Sunday 26 September – Goldcliff Leader: Robert Hargreaves

Nine members met at Goldcliff on another pleasant, sunny morning.  We welcomed one new member to their first field meeting.  The first pool, Monk’s Lagoon, was really bare, the best being a Wheatear and some distant Godwits and Dunlins, and a large flock of Lapwings in the sky.  The tide was due in at eleven so we were in a hurry to get to the sea wall, only stopping briefly at the other hides on the way.  We had a good variety of ducks including Pintail and Wigeon and two Little Grebes.  There were a few remaining Meadow Pipits around from the 7,000 that were seen on an early vismig watch that morning.  At the seawall the tide was already fully in so not much to see.   Moving on to the last hide we started seeing Stonechat, my first of the autumn.  In the hide there was talk of a Pectoral Sandpiper but it had not been seen all morning, but there was a Ruff, some Snipe and a Green Sandpiper.  A young Marsh Harrier was eating a meal on our left.  A man who had been there four hours finally found the Pectoral Sandpiper which was difficult to see in the reeds.    There was also a Curlew Sandpiper.  In the pools on the way back we found two more among lots of Lapwing and Black-tailed Godwits.  After lunch an exploration of the west area of the Marshes found Snipe in the chine, a Sparrowhawk scudding past, and on the mudflats some Curlew and Shelduck at last, then Redshank, a Greenshank and an Avocet.  Still no Ringed Plover so we explored the beach off the point on the East side.  Lots of Gulls, more Curlew and Little Egrets, and then when we had given up, halfway up the beach, some Ringed Plover.  Altogether, 61 species were seen.  Thanks to our leader Robert for leading.    Anne Crowe