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Drakelow Sightings by Tom Cockburn

Posted: Monday 30th October 2017 by Drakelow

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: Monday 30th October 0930 to 1400. There was a rather cold start with a light frost on the car first thing. Although there were occasional sunny spells it clouded over at times but 8C was as good as it got. Mute Swans were scattered the length of the river but only two cygnets were in the final reckoning. Whilst counting Mallards a female Pintail was seen but the surprise was when the Tufties were being counted a female Long-tailed Duck was with them. Where has that beastie been hiding? The Coot tally had leapt up to seven although two were on the river. Cetti’s Warblers were in song in three areas although the records were spaced out over the morning. Two Common Gulls joined the 170 or so Black-headed Gulls on the Strip where, earlier, there had been a Green Sandpiper. There was a verbal report from a visitor of a Barn Owl noted around 1000hrs on the 26th as she left the reserve area. The log for the 29th showed three Hawfinches being recorded – a new species for the reserve list. MAMMALS: Only three Rabbits noted on a circuit of the roads and a Muntjac was seen feeding under the herbage during the period the Long-tailed Duck was being watched. Fresh molehills indicated the presence of that species and Badgers seem to be well fed judging by their dung pits. BUTTERFLIES: The only species seen was a Red Admiral although a Small Copper was noted yesterday. With thanks to AG, RW, RS and JS

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