Archive for February 10, 2014

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A windy but dry Sunday morning and we set off to spend a few hours at the Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve. This area just north of Sevenoaks in Kent is made up of old commercial gravel pits, which have been turned into lakes, and the surrounding woodlands. It is good to see when we arrive that despite all the rain and bad weather the reserve is still open, although it is immediately obvious that the water level of the lakes is much higher than normal. Our first stop is Tyler hide on the main lake. The mud bank in front of the hide, which is usually good for wading birds, has virtually disappeared and the Lapwing and Cormorants that are present are having to roost where ever there is small areas of suitable ground which keeps them above the water level.

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Next stop is Grebe lake. One of the highlights of the hide here is the feeding station which is alongside. This can be a very good place to get sightings and photographs of Siskin. However, this morning we are unluckily and only Blue and Great Tits are coming to the feeders. After a stop for a warming and refreshing cup of tea at the visitors centre, I make my way towards the northern part of the reserve. This path goes alongside the River Darent, which is much higher than usual and in some places is flooding over the path.

Robin

Robin

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River Darent

River Darent

Along this path. I finally catch up with Siskin, but it is high in the trees and doesn’t hang around long enough for me to get any photographs.

Siskin
Siskin
photo by Sergey Yeliseev (http://www.flickr.com/photos/yeliseev/)

Onto the lake overlooked by Willow hide, there is a selection of different duck species together with Mute Swan and Grey Heron. My final destination on this walk is Carter hide, but when I arrive I find that due to the increase in water level it is now actually within the lake and is inaccessible.

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Photo by Sue

Photo by Sue


Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Eurasian Siskin (Carduelis spinus)