Monday, 12 March 2012

Monday 12th. March 2012

The sound of bird song filled the air as I got out of the car at Sevenoaks Reserve this morning . Amongst the Tits and Thrushes , Bullfinch was heard but not seen , and Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker announced their presence too . I'm not sure what exactly was in the thoughts of this pair
of Blue Tits as they surveyed 'the world's largest Bees home', according to the notice and the Guinness book of Records. With one Fir cone missing , were they looking at a nest site , or was this their local fast  food outlet . Looking from the viewpoint , the East Lake was like a millpond , and with the sun now breaking through the morning mist , it was obvious that the water level had dropped even further than on my last visit , producing more islands , which will be good news for migrant waders when they arrive . From the Public Hide , a pair of Great Crested Grebes were displaying again , but amongst the branches of a fallen tree , a few Teal and a handful of Common Snipe was all that was on show . That was until two Moorhens on the nearest island started what looked like rehearsal for
the 'Minisrty of Funny Walks' , especially the one in front . A few steps further on , the one in front
stopped , the one behind caught up , and I did say that Spring was in the air this morning . Mind you , the male didn't seem too bothered about the female's neck . A look at the bay towards Tower Hide produced absolutely nothing , so I decided to head for the far side of East Lake . I walked down to the fields at the end of the lake , hoping that the Curlew Phil had seen might be around , but they weren't , just geese , including the odd white individual . On my way back , a Wren , one of many
heard and seen today , sat up and sang his heart out , and whilst he was doing so , a Chiffchaff started singing over near Willow hide , my first singing bird of the year . Just before heading for Willow Hide , I spotted a pair of GCBs , heading towards the shore with purpose , so i got behind a tree and waited . They arrived at the island and swam in amongst the overhanging branches . Then the female
hopped up onto a platform of nest materials , and layed prone on them , whilst the male swan aimlessly around behind her . After a short while , she got back in the water , swam a little way away , then returned to the nest site , with the male following . Same procedure as before , same result . Twice more it happened , without the necessary action . The pair then swam off strongly and I thought it was all over , when they turned and swam in again . The female again hopped up again and
 I don't know what she had said to the male , but it worked . Having done his duty , the male
dismounted with a front flip that Tom Daly would be proud of . No sign of the Bittern from Willow
Hide , or of much else apart from a few Teal , and four Egyptian Geese that were making enough
noise for 100 . Especially the male of this pair on the left , whose constant calling was identical to the noise made by the juvenile Herons in the nests at Kelsey Park , begging for food . On the way back to the car , two Peacock butterflies flew by , and a small mixed Goldfinch / Siskin flock were feeding in
the Larches . On the way out along the track , a Mistle Thrush was feeding in the horse paddock . From the Reserve , I headed up on the Downs hoping for another good reptile afternoon , but it was
not to be . Just two male Adders , one pictured , and a single Slow Worm were found , but butterflies
did much better with at least six male Brimstones charging around , one of which stopped just long enough nectaring on Common Dog Violets for a shot . A first of the year Small Tortoiseshell also
made it into the viewfinder , and another Peacock , which didn't . A pair of Mistle Thrushes and a
feeding Goldcrest were the only other items of interest , but a most enjoyable walk around in warm sunny conditions .


Phil said...

An enjoyable walk and an enjoyable read Greenie. I have you in the lead with 'first signs of spring' at the moment!

ShySongbird said...

Lots of Spring activity there then Greenie. Well done on the Chiffchaff, Brimstones and Peacocks. I managed to beat you by one day with the Small Tortoiseshell ;-)

I particularly like the photos of the lovely little Wren singing it's heart out and the Brimstone with Violets.

Ken. said...

Another good trip to Sevenoaks Reserve.
Well done with all the butterfly sighting, good to see there now about.
As for the giant Bee home, I remember seeing that last year.