Drakelow Nature Reserve

The latest sightings from Thomas Cockburn

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: Saturday 14th September 2019 1445 – 2000. This was a late visit to accommodate a Cormorant roost count in conjunction with the National Wildfowl Count. Counting commenced at 1600hrs and ceased at 1945hrs when the roost numbered 221 birds. The bulk of the birds arrived between 1826 and 1842 with groups that included counts of 18, 23, 25 and 32. The final tally included a juvenile bird with somewhat red underparts (normally white or off-white) that was, doubtless, enhanced by a setting sun. Other roosting birds included at least seven Little Egrets and Jackdaws exceeded 600 with groups of birds up to 70 strong arriving as I left the site. There was a good array of ducks on the Main Lagoon with the commonest being Gadwalls in excess of 50 and Mallards just over 20. Teal, Shoveler and Wigeon were in single figures and elsewhere two Mandarins were in the North Pool. Migrants noted during the survey included small groups of Swallows and House Martins. A Green Sandpiper was the only wader in view and raptors seen from the GFH were Sparrowhawk, Buzzard and Hobby with the last mentioned being seen towards dusk. WORK PARTIES: There is a work-party scheduled for Thursday 19th September and another for Tuesday the 15th October. It is hoped, water-level permitting, to tackle the Strip on the October date. Anyone wishing to help will be welcome and should arrive by 0930 for a 1000hrs start. GATE SECURITY: There have been several instances of late where the bar has not been fed through the hasp thus leaving the gate open. Invariably this seems to happen on the outward journey. There have also been a couple on instances where the lock has been left on the number.