Monday, 10 January 2011

Monday 10th. January 2011

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 .


Warren Baker said...

I had to laugh Greenie, you sound like i do when confronted with noisey dog owners!!

Dogs and kids......makes me shudder :-)

Oh! Thats a cracking Male Mandarin Photo by the way :-)

Phil said...

Mandarin & Muscovy and the beast I'd say!
Your chap with the notebook, 119? I reckon he meant birds not species.
As for kids, seen rarely and heard even less suits me.

Ken. said...

Hi Greenie.
Don't you just love kids at the weekends at nature reserves. Their parents have taught them well.
Love the male Mandarin shot.