Sevenoaks KWT Reserve Field Trip

The weather forecast was sunshine and light rain and then changed to a dry morning followed by rain in the afternoon. So 17 of us set out making the most of the morning making our way around the west lake on the reserve only to find it to be very quiet with only the odd bird seen or one making a sound. On the water there was a great crested grebe, mallards and a pair of tufted ducks but little else to report. Things livened up as we made our way to the first set of hides where due to the very high turnout of people coming on the walk we had to split up into two group and swapping hides after 20 minutes or so watching the herons in the nests and long tailed tits and blue tits enjoying the spring sunshine. Sadly there were no sightings of the kingfishers even though I had booked them for an appearance so will be wanting my money back. An unusual cross breed of a goose part canadian part greylag put an appearance in plus a couple of pairs of shovelers and a pair of mute swans that have been on the same stretch of water for years. Chiff chaffs could be both heard and seen making their presence known some no dount migrants others have over wintered in our increasingly mild winters. A few of use spotted what we though was a goldcrest but very briefly.On the way to our next stop by the farmers field five great created grebes were together on the lake and the third type of goose seen ( Egyptian) was on an island where a family were reared last year. Next to the reserve all the canadian & greylag geese had paired up but no lambs obviously too early but it is a wonderful sight when both goslings and lambs share these fields. A lovely jay and some siskins were about plus a red kite soared above us. The pesky parakeets were nearby squealing and screeching as they do. It was again quiet as we made our way the north end of the main east lake and when we reached the next hide a few of watched a chiff chaff only a few feet way from us. There was a distinct lack of butterflies on a reserve that does well for such things later in the year and in a period where they are now being seen around Kent especially the peacock, comma & brimstone.One the way to the final hide some of the group spotted the little ringed plover a migrant bird that over winters in Africa and that had arrived in the reserve last week. Four snipes came into view and as usual kept some guessing where they were due to their camouflage yet less than 50 metres from us. A couple of oyster catchers had taken up resident a couple of weeks ago perhaps thinking its Sevenoaks by the sea and with global warming it might well be future generations of bird watchers.The few of us left watched a blackcap sing its heart out(see the superb photo taken by Sarah (thank you). Having arrived at the visitor centre and half way through a brew the heavens open, lightning, thunder and hail. I felt sorry for a number of children outside in the reserve on some activity with the KWT but thankfully most of the group were already on there way home or under cover. Back in Maidstone the sun came out and it was a lovey afternoon.Funny old weather we have.