Our evening walk at Cliffe Pools on Friday began well with cormorants, stock doves, great black-backed gulls and a hobby flying through as we gathered in the car park. As we moved off, ably led by Neville a green woodpecker called.
Jackdaw, wood pigeon, blackbird and starling were all noted by members of the group as we continued along the path. From the viewpoint Sally counted over 30 little egret, along with many coot, great crested grebe and grey heron. A large group of black-tailed godwit, and several redshank were also identified.
We took one of the paths running through the pools and from the first bay here were able to get better views of some of the waders. Large numbers of lapwing, a few ruff and little grebe were soon added to our lengthening list. Paul thought he had found a spotted redshank from our first viewpoint, and after some searching we finally relocated the bird. Seen by some, it lived up to its new reputation for disappearing around corners!
Other waders found included greenshank, dunlin, and common sandpiper. Common tern were flying overhead carrying small fish back to their young. A marsh harrier hunted over the fields beyond the pools whilst shelduck, pochard, tufted duck and moorhen completed our list.
The spectacle of the evening was the gathering flock of avocets which were co-operatively feeding – moving in synchronised fashion and filter feeding as they sway their bills from side to side.
A short video clip taken by Paul of flock of avocets feeding on Cliffe Pools – these were part of a large flock of approximately 200 birds:
A lovely mild evening, with a beautiful sunset. There were also some butterflies braving the evening air including gatekeeper, large white, and peacock. Common blue damselfly and a probably migrant hawker were also noted.
Thanks to all those who attended and to Neville for his leadership.