Ray O' Reilly, trip leader writes:- "The July 2022 Kent Ornithological Society Field Outing took place on Sunday 24th. We spent the morning visiting Cliffe Pools RSPB and drove to Oare Marshes NR for the afternoon.

 We seem to have reached a default pattern of weather for these outings nowadays that is dry (hot), sunny and very very windy! We managed 70 species but it was difficult recording many passerines (small song birds). Our participants were a diverse group that included a very keen 8 year old called Daniel Hale whose grandfather was a famous ornithologist who worked with Eric Hosking! 

 At Cliffe we headed up the Dartford Track, past the Crystal Pool adding species for the day including the first of 20+ Greenshank and 85+ Redshank. On reaching the Flamingo Pool there was no sign of the reported Stone Curlew until it suddenly stood up revealing its big yellow eyes and black-tipped thick bill!   The joys of birding…… 

Curlews and Whimbrel were also feeding in the same area, and opposite on Cliffe Creek a pair of Shelduck were tending to a crèche of ducklings that were super cute. Huge numbers of Avocet and Black-tailed Godwits added a splash of colour and Skylarks were still song-flighting. Yellow Wagtails, Sand Martins and Swallows were moving overhead. On the Ski Pool our first Common Sandpiper of the day was seen  - a frenetic individual tearing about hunting flies. Black-bellied Dunlin showed well.  A Stoat was seen that had recently caught a rabbit, and  other sightings included 21 Common Seals, a Brown Hawker dragonfly and both Clouded Yellow and Painted Lady butterflies. The Black Barn Pools gave us male Ruffs and a breeding plumage Red Knot (we were to have another a Oare).

Arriving at Oare Marshes we had lunch looking over the Swale with the Isle of Sheppey in the background. We quickly picked out the regular adult Bonaparte's Gull who still had a black-hood but some moulting had started on the poll (forehead) and the chin. We walked closer and managed excellent views and also spotted an adult Mediterranean Gull. Three Hobbys were hawking over the East Flood and we picked out an adult Summer plumaged Curlew Sandpiper feeding in a mixed flock of waders.  We noted how the brick-red on the Knot only went as far as the lower belly but on the longer-billed, slenderer Curlew Sandpiper it extended to the vental region. All too soon it was nearly 5pm and time to face the traffic. Our 70th species was Dunnock. 

As ever, thanks to Lyn Griffiths for her assistance"

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