Naturelog: Sunday 26th January

Despite the poor forecast Sue and I set off to visit Bough Beech Reservoir near Sevenoaks in Kent. The reserve consists of a large water reservoir used for water storage and some surrounding land. A causeway runs across the northern end (the nature reserve part) and it is possible to get excellent views from the roadside and, ideal for a day on which the rain and wind relented for only brief periods, enables a rapid retreat into the car when the weather gets too rough.

The main reservoir
The main reservoir

The first thing was that the water was very high following the recent heavy rains and although the road was still above the water level, much of the surrounding land was flooded. trees emerged from below the water. this meant that there were no marginal or muddy areas and so the number of species were limited. No cormorants, geese or wading birds were to be seen although there were number of Duck species present. Unfortunately the 4 Goosander present the day before were not to be seen.

One of the flooded small lakes near the visitor centre
One of the flooded small lakes near the visitor centre

After a couple of sessions watching the reservoir interrupted by lunch we drove to the visitor centre where there are a number of smaller lakes, an orchard and a feeder station. This was to provide the best birdwatching of the day. A Fieldfare was seen at the far end of the orchard. Sightings of this wintering Thrush have been very few this winter, probably due to the mild nature of the weather (at least in temperature terms). A Marsh Tit was seen on the feeders along with a number of other species.

Marsh Tit at Feeder Station
Marsh Tit at Feeder Station
Blue Tit, Great Tit and Chaffinch on feeder
Blue Tit, Great Tit and Chaffinch on feeder

The rain had by now really set in so we decided to call it a day and head for home to do the RSPB Garden bird-watch. I recorded 14 species in the hour, the highlight of which was a visit to the feeders by the female Blackcap, not a bird commonly recorded on the garden bird-watch.

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Marsh Tit [sp] (Poecile palustris)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

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