• Reported sightings at Cliffe Pools on 24th January

    Murray Orchard visited Cliffe Pools between 14:20 and 17:00 on 24th January, when it was cold and overcast, but calm, with rain arriving at dusk.   He took counts of birds on all pools/quarries - focussed on diving ducks, so most dabblers not counted.
    434 Shoveler (343 on RSPB reserve), 637 Pochard (including 79 on RSPB reserve and 436 on Alpha Pool. Two "drake Lesser Scaup" aythya hybrids; one on Timber Lake and one on Ski…

    • 31 Jan 2014
  • Cliffe Pools Sightings, 22 January

    Details of sightings taken from the KOS website and provided by Mike Puxley following his visit to Cliffe Pools yesterday between 9.20-12.30 (low tide): 68 Pintail (BB3), 8 Goldeneye, 2 Grey Partridge, 1 Black-neck Grebe (Radar pool), 2 Marsh Harrier, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Water Rail, 3 Greenshank, 2 Green Woodpecker, 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker, 30+ Meadow Pipit, 3 Stonechat, 2 Fieldfare, 4 Song thrush, 2 Redwing, 1 Cetti's…

    • 23 Jan 2014
  • Recent Sightings - Ducks on the River Thames

    On Sunday 19th January (12.30 - 17.00), Murray Orchard reported 5 Mute Swan, 800 Shelduck, 11150 Wigeon, 40 Teal, 8 Mallard, 35 Pintail, 10 Shoveler, 11 Great Crested Grebe, 20 Cormorant, 6 Grey Heron, 3 Marsh Harrier, 1 Kestrel, 1 Peregrine Falcon and 8 Coot whilst doing WeB counts on the Cliffe/Cooling Marshes.  Information kindly supplied by www.birdgroups.co.uk/kos/News.asp


    • 22 Jan 2014
  • Shoveler at Cliffe

    I had a count of 720 Shoveler on the reserve at Cliffe on Sunday 5th January. This beats my previous highest count for there, or anywhere else in the UK, by 340!! ie almost double.  There were 460 just on the Flamingo Pool alone, plus 150 on the Ski Pool and 110 on the first Black Barn Pool.  All counted at once from Allen’s Hill. The total is 4 x GB threshold and almost 2 x the international threshold of significance.…

    • 17 Jan 2014
  • Update on the Lower Thames Crossing

    Two weeks ago Cliffe Pools attracted 10,000 Dunlin to the shallows on Flamingo Pool, an advanced guard of some 300,000 waders that are escaping the frozen north and will be sustained through the winter by the Thames Estuary and well fed for the long migration north next spring.

    These birds range across the estuary each day seeking the best feeding and shelter from the prevailing weather; the estuary serves these birds…

    • 12 Dec 2013
  • Recent Sightings - species list May to June

    Black-necked grebe, great-crested grebe, black-headed gull, Mediterranean gull, little grebe, mute swan, greylag goose, shelduck, gadwall, shoveler, teal, pochard, tufted duck, avocet, oystercatcher, greenshank, redshank, spotted redshank (6th June), little ringed plover, wood sandpiper, whimbrel, black-tailed godwit, black-headed gull, common tern, cuckoo, barn owl, short-eared owl (in May), little owl, long-eared owl…

    • 4 Jul 2013
  • Recent Sightings - Murray Orchard

    May and June proved to be interesting months for breeding birds at Cliffe. The principal highlight was the spectacular increase in the number of breeding Black-headed Gulls and Common Terns on the various islands in the Radar/Hidden Pools and also the southern pools or Elf/Conoco Pools. The total number of gulls was about 540 pairs with at least 190 young produced and many fledging. This represents the highest number…

    • 4 Jul 2013
  • Feb 2013 courtesy of Murray Orchard

    Feb 3rd

     Bewick’s Swan 30 – flew in to roost on the Flamingo Pool at dusk

    Shoveler 272

    Pintail 50

    Wigeon 2,500

    Shelduck 45

    Pochard 185

    T Duck 151

    Scaup 11 (6 drakes)

    Goldeneye 30 (5 drakes)

    Bl/T Godwit 3,500 roosting on the islands

    Tawny Owl – bird hooting at Allen’s Hill at dusk

    Fieldfare 300

     The Shoveler were mainly on the Back Barn Pools whilst the rest of the dabbling duck were…

    • 18 Feb 2013
  • Recent Sightings, Waxwings in Cliffe Village

    Waxwings have been seen again in and around the green in Cliffe Village, behind the Six Bells Pub.

