As I only managed about an hour or so this morning , I am combining yesterday afternoon and today's posts together .
Leaving Adam's patch shortly after my lunch , I decided to stop off at Sevenoaks Reserve on my way back . With a queue of cars trying to get out onto the main road , I probably should have given up there and then . Usually there are 3/4 cars in the car park when I go , today there were dozens . I straight away tried to get as far away from the Visitor Centre as possible , making for the furthest hide . In about the same place that I managed to photograph a Goldcrest on my last visit , but on the other side of the track , were a small flock of Redpolls , feeding in the seedheads of the Buddleia bushes , but with the low sun directly behind them , no chance of a shot today . I didn't even go to the first hide , given the racket of children coming from it . In almost the same place as I managed to photograph the 3 redhead Goosanders , I found a single , but with more open water this time , it quickly put distance between the two of us . I reached the last hide with very little found , but the sound of a child racing up and down the hide and screeching at the top of it's voice , convinced me of my mistake in turning in . Fortunately , after a few minutes , the family emerged , and the child raced down the path , followed by the parents , apparently oblivious of the disruption caused . I stayed at the hide for a while , without any more children turning up , but needless to say , the was no sign of the Water Rail or Bittern . The only birds seen in the reedbed were a pair of Wrens and a pair of Reed Buntings , of which , the female was by far the most showy , the male stubbornly refusing to come out of the reeds , perhaps thinking the racket was going to start again . There two other couples in the hide when the male half showed , and upon seeing him , one chap took out his notebook and said 'that's 119 so far this year' . I thought to myself , 119 species in 9 days , that's going some . I asked if he had been out every day , to which he replied this was his 4th. day of birding for the 119 . The other couple who were from Canvey Island looked as gobsmacked as I was . Just before leaving the hide , the 3 redhead Goosanders had re-united right over the other side of the lake , where they seemed to be feeding amongst some other ducks , sorry Warren . On the way back to the car , I passed three pushchairs and many young children , most of whom were giving their vocal chords a good work out , I couldn't get to the car quick enough .
This morning , after dropping Carol off shopping , I had a look around Kelsey Park in Beckenham . Gone were the blue skies of yesterday , replaced by the grey , and also a cold breeze was picking up . Even so , there was plenty of birdsong about , as usual on this site , dominated by the screeching of the Ring Necked Parakeets , but Blue , Great and Coal Tits were also heard . Behind the island , a Nuthatch erupted into song , just as I was passing underneath . On the island itself , the new breeding season is getting under way . I counted at least 16 nests in the heronry and there could well have been more that I couldn't see . Most nests seemed complete , but odd birds were arriving with twigs to finish their nest off . Many of the waterfowl seemed to be pairing up too , this pair of Muscovy Ducks , one never leaving the other one's side . Also , looking as if breeding is high on the agenda too , this male Mandarin was looking very dapper , and of course , it is all to impress the ladies , one of whom , was very close by . Also in the same frame of mind , this adult Cormorant , with it's white flank patch starting to show . Of course , some are quite happy to rest for the time being , as was the case with this pair of Mandarins , on the river as I left the park . I had a quick look around the small wood that the river passes through before entering the wood , but only found Great Spotted Woodpecker , a mixed Tit flock , and lots of dog's muck .
And finally , for anyone attempting to break last years record , three ducks , which I have been told by a lady in the park , are a breed in their own right , albeit in the 'domestic league' , Orpington Browns .
18 hours ago