Friday, 10 December 2010

Friday 10th. December 2010

With just this morning available , I decided to go back to Sevenoaks Reserve , having read that a pair of Goosanders were reported there yesterday .
On arrival , I went straight to Tyler hide , from which they had been seen . Scanning the islands in front of the hide , nothing resembling a Goosander was found . After about 20 minutes , a brief glimpse by the furthest away island of a female 'redhead' Goosander . It dived again , and then went out of view behind the island . I waited for her to show again , but she didn't . I decided to go to a point along the track that would give me a view behind the island . As I was making my way , all hell was let loose on the lake with the arrival of an obviously large flock of Geese , out of my view . The noise as they settled was manic . I arrived at the viewpoint and found , nothing . Deja vu came to mind , following yesterday's experience . I stayed scanning for some time , then came to the supposition that the arrival of the Geese had scared the Goosander off . The Geese had arrived from behind me , over the Visitor Centre , so I thought that the bird would head in front of me down the lake . Arriving at the Tower hide , there was no sign , and after a short time , I retraced my steps back to Tyler hide . A quick look revealed nothing , so I decided to go around the other side of the lake and see if the Red-necked and Black-necked Grebes were still around , on the far side of the main lake . As i walked between the two larger lakes , I scanned through the trees at the far end of the lake behind the Visitor Centre , and through the vegetation I thought I could make out a redhead . Scrambling down a steep bank , trying to stay behind the cover of trees , I set up the camera and scanned again , between the trees . Yes , it was indeed a redhead female Goosander , right over the back of the lake , and coming out of the bankside vegetation to join her , was her mate , a superb male . I started clicking away , when the pair started to get agitated by something to the right . That something turned out to be another flock of Geese , Canadas this time , moving towards them en mass . As they approached , the flock took noisily to the air , and off went the Goosanders as well . I last saw the pair heading over the Visitor Centre . The shots are nowhere near Phil's/Sharp by Nature standards , but the light was bad , and they were at a good distance from the camera , so I felt pleased with what I got , even if it was curtailed .
Searching for the two Grebes was also interupted by Geese , this time the Greylags deciding to go back to the fields again , after upsetting everything , and they took off noisily again . They turned at the end of the lake , and came back overhead before heading off . I didn't find the Black-necked , but eventually spotted the Red-necked Grebe , well out in the water , this time keeping station with a male Pochard . It did start feeding soon afterwards , but always well away from where I was concealed . It did come reasonably close at one stage and dived , staying under for a long period . My heart almost stopped when this popped up right in front of me . A Grebe yes , but the relation of the one I wanted . Perhaps the Great Crested Grebe in this position is the answer to the Loch Ness Monster story . The only other interest was a flock of 50/60 Siskins , that flew into the tallest Alder tree on the site and noisily started feeding . Once again the light was a problem , but there were 15/20 birds just in the very top of the tree in this shot . This is by far the biggest flock of the species I have seen this year .
Coppicing tomorrow , followed by the Group Christmas meal , so there might well be nothing of interest to post tomorrow evening .


Warren Baker said...

Even in good light those male Goosander are hard to get right in a photo. The whiteness of their plumage always gets 'blown'

Good birds today though Greenie. Enjoy the festive grub !

Phil said...

Well done with the Goosanders Greenie,your perseverance certainly paid off.The light might have beaten you on those pics but you made up for it with the others, the Geese pics are stunning. I will try to get to Sevenoaks next week sometime.

ShySongbird said...

Well done on finding and photographing the Goosanders Greenie. Love the Geese photos!

Ken. said...

Hi Greenie.
Well done on finding the Goosanders again, and getting a photo of a male and female together is great, but I prefer the Greylag's in flight photo's the best.