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Drakelow Sightings by Tom Cockburn

Posted: Sunday 29th October 2017 by Drakelow

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: Sunday 29TH October, 1200 – 1645. Again, a visit to count Cormorant arrivals but contrasting tonight with the 27th showed this to be an unmitigated disaster for the species and other roosting birds, particularly Jackdaws due to disturbance. There seemed little doubt that the reason for this was the presence of visitors on the reserve. The birds, after milling around for some 40 minutes or so, left to the SW but some did try to come down again. At 1630 only about 40 birds were seen in the main roosting site, with some 190 having left, although others were still trying to come in. It is, of course, unknown how often this happens as it is only seen when counting is in progress. For many reasons disturbances can occur but one reason – visitors - can be eliminated by some form of restriction. The most obvious would be to limit visitors to the two main hides for some two hours before sunset. After all there is little to be seen in the other lagoons that cannot be seen in the ML. On the way out it was noted that Jackdaws were massed along the power station perimeter fence and the solar farm fence. Presumably they would eventually move back into the reserve area as, under normal circumstances, they do arrive after sunset anyway.

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