Posts Tagged ‘bough beech reservoir’

A morning walk with the warden at the Kent Wildlife Trust reserve at Bough Beech near Sevenoaks. This is a working reservoir but the northern end is managed as a nature reserve.

The morning starts well with a Barn Owl which has taken to roosting in a Tawny Owl nest box.

Barn Owl

Making our way to the orchard, we record a number of small birds including Blue, Great and Marsh Tits, Nuthatch, Dunnock, Robin, Goldfinch and Chaffinch. A flock of Fieldfare erupt from out of the trees and one is later seen gorging on the fallen apples in the orchard.

Dunnock

Then it is onto the reservoir where there are a number of duck species. I miss a brief view of a Mandarin Duck and there are no Goosander or Great White Egret two of the specialities of the site.

Great Cormorant
Great Cormorant
Egyptian Goose

Then back to the car park and one last chance to view the Barn Owl before departing

A good morning walk with some excellent birds.

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)
Gadwall [sp] (Mareca strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Mareca penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Western Barn Owl [sp] (Tyto alba)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Marsh Tit [sp] (Poecile palustris)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

We had debated whether to go Bough Beech Reservoir today as planned as the weather forecast wasn’t very hopeful. But by 1100 it appeared the rain had passed and so Sue and I made our way to this site near Sevenoaks in hope of catching up with some spring migrants. Parking on the causeway I began to look out over the water and there were good numbers of duck, Canada Geese, Great Crested Grebes and Great Cormorants but no sign of any passage birds.

Great Crested Grebe

Tufted Duck

Eurasian Wigeon

Mallard

About 30 minutes after we arrived it started to rain and eventually this was so hard we took shelter in the car using it as a hide to watch for any birds flying through. A Great Spotted Woodpecker, a pair of Buzzards and a Chiffchaff were the best sightings. After a further hour the rain was getting harder and looked set, so we decided to call it a day and come home.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)
Gadwall [sp] (Mareca strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Mareca penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)

Rainham Marshes

After a trip to IKEA at Lakeside, Sue and I dropped into the RSPB reserve at Rainham Marshes for a coffee and a quick walk around the woodland area of this large marshland reserve.

The woods were full of song, much of it from newly arrived migrants and Common Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Blackcap were seen. Sedge and Reed warblers were calling from the nearby reed beds and we came across one very tolerant Reed Bunting which happily posed for pictures. There were also good numbers of butterflies with Orange Tip particularly numerous. A single Swallow was the first sighting of this summer migrant for me this year.

Orange-Tip

Orange-Tip

Reed Bunting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later we stopped for lunch at Bough Beech and were rewarded with sightings of Garganey and Little Ringed Plover both recently arrived from their Winter homes, together with my first House Martin of the year.

Bough Beech

Little Ringed Plover

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garganey (from archive)

 

 

Grey Heron

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Garganey (Anas querquedula)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
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)
Sand Martin [sp] (Riparia riparia)
Barn Swallow [sp] (Hirundo rustica)
Common House Martin [sp] (Delichon urbicum)
Cetti’s Warbler [sp] (Cettia cetti)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Sedge Warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Common Whitethroat [sp] (Sylvia communis)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Song Thrush [sp] (Turdus philomelos)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)
Common Linnet [sp] (Carduelis cannabina)
Common Reed Bunting [sp] (Emberiza schoeniclus)

The main reservoir

The main reservoir

A bright sunny winters day and so Sue and I decided to spend a couple of hours at Bough Beech Reservoir.

As we arrived it was clear that things were not going to be plain-sailing as the sun was low and straight into our eyes as we looked over the main reservoir. This made bird identification quite difficult as all appeared as dark shapes without any colour. The exception to this was the group of Mandarin Duck hauled up on the bank as the sun caught the orange in their plumage. Also present were Grey Heron, Little Egret together with Eurasian Teal and Greylag Geese in large numbers. A group of Great Crested Grebe could be seen on the water but there was no sign of the party of Goosander that had been recorded earlier in the week.

Little Egret

Little Egret

 

Turning our attention to the northern section (looking away from the sun) a Buzzard could be seen in a tree being harassed by the crows. A few Moorhens could be seen and a single Common Snipe made a brief foray from the reeds into open water.

