15 Jan 19

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

Priorslee Lake:  06:50 – 09:45
The Flash:  09:50 – 10:50

7°C > 8°C:  Started cloudy with light drizzle which soon ceased. Clearance from the N slowly arrived overhead c.10:00 with sun from 10:30. Light WSW wind. Very good visibility

Sunrise: 08:15 GMT


Priorslee Lake:  06:50 – 09:45

(15th visit of the year)

Bird notes
- another fly-around from the Mute Swans
- the first goose party outbound was back to 10 birds flying in line abreast so the Greylag Goose could not be #2. Several small groups later
- 8 Gadwall confirmed today: 1 pair with a lone duck at the E end; 2 pairs with a lone drake at the W end
- the courting Great Crested Grebes were not noted – back to three singles
- in contrast to the rather few (c.65) Black-headed Gulls yesterday >400 arrived, mostly c.07:30 when too dark to get an accurate count
- positioned further away from the Jackdaw flight-path: still too many swirling around to get a reliable total
- a Crow incurring the wrath of a pair of Magpies by stealing sticks from the nest they were busy refurbishing
- a Mistle Thrush heard singing from the Ricoh area. Strangely, soon after a group of 2 Mistle Thrushes and 3 Redwings flew over
- Reed Bunting(s) heard calling from the ‘tidied up’ W end: none seen leaving a roost here

Bird totals

Birds noted flying over or flying near the lake
- 1 Greylag Goose [outbound]
- 31 Canada Geese [29 outbound in 5 groups; 2 inbound later]
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls again
- 12 Wood Pigeons
- >650 Jackdaws
- 3 Redwings
- 2 Mistle Thrushes

Birds recorded leaving roosts around the lake
None

The counts from the lake area:
- 2 Mute Swans
- 8 (4♂) Gadwall (see notes)
- 14 (10♂) Mallard
- 7 (4♂) Pochard
- 23 (12♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Cormorant again
- 2 Little Grebes
- 3 Great Crested Grebes
- 12 Moorhens
- 65 Coots
- >400 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

My log of other things, on lamp poles
- 1 Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)
- 1 spider sp., possibly the orb-web spider Zygiella x-notata
- >5 Trichocera regelationis ('winter gnat') [with many others flying]
and
- 1 Grey Squirrel
- 1 unidentified moth in flight

In the gloomy confines of the Wesley Brook we can at least see the main feature of this Grey Wagtail: the grey back that gives the species its name; and the bright yellow undertail. The breast has yet to acquire breeding plumage and at the moment it is hard to age / sex this bird.

This seems to be the orb-web spider Zygiella x-notata. Not the greatest photo as I was shooting more or less straight in to the powerful LED street light which seemed to affect the ‘throw’ of the flash that I was using to try and isolate the spider.

Is that pussy willow I see about to break? Must be Spring.

(Ed Wilson)

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The Flash:  09:50 – 10:50

(14th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- pair of Gadwall remain
- no idea why even fewer Mallard than yesterday
- the two (pair?) of Great Crested Grebes look like an adult with a first year bird
- the Ring-necked Parakeet giving good views. There is nylon fishing line attached to its left leg though it doesn’t seem to be hampering its flight (or voice!)
- Wood Pigeons seen mating
and
- a Honey Bee (Apis mellifera) on the Ivy by the Academy. Probably too soon after the sun came out for much else to have emerged but what was this doing at this date?
- Sunday’s cluster of the possible fungus Glistening Inkcap (Coprinellus micaceus) almost defunct

Birds noted flying over / near The Flash
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 3 Feral Pigeons

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 12 Canada Geese
- 2 (1♂) Gadwall again
- 18 (10♂) Mallard only
- 29 (13♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 (0♂) Goosander
- 1 Grey Heron again
- 2 Great Crested Grebes again
- 4 Moorhens
- 21 Coots
- 51 Black-headed Gulls

A drake Tufted Duck with its ‘tuft’ now well-developed as he comes into breeding condition.

Note his bill pattern. ‘Pure’ birds in the genus Aythya (Pochard, Tufted Duck and Scaup together with rare visitors from the New World Ring-necked Duck and Lesser Scaup) all have very different bill patterns. These species frequently hybridise, often looking like other ‘pure breeds’. Any suspect bird needs its bill pattern as well as plumage details carefully noted.

