Thursday, 24 June 2010

Football's not coming home...

... because I'm going out.

On Wednesday afternoon I decided to take advantage of the warm sunny weather and have a mooch around Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve, in search of damselfly action. There were more people there than I'd expected, given the fact that the England-Slovenia match was on, including a couple of school parties, but they seemed to be confining themselves to the picnic area. The reserve proper was very quiet.

I made my way to Willow hide in a clockwise direction for a change, and met a birder coming the other way, who told me that a juvenile Grey Heron was showing really well just ahead. I figured that it must be the progeny of the nest I'd photographed (badly) last month, on an island tree in one of the small northern lakes. I headed towards the lake, pausing to watch some sizeable Roach flycatching in the river.

The young heron sat on a broken branch by the near shore, and watched with interest as I edged over to get some pics. I'm sure it will lose its trusting nature with age, along with the tufts of baby down.

I scoured the tiny, shallow lake by Willow Hide for Red-eyed Damsels and found none - where have they gone? There were lots of Commons and Azures about though, many in frisky moods.

There wasn't much else around up here so I headed back, pausing to scan the grassy area with the 'Warning! Bee Orchids!' sign. They are there after all, it's just that my orchid-seeing skills are rubbish. I saw two, neither of which were very close hence the unimpressive photo.

Back by the visitor centre, I spotted what looked like a heap of feathers in a bush. Closer inspection revealed it to be a Great Tit, sunbathing with a misleadingly horrified look on its face.

The reserve was quiet birdwise, as you'd expect in high summer. Many of the passerines aren't singing much any more, and the waterfowl numbers are very low. One nice bonus was a Green Sandpiper foraging in front of Tyler Hide, but I couldn't photograph the little git.

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