Monday, 23 January 2012

Monday 23rd. January 2012 ( Part 1 )

With rain on the cards for all of tomorrow and another day hedgelaying on Wednesday , I set out for Sevenoaks Reserve in cool and cloudy conditions , which were forcasted to improve , which they didn't . I made my way straight to Willow Hide , as my usual , in the hope of another Bittern sighting . As I looked out of the hide , I could see much more machinery making much more noise , on the building site behind the reedbed favoured by the Bittern . Anyway , I settled in and kept watch . The water level seemed higher and there were few waterfowl on Snipe Bog Lake , but favourites like
 this male Shoveler got the shutter moving . The two adult and one juvenile Mute Swans also
performed in front of the hide , with one of the adults showing exactly what 'Swan upping' is all about . Whilst watching the reedbed , Grey Heron and Little Egret both emerged from the area , but no sign of the Bittern , too noisy now ? Just a couple of Tufted Ducks on Long Lake , but East Lake produced large numbers of Canada and Greylag Geese , I looked for the White-fronted that had been
reported , but did not find the bird . Amongst the other were two oddities , a white goose that I think turned up last year or the one before , and another that was definitely 'of doubtful origin' , showing
 bits of Canada , Greylag and possibly Brent in it's varied parentage . Down at the end of East Lake , a flock of 8 Rose-ringed Parakeets were noisily arguing over possession of a couple of nest holes .
Six flew off as I approached , but these two stayed at home . The 'Rose ring' , from which they get their name can be seen clearly on the neck of the male . No sign on any additions to the two Great Crested Grebe nests , do they know something ? Looking across to the Public Hide , two large shapes
on the roof turned out to be two Egyptian Geese , two of seven seen today . The Adler trees before reaching the Public Hide , contained a small flock of Siskins again , no Redpolls this time , but an
 unexpected Goldcrest , right at the top of the tree . The Egyptian Geese had moved on by the time I got to the hide , but on the nearest island with other species were several Wigeon , a species that
seems reluctant to come close to the shore here . With their favoured area again free from frost , the
Common Snipe were showing well again , though not quite in their previous numbers . I didn't see what caused it , but all of a sudden , all the Lapwings that were on the small islands , took off en
masse , and proceeded to fly together for about five minutes . This shot caught most of the birds , but there were a few stragglers as well . At the end of the five minutes , someone said 'down' , and back
onto the islands they returned , like a fall of snow . Heading off towards the other hides , I passed two
Carrion Crows who seemed to be in deep discussion . But whatever it was , it will have to wait till tomorrow , as with 54 species seen on the visit , tomorrow's post should be of interest to both birders and anglers .


Ken. said...

Nice photo of the Parakeets,looks like that have found themselves a nice home.
Always goos to see a flock of waders in the air, mind you, lapwings have always been a bit skittish, it doesn't take much to put them up.
I must get down there again very soon as there are some species I haven't seen for a little while.

Alan Pavey said...

Alot going on there Greenie and 54 species is a very good haul.

Warren Baker said...

Just about the same number of species I found there last year Greenie. They were right about tomorrows weather ( today) it's Pi**ing down :-)

ShySongbird said...

A very nice and lively account of your visit Greenie. I love the rather comical photo of the Parakeets, glad you pointed out the 'ring'. They haven't reached our area yet so I have only seen them in photographs. I believe it can be a mixed blessing to have them at the garden feeders though, so perhaps I should be careful what I wish for!

The Egyptian Geese look like they were playing the old children's game of 'King of the Castle'.

Great capture of the Crows exchanging confidences too.

I look forward to part two!