Monday, 10 February 2014

Monday 10th. February 2014

Firstly , I've been pleased to read three reports of Slavonian Grebe sightings in the area around the Bittern viewpoint at Castle Water , Rye , the area where I got a very quick glimpse of such a bird on my last visit there , so reasonable to say that my brief sighting and ID was correct .
Last Friday in a lull in the rain , I made a visit to Bough Beech Reservoir , but due to the amount of water that has been pumped in , I have never seen it so full , the only sightings were a few Tufted Duck on the North Lake and 3 Pochard , 1 Cormorant and 1 GCGrebe on the main reservoir . I'm sure that there were other birds there , but the water being now right into the surrounding vegetation and trees , new feeding and resting areas mean that they can stay out of sight from anyone on the causeway . A quick look around the feeders and the orchard didn't turn up anything out of the ordinary , even the fallen apples had only attracted a handful of Fieldfares . So , I decided to move on to some feeders in woodland a couple of miles away , that were last year covered in Siskins , but like other places , very few have turned up this year . Great and Blue Tits made up the majority of visitors to the feeders , but every now and again , other species turned up like ,
at least two Marsh Tits , but could have been more , rarely feeding , just flying off with up to three sunflower seeds to eat away from all the commotion ,
two or more Coal Tits , employing their 'snatch and fly' feeding method ,
Finch cousins , Siskin (male) and Goldfinch ,
Tit cousins , Marsh and Blue ,
Goldfinch , Siskin and Marsh Tit ,
less frequent visitors were at least two Nuthatches ,
who also made regular visits to a 'drinking well' high above the feeders ,
two GSWoodpeckers were too shy to come down to the feeders whilst I was there ,
and just before leaving , a few LTTits arrived , and headed straight for the fat balls .
This morning , I headed for Sevenoaks Reserve , hoping for a bit more of that sunshine , but all I got was grey skies and rain . Once again , I've never seen the water level so high , with hardly a single island showing from Tyler Hide , which I just made before the first of the many showers whilst on
site . Out in the gloom in the middle of the East Lake , a pair of GCGrebes were displaying to each other , will be hoping to get better shots of the 'weed dance' when they start nesting . Heading down towards Sutton Hide , I found the female Goosander tucked away in the little bay , but she didn't hang
around for long , just managing to get a few shots as she went . In the Alders , Siskins could be heard , but went unseen in the gloom . Good numbers of Pochard again from Sutton Hide and with
just a few females around , the drakes seemed to have just one thing on their minds , with a lot of displaying/showing off going on . On the loop back to Tyler Hide , Scarlet Elfcup / Sarcoscypha
coccinea did it's best to brighten the day , contrasting nicely with the green moss , growing on decaying branches on the ground . I caught up again with the female Goosander just before the track
to the car park , but she was more alert this time , so I only managed a shot of her heading for open water and as far away from the camera that she could get .
And finally , although still not yet halfway through February , the male Hazel catkins are already open and releasing their pollen , and to receive it , the red female flowers are fully open , ready to be
pollinated and produce nuts in the Autumn .


Warren Baker said...

What another awful day Greenie :-(

Like you, i'm filling my time photographing birds at the feeders :-)

I hope to get some Goosander shots if it ever stops raining!

Alan Pavey said...

Nice lot of birds on the feeders there Greenie, nice to see the Marsh Tits, I've struggled slightly finding many here this year.

Phil said...

Water, water everywhere Greenie. Nice to see some early signs of Spring though. Just hope it's not a false dawn. Last Marsh Tit I saw was at Alan's patch at Sissinghurst, not an easy bird to find!

Chris Rohrer said...

Nice colorful birds for the feeders!:) They look very happy and healthy:)

Linda said...

Lovely series of photos.

Ken. said...

Love the mixed shots of the passerines,the Marsh Tit is a bonus.My favourite is the very alert G/S/Woodpecker
It's a pity you wasn't able to get any better photo's of part of the G/C/Greeme ritual, isn't the weather a bugger???