Rather against the light we nevertheless see that the head marks on these Great Crested Grebes look quite different: the adult on the left has extensive chestnut plumes even though they are not yet fully developed. What is presumably a first winter on the right lacks any chestnut at the moment. Cradle-snatcher.

The Ring-necked Parakeet is adapting to its new surroundings. Here it is just flying from one of the ornamental lamps in Wordsworth Way.

And here on someone’s whirly washing line. Note that the nylon line, presumably fishing line, around its left leg.

A colourful creature on what was still a grey day at this time – the sun was about 20 minutes away.

What exactly was this Blue Tit doing. Here sitting near the hole in the ‘pollarded’ Ash tree.

Here peering around having examined the hole.

I fancy that I can make out something in the bill, extracted from the hole and being discarded.

Every so often the bird took a rest on the branch.

Something in the bill again? With the sun half across the hole and the bird it was tricky to see exactly what was going on.

This looks more definitive. Strange as all my books tell me that the only tit that excavates its own nest is the bull-necked Marsh Tit – that would be nice. I guess it is not so much ‘excavating’ as ‘cleaning’ the winter debris?

Back for some more. Throughout this activity another Blue Tit was sitting almost motionless close by.

The long antennae and general ‘hairiness’ mean this is a bee sp. rather than a hoverfly. Even the eyes are hairy so this is a Honey Bee (Apis mellifera). “Flies from March to October” it says here: er?

Another hairy view.

And in flight.

Just 48 hours from perky toadstools to a mess. The speed of their disappearance makes it likely my ID of Glistening Inkcap (Coprinellus micaceus) was correct.

The sun was shining through the heads of Common Reed (Phragmites australis) – most attractive.

One in close-up.

(Ed Wilson)

Note:

1. Click Here for a Summary of the 2018 Priorslee Lake Report.

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On this day..........
2016
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2015
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
1 Velvet Scoter
3 Scaup
10 Pochard
87 Tufted Duck
2 Goosander
121 Coot
23 Herring Gull
4 Great Black-backed Gull
181 Lesser Black-backed Gull
157 Black-headed Gull
Kingfisher
(Gary Crowder, Chris Cameron)

2013
Priorslee Lake
1 Greater Scaup
4 Gadwall
1 Goldeneye
82 Tufted Ducks 
15 Pochard
143 Coots
1 Dunlin
1 Great Black-backed Gull
3 Redwings
1 Fieldfare
184 Jackdaws
4 Siskins
(Ed Wilson, Mike Cooper, John Isherwood)

The Flash
29 Tufted Duck 
8 Goosanders 
14 Goldfinches
(Ed Wilson)

Little Wenlock, Candles Landfill Site
Caspian Gull
Yellow-legged Gull.
(Observer Unknown)

2012
Priorslee Lake
5 Great Crested Grebes
19 Pochard
22 Tufted Duck
2 Goosanders
14 Magpie
1 Yellowhammer
(Ed Wilson)

2009
Priorslee Lake
Mediterranean Gull
2 Yellow legged Gulls
3 Great Black-backed Gulls
20 Herring Gull
100 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
80 Black-headed Gulls
c. 60 Tufted Duck 
9 Pochard
(Mike Cooper, Andy Latham)

2008
Priorslee Lake
Glaucous Gull
(Geoff Holmes) 

2007
Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
8 Cormorants
11 Pochard
29 Tufted Ducks
>252 Black-headed Gulls
>66 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
23 Herring Gulls
200 Wood Pigeons
35 Robins
15 Blackbirds
76 Fieldfares
17 Redwings
1 Willow Tit
39 Magpies
217 Jackdaws
175 Rooks
11 Greenfinches
4 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

2006
Priorslee Lake
9 Cormorants
200 Wood Pigeons
11 Great Crested Grebes
11 Pochard
24 Tufted Duck
243 Coot
1 Water Rail
236 Jackdaws
216 Rooks
33 Siskins
15 Pied Wagtails
24 Robins
19 Blackbirds
8 Greenfinches
(Ed Wilson)

