Drakelow sighting reported by Tom Cockburn

A wigeon and five mandarins were eventually on view in the North Pool.

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: Monday 6th July 0915 – 1500. This was another very hot day with a temperature of 24C being registered by 1300hrs. An extensive grass fire on the banks of the River Trent (opposite our entry route) on the 4th was an example of what can happen when vegetation is dried out. One wonders if a fire engine would get along our drive should this happen on the Derbyshire side of the river. BIRDS: Two Oystercatchers were in the ash of the Tertiary Lagoon with leg and bill colour obliterated as they hunted for prey. Five Green Sandpipers were in the postage stamp sized puddle that is the remains of this lagoon. All five were later seen on the Strip. The three young Little Egrets were, once again, in and out of the Main Lagoon but spent some considerable time on the Strip preening. There was no sign of the Garganey but a Wigeon and five Mandarins were eventually on view in the North Pool. Quite often it can pay to sit and wait. There was a Raven logged for the 4th and a Hobby on the 5th. PLANTS: Two visitors attempting to get to the Scott’s Lagoon hide were hampered by vegetation, mainly Bramble, overgrowing the path. Whilst checking this I noted Water-pepper, Orange Balsam and Redshank all growing by the side of the path. Another plant, Water Mint, is growing in profusion, amongst the Purple Loosestrife, along the Strip. One common plant, at Drakelow, the Yellow-wort, is difficult to find this year. A search for it showed that most of the plants were, in fact, shrivelled up due to the onslaught of heat. Let’s hope the plant recovers as it is described as a very rare plant in the southern half of the county. Many other plants are clearly suffering the same fate. ADVICE: A red cone is placed on a path to indicate that there is a problem that awaits the attention of the Trust and it is inadvisable to go beyond the cone or to remove it. With thanks to KS and JCM.