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Drakelow by Thomas Cockburn

Posted: Sunday 14th January 2018 by Drakelow

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: W/E 14th January. The two star birds, Long-tailed Duck and Hooded Merganser, were on view throughout the week although on the 13th the former could not be found. Scrutiny of the Hooded Merganser has revealed that it carries a metal ring on the right leg and, what might be, a white plastic one on the left. Apparently these observations have been made when the bird was seen to roll onto its side to preen. Other ducks were counts of 67 Teal, 70 Tufted Duck, 34 Shoveler and 58 Gadwall – all on the 14th. Up to six Goosanders and four Goldeneyes have been present over the week. There was a count of 11 Grey Herons – away from the Heronry – on the 10th. Waders were represented by Woodcocks in several areas, nine Snipe on the Strip and a Green Sandpiper in the station area. There was a notable gull movement on the 13th when 1200 B.H.Gulls, 450 Lesser Black-Backed Gulls, seven Common Gulls, two Yellow Legged Gulls, two Herring Gulls and four Great Black-backed Gulls were counted in the Main Lagoon. All were put to flight by a high flying Buzzard but very few returned. Singing birds logged over the period were Great Tit, Blue Tit, Willow Tit, Song Thrush, Wren, Dunnock, Robin, Stock Dove and Cetti’s Warbler. Winter visitors included Fieldfare, Redwing and Siskin – all in short supply. A limited Cormorant count at dusk on the 14th gave 160 birds in the ML with several birds clearly in nesting mode. With thanks to AG, RW, KW, JT, J & TS, GP, AL, NC, AB, DH, RJP, P & KW.

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