On Saturday a large group met at Sevenoaks Kent Wildlife Trust Reserve. It was rather cold and windy which did not bode well for those of us hoping to see spring migrants. But fairly soon we were hearing chiffchaff and some of us managed to pick up a few notes of a blackcap – if it had been sunny he would have been singing his head off! Later we saw a group of 8 sand martins flying overhead – but that was it as far a migrants were concerned. The nesting grey heron was very easy to see despite it trying to hide by lying as flat as possible in the nest. Robins and wrens were in full song. Derek and I started talking about wren song and, as we walked along, I started counting the number of singing males. When I got to 12 I stopped counting. But when we returned to the visitor centre, Martin C., the reserve’s regular bird counter, had just completed a full bird count for all species. He had counted 45 singing male wrens on the reserve! Great crested grebes, little grebes and 9 species of wildfowl were seen by us on the water. Some were lucky enough to see a kingfisher.
After lunch at Sevenoaks we travelled to Bough Beech and we spent some time watching the birds attracted to the bird feeders -blue tit, great tit, long tailed tit, coal tit, nuthatch, great spotted woodpecker, chaffinch, goldfinch, starling and pheasant (OK, but it was standing underneath the feeders). How many blue tits can you see in the video? A flock of gulls was feeding over the open water of the reservoir and we had been told that one of them was a little gull. We eventually managed to see the bird, not because of it being smaller than the other gulls, but because of its very dark underwing.
It was still cold, so we retired to the small visitor centre for tea and coffee.
Thanks to Sally for the video and Steve and Terry for the photographs.