Sat 30/09/2017

A late trip out to Cliffe Pools blackberrying yielded a lot of distant bird sightings today. The below large bird of prey was visible way over towards the distant docks; I was hoping it would be a marsh harrier, as they are well-known inhabitants of these wastes, and according to my bird-watching friend Matt, that's exactly what it is. The pools, too, yielded large numbers of waders; last time they were dominated by a group of spoonbills, but these ones turned out to be avocets. There were some spoonbills keeping to the background, but none came within range of my lens. 

Marsh harrier!
Marsh harrier!

It was less than a month ago that these pools were populated by spoonbills, striding purposefully along and waving their spatulate beaks back and forth in the shallows. Today’s birds looked similar in the distance, but had splodges of black as well – zoom photographs revealed them as avocets! One or two spoonbills still hanging around in the distance though, along with the odd little egret. Plenty of lapwings too, and a dense stand of grey-brown waders all facing the wrong way. I think they might be bar-tailed godwits, but I wouldn’t swear to it.

In the foreground:  Avocets Recurvirostra avosetta
In the foreground: Avocets Recurvirostra avosetta


Later, the raptor returned, (or a raptor anyway), and put the wind up a lot of these waders. The masked face markings identify it as a female marsh harrier I think - rather than the more common buzzard!


Marsh harrier Circus aeruginosus
Marsh harrier Circus aeruginosus

Write a comment

Comments: 2
  • #1

    Matt (Wednesday, 14 February 2018 21:14)

    I'm honored to have received a mention.

  • #2

    ChB (Wednesday, 14 February 2018 21:24)

    I'm honoured that you read my blog!

Listen to Chalkhill Blue at!


If you would like to listen to the music of Chalkhill Blue for free, or purchase a download or CD, please click the link below.


Downloads can be purchased per track or whole album.


CDs include a full 8-page inlay booklet with notes on each track.


The Chalkhill Blue Album!



See also:


iTunes !








CD Baby










See the Chalkhill Blue CD at:


Rock Bottom Records, Whitstable 


or click on the above graphic to buy online.


Caroline Battenburg Art