10th August 2013 - Cliffe Pools

Our visit to Cliffe Pools was a godsend to my year list. 5! Although I’m technically not allowed to count one…

Blue Tit
The first addition to my year list was a bird that had been bizarrely elusive throughout the year. We’d seen Green Sandpiper, Purple Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper and Stuart had added Curlew Sandpiper and Wood Sandpiper to that list but at no point during the year had either of us caught up with a Common Sandpiper. As soon as we stepped out of the car park we saw one however, so that was an excellent sighting for us. A Whitethroat was singing behind us as we were looking out across the water and as we turned to see, it was sitting high up, out in the open looking lovely.

The number of Little Egret was extraordinary – around 30 we estimated. Great to see. The next addition to the year list was a Greenshank, and then another and in the end, quite a few! Plenty of Avocet were wading around and 4 kinds of gull were seen.

One of the many Great Crested Grebe
The bird I’m technically not allowed to count came next in the guise of a Ruddy Shelduck (or two). They are gorgeous birds and I’m very happy to have seen them. There were lots and lots of Sand Martin zooming around the pools and just before we had to leave, I got a Curlew Sandpiper and a Ruff, both new ticks for the year.

A very pretty caterpillar (Cinnabar Moth?)
An interesting sighting, although not identified, was a bird of prey flying over the fields. It was similar in description to a Red Kite, but definitely not one. It appeared through the scope to have a jess hanging from the leg and then disappeared down into a field not to be seen again, so it may be a falconer’s bird. It would be nice to know what type it was though, it was lovely looking.

It was a slog back to the car then, but filled with lovely butterflies and dragonflies to keep me happy.

Trip list: 42
Year list: 173
Lifers of year list: 22


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