Drakelow sighting reported by Tom Cockburn

A staggering 530 cormorant were logged as they came into roost

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: W/E Sunday 4th November. Another Cormorant count was carried out on the 2nd November and a staggering 530 birds were logged as they came into roost. This, well and truly, broke the record number of 489 set on the 22nd October. A feature common to most of the high counts is the number of birds arriving from the E or NE compass points. On the 22nd October some 92 birds arrived from E or NE but on the 2nd November no less than 143 birds arrived from these directions. Another count was made on the 4th November but over a much shorter duration (1530 to 1700) and a count of 406 birds was the tally. On this occasion only four birds were seen arriving from the E. No account was taken of birds that may have been in the North Pool area but the apparent deficit would be unlikely to have been in that area. A more probable cause could be disturbance due to fireworks. AG found few birds in a dawn visit on the 4th with as many as 30 birds on the small island in the ML - a sure sign of agitation – whilst he found a small group of birds roosting away from the reserve. Another visit is planned for the coming week to see if there is a further decline following the main fireworks period. My thanks to KS and AG who kept me informed of arriving birds on the 2nd November. There was little of note during the week but two Great White Egrets were photographed on the 3rd November. Other log entries include the now usual Water Rail and Green Sandpiper with a surprise visit by two Egyptian Geese on the 2nd and 3rd. Three Common Gulls were with the gull flock on the 4th. MAMMALS: Over the last few days, in addition to the Rabbit and Grey Squirrel, there have been records of Muntjac, Red Fox and Badger. With thanks to RW, AG, AB, DH and MJH