Northern reservoir

Northern reservoir

Common Snipe

Common Snipe

At the reserve visitors centre there was a hive of activity around the feeders with large numbers of Blue Tits and Great Tits together with Blackbirds, Chaffinches and Dunnocks. A pair of Fieldfare together with single Coal Tit were also seen along with a very brief sighting of a flying Brambling as it disappeared into the hedgerow never to re-emerge into sight.

View from reserve centre

View from reserve centre

Fieldfare

Fieldfare

Blue Tit bathing

Blue Tit bathing

Back at the causeway, 2 Peregrines were located when they spooked a group of Woodpigeons and a Buzzard flew overhead giving excellent views. Still no sign of the Goosanders although a single Gadwall was found amongst the ducks on the bank.

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Peregrine Falcon [sp] (Falco peregrinus)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)

 

Sue and I set out for the coast intending to visit a couple of nature reserves on our way, but the amount and speed of the traffic on the motorway convinced us that we would have little time when we got there before we would have to head back for home so we changed our plans and stuck to visiting some sites in NW Kent.

Our first stop was Leybourne, where we heard a Nightengale singing from a bush. This is an excellent area and we have never failed to find them on any visit. Hearing them is one thing but seeing them is something far more difficult.

Sevenoaks KWT reserve

Sevenoaks KWT reserve

Moving on we came to the Kent Wildlife Trust reserve at Sevenoaks. On the main lake a pair of Eygptian Geese were feeding with their gosling and a pair of Greylag Geese had a brood of 9.

Egyptian Goose with Gosling

Egyptian Goose with Gosling

 

PIed Wagtail

PIed Wagtail

The star bird here was a Little Ringed Plover which was briefly seen on the edge of an island.

Little Ringed Plover

Little Ringed Plover

Our final stop was Bough Beech where 2 Common Terns were resting on the causeway. These were my first Common terns of the year. I don’t know if it is my imagination but they seem to be arriving late this year. Keith and I were surprised not to see a single bird last week in Dorset.

Common Tern

Common Tern

 

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Little Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius dubius)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Common Chiffchaff [sp] (Phylloscopus collybita)
Eurasian Reed Warbler [sp] (Acrocephalus scirpaceus)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Common Nightingale [sp] (Luscinia megarhynchos)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
White Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)

Sue and I managed to get a couple of hours at Bough Beech Reservoir before the rain started and the visibility dwindled. In a ‘winter’ so far that has not seemed very wintry (at least not in this part of the UK) the birds seemed not to have noticed and there were a large number of wintering duck on the reservoir including groups of Mallard, Tufted, Common Pochard and Eurasian Wigeon. A single male Northern Pintail, a single male Shovelor and a pair of Gadwall completed the count on the southern basin. A small flock of Eurasian Teal were on the northern basin which otherwise was pretty empty,

Pintail

Pintail

Pochard

Pochard

A walk to the orchard was greeted by the calls of Fieldfare although none could be seen. The orchard feeders were alive with Blue Tits and Great Tits. A single Marsh Tit and Coal Tit were also seen and a small party of Long-tailed Tits were present in the centre car-park.

Blue (left) and Great Tit on feeders

Blue (left) and Great Tit on feeders

The call of Fieldfare alerted me to a party of 8 flying away from the orchard as I walked to the flooded meadow, which apart from more Great and Blue Tits was very quiet. Retracing my steps past the Orchard I found some Fieldfare munching on the fallen apples.

Fieldfare

Fieldfare

Coming back onto the reservoir causeway 3 Mandarin Duck swam into view and a Kingfisher sped across the reservoir and landed in the bank-side trees. The weather was now deteriorating and we prepared to leave but just then some other birders called that a pair of Goosander (aka Common Merganser) had come out of the bank-side vegetation.

Mandarin

Mandarin

All in all a good start to the New Year – 10 species of Duck and 5 species of Tit. Lets hope the rest of the year is as successful!

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Egyptian Goose (Alopochen aegyptiaca)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Merganser [sp] (Mergus merganser)
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)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Rose-ringed Parakeet [sp] (Psittacula krameri)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Marsh Tit [sp] (Poecile palustris)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)

 

A lovely spring Morning and a visit to Bough Beech.

DSCN6684a

The first thing I noticed on arrival was the calls of Common Buzzard and up to 8 birds in the air at the same time. There has been a noted passage of Buzzards over SE England over the last couple of days – at least 16 had been reported from Bough Beech yesterday. It is possible that the calls were from a resident pair as they objected to the presence of other birds in ‘their’ area.

