Drakelow Nature Reserve sightings by Tom Cockburn

Many visitors to Drakelow - both wild and human but all welcome!

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: Sunday 19th May 2019. This was a late visit to count the roosting Cormorants and complete the National Wildfowl Count for the month of May. The count on arrival was a healthy 230 birds with some inevitably being birds of the year. The final tally at 2130 was 303 birds. Of note during the evening was the arrival of two Cattle Egrets and three Little Egrets that dropped into three different areas of the reserve to roost. The Strip was practically devoid of birds due to the activities of a belligerent Egyptian Goose. The wildfowl element of the count had been completed earlier in the day by AG who recorded four Great Crested Grebes, Great White Egret, two Little Egrets, 30 Mute Swans, 58 Canada’s, four Greylags, Egyptian Goose, Shelduck, 24 Mallard, two Teal, Gadwall and 16 Tufted Ducks. Other water birds were five Moorhen, 35 Coot and a Water Rail. A pair of Oystercatchers, four Black-headed Gulls and two Lesser Black-backed Gulls completed the survey. Two broods of Mallards and three Oystercatcher chicks added to the sightings. Birds of note since last blog (30th April) included Wood Warbler on the 2nd May, 20 Little Egrets and a Whimbrel on the 4th May, Swift on the 9th May and a Ring-necked Parakeet on the 14th May. MAMMALS: Records of Muntjac continue with one photographed on the 19th as it made its way down the Strip. Road casualties outside the gate continue unabated with dead Badgers noted on the 2nd and 10th May and a Fox cub on the 19th. ODONATA: The dragonfly and damselfly season finally got under way on the 12th May when AL reported seeing many Banded Demoiselles along the river bank whilst carrying out the butterfly survey in the SK22 section of the site. A Four-spotted Chaser was logged on the 13th and a Broad-bodied Chaser on the 16th. VISITORS: In addition to my own visits footfall for April was an impressive 190, a number that was well up on the 69 recorded in April 2018 and is probably one of the best over the last few years. On the downside log entries did not improve. Thanks for log entries and reports are due to AG, KW, KS, RW, AG, AB, DH, GT, AL, NC, MF, RRP, MJH, PK and ABa.