Drakelow sighting reported by Tom Cockburn

The great crested grebes still had their two young but the oystercatchers seemed to have moved elsewhere

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: Monday 18th June 0715 – 1300. There was a clear start to the day but the wind increased from WSW 4 to 5 bringing with it cloudier conditions with the temperature reaching 19C. BIRDS: Mute Swans with four and three cygnets respectively were in separate lagoons and there was a herd of 17 on the RWPH stretch of the river. A female Mallard with three half-grown young were slowly moving upstream whilst the female with seven fully grown ducklings were in the ML. In addition some 20 drakes, practically all now in eclipse, were in the ML and there was a count of 15 Gadwalls over two waters. The Great Crested Grebes still had their two young but the Oystercatchers seemed to have moved elsewhere. The only other wader was a Green Sandpiper that spent some time balancing on the Kingfisher poles, opposite the Education Hide, making a change from the occasional incongruous sight of Herons and Cormorants attempting the same feat. On the driveway there was a sighting of a male Pheasant of the dark melanic variety. On the 16th there was a Cormorant roost count that totalled 268 and a Swift passage that continued throughout the evening and numbered in excess of 500. At dawn on the 17th there was a reported exodus of some 1200 Jackdaws from their roost on the reserve with Carrion Crows numbering some 200. BUTTERFLIES: Thirty Meadow Browns were counted over the day with another good count of 24 Small Heaths. Three Ringlets were also noted. A fresh Small Tortoiseshell heralded the first arrival of the second brood of the species. MOTHS: Cinnabars were still on the wing and a Large Yellow Underwing was removed from the Education Hide. DRAGONFLIES: There was a dearth of species but up to half-a-dozen Four-spotted Chasers were over the Bamboo Pool and a Brown Hawker was in front of the Education Hide. PLANTS: Some new flowers identified included Yellow-wort, Centaury, Nipplewort, Creeping Cinquefoil and Tufted Vetch. WARNING: It is hoped to cut down the grass from the path that leads to the Tertiary Lagoon on Wednesday 20th June. This should not interfere with observers visiting the Main Lagoon and North Hides. With thanks to AG, KW, RW, AB, and DH.