    These totalled 42 on Monday 28th January.

    The green has many berry bushes but is surrounded by gardens and houses so please respect the resident's privacy while looking for the birds.

    • 28 Jan 2013
  • Recent Sightings


    2500 Black tailed Godwit

    • 5 Oct 2012
  • Recent sightings 12.09.2012

    Osprey. We've had an email in from Scotish Wildlife Trust informing us that a young male Osprey that they ringed and fitted with a satellite tracker has been roosting in North Kent near Northward Hill. If anyone see's an Osprey with a blue leg ring on his left leg, please let us know, as we would like to keep our Scottish colleagues updated with sightings.     







    • 13 Sep 2012
  • Bank Holiday weekend

    Our new Residential Volunteer Luke Wallace was on patrol at Cliffe Pools at the weekend and made the following sightings list.


    Black headed Gull

    Black Tern (2 Juvs)

    Black-tailed Godwit

    Common Tern

    Curlew (6)

    Curlew sandpiper (1)

    Great Black-backed Gull

    Great-crested Grebe

    Green Sandpiper (8)

    Grey Heron

    Grey Plover (30)

    Herring Gull

    Knot (30)


    Little Egret

    Little Stint (5)

    Marsh Harrier …

    • 31 Aug 2012
  • Recent Highlights

    There have been many great bird sightings at Cliffe over the last few days, and despite what the weather may be, the summer migrants have started arriving. Curlew sandpiper, Green sandpiper, Wood sandpiper and Spotted Redshank have been present on the pools since the weekend. There was also an impressive number of Avocets (1,405) on the radar roost and summer plumage Black-tailed Godwits (1,160) were seen on radar and blackbarn…

    • 1 Aug 2012
  • sightings 20/06/2012

    Seal - on the mud near coalhouse fort on the other side of the river.
    Black Headed Gull
    Great Tit
    Corn Bunting
    Crested Grebe
    Greylag Goose
    Common Gull
    Canada Goose
    Little Egret
    Tree Sparrow
    Oyster Catcher

    thanks to Mike Dutton for these

    • 25 Jun 2012
  • sightings 10/06/2012

    From the car park I looked out across the lake and saw a pair of Great Crested Grebe swimming in unison in the distance, on the island nesting gulls were being as noisy as only Black Headed Gulls can be.

    Continuing on I went onto have a look at the main lake to see what was about. Plenty of gulls on the islands and Common Terns, Heron and Little Egret. A few butterflies were on the wing. First emerging female Holly Blues…

    • 11 Jun 2012
  • sightings 28th March 2012

    It was an extremely warm day at Cliffe yesterday with little respite from the sun. Given the positively Mediterranean conditions it was perhaps fitting that two Mediterranean gulls were spotted flying north over Flamingo pool - their distinctive ‘yee-ah’ calls, giving them away. Also flying north was a single Lesser Redpoll, a departing winter migrant off in search of cooler climes. From the Thames viewpoint…

    • 29 Mar 2012
  • sightings - 14th March 2012

    There was a Short-eared Owl at Cliffe Pools 14/3/12.

    The bird was hunting over the grassy area near the Thames viewpoint, which is traditionally a good spot for these amazing birds.

