Trip reports

Midweek group outing to Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve on Tuesday 21st January 2014

Monday, 27 January 2014

Arriving with the fog still making visibility somewhat difficult a Great Spotted Woodpecker could be heard drumming, a Song Thrush was singing and the Blue Tits and Great Tits were busily calling and dashing around the trees in the car park.
The water level in the main lake was high after the recent rains and as the fog lifted and the sun came out we were treated to some fantastic views of over 200 Lapwings, Great Crested Grebes, Teal, Shoveler, Wigeon and more than 20 Common Snipe some of whom were engaged in some form of display which involved running up and down at some speed on the exposed islands. A great sight!
Amongst the Black Headed and Common Gulls were a Lesser Black Backed Gull and a lone ringed Herring Gull. (See footnote)
As we made our way through the woodland habitat we had excellent views in the sunshine of a group of Siskins, including some lovely male birds, feeding on the alder seeds. Treecreepers were seen, and a Chiffchaff heard as we approached the Tower Hide. From here the Group had superb views of a female Goosander as she swam and fished in the open water. At the end of the lake a Water Rail was seen scurrying through the reedbed and a pair of Mandarin Ducks were spotted tucked up against a bank.
On our return to the car park for lunch a male Sparrowhawk dashed across a clearing and a Little Egret was also seen.
In the afternoon we had good views of Redwing, flocks of Long-Tailed Tits, and a Green Woodpecker over the pasture land. We were also treated to lovely views of 4 Lesser Redpolls feeding on some coppiced alder no more than 5 metres away. A Goldcrest was seen at the end of the trip.
22 members enjoyed a superb days birding and a total of 53 species were seen by the Group.
Terry Osborn

The Herring Gull white '9HP8' had been ringed asan adult on May 24th 2013 at Chouet Landfill, GUERNSEY. Apparently few of their gulls normally make their way to southeast England. (John Birkett)