14 Jan 19

Priorslee Lake, The Flash, Trench Lock Pool and Trench Middle Pool

Priorslee Lake:  06:45 – 09:30
The Flash:  09:35 – 10:20
Trench Lock Pool:  10:30 – 10:45 // 11:30 – 11:55
Trench Middle Pool:  10:50 – 11:25

6°C > 8°C:  Mostly cloudy and a few light sprinkles: some clearer periods. Moderate WNW wind. Very good visibility

Sunrise: 08:16 GMT

Priorslee Lake:  06:45 – 09:30

(14th visit of the year)

Bird notes
- yet again the Mute Swans went for a fly around. I cannot recall such restless residents in the past
- the small goose party outbound was 11 birds today: the smaller Greylag Goose always seems to be #2 in the group
- I think an additional pair of Gadwall today – they are no longer staying together and do some repositioning making it difficult to be 100% certain. I wondered whether the additional pair, if indeed there was an extra pair, might have been the birds seen at The Flash yesterday. But no: they were still there
- yesterday’s drake Shoveler gone
- party of 6 Cormorants approached with one peeling off to land
- rather few (c.65) Black-headed Gulls arrived at 07:40: apparently no new arrivals later
- two concurrent large parties of Jackdaws, one passing directly overhead, made an accurate count impossible (and an estimated count difficult)

Bird totals

Birds noted flying over or flying near the lake
- 1 Greylag Goose [outbound]
- 10 Canada Geese [outbound]
- 5 Cormorants
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 8 Wood Pigeons
- >675 Jackdaws

Birds recorded leaving roosts around the lake
None

The counts from the lake area:
- 2 Mute Swans
- 8 (4♂) Gadwall
- 10 (7♂) Mallard
- 9 (5♂) Pochard
- 36 (21♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 Grey Heron
- 3 Little Grebes
- 4 Great Crested Grebes
- 9 Moorhens
- 72 Coots
- c.65 Black-headed Gulls

My log of other things, on lamp poles
- 1 new Mottled Umber moth

(Ed Wilson)

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The Flash:  09:35 – 10:20

(13th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- pair of Gadwall still here
- lower number of Mallard. Just as I arrived something spooked all the ducks and seems some of the Mallard did not settle back
- the Great Crested Grebe was ‘in’ today and was displaying with another bird
- the Ring-necked Parakeet was heard this morning but not seen to enable me to check whether it is still entangled in fishing line. It can be amazingly hard to find a large bright green, noisy bird when it sits still in trees on the island
and
-1  Grey Squirrel again
- yesterday’s cluster of the possible fungus Glistening Inkcap (Coprinellus micaceus) looking a bit sad

Birds noted flying over / near The Flash
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Sparrowhawks again

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 2 Canada Geese
- 2 (1♂) Gadwall
- 27 (19♂) Mallard
- 39 (19♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 Moorhens
- 19 Coots
- 25 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

The progress on the possible fungus Glistening Inkcap (Coprinellus micaceus). Definitely looking a bit sad after just one day.

(Ed Wilson)

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Trench Lock Pool:  10:30 – 10:45 // 11:30 – 11:55

(4th visit of the year)

Bird species added to my 2019 log from here
32      Grey Wagtail
33      Goldfinch

Notes from here
- the resident Mute Swans chased one of the visiting swans away twice – it came back the first time. They left the other alone
- big number of Canada Geese

Birds noted flying over / near here (other than local Wood Pigeons and Jackdaws)
- 22 Starlings

The counts from the water
- 4 Mute Swans
- 173 Canada Goose
- 6 (4♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Feral Mallard
- 7 (3♂) Shoveler
- 1 (1♂) Pochard still
- 13 (6♂) Tufted Ducks
- 3 (1♂) Goosander
- 1 Grey Heron
- 3 Little Grebes
- 1 Great Crested Grebe still
- 4 Moorhens
- 75 Coots
- 37 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

The back bird in this trio gave me cause to pause over its ID and I am still unsure. The chinstrap is much narrower than usual and also slightly greyer. When I first saw it moving away from me I thought it would be one of the Greylag x Canada Goose hybrids. I don’t think so as there are no features that suggest Greylag (or any other species come to that). An immature might show a greyer chinstrap though unlikely at this date. Not sure why the marking should be narrower though.

