Sightings from Drakelow Nature Reserve

Thomas Cockburn talks us through the latest sightings at Drakelow Nature Reserve

DRAKELOW NATURE RESERVE: Tuesday 31st December 2019. An afternoon visit to the reserve was made to count the Cormorants as they arrived to roost. The count was carried out from 1430hrs to 1615hrs in extremely poor light. Although dry with an 8C temperature it felt much colder in the light easterly wind. In all 178 birds were counted in with several birds sporting a white breeding spot. This was the fifth count during December with the others carried out on the 7th – 132 birds; 14th – 90; 21st – 90 and the 28th – 118. With the assistance of two other observers several species received attention during the visit. A Wigeon count resulted in the high number of 122 birds, the best of the second winter period and equaling a first winter period best tally. Gulls also received attention and throughout the afternoon some 700 Black-headed Gull moved through to the west or south west with, at one time a count of 300 on the water. Few other gull species were involved although several Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls were noted. A single Common Gull was picked out from the gulls on the water. Ducks of note were a single Long-tailed Duck, two Pochard, well over 60 Gadwall, displaying Goldeneyes with Mallards, Teal and Shovelers also in the mix. Three Little Egrets came across the site but declined to come down. The Jackdaw roost was ignored but several hundred birds were milling around but not settling for any length of time. FLOOD POOL: The measurement is still at 8” but the signs are that it is slowing receding. My thanks to J.K.Cockburn and R.Williams.