Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Tuesday 6th. September 2011

A miserable , wet and windy day , meant no volunteering today , but , being trapped indoors did give a chance to catch up on a visit made yesterday to Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve .
As the later part of the day was going to get cloudy and wet , I set off in sunshine , and arrived in the car park in similar conditions . I headed straight to the North Lake , prepared to give the Kingfishers ample opportunity to pose on the sticks in front of the hide . I must admit , it wasn't long before the first sighting , two specimens flew down the lake and within 2 metres of the hide , but did not stop at the sticks , and flew on towards the West Lake . The only action out front was a Grey Heron , who was busy having it's morning wash and brushup . It was very methodical , making sure that every nook and cranny was in good condition . When finished , it flew to the island then waded out looking for breakfast , which turned out to be a good sized Roach of about 1lb. in old money . One further sighting of a Kingfisher , on a return journey , and I was getting fidgety and decided to move on . Snipe Bog Lake held plenty of geese , having come off the surrounding fields , including a family , 2 adults and 3 juvenile Egyptian Geese . A few Teal , Gadwall and Mallard , along with the Coots , Moorhens and GCGrebes , but nothing out of the ordinary . On the way down to Long Lake , I found a young Grass Snake , warming itself , out of the wind . The small meadow produced a few butterflies , mainly Green-veined Whites like this one , but a Red Admiral also showed briefly . A few Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies , a Brown Hawker and several Common Darters were also found . Checking the far bank of Long Lake , where I have seen Bittern before , only produced a small raft of Tufted Ducks and a left over from the Ninja Turtle craze , just a good job they don't breed here . I retraced my steps to see what was about on the other side of the reserve , but stopped off again at the North Lake for another try . Once again I had early sightings of Kingfisher , but this time they flew into the back of a large Willow , and out of sight . But then a single bird flew out and pose towards the end of the branch that the Grey Heron had been standing . It was about 35/40 metres away , but did provide me with a few half decent shots of the species , which I have been trying to get for some time . Perhaps next time , it will pose on the stick . The Tyler Hide produced just more geese , a few Lapwing , but nothing of more interest . Heading towards the Tower Hide , I found a teneral damselfly on the seed head of a Buddleia . Going by the dark markings , it seems to be destined to be a male Common Blue , that is it he survives the weather today . Tower and Slingsby hides produced nothing at all , getting the full force of the wind across the water . The most sheltered area was definitely over by Long Lake , so I made my way back around there again . On the Lake I found a pair of Mute Swans , and this , the female , gave an opportunity to see it feeding on the bottom . The male just moved off when I arrived . I don't know if it was the same individual , but I found this pair of Green-veined Whites being blown around by the ever strengthening wind , before finding sanctuary on a bunch of Rose-hips . Mind you , shortly after this shot , they got blown off but manged to land in a thick clump of Bramble . As they did so , a Grey Heron flew noisily down the length of the lake , and in a somewhat sheltered small bay between the reeds , a male Migrant Hawker was letting everyone know that this was his patch . Close by , I found several patches of the water loving Gipsywort/Lycopus europaeus , a member of the Labiate family . Only other plant of interest found was Bugloss/Lycopsis arvensis , a member of the Borage family , not to be confused with Viper's Bugloss . And finally , the dead Willow stump has produced another good crop of fungi this year . This one being Sulphor Polypore or Chicken of the Woods/Laetiporus sulphureus , and was a good 1.5 metres in height .


Alan Pavey said...

Well done on getting any kind of Kingfisher shot Greenie, excellent. I wish I knew how you manage to find your reptiles so readily, I struggle. Nice Migrant Hawker pic too.

Dean said...

That`s one mighty tower of Chicken of the Woods, Greenie.

Warren Baker said...

You've got nearer to a decent Kingfisher shot than me Greenie :-)

An impressive Migrant Hawker shot too !

Kingsdowner said...

Good shots there...... and the chicken looks tasty :-p