(Ed Wilson)

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Trench Middle Pool:  10:50 – 11:25

(4th visit of the year)

Bird species added to my 2019 log from here
27      Feral Pigeon
28      Dunnock

Notes from here
- lots of Greylag Geese here: a few more Canadas too
- the small party of Teal still here
- the Great Crested Grebe was ‘in’ today
and
- the fungi first noted on 10 December have almost disappeared

Birds noted flying over / near here
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Feral Pigeon

The counts from the water
- 56 Greylag Geese
- 42 Canada Geese
- 4 (1♂) Teal again
- 19 (14♂) Mallard again
- 9 (4♂) Tufted Ducks again
- 3 (1♂) Goosanders
- 1 Cormorant again
- 1 Great Crested Grebe
- 13 Moorhens
- 29 Coots
- 97 Black-headed Gulls

Never very much light in to here unless it is sunny – and it wasn’t. So not a great shot of the Great Crested Grebe having a late breakfast on a Perch.

Well it has gone down so far – still wriggling in the neck apparently!

The Teal still here and slightly more cooperative though they stayed in the darkest recess of the pool. Here is one of the three duck ...

 ... and here is the drake.

I found this group of fungi in early December. Whether or not they were edible then they certainly don’t look very appetising now.

(Ed Wilson)

Note:

1. Click Here for a Summary of the 2018 Priorslee Lake Report.

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On this day..........
2017
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2016
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2015
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
3 Scaup
2 Great Black-backed Gulls 
Willow Tit
(John Isherwood)

2013
Priorslee Lake
2 Wigeon
4 Gadwall
15 Pochard
76 Tufted Ducks
1 Greater Scaup
1 Goldeneye
>114 Coots
72 Black-headed Gulls
176 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
53 Herring Gulls
Yellow-legged Gull
1 Great Black-backed Gull
(Ed Wilson/Tom Lowe)

Little Wenlock, Candles Landfill Site
Caspian Gull.
5+ Yellow-legged Gulls
(Tom Lowe)

2012
Priorslee Lake
 Lapwing
5 Great Crested Grebes
26 Pochard
23 Tufted Duck
12 Redwing
Redpoll
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Pool
141 Canada Geese
3 Pochard again
57 Tufted Duck
102 Coot logged
(Ed Wilson)

2009
Priorslee Lake
Yellow-legged Gull
(Mike Cooper)

2007
Priorslee Lake
3 Great Crested Grebes
16 Cormorants
24 Pochard
39 Tufted Ducks
3 Goosanders
1 Water Rail
200 Lapwings
>640 Black-headed Gulls
66 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
7 Herring Gulls
25 Robins
18 Blackbirds
14 Fieldfares
7 Song Thrushes
19 Redwings
7 Mistle Thrushes
42 Magpies
5 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

2006
Priorslee Lake
600 Wood Pigeons
13 Great Crested Grebes
12 Pochard
26 Tufted Duck
216 Coots
1 Water Rail.
219 Jackdaws
210 Rooks
62 Siskins
3 Reed Bunting
1 Brambling
(Ed Wilson)

13 Jan 19

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

Priorslee Lake:  06:50 – 09:20
The Flash:  09:25 – 10:15

9°C:  Sometimes cloudy, sometimes clear, tending to more cloud later. Moderate / fresh W wind. Very good visibility

Sunrise: 08:16 GMT

Priorslee Lake:  06:50 – 09:20

(13th visit of the year)

Not sure what to say about the work done at the W end of the lake. I spoke to one of the Sailing Club members who told me the work was ‘tidying up’ to provide a clear view of the whole lake from their HQ: and to allow access by their yachts without fouling the overhanging trees. It looks a bit of a mess at the moment and to me a result of ‘boys with toys’ and a rather wide interpretation of the term ‘tidying up’. That said it is absolutely the best time of year to undertake all essential maintenance. It will not please the Reed Buntings who have pretty much lots their roosting site

