Monday, 15 December 2014

Monday 15th. December 2014

A catch up on a few recent visits , starting with a morning trip to Bough Beech Reservoir on Saturday , which failed to find anything out of the ordinary , and not a single one of the 19 Goosander which were recorded on the Wednesday . A visit to the nearby feeders in the woods , again failed to produce the hoped for , Siskin , Brambling or Redpoll , and it appeared that the Marsh Tit numbers
were down on my previous visit . Other members of the Tit family were present , Blue , Great and
just a couple of Long Tailed , and good numbers of the very quick moving Coal . A couple of
Nuthatch arrived , but stayed on the periphery , no doubt waiting for me to go before moving in . A
small number of Bank Vole were active , particularly under the feeders . After one climbed on a mossy log , I baited the top with some seeds , but another local resident spotted the stash first , and
finished the seed before another Vole sighting .
Yesterday morning I spent some time looking around Hayes Farm and the Trout Fishery , accompanied by a very cold wind . Hoping for Winter Thrushes , I was disappointed , but the resident RRParakeets and a fly-over Common Buzzard provided interest on the way to the fishery . 3 Little Grebe , a juvenile Grey Heron and an Egyptian Goose were found along with the usual waterfowl . Most interesting was watching 2 adult Mute Swan , teaching their juvenile the art of take off , flying
and landing . I watched the 3 paddle to the far corner of the square lake , then , with the juvenile out
in front , closely followed by the pen , barking out orders , and the cob bringing up the rear , the trio
flew to the diagonal opposite corner , before making a graceful landing . After a couple of minutes , they paddled the two sides of the lake , ending up in the far corner again . Same again for take off , but this time the juvenile and pen gained more height across the lake and cleared the trees by the entrance gate and headed off over the fields , the cob having dropped down in the corner again . The two fliers disappeared behind trees near the athletics track . A few minutes later , I heard a splash from the centre of the lake , as the two landed back to be re-united with the cob in the corner . All three seemed to be well satisfied with the lesson and went in search of some food in the margins .
This morning , I got out in the sunshine and headed for Sevenoaks Reserve , in another search for Siskins . I thought I had succeeded when I saw a flock of Finches fly into the Alders at the end of
the West Lake , but they turned out to be Goldfinches . A look around the clay spit area only
produced a close up of the white goose that is seen regularly on the site . From the five bar gate , two Little Egret in the left corner , lots of Canada and Greylay Goose , and several Mistle Thrush and Fieldfare in the right hand corner . Then , I can only think that it was concealed in the far hedgeline ,
the juvenile White Ibis appeared in flight , fling at distance , left to right across the field . It landed over in the right hand corner and immediately went into worming mode . A couple of other birders arrived and we watched it teasingly moving a bit closer , then turning and heading back again .
Eventually , it did come within 25 metres or so and met up with the white goose on the way . This
was the closest that it came , still worming , before turning once again and following the geese
towards the corner of the field that it had flown from . Being in the shade , by now I was frozen , so headed back to the warmth of the car , on the way finding 3/4 Goldcrest , high in the trees alongside the East Lake , but they were soon spooked by some workmen in orange workwear passing by . The sun was already milky , and by the time I got home , grey cloud had filled in all round .

1 comment:

Warren Baker said...

A busy day in the field Greenie, nice to see the immature Mute Swan didn't have any mishaps, like the one here did!