DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: W/E 14TH October. Following our late summer day mid-week the weekend was one of strong winds and rain. However, bird wise, it ended with a bang when a resplendent drake Hooded Merganser arrived with two brownhead Goldeneyes - the latter birds the first of the second winter period. It is probably tempting fate to suggest that this was the young Drakelow bird that disappeared in March having been present from the 1st of January – mainly in the company of Goldeneyes. A Cormorant count was carried out on the 13th with 366 birds counted in. Although this is a high count it is still a long way short of the 2007 count of 423 for the same month. A Great White Egret is now being regularly reported and seems to be roosting on the reserve. The 11th October saw the first of the winter Siskins recorded and on the same date there was a report of a 40 Linnets. Waders recorded include the ever present Green Sandpiper and several Snipe are appearing daily on the Strip. At least two Cetti’s Warblers have been singing and the odd Chiffchaff is still to be heard. With thanks to AB, DH, RW, AG and KS.