Talking of roosting sites: at The Flash a total of 102 Magpies was recorded on Thursday going to roost. I knew there was a roost there as well as at the lake but 102 seemed rather more than I recall. Were some of these displaced from the lake by the construction work? I think the answer is probably yes. Only 40 birds, exactly, were logged coming out of the roost in the NE part of the lake. In previous years I have recorded upwards of 80, though numbers do increase throughout the winter. And I recorded 62 here on 2nd January, while the construction site was still quiet during an extended Christmas / New Year break. It was a rather breezy today and that might have affected things so I will repeat the count in more suitable weather

Other bird notes
- drake Shoveler was a new arrival
- two Great Crested Grebes were having a real fight crashing through the water with beaks locked and apparently trying to drown each other. Certainly not ‘display’ and something I have not seen before
- Coots not counted: the wind on the dam was making my eyes water too much
- fewer Jackdaws almost certainly because I was concentrating on the Magpie roost

Bird totals

Birds noted flying over or flying near the lake
- 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Stock Dove again
- 2 Wood Pigeons again
- >>370 Jackdaws (see notes)

Birds recorded leaving roosts around the lake
- 40, exactly, Magpies (see  notes)

The counts from the lake area:
- 2 Mute Swans
- 6 (3♂) Gadwall again
- 13 (9♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Shoveler
- 5 (3♂) Pochard
- 23 (8♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron again
- 3 Great Crested Grebes
- 9 Moorhens
- [Coots not counted]
- c.180 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

My log of other things, on lamp poles
- 1 Winter Moth
- 1 Early Moth
- 1 stretch spider, Tetragnatha sp.
- 1 possible Mouse Spider (Scotophaeus blackwalli)

A spider sp. that I cannot recall. After some detective work by Martin Adlam (thanks!) seems likely to be a Mouse Spider (Scotophaeus blackwalli)
(Ed Wilson)

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The Flash:  09:25 – 10:15

(12th visit of the year)

Two new bird species for my 2019 log from here
38      Gadwall
39      Redwing

Notes from here
- the Gadwall were, Mallard apart, my first dabbling ducks here for at least a year. My last Gadwall record was on 25 March 2017
- yesterday there was a report that the Ring-necked Parakeet had fishing line wrapped around its leg. One distant call might have been this bird: almost equally likely a Coot making a strange noise. So no information on the fishing line
- the ‘now it is here, now it is not’ Great Crested Grebe was gone again
- 6 Redwings at the S end of squirrel alley was a good find
and
- 1 Grey Squirrel
- a cluster of small delicate fungi, perhaps Glistening Inkcap (Coprinellus micaceus)

Birds noted flying over / near The Flash
- 2 (pair) Sparrowhawks
- 2 Wood Pigeons

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 11 Canada Geese
- 2 (1♂) Gadwall
- 44 (28♂) Mallard
- 33 (17♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Grey Heron  s
- 6 Moorhens
- 20 Coots
- 48 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

The drake Gadwall in all its finery with amazing vermiculations along the flanks. Note the all black bill; the white speculum just showing; and the chestnut fringes to the enlarged scapular feathers, grown for the breeding season.
Rather shy they swam off before I could get a closer shot of the duck. The very obvious orange edge to her bill is clearly seen – on the larger Mallard duck only the very edge is pale and a much duller brown/orange.

After some ‘gardening’ to remove leaves and twigs here is the clump of fungi I found.

Another view. My best shot at an ID is Glistening Inkcap (Coprinellus micaceus). If I am right then by tomorrow these will have started to deliquesce to an inky mess.
And here we see the gills, even more grooved than the upper surface.

(Ed Wilson)

Note:

1. Click Here for a Summary of the 2018 Priorslee Lake Report.

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On this day..........
2016
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
1 drake Scaup
2 female Scaup
(Paul King)

2013
Priorslee Lake
103 Coot
147 Black-headed Gulls
25 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
63 Tufted Duck
1 drake Scaup
2 Great Crested Grebe
17 Pochard
(Tony Beckett)

Priorslee Flash
4 Goosander
38 Tufted Duck
(Tony Beckett)

Little Wenlock, Candles Landfill Site
1 Caspian Gull
(Observer Unknown)

2012
Priorslee Lake
Water Rail
5 Great Crested Grebe
20 Pochard
17 Tufted Duck
c.200 Black-headed Gulls
92 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
6 Herring Gulls
2 Great Black-backed Gulls
24 Redwings
(Ed Wilson, John Isherwood)

