Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Wednesday 7th. September 2011

It seemed again that the morning was going to be the better part of the day , so after breakfast I headed for Bough Beech reservoir , a Kent Wildlife Trust site , near Ide Hill .Just one car was parked along the causeway , so I guessed that the recent bad weather hadn't dropped anything special . I parked up and scanned the North lake with binoculars and very soon found a long legged and billed wader feeding in the shallows . It turned out to be a Black-tailed Godwit , a species
that I personally haven't seen at the site before , and in the same area were at least 8 Green 
Sandpipers , one of which joined the Godwit for breakfast . No sign though of any Common Sandpipers . I was so engaged in watching these waders , that it was some time before I looked over
towards the island and spotted  two Avocets feeding over in front of the island . Soon after , I had my first look over the main reservoir , with the strong wind blowing straight down it from the dam .
There was not a lot to be seen , but it did give an opportunity of a size comparison between a juvenile
Grey Heron and one of the Little Egrets that could be seen around the waters edge . A few Cormorants , Mallard and Teal , Black-headed Gulls , a single Pied Wagtail and a good number of GCGrebes were all the interest that could be found on this side . Moving back to the North Lake and out of the wind a bit , I noticed that the Godwit was no longer where it was feeding , but after a scan 
found it , snoozing on one leg , in the lea of the wind , only to be rudely awakened by a squalking Heron that sent the Godwit into a crazed zig-zag flight , before settling down to start feeding again .
In the meantime , one of the Green Sandpipers came as close to the road as any did whilst I was there . Just a single Kestrel and Corvids hung on the wind , no sign of a passing Osprey , which would have been nice . There was a constant stream of Martins , both Sand and House , coming in over the North Lake , feeding avidly over the water , then heading off South , but I only saw just the odd Swallow amongst them .
To get to Bough Beech , I had to cross the Greensand Ridge , and on my way home , stopped off for a quick look around . The wind was even stronger up on the Ridge , and the sunny intervals were becoming few and far between . The first few sets of refugia lifted failed to produce any reptiles
the only species found were Violet Ground Beetles/Carabus violaceus , like this one . Slowly
things started to improve , with this juvenile being the first of six Grass Snakes found . The only
Adder found , was this large female , that was found with a large Grass Snake , on the edge of a brash pile , left after we cleared the glade a few years ago . I attempted to get a shot of the pair of them , but before I got into position , the Grass Snake shot off , fortunately the Adder moved off slower .
Two Slow Worms were also found , one being this very gravid looking specimen .
Heading back towards the car , across a meadow , two things caught my eye , a very fresh looking
Small Copper of the form aberration caeruleopunctata , having blue spots above the copper band on the hindwing , and several small patches of Tormentil/Potentilla erecta , a member of the Rose
 family . I also found my first Fly Agaric/Amanita muscaria of the year , but unfortunately , someone
 else had already found it , and had most of it for a meal .


Alan Pavey said...

Hi Greenie, it's a nice inland site for Kent, good to get the Avocet and Black Tail.

Warren Baker said...

Photo's are getting better and better Greenie, bough beech not an easy place to get photo's.

Phil said...

Keep your eyes peeled for the Ospreys Greenie. I saw one at Rutland Water yesterday afternoon, so there's still more to come through.
Nice Godwit pics.

Kingsdowner said...

Ah, Bough Beech, where I saw my first waders many years ago.
A comfortable place to watch birds.