DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: W/E Sunday 9th September. During the week the reserve had daily coverage in some form or another with regular log entries. Without any rain to speak of the Tertiary Lagoon remained almost dry with a puddle at the eastern end hosting the occasional Little Egret, Grey Heron, Moorhens and Green Sandpipers. Despite recent comparisons with the summer of 1976 the Main Lagoon water level remained higher than it did that year. In 1976 the lagoon level was low enough to expose a submerged gravel ridge. This ridge did not appear this year although it must have been near the surface as Swans, Geese and Coots were standing on it. It may be that erosion has reduced the height of the ridge and, so far as the Tertiary Lagoon is concerned, water was being received from the operational power station. BIRDS: Some movement was noted on the 5th when three Pintails stopped in the ML for a short spell and, earlier in the day, the Wigeon number had increased to 12. Greenshanks were noted on the 6th with a single and then two stopping briefly before continuing their migration. The combined river/reserve count of Mute Swans tally on the 7th was 59 that included 17 cygnets. A Cormorant roost count that was carried out on the 8th realised an exceptional 365 birds whereas in the corresponding count on 9th September 2017 was only 154. The bulk of the birds (207) arrived in seven groups, ranging from four to 90, in the short period between 1746hrs and 1750hrs. This was most inconsiderate of the birds as I had just sat down to my meal of kipper fillets! This count exceeds the best September count of 270 attained in 2013. During the evening a Great White Egret crossed the reserve to the SSW but was not seen again. The following morning 16 Little Egrets were seen to leave their roost in the North Pool. The National Wildfowl Count on the 9th showed an increase in some ducks with Gadwall numbering 90 and Shovelers 33. Thanks: KW took on the onerous task of cleaning the six windows in the Educational Hide thereby enhancing the view for the visitors to this hide. Log entrants over the week included RW, KS, AB, DH, KW, AG, JH and K & PW.
Drakelow sighting reported by Tom Cockburn
16 Little Egrets were seen to leave their roost in the North Pool.