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 or Land Rovers (Wardens note - the track from Pickle's Way to the Coastguard Cottages is a restricted byway and not owned or managed by the RSPB!! It is unfortunately in poor condition). When we arrived after the stomach-churning experience we were rewarded with a decent selection of waders mainly on black barn pool four where an amazing black tailed godwit roost almost rivalled Oare in numbers. While trying to ID a distant sandpiper a water rail flew into telescope view at the base of reeds. Perhaps the highlight was a flypast by a peregrine which passed over head before stooping repeatedly at a group of around 200 starlings on the north marsh. It didn't appear to catch any but the speed with which it regained height after each attack was breathtaking. After lunch we drove around to the old car park and walked down the path to Flamingo Pool, spotting a second spotted redshank on  the way. We hoped for a wood sandpiper but could not see any although we did add Ringed Plover and several Whimbrel to our list.


Birds: wigeon, teal, tufted duck, pochard, mallard, gadwall, redshank, spotted redshank 2, Blk. Tailed Godwit (400), pied wagtail 5, little grebe (3), little egret (12), greenshank (6), avocet (200), water rail 2, common whitethroat (5), starling 600, common sandpiper (3), green sandpiper, ruff (10), common buzzard (2), peregrine falcon (stooping repeatedly at starlings on north marsh but didn't appear to catch any), swallow, sand Martin ,magpie , crow ,woodpigeon , collared dove, greylag goose ,oystercatcher ,moorhen , coot (300),grt. Crested grebe (20), chaffinch, goldfinch 8, linnet 4, reed bunting, whimbrel (5), BHG, Grt. Black backed gull (30), black headed gull, marsh harrier, ringed plover(3), shelduck, cormorant, crow, grey heron (2), kestrel, Cetti's Warbler.