DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: MONDAY 22nd October 1315 – 1815. This, and the last visit on 20th October, was given over to Cormorant counts. Another count will be carried out later in the week to assess any impact that a working party visit may have had on the 23rd. The tally on the 20th October was 394. This was a somewhat surprising result as an early arrival of over 50 birds was spooked after 15 minutes. The re-count was made from 1450 until after sun set at 1800hrs. The count on the 22nd commenced at 1400hrs and by 1630hrs only 42 birds were on site. The first double figure count of ten arrived four minutes later and 70 after a lapse of ten more minutes. From 1646hrs to 1659hrs no less than 224 birds were logged. Other than 14 at 1739hrs that was the last of the double figure counts. The final figure was of 489 birds. This surpassed the previous record of 448 achieved on the 5th November last year. In the 2017 count it was speculated that as some 160 birds arrived after sun set this might have been caused by a disturbance to another roost elsewhere but no such thoughts sprang to mind after this count. Other birds of note over the last week or so includes records of Great White Egret, Little Egret, Water Rail, Green Sandpiper, Snipe and Sparrowhawk. BUTTERFLIES: A Speckled Wood and Small Tortoiseshell were seen on the 22nd; six Small Coppers and a Brimstone on the 21st; Red Admiral on the 19th and Peacock on the 17th. DRAGONFLIES: Common Darter and Migrant Hawker seem to be the only ones left. With thanks to AG, AB, DH, RW, KW, RRP, KS and MJH.
Drakelow sighting reported by Tom Cockburn
This, and the last visit on 20th October, was given over to Cormorant counts.