Trip reports

Bough Beech Reservoir (Leader Karen Snow)

Bough Beech Reservoir (Leader Karen Snow)
Lapwing [Karen Snow]

Sunday, 4 September 2016

This walk should have been led by Sue and Steve, however they hightailed it to the Highlands! So, having agreed to take the walk in their absence, and taking note of the M20 closure, I left plenty of time to get there. This proved unnecessary as it took just over half an hour from Rochester via the M25 - the trip back however is another story! Some members chose alternative routes and were slightly late, but no worry we hadn't moved from our start point at the causeway.

For those that haven't been there, this reserve is run by the Kent Wildlife Trust and is near Sevenoaks. It plays host to fishermen as well as birders and has a small visitor centre with toilets, and shop which also sells refreshments. They were having a historical craft event in the afternoon, but we didn't stay around for that.

For the 11 of us that made it, there was plenty to see from the causeway and we spent over an hour there. Egrets and herons aplenty and the usual coots, moorhens, mallards, cormorants and great crested grebes. We had snipe pointed out to us by a local and saw a green sandpiper, greenshank and what we thought was a curlew sandpiper. This however proved wrong and turned out to be a juvenile knot.

We were constantly moving from one side of the causeway to the other and there were plenty of swallows and martins overhead. Geese on the far bank included greylag, Canada and Egyptian as well as a flock of mute swan. Lapwings were everywhere you looked. A small flock of teal were spotted.

We had a brief glimpse of a grey wagtail and later a lovely view of a wheatear. I also saw a few linnets and what we thought was a chiffchaff.

We decided to make our way to the visitor centre and some members set off. Those of us that hung back however had a kestrel flyover and a great view of two kingfishers.

At the visitor centre we had a lovely cup of tea before going to the hide. There was nothing to see and a few members decided to head home.

Those of us that stayed made our way round the nature trail but didn't add anything although we did get some good views of the grey wagtails. There was much debate as to whether if they were all grey, they looked like pied, but were too big. We decided they were just youngsters and headed back.

We stopped again at the kingfisher spot and saw four together as well as a little grebe.

A great place as always, with a total of 37 birds seen.

Karen Snow