Trip reports

Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve 21st October 2017.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve 21st October 2017.

Storm Brian did not deter 13 hardy members today but judging when to leave the hides to miss the showers was fundamental. On the way to the viewing point overlooking the main lake birdsong included robin and chaffinch with pied wagtail overhead and a great spotted woodpecker in the distance. A flock of lapwing were resting on one of the islands with a few black headed gulls. Coot and mallard were also seen here. Moving along the path a gap in the trees on the edge of the main lake gave us views of a couple of mute swan and a great crested grebe diving intermittently. Duck species mounted up with pochard, teal, tufted duck and gadwall. The sun came out as we continued along the path and with it a fast flying migrant hawker. A grey heron also flew across the path.
Our first mixed flock of birds was noticed by the call signs of long tailed tits and around fifteen flew across the path and into the trees. The flock also included blue tits, great tits and a calling gold crest. An unfamiliar call turned out to be siskins. I managed to get the telescope on to the birds feeding high up on the alder cones with their streaky chests clearly seen. A jay flew over-one of several seen today. Two Egyptian geese also flew overhead.
From the hide a few cormorant were loafing on some logs. Two little grebe swam across the front of the hide and at the back of the small lake a little egret and grey heron stood against the reeds. In the fields there were some jackdaws. The peace was disturbed by a large cackling group of Canada geese which flew in and landed on the water. There were a couple of greylag geese amongst them as well.
We started our return journey towards the visitor centre passing over the small bridge across the River Darenth. The rain had started and we all made a dash for the public hide. From here we got closer views of the lapwing. Once the shower was over we made our way to the furthest hide. Here there was another flock of small birds which included long tailed tits but also a coal tit. The coal tits white nape was seen by most people. On our return we stopped in the tower hide where in further showers a couple of common gull were seen on the lake.
Finishing the walk in sunshine a total of thirty nine species were seen today with the highlights being the mixed flocks of small birds and good views of siskin and coal tit. The large noisy flying flock of Canada geese alighting on the water was pleasing plus the good spread of duck species.
George Kalli