DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: Week-ending 20th January 2019. After a recent mild spell the temperature dipped to around freezing and the week-end began with a thoroughly miserable Saturday with a maximum of 3C and a cold ESE3 wind with rain and drizzle throughout the day. A noise that had to be endured was a period of shotgun usage on an adjacent farm but we were at least spared the pile-driving from a nearby housing estate that plagued visitors during the week. In these dreich conditions the use of the Education Hide for the Cormorant count had to be abandoned due to rain on the windows and a constant steaming up of the glass. The final tally was a count of 179 birds with at least half-dozen or so claiming nests structures. A wildfowl count carried out by AG on the 20th realised a single Great Crested Grebe and three Little Grebes on the main waters. Some 15 Grey Herons were occupying nests and there was a single Little Egret and Great White Egret. The duck count was poorer than expected for the time of year with Mallard (74) Teal (72) Gadwall (25) Shoveler (17) Pochard (two) Tufted Duck (42) Goldeneye (five) and Goosander (five). Nine Mute Swans, 101 Canada’s and two Egyptian Geese accounted for the larger species. Other water birds were Water Rail, ten Moorhens and 56 Coots and, representing the waders were nine Snipe, two Woodcocks and a solitary Lapwing. Seventy-one Black-headed Gulls, Common Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull rounded off the list. From the log: A female Long-tailed Duck and a male Merlin were noted on the 18th. M AMM ALS: Red Fox, Muntjac and Badger were seen on the 19th. With thanks to KW: RW: AB and RW.
Drakelow sighting reported by Tom Cockburn
The final tally was a count of 179 birds .