Our Group walk Sevenoaks KWT Reserve and Bough Beech took place this weekend and eleven of us enjoyed a lovely sunny day in these two KWT Reserves.
At last the birds have started to sing again, and we had a great time wandering around the reserve listening to Blackcap, Long-tailed Tit – we saw a family party of 14 at one stage – Chiffchaff and Nuthatch. In addition from the viewpoint overlooking the lake we immediately added the following to our list: Lapwing, Canada Geese, Mute Swan, Greylag Geese, Coot, Little Egret, Cormorant, Wood Pigeon, Moorhen and Mallard.
At one stage Claire spotted a bird some way off which appeared to be diving into the water and then perching back on an overhanging branch. For some while I had the telescope on the branch but nothing was seen.
From the main hide we added Common Sandpiper, a bird which came remarkably close and gave the whole group great views, Pochard, Wigeon, Gadwall, Little Grebe, Robin and Egyptian Geese. At this point we reconnected with Claire’s earlier spot – a delightful Kingfisher which started off perched in front of the hide on a stone, then moved off to a nearby branch. Eventually it ended up back where Claire had originally spotted it.
At this point we had also managed to add some non-avian species in the form of ten Red Admiral, four Comma, several Small White and Speckled Wood Butterflies – thanks to Sally for the diligent spotting and reporting on these.
House Martins were feeding over the lake, circling around and chattering to each other as they went.
Small Red-eyed and Common Blue Damselfly, Carder Bee, juvenile Grass Snake and a Rat – thanks to Malcolm, Sally and Alan for the identifications here.
One of the local birdwatchers told us that a Little Bittern had been spotted an hour before at the Willow Hide, so we decided that we should go on a local “twitch” to see if we could find it.
Long story short – we didn’t! But we did see a Green Sandpiper at the far side of the Pool.
Three Jays flew overhead, and several Stock Dove were seen. We also found some higher House Martins which were flying with far more purpose that those spotted earlier. These appeared to be intent on migration and we all felt a hint of sadness that they would soon be gone for another year.
By now it was lunchtime and we took advantage of the benches and facilities at Sevenoaks before moving off to Bough Beech.
Once we had all reunited we walked to the Causeway and spent some time scanning the two areas of water. On one side were the Cormorants, Mute Swan, Greylage and Canada Geese in great numbers, with several Great-crested Grebe accompanied by young, still bearing their stripey heads.
On the smaller, shallower area there were Teal, Black-headed Gull, Mallard, Little Egret and two Green Sandpipers. A Hobby hunted overhead, catching dragonflies and eating on the wing.
Back at the visitor centre we had ice-creams and then wandered to the new hide. Here there was much excitement as a Kingfisher was providing a great show. Feeding from a nearby willow tree, and seemingly unconcerned at our presence. We watched for some time and took the opportunity to take photographs and marvel at the beautiful colours on this amazing bird.
In the top of some dead trees we found several Linnet; Swallow and House Martin flew overhead, along with a juvenile Herring Gull – much to Claire’s glee.
Thanks to all those who attended and made this an excellent day out – Dungeness is our next trip, so hopefully some more great things to see there.