Trip reports

Midweek outing to Northward Hill & Cliffe Pools 20 May 2014

Saturday, 31 May 2014

The weather was bright but fairly windy when we arrived at Northward Hill but we were greeted with songs from Common Whitethroats, Garden Warbler, Blackcap and Chiffchaffs. From the Ernie Hemsley viewpoint we watched a male Marsh Harrier quartering over the wet grassland disturbing a Little Egret and Lapwings in the process. A solitary Stock Dove was seen on the derelict buildings. A pair of Linnets was busy collecting food and a Greenfinch wheezed lustily from the top of an elder bush. A Greenshank and a Redshank were discovered and a Cuckoo that had been heard earlier was seen dashing past. A flock of recently fledged Long-tailed Tits darted across the scrub and from the Marshland viewpoint a single male Pochard was seen along with a number of Avocets, Oystercatchers and a sizeable flock of Black-tailed Godwits. As we made our way back for lunch Goldfinches and House Sparrows were added to the list.
From advice we received in the car park at Cliffe we made our way to the Radar Pool and on the islands two Temminck's Stints were found along with a Black-winged Stilt, Common Sandpiper and a Sanderling in summer plumage. What an extraordinary 10 minutes! Reed Warblers were singing as were the Nightingales (one was seen) and Cetti's Warblers. The Reed Buntings were quite showy and Common Terns were busy fishing in the pools. The sky was full of screaming Swifts and the occasional Barn Swallow.
As we made our way back to the cars the 17 members who made the trip were reflecting on a brilliant day's birding.