cafe. Located on the main road to RSPB Cliffe Pools it is perfectly located for visitors to our nature reserve to swing…

    • 21 Aug 2014
  • Sightings at Cliffe Pools

    Dave Carey has kindly shared with us details of some of the birds he spotted at Cliffe Pools yesterday evening.  These include a male Ruddy Duck from the Black Barn viewing mound this evening, as well as 2 Curlew Sandpiper still with their rusty red chests, 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, 11 Dunlin, 12 Ringed Plover and 2 Grey Plover, with about 600 Avocets and 100 Greater Blacked Gulls on Flamingo, and 4 Common Tern roosting with…

    • 13 Aug 2014
  • Today's sightings at Cliffe Pools

    Thanks to the fast upload of information on the KOS website, I can share with you sightings recorded by Mike Puley between 10.00 and 12.00 today.  Mike recorded 6 ringed plover, 1 grey plover, 3 bar-tailed godwit, 12 whimbrel, 48 curlew, 32 greenshank, 1 green sandpiper and 4 common sandpiper.  You can visit the Kent Ornithological Society's website at http://birdgroups.co.uk/kos/News.asp

    • 11 Jul 2014
  • Rcecent Sightings June 25th

    Thanks for the reserve. Much improved since I was there last in 2007. I had forgotten how far it was all the way round!! I hope the attached info is of some use.


    Total species experienced 60


    Little Grebe, Great Crested Grebe, Cormorant, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Spoonbill, 2 Black Swan, Greylag Goose, Canada Goose, Shelduck, Gadwall, Teal, Mallard, Shoveler, Pochard, Tufted Duck, Marsh Harrier, Kestrel, Hobby, Pheasant…

    • 26 Jun 2014
  • Choosing your neighbours carefully

    How many friends do I have who have started a family quite young in life? They all tell me how you can't really be too prepared, suddenly the children come along and you have to make the best of it, left with a hope that they will grow up to thank you... eventually, for being a good Mum and Dad!

    In the bird world you have the opportunity to make a few mistakes, get it wrong, because along comes a second brood of eggs…

    • 25 Jun 2014
  • Breeding birds in June

    The kind winter and good spring has provided ideal conditions for breeding birds on the Hoo Peninsula this year.

    Cliffe Pools is alive and well. We just completed a survey of the marine invertebrates for which the saline lagoons are nationally important. It is alive with the sound of avocets, common terns, black-headed gulls, and I was lucky to catch the rufous tail end of a nightingale flitting across the path yesterday…

    • 18 Jun 2014
  • This mornings sightings

    So far this morning, the following have been sighted at Cliffe Pools; 1 spoonbill, 9 grey plover, 10 bar-tailed godwit, 5 whimbrel, 2 spotted redshank, 4 greenshank, 2 cuckoo, 2 lesser whitethroat.  Information kindly provided by KOS.  You can visit their website for more local sightings data at www.birdgroups.co.uk/kos/News.asp

    • 28 Apr 2014
  • Recent sightings

    On bank holiday Monday 1 widgeon, 1 grey partridge, 1 hobby, 60 Mediteranean gull and 1 wheatear were reported at Cliffe Pools, along with the calling of a cuckoo. 

    Information kindly provided by KOS.  You can visit their website to see all other local sightings information at www.birdgroups.co.uk/kos/News.asp

    • 23 Apr 2014
  • Recent Sightings by Murray Orchard

    Yesterday from 17:15 to 18:00, Murray undertook a bird count from Allen's Hill at RSPB Cliffe Pools.  It was a mild day, mostly cloudy with occasional sun and a fresh south-westerly wind.
    3 Barnacle Geese (still present on grazing marsh north of pools), 148 Shelduck, 95 Shoveler, 1 Scaup (female on Black-Barns 4), 1 Spoonbill (roosting on Flamingo Pool), 260 Avocet (high tide roost of 175 on Flamingo Pool and 85 on…

    • 7 Apr 2014
  • Shoveler numbers are on the up

    On Sunday afternoon Murray Orchard visited Cliffe Pools where it was increasingly cloudy with a fresh southerly wind.  His count at the reserve was taken at high tide (13.11) and he reported - 131 Shelduck (Flamingo Pool), 905 Wigeon (Ski/Hidden Pools), 97 Pintail (Black Barn Pools and Ski/Hidden Pools), 910 Shoveler (yet another record count - 720 on Black Barn Pools, 190 on Flamingo/Ski/Hidden Pools), 20 Goldeneye (11…

    • 5 Mar 2014
  • Recent sightings at Cliffe Pools

    The number of birds at Cliffe Pools this week has presented something of a challenge. The enormous flock of Black-tailed Godwit were beyond my abilities, so I took a picture, and then, once home, increased the contrast, gridded the image and started counting... it took a good hour before I arrived at 5,257, so, adding the ones just off the bottom of the image I thought 5,500 was a good estimate. I don't know how one of…

    • 15 Feb 2014
  • Happy Valentine's Day to all the birds at Cliffe Pools

    It has been raining all day today, so I admit it, I have not been down to the reserve, but yesterday!? I counted 5,500 black-tailed godwit. They were using the islands especially cleared of scrub to create a high tide roost for the waders pushed off the high tide. The dunlin, 5 to 10,000 of them, were like a giant airborne amoeba, and when they met the godwits in flight the sky was just black with birds and, quite frankly…

    • 14 Feb 2014
  • Spoonbill spotted at Cliffe Pools

    We have received two recent reports of a Spoonbill on Flamingo Pool at Cliffe.  This was last spotted yesterday at around 2.30pm by Debbie Sowter.  Have you seen it yet?

    Also, other sightings reported over the last few days include: 1 Black-necked Grebe on North Quary with 138 Gadwall, seen by Keith Cutting on Saturday, and 130 Pintail (at least, on Black barns 3), 2 Marsh Harriers, 2 Kestrel, 1 Peregrine Falcon and 6 Green…

    • 3 Feb 2014