Forgot to mention yesterday , had my first Swallow of the year , over a cold Hayes Farm .
Starting this post wit a who am I ? - answer at the end .
With no volunteering , and the sun shining , I decided to split the day between the Downs and Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve . Arriving on the Downs near Sevenoaks , I wondered if I had made a good decision , as the Southerly wind was blowing in at right angles , and it was chilly to say the least . I started looking for reptiles , but , not surprisingly , very little was found . The odd Slow Worm , but nothing more . What I did notice though , was that there were a lot more insects about than on previous days , and they included my first sighting this year of Bee-flies , this one , Bombus major , with that strange looking proboscis in front , but with a fur coat on for the cool conditions . I did get a brief sighting of one Adder , but it looked as if was going back underground , not a bad judge . In a sheltered corner , I found the first one laying out , but also within a couple of metres , a Peacock butterfly . This was soon followed by two male Brimstone sighting , both patrolling the woodside edge , looking for females . Some small mining type bees were also seen , but too mobile to identify . Overhead , a pair of Kestrels were hunting , held aloft by the strong wind , and that was also helping a Skylark in full song . A singing Blackcap , out of sight was in the bottom corner . Apart from that , just the expected species were found , but no sign of Common Buzzard , which are often seen here . I was almost back at the car , when I found these 4 male Adders , laying out on top of a felt , in their usual early season get together , with a 7 Spot Ladybird , one of many seen today .
It was only a short drive to the Sevenoaks Reserve , and , being lower , was partially sheltered from that wind . I headed for the main hide , and on my way , came across this Goldcrest , searching for food on a Silver Birch , reminiscent in manner to a Tree Creeper . Nothing much at the first hide , but on my way to the second , another singing Blackcap , but always on the move .
Lots of Great and Blue Tit song all over the Reserve , together with many Wrens and a handfull of singing Chiffchaffs . On my way back to do the other side of the main lake , another Peacock ,
this one allowing a photograph . The shutter had only just operated , when another butterfly chased it off . This time it was a Comma , my second sighting of the year , although Carol has also had a couple of sightings in our garden . A few more Peacocks were seen , but this was the only Comma . On a small island on one of the smaller lakes , was this Heron , sat on her nest , the only one that I could see , but I suppose every Heronry has to start somewhere . My approach to a small lake was greeted with a lot of honking , from the two adult Greylag Geese with seven youngsters in tow , and they look very young indeed . Throughout the day , I had attempted to get a shot of one of the several singing Blackcaps that I came across . As I headed back towards the car park , another was singing intermittently from above . I scoured the Ivy clad tree for quite a while , before I finally found him , around the back , singing and preening , hence the intermittent bit , mind you , he hadn't done a very good job on the hair ! As I watched him , a Long Tailed Tit landed almost alongside , but , as I attempted a shot , it was off .
When I got home , Carol made a cup of tea , and we sat with it on the patio . I was telling her about the day's sightings , and she said that she couldn't believe I had seen so many butterflies , as she hadn't seen any , except the one that just landed on the sun lounge roof , a Peacock , which just stayed soaking up the now milky sunshine . 'I wonder' I said , and went into the garage to check on our hibernating Peacock . There was no sign of it , and Carol said that is was there over the weekend , so we just might have seen our Winter guest , leaving it's accommodation .
For those scratching their head still , this was the exact bird that decided to dive , at the same moment that I hit the shutter , a Great Crested Grebe , another bird having a bad hair day .
7 hours ago