Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Cliffe Pools

Sunday I took a trip to Cliffe Pools, it was a gusty but bright day. I started off with a look over the pool by the car park  which contained mainly coot, however around  the far edges were some Mallards, Pochards, Tufted Ducks, Great Crested Grebes and a Dabchick, also standing around on the  western shore with a few Lapwing were well over a hundred Redshank.
Great Crested Grebe & Black Headed Gull - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
I then went on to Radar Pool and turned left to walk along its southern shore, there was not a lot of activity on the pool except a small flotilla of 20+ dabchicks which was nice to see. The path itself was a different matter, a flock of Goldfinches flew overhead, followed a little while later by a mixed flock of waders and then a moment later a flock of Redshanks, I would like to think that there were a couple of Spotted Redshank amongst them, though that could just be their flight angle slewing the white rumps, check out the one near top RH corner.
Redshank in flight - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
The path to Flamingo Pool was alive with butterflies, mainly Small Whites and Red Admirals, a solitary Meadow Brown showed itself as did a couple of Commas, Dragonflies were also plentiful with positive identification on Common Darter and Migrant Hawker Dragonflies, there were others but they were too fast for identification.

Common Darter - Canon 400D + 100-400mm

Migrant Hawker - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
Flamingo Pool was initially quiet however as I walked around to the Western side a couple of flocks of waders flew in and seemed to line up in the water. At the far right were Grey Plover in a variety of plumages with a couple still in full summer, then there were Black Tailed Godwits, followed by Dunlin and Curlew Sandpipers, whilst on the shore were Ringed Plovers, and a number of Little Egrets. I have to thank the RSPB warden who was there for helping me to pick out the Curlew Sandpipers. Whilst we stood sheltering from the buffeting wind behind his truck, Avocets started to fly in from the Thames and started to feed, in all about 300 of them. Sadly all in Flamingo pool were just too far away to photograph properly.
Black Tailed Godwits (over Radar Pool) - Canon 400D + 100-400mm

I returned to the car park via the same route still marvelling at the number of butterflies and dragonflies and at the junction of Flamingo Pool and Radar I found some Small Heaths flitting about.
Small Heath -- Canon 400D + 100-400mm

From the path viewing point over Radar pool I watched some roosting gulls on the northern shore. Black Headed Gulls were mixed with Great Black Backed Gulls, Shellduck and a couple of Herring Gulls, there was also a Lesser Black Backed Gull being pestered for food from a youngster. Wandering amongst these were some Starlings and a Pied Wagtail, whilst swimming past on the pool were three Wigeon.
Red Admiral - Canon 400D + 100-400mm

Small White - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
Red Admirals - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
The last sightings of the day were a flock of Long Tailed Tits with a few Blue Tits among them. Other spots for the day included Carrion Crow, Chaffinch, Oystercatcher, Swallow and Wood Pigeon. Heard but not seen was a Pheasant, a Robin and some Magpies. The day list was 32, not bad for me at Cliffe, sadly I did not get to see the Little Stint or Ruff that were there that day, maybe next time.
If there are any misidentifications please let me know, I am a complete novice with Dragonflies and Butterflies. Please also the post below. Painkillers are working so 2 posts today.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Kevin.
    Nice post and very nice pictures as usual. I think your Emperor dragonfly is a Migrant Hawker though, sorry to be picky!