The latest sightings from Drakelow Nature Reserve

Thomas Cockburn talks us through the latest sightings at Drakelow.

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: Saturday 4th January 2020, 1230 to 1630.
This was another late visit to accommodate a Cormorant roost count. The total number counted in was 148 between 1430 and 1630. With the visit restricted to one hide there was little other counting carried out but a late count of the Wigeon, on the ML, gave a total of 210 on view. There was also a good number of Gadwall and small numbers of Mallard, Shoveler and Tufted Duck but oddly, no Teal. The Long-tailed Duck was also on view as were five Goldeneyes and two Goosanders. What was in evidence was a mass arrival/passage of gulls that were, in the main, Black-headed Gulls. A similar passage had been recorded on the 2nd January by Assistant Warden, Syd Garton. The only real difference was that his sightings came mainly from the E or NE and mine was from the SE. The estimated number on both occasions exceeded 2000 with some large gathering on the ML. AG had some 11 Common Gulls on the water but I only found one. There were also Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls involved in the movement. With high water levels waders are virtually absent but on the 2nd January AG had 55 Lapwings that circled the area and 39 Snipe that came down on one of the old ash lagoons but my sightings were of a single Snipe and Lapwing – such is bird watching. FLOOD POOL: The depth remains at 7 or 8 inches but there are signs of improvement. With thanks to AG, AB and DH.