On a fresh and overcast Sunday morning, seventeen of us met in the car park at the Sevenoaks Kent Wildlife Trust Reserve. we then quickly reassembled by the horse field, to try and spot the ring ouzel that had been sighted previously. Thankfully, a couple of our eagle-eyed members found a resplendent male, flying low over the field before settling on a distant tree, with a slightly duller female on the grass. The usual array of crows, chaffinch, tit and blackbird greeted us back in the car park and a pair of great-crested grebes were exchanging a fish on the west lake before feeding their little ‘humbug’ on mum’s back. Following the diversion signs, we saw male and female blackcap, dunnock, song and mistle thrush. A fleeting glimpse and calling of a great-spotted woodpecker were afforded to most of us, then overhead swallow, house and sand martin descended, skimming the lake surface in search of their flying lunch. In the John Tyler hide, little ringed plover, green sandpiper, lapwing and various gulls were spotted, along with cormorants et al.
Along the path to the Slingsby hide, long-tailed tit, brambling and chaffinch were flitting from tree to tree, whilst a common buzzard quartered overhead. The hide produced reed bunting, treecreeper, robin and a goldcrest, although it was only heard unfortunately. Lunch was taken in the visitor centre garden, where the robins came down to find some dried meal worms supplied by us. Afterwards, a walk to the look-out point, then along to the Willow hide, hoping to catch the elusive kingfisher. Alas, it eluded us again.
However, the grey heron and their offspring were on display, where the parents were feeding their young charges and fetching more twigs for the nests. The return walk to the car park yielded a resplendent sparrowhawk, jay, nuthatch and chiffchaff, with further sightings of wren and brambling. A splendid day out with good people and 55 species noted.
Thanks to Steve and Hazel for leading and Steve and Terry for the use of their excellent photographs.