Monday, 17 December 2012


I thought I might go to Sevenoaks Wildlife Reserve this morning but there was an accident on the M20 and the resulting traffic chaos changed my mind. I went to New Hythe lakes instead. It was a beautiful, bright morning which was a pleasure to be out in. No hat or gloves today!
In all I saw or heard 44 species of birds, the highlight of which were six Waxwings found in the west scrub area. These are the first i've seen at this site since Christmas morning 2010. They didn't stay long unfortunately, there's not much in the way of berries there now as I mentioned in my previous post. My guess is that they were just passing through, how lucky was I to be also passing through at the right moment. I just wish they'd been a bit closer. 

Other nice birds seen included 21 Lapwings over Streamside lake unusually, I was standing looking, to no avail, for the Bittern which Terry saw yesterday. I'm pleased that at least one is back. Two Chiffchaffs were seen, one around Brooklands and one at Streamside. Several Siskins seen and heard around the site as well as a few Bullfinches. One Common Snipe and a couple of Little Grebes on the river. Three Reed Buntings in the sunken marsh which was half full of water, the colour of cold weak tea. There must have been a very high tide I think because I could see where the river had flooded over the raised footpath around the marsh and also into the small wood. The only raptors were a Sparrowhawk and two Kestrels, one of which plunged to the ground very close to me on the east scrub but flew off empty clawed.

As I returned to the car park via the railway path, my attention was taken by a very rowdy commotion in a tree along the south bank of Brookside lake. The culprits were half a dozen Carrion Crows and two or three Magpies, all shouting and bawling excitedly. As I walked closer they dispersed from the tree, but a couple more Crows flew up from the water's edge. Which was where I found this Crow, pictured above. It had somehow become trapped in the water and couldn't get out. I picked it up expecting to find fishing line but instead found it to be entangled in what looked like bindweed or something, which had wrapped itself around its legs and one wing. The poor thing was soaking wet but after i'd disentangled it, it flew away strongly. But not before giving me a quick peck. No, not on the cheek! On the hand. I know Corvids get a bad press, and maybe they deserve it, but there was no way I would leave it to its fate as I wouldn't with any other bird.


Warren Baker said...

nice trip out Phil, good to see Waxwings :-)

I'm busy trying to find a Snipe, but they are very scarce here - unless it turns snowy.

Marc Heath said...

Always good to see Waxwings. Lovely sky today.

Greenie said...

Phil ,
Heard about your Waxwings by text from Adam , but was already on way to Dunge . Nice find . Met the couple from NH at EMRS - looking for Waxwings !
Well done saving the Corvid , Santa will definitley be stopping at yours this year .

ShySongbird said...

Well done with the Waxwings Phil, I'm so envious, they continue to elude me :-(. I've even been dreaming about them!!

Phil, once again you're my hero :-) I'm so pleased you managed to help the Crow, how ungrateful of it to give you a peck! I've never forgotten how you ran all the way with that gull, as I hero :-)

Have a wonderful Christmas, I hope the new house is all sorted out now and you will be able to sit back and enjoy it over the holiday.

JRandSue said...

Happy New Year Phil.
Great birding for 2013