Drakelow Nature Reserve sightings reported by Tom Cockburn

An 'invasion' of blackbirds and 70 lapwings

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: W/E 18th November. There was daily coverage on site throughout the week and visitors will be pleased to know that the vegetation on the drive has now been cut back. Two Cormorant counts were carried out with totals of 382 on the 15th and 427 on the 17th logged. The ‘spooking’ of the roosting birds was reported on the 14th. The Hooded Merganser remains as elusive as ever but when it appears it seems to favour the stretch of water below the Education Hide. Waders were a minor feature of the week with Green Sandpiper, Woodcock (two) and Snipe (13) the regulars. On the 17th there was a bonus sighting of some 70 Lapwings and five Golden Plovers circling the ML for several minutes before departing in a southerly direction in the gathering gloom of dusk. Again, on the 17th, four flocks of Starling (20, 40, 100 and 200) were logged as they also moved south across the reserve lagoons. The Black-headed Gull congregations were around to 60-80 mark with occasional visits by L.B.B.Gull, G.B.B.Gull, Herring Gull and four Common Gulls. Up to 30 Blackbirds, logged on the 16th constituted an ‘invasion’ hereabouts but most had disappeared by the next day. Up to nine Bullfinches were also counted that date with six together in one group. Two Great White Egrets flew through the reserve E to W during the afternoon of the 15th and one or two Little Egrets are still appearing daily. Three Buzzards, circling over the reserve, were seen from the Educational Hide on the 17th and a Peregrine was noted on the 18th on which date a Song Thrush was singing. With thanks to AB, DH, RW, KS, MJH, AG, PW and KW.