A Few Hours at Goldcliff – 12/viii/14

I arrived fairly early in the morning, just after high tide, with weather conditions pleasant but with a fairly strong south westerly wind.

The first surprise came before I had even crossed the small bridge into the car park. A Southern Hawker dragonfly buzzed overhead and landed on a tree by the road, giving good views.

P1230023 Ced

From the first hide, the expected variety of species was visible, with expected waders such as Black-Tailed Godwit, Greenshank, Dunlin and Ringed Plover present along with plenty of Teal and Shoveler and a couple of Gadwall. Plenty of hirundines were around, whizzing about over the lagoons. After a short while though, everything was put up by a Marsh Harrier (probably a first-year bird judging by the dark underwing coverts).

Marsh Harrier

After a while, a couple of Whimbrel flew in, and joined the Godwits feeding at the back of the lagoon.

Next I headed up towards Goldcliff Point, stopping to check the area around the manure pile for migrants. A Wheatear was present, along with a male Redstart in the nearby hedgerow, several Pied Wagtails and a possible White Wagtail.

A first year Common Sandpiper was on the rocks below the point, and was unfortunately the only species noted during a futile half hour seawatch.

I headed back to the third (seawall hide) and was pleased to sea that not all of the Avocets had left, with three birds still present; an adult with two successfully raised juveniles. Also seen from here were plenty of Redshank, a female Kestrel, the two Greenshank, a Little Egret, a juvenile Little Grebe and the Marsh Harrier.

P1230045 CedP1230038 Ced

To round things off nicely, a Yellow Wagtail was seen distantly around the cattle in between clumps of long grass. Another two were flushed later near the seawall.

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