The latest sightings from Drakelow Nature Reserve

The latest from Thomas Cockburn.


FLOOD POOL: Over the last week the flood pool has deepened and extended. The depth has now increased to ten and a half inches at the deepest point with an overall length of 110 paces covering the approach to the raised area and the flood pool stretch. Even the approach to the raised area measures four and a half to five inches deep in places. Visitors are advised to stay away until the flood has receded – which can be several weeks as this flood is not related to the River Trent overflowing its banks. E-ON, the site owner, has been made aware of the conditions affecting access to the reserve. A.Garton, an assistant warden who made the measurements, reports little change in the bird life although of late six Whooper Swans flew through the site on the 22nd on which date two Ring-necked Parakeets were present. There was also a light passage of winter thrushes with Redwings numbering 151 and Fieldfares fewer at 29. Stonechats are also in the area commuting between the solar farm and the Staffordshire side of the river. On the 27th a Cattle Egret was seen and up to a dozen Little Grebes were on the Main Lagoon. Also noted was a small passage of Wood Pigeons numbering 545. Six Buzzards were also noted as were two Tawny Owls in the vicinity of the entrance gate. With thanks to AG.

WARNING: Further to the blog sent on the 27th October – there is no change in the flood pool. To add to the problem the River Trent has, once again, invaded the reserve with the Causeway now two feet under water as are many of the other paths. Recorded today was a skein of 110 Pink-footed Geese – moving west with flocks of Redwings numbering 1000+ and a similar number of Fieldfares. A party of some 50 Linnets was commuting between the Staffordshire side of the river and the Gorse bushes just short of the reserve’s CP. A Ring-necked Parakeet was screeching in the poplars by the fish pond. Peregrine, Kestrel, Buzzard and Sparrowhawk were all recorded. With thanks to AG.

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: Wednesday 29th October 2019.

Further to the blogs of the 27th and 29th October AG reports that the River Trent is now back within its banks but the reserve’s paths are still very wet and slippery with a couple still under water. The flood pool on the service road to the reserve remains unaltered. Once through the flood pool there is no problem visiting the two main hides. In addition to the usual duck population today’s birds included three Goldeneyes, the first for the second winter period. With thanks to AG.