DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: Wednesday 24th October 1300 – 1830. As mentioned in the blog for the 22nd October a Cormorant count was carried out to assess any impact on the roosting birds following a work party visit to the site on the 23rd. After two false starts counting got under way at 1500hrs and by sun set, 1751hrs, 461 birds had been counted in. Although this was down slightly on Monday’s record count of 489 it was insignificant in the grand scheme of things. During the last hour or so of the Cormorant study another event was unfolding by way of a ‘corvid’ invasion. Significant numbers of the crow tribe were streaming in with Jackdaws appearing from the southern aspect and Carrion Crows from the WSW. It was hard enough trying to keep pace with Cormorants without expanding the species list but I did try. A rough count gave in excess of 700 or so Jackdaws and Carrion Crows were in excess of 250. On leaving the site at 1810 it was clear that the corvids were still arriving and visible from the roadway by the hairpin bend. A rough counts, using ten as the unit of reckoning, the overall total came to no less than 2300 Jackdaws and in all 350 Carrion Crows – although a few Magpies were also involved I had to draw the line somewhere. I should add that on continuing the journey out corvids were still coming across from the Walton-on-Trent direction and entering the old power station area but, by now, it was getting too dark. Earlier in the day a Great White Egret was still around. I thank Keith Straw, who assisted on both counts (22nd and 24th) and he also checked another area for the possibility of roosting Cormorants. He was also a member of the working party and stayed on to check Cormorant arrivals that evening.
Drakelow sighting reported by Tom Cockburn
The overall total came to no less than 2300 Jackdaws and in all 350 Carrion Crows