    Elsewhere on site, Flamingo Pool held 8 Sanderling, 2 Ringed Plover, 1 Greenshank, 1 Green Sandpiper, 2 Grey Plover, c100 Redshank and a large number of Shelduck. The late afternoon high tide saw several hundred Dunlin descend from over…

    • 16 Mar 2012
  • sightings 25th Feb 2012

    Goldeneye 18 - Mainly Flamingo with a single pair on Radar
    Short Eared Owl 1 - Hunting Behind Black Barn out onto the marshes
    Little Grebe 60+ - Radar / Hidden
    Greenshank 3 - Flamingo Beach
    Curlew 3 - Flamingo / Hidden
    Pintail 30 - Radar/Hidden/Ski
    Shoveler 15+ - Flamingo /hidden
    Little Egret 18 - Across the site ( 6 on Hidden)
    Coot 320+ - Ski / Flamingo / Radar
    Great crested Grebe 14 - Flamingo / Hidden / Ski
    Shellduck 150 - Flamingo…

    • 27 Feb 2012
  • sightings 14th February 2012

    I've received these sightings from Murray Orchard:

    The following totals were noted on Cliffe Pools (on and off reserve):-
    Smew 2 - redheads on Radar Pool
    Goldeneye 38 - including 10 drakes, all but one duck on Flamingo Pool
    Pochard 642 - mostly on Timber Lake and Alpha Pool
    Aythya hybrid (Tufted x Pochard) 1 - on Timber Lake
    Pintail 91 - mostly Radar/Hidden/Ski Pools
    Shoveler 118 - mostly Radar/Ski & Black Barn Pools…

    • 17 Feb 2012
  • sightings 12th February 2012

    Timber Lake (nr Church Street): 1 red-necked grebe

    Radar, Cliffe Pools: 2 ‘red head’ smew and 1 black-necked grebe

    St Mary’s Marsh: 8 barnacle geese

    Northward Hill: 24 woodcock flying out onto marsh at dusk

    thanks to Frank Cackett for providing these sightings

    • 14 Feb 2012
  • sightings 12th January 2012

    I was on duty Sunday and here are some sightings I had around the reserves. 

    A great selection of wildfowl and waders were gathering at high tide in the afternoon at Cliffe Pools.  At least 1,500 Dunlin were observed streaming onto the beach at Flamingo to roost (see photos attached).  14 Goldeneye were present on Flamingo, with 5 males displaying to 6 females, and birds of prey noted were Merlin, Marsh Harrier, and fantastic…

    • 13 Feb 2012
  • Gordon Allison

    for those that have not heard, we have some very upsetting news:

    Rainham Marshes blog

    • 8 Feb 2012
  • sightings 3rd February 2012

    It was a bright and chilly morning at Cliffe today. Most of the ditches and Black Barn pools were frozen over and generally there were fewer birds visible than normal.

    A single Sanderling was notable on the beach at Flamingo, alongside a Grey Plover and small numbers of Lapwing, Redshank and Curlew.

    Goldeneye numbers have increased with the cold weather and 13 were seen today (including 5 males)

    Most birds seemed to…

    • 4 Feb 2012
  • sightings 9th January 2012

    At Cliffe today there were lots of Starlings, Greenfinches, Chaffinches, and Linnets, along with several Fieldfare, bathing in the puddles along the lane by the Black Barn Pools. This flurry of activity attracted the attention of a female Merlin, who zipped through the flock and low over Radar at 9.05am.

    Simon Ginnaw - Resident Volunteer, NKM

    • 10 Jan 2012
  • sightings 03/12/2011

    Flamingo Pool

    lapwing c.500
    redshank 2
    curlew 1
    grey heron 1
    little egret 3
    great-crested grebe 6
    little grebe c.80
    mallard c.30
    goldeneye 3 (1 male)
    great black-backed gull c.80
    lesser black-backed gull 1
    herring gull 25 (inc. 1 huge argentatus ‘northern’ type adult)
    black-headed gull 20

    Also, there was a peacock butterfly still on the wing near the quarry and another birder reported seeing a common sandpiper on Flamingo…

    • 7 Dec 2011