Down at Drakelow Nature Reserve

Thomas Cockburn fills us in with his latest sightings.

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: W/E 9th February. FLOOD POOL: Just when the pool depth was on the way down, seven inches mid-week, storm CIARA put paid to it with a substantial downpour on the 9th and with more rain forecast…. A Cormorant count was carried out on the 8th when 236 birds were counted in. Little bird watching was carried out except from the GFH but it was apparent that duck numbers are falling rapidly. The Long-tailed Duck was present but had departed before the Wildfowl Count was carried out on the 9th. The full count on the 9th was: Mute Swan – six; Canada Goose – 57; Egyptian Goose – four, with two driven out; Mallard – 16; Teal – 13; Wigeon – 12; Gadwall – 27; Shoveler – 18; Pochard – one and Tufted Duck – 51. Only three Moorhens were noted and Coot numbered 44. A Snipe and two Oystercatchers were the only waders and gulls were Black-headed Gull – 45; Lesser Black-backed Gull – two and a single Herring Gull. Four Little Grebes and two Little Egrets completed the count. The surprise of the day was a Chiffchaff calling by the GFH. Earlier in the week a Great White Egret was present on the 3rd and there is an unsigned log entry of three on the 5th. A Peregrine put in an appearance on the 5th. Other species noted on the 8th included three Common Gulls and a Barn Owl that was seen ghosting over the solar farm in the failing light. With thanks to: RW, AG, PJ, AB, DH, JMc and JKC.