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 .
18 hours ago