Sightings at Drakelow

The latest sightings from Tom Cockburn on our Drakelow reserve.

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: W/E 26th January. FLOOD POOL: The water depth remains at 7.5” to 8”. SERVICE ROAD: This has been cleaned up and is now the proper width. Hearsay is that visitors may now park on the road and walk through the flood water to the reserve. If you do decide to park and walk be very careful walking through the flood pool as the underfoot conditions leave at lot to be desired. Additionally, several of the reserve’s footpaths are extremely slippery. A visit was made on the 25th January to carry out a Cormorant count in what was a very dismal day with heavy overcast conditions. This probably led to the early arrival of the Cormorants as 157 were in by 1517hrs. The final total of 250 was more than double that of the 113 recorded on the 11th January. Up to a dozen or so nests are now being claimed by displaying birds. In the North Pool the heronry is well under way with some 20 nests being occupied on the 26th. Among the ducks the female Long-tailed Duck was present on the Main Lagoon on the 25th but had, seemingly, gone by the 26th. It has been recorded visiting other local water when absent from Drakelow. Gadwall remains the commonest surface feeding duck with 71 logged on the 26 with Wigeon a close second at 66 the previous day. Up to six Goldeneyes have been seen at any one time but others are around as the male to female ratio differs on different dates. Due to the high lagoon water levels wader sighting are few and far between but three Lapwings were on the Strip on the 26th and a Woodcock was flushed from an old ash lagoon site on the same date. Other counts on the 25th included c1000 each of Wood Pigeon and Jackdaws; c170 Fieldfares were gathered on the top of a hybrid Poplar with a further 50 flying through the site from NW to SE. Also on the 25th a Great White Egret was in the Tertiary Lagoon and a Little Egret was on the river on the 26th. With thanks to AG; KW; AB; DH and JB