Drakelow sighting reported by Tom Cockburn

This late visit was to accommodate a Cormorant roost count in conjunction with the Nation Wildfowl Count for the month of August.

Tuesday 14th August 1530 – 2100. This late visit was to accommodate a Cormorant roost count in conjunction with the Nation Wildfowl Count for the month of August. On arrival there were few Cormorants around whereas a month ago there were 180 on site. Thirty was the count at 1650 – the commencement of the count – and birds were slowly drifting in with the best count of five at 1743. The heavy cloud cover suggested early arrival - if the birds were coming that is. From 1834 arrivals mounted up with nine arriving together and then, a minute or so later, there were groups of 18, 50, 35 and 23 to contend with. Thereafter it became much brighter with one to five the norm with seven at 2002, from the east, the last party. The final score, at 2045, was of 299 birds. Since 1999, when roost counts began in earnest, there have been few August counts that exceeded 200 with 201 in 2007 the first. The best August count was in 2014 when 244 were logged with the last two August counts falling to 196 in 2016 and 139 last year. Doubtless, the proportion of young birds would be high but being the sole counter there is no time to separate the young from the adults. Other observation from the GFH included a Great White Egret, three, at least, Little Egrets, Greylag Goose and a group of four Little Grebes. Migrants included two Green Sandpipers, six Swifts and five Swallows. Two Jays were seen passing to and fro over the Main Lagoon and two Wigeon were on the North Pool. MAMMALS: One Rabbit below the GFH and another by the gate on the way out were the only ones noted. Earlier there was a male Muntjac near the Tertiary Lagoon and a Badger was below the GFH at 2005. FROM THE LOG: There was a Hobby on the 9th, Black-tailed Godwit on the 10th, five Green Sandpipers and a Common Sandpiper on the 12th and two Oystercatchers on the 13th. With thanks to KS, KW, AG, JT, PJ, SB, SS, Liz and Jason.