Latest sightings from Drakelow

The latest sightings from Thomas Cockburn.

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: W/E 14th March 2020. FLOOD POOL: The depth was 9” on the 14th, having dropped slightly from mid-week. BIRDS: Counts were made on the nesting colonies of Cormorants (67 AON’s); Grey Heron (27 AON’s) and Rook (27 structures) – all on the 13th. Duck counts were down with the Tufted Duck numbers holding up in the mid-50s. A drake Wigeon and a pair of Mandarins were noted on the 14th. Gadwall, Shoveler and Teal were all in single figures. A solitary Egyptian Goose on several dates suggests a locally sitting bird. Oystercatchers (a pair) were the only waders during the week. There have been several records of Stonechats over the period with the birds seen in the vicinity of the solar farm field and usually perched on the tops of Teasel plants. The Chiffchaffs have already been mentioned and there was a count of nine singing birds on the 13th and the first Sand Martins of the year were also logged that date. Departing migrants were some 150 Fieldfares that moved SE through the area on the 14th. MAMMALS: One to three Rabbits at any one time seem to be the norm these days and there are few records of Grey Squirrels. There is ample evidence of Muntjac and Badgers with footprints in all the muddy areas with the latter animal now using the Causeway as a latrine so watch where you step! LEPIDOPTERA: A Comma was spotted on the 11th March and, so far, is the only butterfly record this year. With thanks to AG, KW, RW, JKC, KS, AB and DH.