Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Tuesday 8th. April 2014

A visit to Sevenoaks Reserve this morning was mainly to see how the Treecreepers were getting on with their nesting . Arriving at the tree , I was devastated to find a large area of bark missing , exactly
where the nest entrance had been . On the ground , at the foot of the tree , was the missing piece of
bark . I have no idea what the cause was , but from the look of the bark , it was pretty rotten and could have come down in the wind , I just hope it wasn't someone after their eggs . Dismayed , after a quick look from Willow Hide and finding just Canada and Greylag Geese , I walked round towards Tyler Hide , finding the area directly in front almost devoid of birds apart from a few Lapwing . A scan over the islands wasn't much better , but it did produce my first of three migrant species , being a
Little Ringed Plover , looking minute against a Gull on one of the furthest islands from the hide . A scan of the sky produced the other two , a single Swallow and minimum of three Sand Martins , all hawking for insects over the far side of the East Lake . A look down the far end around Sutton Hide was non eventful , but on the way back , in the fenced off area where the goats were during the Winter , the descending call of a Willow Warbler made my fourth migrant . It could possibly have
been six , with several Blackcaps (male pictured) and Chiffchaffs in song on the way round . From the Reserve I moved onto the Downs , primarily to see if the Early Purple Orchids were in flower , having seen some on a Dungeness posting . I did find 25/30 rosettes of spotted leaves and three
flower spikes , but the best one will not be in flower until the weekend at the earliest . I had just found my first Adder , when a text from Carol telling me that the people had arrived to take down a large conifer in the neighbour's garden , but almost on the fenceline . They were going to give us warning so we could try and protect the plants in our border under the tree , and by the time I got home , only the main trunk remained . Fortunately , not too much damage was done to our border .
After lunch , I headed up to the Greensand Ridge , not an original intention . On the way to the
combat / mating area , I passed another male guarding , if you could call sitting on her neck guarding , a female . This could prove to be another area for action in the future . Within 5 metres of where the big black/white male mated the big female , I found the male again in mating mode with a
female , but I was pretty sure it wasn't the large one . To be sure , I went and found her , on her own , and looking very content . Back at the action , I watched the big male attempt to mate three times with the new female , and three times she refused . Once again , the mating attracted other males into
the area , and there were three 'spats' , I couldn't call them combat , as each only lasted a few seconds , the large male seeing each one off in turn . The third attempt to mate was well out in the
open , but once again the female was having none of it . Don't know what it is about this Spring , but it is certainly turning out to be an interesting one Adder-wise .
As I got home , I had my first Kent Speckled Wood , when one landed on the front window as I
walked down the path . Perhaps it was inspecting the paint job .


Phil said...

More great Adder action Greenie. Still haven't got out to see one myself yet this year.
Thought about popping along to Sevenoaks myself this morning, then realised it might be busy due to the kids being off school. Presumably I was wrong on that one.

Warren Baker said...

Visited Sevenoaks reserve today Greenie, saw the LRP and a few Sand martins, but was dismayed to see the area fenced off for the Goats, thats where i used to photograph damsels and dragons :-(