On the pool large numbers of coots, little and great crested grebes were swimming around while a group of black-tailed godwits stood in the shallows sleeping or preening. They were awoken rudely however, when a sparrowhawk appeared overhead and they all took to the air along with a few avocets and redshank that were also present. Little egrets were ever present busily catching small fish, and teal were seen in considerable numbers but not all quite in their proper plumage yet.
We moved onto Allen’s pool where a moorhen and her 5 young quickly scurried out of sight. As we walked the track towards the sea wall we were aware of swallows flying through in small groups and the calls of meadow pipits and linnets in the adjacent fields.
Lunching by the sea wall gave us views over the river to Essex where a roost of avocets was to be found. This side of the river a kestrel was busily hunting over the scrub. Lunch finished we proceeded to the top of Flamingo pool to watch 5 little egrets prancing around almost like cranes, along the edge where several lapwings had been quietly resting along with oystercatchers and black-headed gulls. Moving down the path several swallows and house martins were flying over the pool, no doubt feeding up before the long journey home.
Out next sighting was a surprise, an early arrived goldeneye diving amongst rafts of shovelers and great crested grebes. Further on we watched as groups of waders arrived at the pool, including grey plover, some still in summer plumage, ringed plover and dunlin. A few greenshank were to be seen also racing around like mini hoovers, and Malcolm’s find of the day must surely have been a group of 3 spotted redshank.(Thank heaven for Malcolm). Another great day at Cliffe.