Latest sightings at Drakelow Nature Reserve

Thomas Cockburn talks us through his latest sightings.

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: W/E 2nd February 2020. FLOOD POOL: There is little change in the depth with 8.5” the latest measurement on the 1st of February. A Cormorant count on the 1st was frustrated by the birds being ‘spooked’ although a later count gave 225 birds at roost at 1645hrs. Some 19 AON’s are already underway with an estimated 21 Grey Heron nests similarly occupied. Duck numbers are currently fluctuating, somewhat wildly, perhaps relating to the mild spell of weather but Gadwalls are currently the commonest species with Wigeon not far behind. Eight Goldeneyes on the 27th January was the best winter tally to date. On the 2nd February the first Great Crested Grebe of the year was logged as was an Oystercatcher. The only other wader noted was Woodcock. Singing birds included a Skylark, by the hairpin bend, on the 2nd and up to seven Song Thrushes the same date. On the 1st, during the Cormorant count, the female Long-tailed Duck dropped into the ML with a couple of Tufted Ducks but it was not found the next day. In the Alder trees, by the GFH, a flock of 20 Goldfinches were feeding on the seeds and were accompanied by two Redpolls and a Greenfinch. There have been several sightings of the Great White Egret that is haunting the area and also a Little Egret. MAMMALS: Sightings of Rabbits are few and far between but a Red Fox on the 31st January was the first sighting this year. Seemingly, a Muntjac was photographed on site on the 29th January but wasn’t logged. With thanks to JKC; RW; AG and KW.