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Drakelow Sightings by Tom Cockburn

Posted: Thursday 12th October 2017 by Drakelow

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: Thursday 12th October 0930 – 1245. This was another sunny and warm day that followed overnight rain. BUTTERFLIES: At least ten Red Admirals were on the wing with three reported to be nectaring on Ivy. A Small Heath was seen together with a Small Copper on the SK21 sector of the site. ODONATA: In a sun-trap three male Migrant Hawkers were within feet of each other with one basking in the sun whilst the other two danced round it. REPTILE: The Yellow-bellied Pond Slider was out on the usual log but it had to share it with a resting Coot and a Moorhen. PLANTS: There are still a variety of plants to be found in flower including Agrimony, Toadflax, Haresfoot Clover, Field Pansy, Hogweed, Angelica, Centaury, Filed Sow Thistle, Yarrow, Tansy and Red Campion. MAMMALS: A complete circuit gave a count of seven Rabbits, slightly better than on the 10th. BIRDS: Two redhead Goosanders were on the RWPH stretch of the river together with three Mute Swans but there was no sign of the large herd noted on the 10th. There was still a good flock of Wigeon on the ML and a Green Sandpiper was seen to leave high to the NE. Excluding the river, Little Grebes were found on three waters and Moorhens on five. It seems that the Coot population has collapsed to fewer than ten birds. A Kestrel was hunting by the Warden’s Hut and a Cetti’s Warbler was in song by the North Hide and, what might have been another, by the 2MH an hour later. Logged on the 11th were records of Blackcap, three Chiffchaffs, 14 Pheasants and a Little Egret. With thanks to AG, KW, and MJH.

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