Posts Tagged ‘Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve’

A Bank Holiday Monday morning visit to the Kent Wildlife Trust reserve at Sevenoaks to look for Little Ringed plover and other migrants.

The reserve is based around two large lakes which were originally dug for sand and gravel extraction. My first stop was at the hide overlooking the west end of the main lake. This was where the Little Ringed Plovers had been seen the previous day but there was no sign this morning. More common birds were present including Tufted Duck, Teal, Mallard, Great Crested Grebe and a single Mute Swan.

Eurasian Teal (m)
Wood Forget-me-nots

I then walked through the wood to the hide at the other end of the main lake but only saw the same species. Blackcaps were singing in the trees but no other migrant warblers were heard. My final stop was at the hide on the second lake. Here there was a group of Greylag Geese. The feeding station was not busy and only a couple of Blue Tits, a Great Tit, a Dunnock and a Magpie visited whilst I was there.

Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Teal (Anas crecca)
Tufted Duck (Aythya fuligula)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Stock Dove [sp] (Columba oenas)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Great Spotted Woodpecker [sp] (Dendrocopos major)
European Green Woodpecker [sp] (Picus viridis)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blackcap [sp] (Sylvia atricapilla)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
European Robin [sp] (Erithacus rubecula)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
White Wagtail (Pied) (Motacilla alba yarrellii)

Large White (Pieris brassicae)
Small White (Artogeia rapae)
Orange Tip (Anthocharis cardamines)
Peacock Butterfly (Inachis io)

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)

DSCN5399a

As we were in the Sevenoaks area we decided that we would visit another local reserve, the Sevenoaks Wildlife reserve.

This reserve was founded as a collaboration between a local naturalist and a gravel/ sand extraction company who operated on the site. Extraction finished some 30 years ago and now there are a series of lakes surrounded by woodland.

DSCN5385a

At the first hide we got some great views of a party of Blue Tits in the trees.

Blue Tit

Blue Tit

On the main lake there were a large number of Greylag Geese and Lapwing along with Teal and a Little Egret.

Greylag Geese

Greylag Geese

Lapwing

Lapwing

Eurasian Teal

Eurasian Teal

The real star species though was a large number of Common Snipe. Every island seemed to have its little party of 10-20. There may have been between 50 and 80 in total. It is unusual to see them like this as they spend most of their time in the margins and undergrowth where their excellent camouflage makes them difficult to see.

Common Snipe

Common Snipe

Common Snipe

Common Snipe

Common Snipe

Common Snipe

Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
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)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Common Moorhen [sp] (Gallinula chloropus)
Eurasian Coot [sp] (Fulica atra)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Common Snipe [sp] (Gallinago gallinago)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Pied Wagtail (Motacilla alba yarrellii)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)

DSCN1159-2

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.

DSCN1186-3

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

DSCN1190-4

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.

DSCN1205

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)