Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Jim Bowen's RSPB reserve

Way back in Sept 1977 I started big boys school and shortly afterwards discovered rambling, not the speech type like this blog but the walking type visiting Magpie Bottom near Fackenden Lane, Shoreham, and then later on Cliffe Pools a short distance from home and with Graham Nicholls my French teacher and the newly formed Wildlife Club, birding as it's now known. The visits to Cliffe opened up a whole new World of excitement complete with SEOwls, Harriers, huge numbers of Waders and Linnets!!! Yes, Linnets which we thought were rare and used to stay hidden next to some bushes in the hope that one may come along and land near to us, we we're new to this birding game!
Little Egret once very rare in the UK, I remember missing oneat Cliffe in the late 1970's early 80's!
I've called Cliffe RSPB 'Jim Bowen's Reserve' as that's how it seems to be at the moment with the Bullseye catchphrase, 'This is What you could have had' ! having missed a Pacific Golden Plover a few weeks back and on Sunday a White-winged Black Tern that decided it would fly off with it's 40 tern mates to pastures new shortly before I arrived. Cliffe has a great history of some cracking birds and I've found some good stuff myself but this autumn they seem to refuse to stay put or reveal themselves to me when I get there. Cliffe is a great reserve, it just needs more coverage in order that it's full potential can be seen once again.
I'll keep plugging away on the North Kent marshes watching the birds fly away before I get to them in the hope that the 'dip' will soon end and the highs be reached once again. Fortunately with the art of modern technology and a mountain bike the area can be covered quite well and with ease
The day that Cliffe RSPB fully fledges as a reserve will hopefully come soon and the evening jaunts for the wader roost and who know waht will re kindle the great days of a bygone age.

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