It was a cold start at sevenoaks, even with the sun shining, the fact that most of the reserve seems to be in shade first thing doesn't help! Nothing too spectacular was found, although the WHITE IBIS was still present on the largest of the lakes. There were also plenty of LAPWING, CORMORANT, CANADA GEESE, and GREYLAG GEESE there, as well as TEAL, SHOVELER, TUFTED DUCK, GADWALL, GREY HERON and a few SNIPE.
At least two KINGFISHERS were seen, plus along the wooded walks the likes of GOLDCREST, TREECREEPER, LONG TAILED TIT, GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER, JAY and SPARROWHAWK were all easily found, along with the more common species. As I said, nothing spectacular, but it's always nice to see a few water birds that are unlikely or rarely going to visit my patch :-)
This GREAT CRESTED GREBE was the only bird to get near enough for a photo, but it was still a bit far off!
It was much the same at Bough Beech, nothing too spectacular being seen, but watching a DUNLIN on the shore of the reservoir next to a couple of Snipe was a little bit unusual and a nice treat for an inland birder like me :-)
There were at least 6 GOOSANDER out on the main reservoir, along with small numbers of WIGEON. A minimum of 6 BUZZARDS were up soaring over the area,plus probably the largest flock of Grey Herons I've seen dropped in - 26 in all, quite something to see!
Around the visitors center, only the regular Tits and finches were seen at the feeders there, along with a few HOUSE SPARROWS, a pair of Long Tailed Tits, a couple of PHEASANTS and a NUTHATCH, no sign of any Marsh Tits or Brambling - or Siskin for that matter! A REED BUNTING sang from the nearby reeds and a KESTREL was hunting in the area.
Dunlin at Bough Beech ( Snipe in foreground)
Snipe ( Dunlin in background)
Back at Pittswood, a 90 minute stroll around my muddy patch was worth the effort, with the KESTREL pair seen up hunting over the Scrubby Woods, 3 BUZZARDS low over the Ashes Lane Fields and a SPARROWHAWK hunting in the Wet Woods. Half a dozen GREYLAG and CANADA GEESE were visiting on the main Lake, along with the white farmyard goose. Earlier, while passing through the Small Holding there were at least 20 FIELDFARE feeding on a grass field there.
A walk over to the Greenhouse Grounds didn't produce too much, although a scan over at the Greenhouse Copse showed the LITTLE OWL at roost.