The birds were singing and the sun was shining – what more could we ask for.
After what has felt like a long and cold winter, 26 enthusiastic folk met for our sunny walk around the KWT Reserve at Sevenoaks. The weather was bright and warm and we were greeted in the car park by a male great spotted woodpecker who performed well flying from tree to tree, enabling most of the gathering group to get good views. Chiffchaff and blackcap were singing in the trees. Soon we were looking at little ringed plover and queuing up for telescope views generously provided by the dedicated chaps prepared to carry them – you know who you are and a big ‘thank you’! The yellow eye-ring showed really well and we spent some time watching at this handsome bird.
As we moved along the side of the first lake we quickly had coot, moorhen, shelduck, cormorant, greylag, egyptian and canada goose in our sights. Three long-tailed tits entertained us for a while with their frantic activity, and three blackcap were actively chasing about in a willow tree. Chiffchaff seemed to be all around us with one pair collecting nesting material along the edge of the track and totally unconcerned as we walked past their new home. Cetti’s warbler sang away every now and then, and two gregarious robins came very close, demanding our attention.
As the day warmed up the butterflies came out and we managed to see several comma, peacock, a green veined white, and brimstone. A bees nest was spotted in a hole in a tree and the bees were living up to their name busily flying around the area.
Looking over the fields, we spotted stock doves and a pair of pheasant were in the long grass trying to avoid the sheep.
After a break for lunch a short walk back to the East Lake and the Tyler Hide where more water birds were spotted, including a snipe which was doing it’s best not to be seen, giving us rather a challenge in describing its whereabouts – but we got there in the end. Walking back alongside the glistening lake, we chatted over the highlights of the day, some taking a cup of tea in the sunshine, wanting to prolong an excellent day out. Spring is finally here.
Many thanks go to Julie and Chris for leading a very successful walk (especially Chris who was suffering from a bad back – what a hero).
Other species seen on the day:
Gadwall, common gull, teal, herring gull, blackbird, mallard, kestrel, jackdaw, crow, pied wagtail, tufted duck, reed bunting, mute swan, great crested grebe, great tit, blue tit, magpie, dunnock, jay, wood pigeon, lapwing, chaffinch, wren.
Total species seen year to date by the group: 102