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Drakelow Sightings by Tom Cockburn

Posted: Monday 23rd October 2017 by Drakelow

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: Monday 23rd October 1045 – 1815. In the main this was a cloudy day with a SW wind that fell to calm by late afternoon. The heavy cloud condition was the likely cause of an early arrival of the roosting Cormorants. Unfortunately there was a spooking incident that may have affected the final tally of 274. What was noted was the high number of 78 that arrived from the NE sector. Roosting Jackdaws were estimated at 400 with almost all easily seen in the fan shaped Poplars that are common on the site. Other records included an aggregate of 36 Mute Swans, over 50 Mallards, 12 Shovelers, 66 Wigeon 13 Gadwall, 12 Teal and 44 Tufted Ducks. Only four Coots were found and a Sparrowhawk sporting a lot of white on its back was the sole raptor all day. A male Stonechat and a Raven were reported. Logged on the 22nd were three Little Egrets, Green Sandpiper, Snipe, 127 Redwings, 19 Fieldfare, 322 Wood Pigeons (to SE), six Herring Gulls, and 53 Starlings. The motion activated camera, on the south side of the reserve, recorded several interesting images of Muntjac and an owl bathing in a stream. PLANTS: A flowering Cowslip was a surprise although the plant was a very weal individual it was complete. The flowering period for the species is given as April/May. BUTTERFLIES: Two Red Admirals and a Small White were noted. MOTH: A Smoky Wainscot was flushed from an area that was being cleared. WARNING: A work party is scheduled for Wednesday 25th October when the Strip will be cleared. This exercise invariably clears the Main Lagoon of birds for a day or two. With thanks to PW, AF, AB, DH, RS, JS, PJ, AG, RW and KW

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