DSCN6686a

On the reservoir were good numbers of great Crested Grebes and Tufted Duck along with a few geese and Cormorants. In the vegetation on the edge of the resrvoir a number of Little Grebes were also present.

LIttle Grebe

LIttle Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

Canada Goose

Canada Goose

A lapwing could be heard calling but was not seen. Also heard were a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker and Pheasant. Grey Herons were perched in the Trees.

Grey Heron

Grey Heron

A Kingfisher sped across the causeway but did not stop in view. Down at the Visitor centre the feeders had the usual selection of finches. sparrows and tits.

DSCN6688a

Blue Tit

Blue Tit

Gold finches

Goldfinches

A Cuckoo (the first of the year) had been heard about 30 minutes before we arrived but remained silent during the time we were there.

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
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)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Rook [sp] (Corvus frugilegus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

DSCN5801a

After an excellent Sunday Lunch in Keston Village at Herbert’s (http://www.thisisherberts.co.uk/about-us) Sue and I decided to drop in at Bough Beech Nature Reserve to see if there is anything about.

DSCN5808a

Our first impression is that the water level in the reservoir is very high, probably the highest I have ever seen it, which is very good for the water company but not for birdwatching since all the margins are now under water with many trees that were on the bank now appearing to grow in the water.

DSCN5805a

On the reservoir there is a large party of Wigeon plus smaller numbers of Great Crested Grebe,Tufted Duck, Teal, Mallard and Pochard.

Pochard (male)

Pochard (male)

I decide to take a walk down to the visitor centre and have a look at the woodland and the feeders. There is a lot of activity here with large numbers of Blue and Great Tits. Also present are smaller numbers of Long-tailed Tit, Coal tit and Nuthatch.

Blue Tit and Long-tailed Tit

Blue Tit and Long-tailed Tit

Blue Tit

Blue Tit

In the Orchard a female Pheasant is searching the ground under the feeders looking for food that had fallen from above.

Pheasant (female)

Pheasant (female)

Returning to the Reservoir I locate a group of 6 Goosander on the far bank. A good ending to the visit

goosander-surprise
Goosander
Photo by John Bennett (https://www.flickr.com/photos/jbgoblin/)

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Common Pochard (Aythya ferina)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Merganser [sp] (Mergus merganser)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Coal Tit [sp] (Periparus ater)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Nuthatch [sp] (Sitta europaea)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)

DSCN5342a

A free morning and the chance to get out and do some birdwatching with Sue. We chose to visit one of our favourite places Bough Beech Reservoir near Sevenoaks. On arrival it was noticeable that the water level was much lower than on our previous visit, but despite the exposed mud there was little to be seen on the northern basin. The main reservoir lies to the south of the causeway and immediately the long-staying Great White Egret was located.

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

A pair of Goosander were soon seen swimming across the reservoir and later the male came closer to the causeway.

Goosander

Goosander

A flash of blue was the only sighting of a Kingfisher as it sped from one side to the other. There were small parties of Teal, Wigeon and Shovellor along with a half a dozen Great Crested Grebes.

Great Crested Grebe

Great Crested Grebe

On the banks were a large group of Greylag geese, Cormorants and Lapwing together with a party of about 20 Mandarin Duck (the largest number I have ever seen here).

Mandarin Duck

Mandarin Duck

Checking the Northern basin before we left I found this Little Egret posing for pictures.

Little Egret

Little Egret

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mandarin Duck (Aix galericulata)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Common Merganser [sp] (Mergus merganser)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Great Egret [sp] (Ardea alba)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
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)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)

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A visit today to Bough Beech reservoir near Sevenoaks in Kent. On arriving and scanning the reservoir the first bird seen was a Great White Egret. This is a rare visitor from central Europe, although more frequent each year as it seems to be expanding Westward.

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

Great White Egret

This is a UK first sighting for me, having previously only seen it in Austria and Hungary. It was with a Grey Heron and Little Egret which was a good chance to compare the species.

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The Little Egret, also once a rarity in UK, is now a regular breeding bird and there were 5 present at Bough Beech today

Little Egret

Little Egret

Little Egret

Little Egret

Good number of Wigeon and Great Crested Grebe also present. Was fortunate to see a Kingfisher fishing in river. Unfortunately it was through trees and impossible to get any photos.

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Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Eurasian Great Egret (Ardea alba alba)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Kingfisher [sp] (Alcedo atthis)
Eurasian Jay [sp] (Garrulus glandarius)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Grey Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla cinerea)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)