Saturday, 13 March 2010

Saturday 13th.March 2010

I needed to be back home for early afternoon , so decided on a morning trip to Sevenoaks KWT Reserve .
I am posting this photograph straight away , of a small duck I found , and had me scratching my head for a while , before I came up with the answer . How about you ? Answer later .
When I arrived it was still cold , but , at least that biting wind was not blowing . I wouldn't say I got there early , but some of the residents , the Teal , were still tucked up asleep . I headed for the hide where the Bitterns have been seen on a regular basis , but once again I missed out . I gave the Bitterns a fair chance to show , but then got on the move again , as much as to try and keep warm as anything . Leaving the hide and walking along the track , a large dark shape drifted towards me , against a grey sky . It was very high , but I managed a couple of shots , that were not more than silhouettes of the Common Buzzard , as it drifted on it's way . I was hoping to find a pair of Great Crested Grebes doing their 'face to face , mirror' routine , but they obviously weren't in the mood , and although several pairs were seen , aggression seemed to be the order of the day . On the back path , I was confronted by a couple of Mute Swans , both males , with their wings half raised , it could well have been that they had been having 'a chat' , before I came on the scene . No sign of the Kingfisher this visit , although another birder had a couple of darting views earlier , but in the same area , I found 3 Dunnocks that should have been 'looking for a room' as Adam put it a while back . This one seemed to be the gooseberry , as the other two flew off together , and left him with that ' I want to be alone ' look . The lake in front of the Willow hide , held good numbers of Shoveler , Tufted Duck , Canada and Greylag Geese , and whilst I was there , there was much posturing amongst the Canada Goose males . Another sign of the impending Spring were the catkins , Pussy Willow , on the Goat Willows , just starting to open , which will provide pollen for many insects as they come out of hibernation .
Now , I'm not one for getting dressed up to walk in the country , or for doing anything else if the truth was known , but this sheep in an adjoining field , really did take the biscuit . In the fields behind that , I could hear the bleating of lambs for the first time this year , and sure enough , I saw them in the distance . As the morning went on , the temperature increased , and thankfully the wind did not get up . In all , 42 species were recorded , and eventually , I did start to warm up .
And finally , the small duck that I found . As I said , it had me scratching my head for a while , but I finally convinced myself that it had to be a female Ruddy Duck , the first of the species that I have seen for many years . Of course , had it been the male , with chestnut body , white cheeks and blue bill , the head scratching wouldn't have been necessary.


Derek Faulkner said...


Shame on you for alerting the hunters that there are still some Ruddies about. I think that the males are great characters but I never mention them these days fot fear of seeing them shot.

Warren Baker said...

Shhhhh! Keep it to yourself Greenie!

ShySongbird said...

I very much doubt we have any hunters in our midst Greenie. I doubt they would be interested in admiring the beauty of Nature! I had no idea what it was, well done on working it out.

Lovely photo of the Swan. It would have been great to see the GCGs doing their courtship dance, it is a magical experience, which so far, I have only seen on the TV. Lovely to see the Pussy Willow, another sight which always caused a thrill as a child.

I don't think I have ever seen a Sheep quite as scruffy as that, my old Mum would have said it looked like it had been pulled through a hedge backwards!

The wind here has been even stronger today and just as vicious.

Ken Browne. said...

Hi Greenie.
It is always good to see a Ruddy, whether it is a male or a female.Shooting them with a camera is the only way to go, in my opinion..
Nice photo of the Buzzard.
Can I email you sometime to ask you about what settings you use?

Anonymous said...

Great post Greenie. I always refer to the "you know what" as Anon Ducks, that way they can`t be Googled. Well, you never know what lengths DEFRA will go to find them.

Phil and Mandy said...

I managed to identify in my book before looking for your answer Greenie, nice photos.