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Drakelow by Thomas Cockburn

Posted: Sunday 21st January 2018 by Drakelow

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: 19th – 21st January. Over these few days the wintry weather returned with partial icing of the pools (19th) persistent rain and a low of 3C (20th) and persistent snowfall (21st). Fortunately the last mentioned disappeared overnight in the face of a rapidly rising temperature. The reserve was visited on all three dates. Over the three days the Long-tailed Duck and Hooded Merganser were in attendance. A Shelduck was a new arrival on the 19th and raptors included a Peregrine seen on a pylon within the station area. A Cormorant count was carried on the 20th and 189 birds were counted in with some eight nests already claimed for the approaching breeding season. During the count other entertainment included two Water Rails skating across the icy areas accompanied by intermittent screams and screeches from them. Two juvenile Great Black-backed Gulls were busy playing at pirates but their forays did not seem to gain them anything. A full wildfowl count was carried out (21st) and realised six Little Grebes, four Grey Herons, five Mute Swans, 134 Canada’s, two Greylags, two Egyptian Geese, one Shelduck, 33 Mallard, 90 Teal, 59 Gadwall, 20 Shovelers, 19 Wigeon, 43 Tufted Duck, four Goldeneyes, two Goosander, two Moorhens, 16 Coot, Water Rail, ten Snipe, ten Black-headed Gulls, two Lesser Black-backed Gulls, two Herring Gulls and the already mentioned rare ducks. With thanks to AG, PS, AB, DH and RW. A special thanks to B. Davis and H.Fletcher who, on their first visit, refrained from visiting the North Pool area in favour of the roosting Cormorants

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