Anyway , whilst we were having breakfast this morning , where have you heard that before Warren ? , a dark , brown bird ghosted in from the bottom of the garden , very low , and touched down under the feeders . I couldn't see anything from the dining room , so shot upstairs to the back bedroom . Unfortunately , the blind was still down and the window shut . I carefully tried to see through the blind slats and could make out a shape , but couldn't identify it . I carefully opened the fanlight without scaring the bird , then reached for my old camera , being smaller than the new one and lens . The first shot I got included the blind and window frame , but I could see that it was a bird of prey . A bit more blind moving and window opening , with the bird looking directly at the house , enabled a second shot that revealed that it was a female Sparrowhawk . At this point I think she realised that I was there , and the third shot was a blurred one of her lifting off and flying back down the garden . Carol saw her go from the dining room and shortly afterwards , went out to put more food down for the Finches . I was still upstairs and Carol's presence started to attract the usual species . Then from half way down the garden , the Sparrowhawk lifted again from where it had perched and settled in a big Willow in the garden behind . I grabbed my new camera , but halfway down the garden , she spotted me , lifted off again , and that was the last we saw of her .
After helping Carol with some shopping , the weather started to clear after lunch , and I headed out to get some fuel , via Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve . On arrival I headed for the large hide , and found plenty of Lapwing , Gulls of several species , along with the expected Coots , Moorhens , Tufted Duck , Teal , Gadwall , Shoveler and Cormorant . A movement off one of the islands turned out to be a Common Snipe , feeding in the now sunshine . I watched it for some time , then had a second flash through the binoculars . I saw the second one land on a muddy area , then took my eye off it . When I searched the area , I found it , hidden behind a branch , the only cover in the area . I thought at first it might have been nesting , but too early for that I think . My solitude of the hide was then interupted by another birder , who informed me that he had seen 2 Bittern last Sunday from the Tower Hide , and also described where to look . I stayed for a while after he left , but the chance of Bittern had me heading to the Tower Hide at pace , in fact , I almost caught him up , entering a couple of minutes after him . We scanned the far bank reedbed for quite some time , but found no sign of a Bittern . From the hide , I did see Great Crested Grebe , Greylag and Canada Goose and a possible Reed Bunting . The cloud was starting to win again the battle for the sky , but before heading back to the car park , I went to have a quick look at the hide by the river that runs through the site . As I approached the hide , a flash of iridescent blue passed me and landed in s bush overhanging a small pond . I set up the camera and was almost ready to press the shutter , when a lady appeared out of nowhere on my left and asked what I had seen . I said Kingfisher over there , to which she turned and walked straight towards the bird , which in turn shot out of view at a rate of knots . This Gadwall shot shows how quickly the light was fading . When I got to the car , as I loaded my gear , I was serenaded by a Robin , and for that , felt he should be included in this post . This shot was taken with the 100mm lens .