Friday, 16 March 2012

Sevenoaks Wildfowl reserve 15-3-2012

Yesterday I went off to Sevenoaks Wildfowl Reserve, it was a nice day and I got there about 10.30. I started off at Grebe Hide overlooking West Lake, but other than a few Tufted Ducks, a Coot and a fast disappearing Cormorant, all was quiet. The bird feeders which are next to the hide were of equal low activity, only attracting one each of Great and Blue Tit so it was time to move on.
Coot - Canon 400D + 100-400mm

 I walked half way to Tyler hide where I could see out over East Lake and the islands, most of which were covered with Gulls; Black Headed, Common and Herring. On the non-Gull islands were a few Teal, Coots, Lapwings and Moorhens, I also managed to find a Snipe and a Pied Wagtail.

Long Tailed Tit - Canon 400D + 100-400mm

Long Tailed Tit with a bug in its beak which it had just dug out of the bark of the branch its perched on. Taken at Carter Hide later in the day - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
I wandered up towards Willow Hide and was pleasantly surprised at the activity from a variety of Passerines. Long Tailed Tits, Blue Tits, Great Tits, Dunnocks, Wrens, Blackbirds and Robins were all fairly vocal, I also saw a single female Blackcap. A bit further up the path I came across a Treecreeper which did its very best to avoid being photographed, and a Chiffchaff calling from the upper branches who was equally photophobic, these were the best I could get.
Treecreeper - Canon 400D + 100-400mm

Chiffchaff - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
Willow Hide gave views of Teals, Mallards, Greylag Geese, Canada Geese, Coots, a pair of Shovelers and a couple of Gadwall. A Kingfisher was heard but not seen, as was a Green Woodpecker. I left Willow Hide and made my way towards the end of the path where it looks out over fields to the North. These were being grazed upon by Greylag and Canada Geese, whilst further back Carrion Crows and Jackdaws were wandering about occasionally being joined by a Magpie or two. At the very back of the field were a couple of Fieldfares whilst a Pheasant was seen wandering about at the Eastern edge near some Rabbits. I was more than surprised to see sitting in a tree less than 50 yards away 5 Ring Necked Parakeets, they were unusually silent, not even calling when they later flew off.  

Ring Necked Parakeet - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
 Back to Willow Hide where there were no new additions but some spectacular displays of Goose bathing habits which included Canada Geese completely submerging themselves (head and everything) for up to 3 or 4 seconds and both Canada and Greylag rolling on to their backs with their legs in the air, I have never seen this behaviour before and found it fascinating.
Greylag Goose (back) and Canada Goose (fore) - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
On to Carter Hide where a pair of Gadwall kept me entertained for a while, a pair of Mute Swans, a Robin and a Long Tailed Tit paid a visit but nothing else.

Female Gadwall - Canon 400D + 100-400mm

Male Gadwall - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
 I walked back to the car park seeing a Great Crested Grebe in West Lake.

Great Crested Grebe - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
Although the majority of the birds seen yesterday were fairly common I am still amazed that for the whole walk there was a general background noise of birds, this was wonderful and contrasts heavily with most of my usual woodland walks where it can be ages between bird calls.   
Mute Swan - Canon 400D + 100-400mm
 Only 41 birds seen and another two heard, but still a very nice day at a nice venue. Those missed off the above account but seen (all from the main path around East Lake) were Chaffinch, Collared Dove, Jay, Little Grebe, Wood Pigeon, Starling, and Song Thrush.

1 comment:

  1. Have you ever noticed now mater how big th epond is it only comes half way up a duck!