Priorslee Flash
66 Tufted Duck
236 Black-headed Gulls
36 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
3 Herring Gulls
(Ed Wilson)

East of Priorslee
Willow Tit
Skylark
Brown Hare
(John Isherwood)

Holmer Lake
69 Goosander
(John Isherwood)

2010
Priorslee Lake
Bittern
8 Swans
4 Gadwall
23 Pochard
55 Tufted Ducks
256 Coots
c.800 Black-headed Gulls 
c.500 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
1 Yellow-legged Gull 
c.40 Herring Gulls 
2 Great Black-backed Gulls
Willow Tit
2 Siskins
(Ed Wilson and unknown observer)

2007
Priorslee Lake
38 Pochard
53 Tufted Ducks
15 Goosanders
2 Buzzards
>1000 Black-headed Gulls
>215 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
22 Herring Gulls
32 Robins
15 Blackbirds
179 Fieldfares
104 Redwings
274 Jackdaws
266 Rooks
218 Starlings
5 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

2006
Priorslee Lake
9 Great Crested Grebes
13 Cormorants
10 Pochard
24 Tufted Duck
207 Coots
2 Lapwings
c.850 Black-headed Gulls
2 Great Black-backed Gulls 
96 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
61 Herring Gulls
1 Yellow-legged Gull
309 Jackdaws
493 Rooks
12 Pied Wagtails
10 Fieldfare
15 Robins
12 Blackbirds
1 Willow Tit
2 Siskins
1 Redpoll
11 Greenfinches
3 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

12 Jan 19

Priorslee Lake:  06:45 – 09:35

8°C:  Cloudy: a spell of soaking drizzle and rain c.08:00: otherwise fine. Moderate W wind. Very good visibility, moderate in heaviest drizzle

Sunrise: 08:17 GMT

Priorslee Lake:  06:45 – 09:30

(12th visit of the year)

Bird notes
- the pair of Mute Swans went for a fly-about with one leaving the confines of the lake for a short while
- large number of Jackdaws again. Harder to count or estimate today as many passed more or less directly low overhead of me: and at the same time geese were confusingly flying at right angles through the mass of birds

Bird totals

Birds noted flying over or flying near the lake
- 1 Greylag Goose again
- 9 Canada Geese again
- 1 Cormorant
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Stock Dove
- 14 Wood Pigeons
- >750 Jackdaws

Birds recorded leaving roosts around the lake
None as it was raining hard at the time and I was sheltering.

The counts from the lake area:
- 2 Mute Swans
- 6 (3♂) Gadwall
- 15 (11♂) Mallard
- 8 (4♂) Pochard
- 29 (15♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 Little Grebes
- 4 Great Crested Grebes again
- 11 Moorhens
- 74 Coots
- c.200 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

My log of other things, on lamp poles
- 1 spider sp., possibly the orb-web spider Zygiella x-notata
- 1 small red-eyed fly sp. quite likely a Long-horned Black Legionnaire (Beris geniculata)
- 1 Earwig sp. (likely Forficula auricularia)

‘Red sky in the morning’ and all that: 10 minutes later it was that soaking drizzle.

This spider – with a wayward leg – looks somewhat like the orb-web spider Zygiella x-notata. But then again it looks rather like many other spiders to my untutored eye.

Was not expecting this – an Earwig sp. (likely Forficula auricularia). I read that these nocturnal hunters are active all year, hibernating only during cold snaps. It looks like it might have hunted a gnat sp.

(Ed Wilson)

Note:

1. Click Here for a Summary of the 2018 Priorslee Lake Report.

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On this day..........
2017
Local area
Today's Sightings Here

2016
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
1 drake Scaup
2 female Scaup
(Mike Stokes)

11 Jan 19

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

Priorslee Lake:  06:45 – 09:40
The Flash:  09:45 – 10:15

6°C:  Mainly cloudy. Some breaks early – which weren’t forecast. Some drizzle later – also not forecast. Light NW wind. Very good visibility, moderate in heaviest drizzle

Sunrise: 08:18 GMT again

Priorslee Lake:  06:45 – 09:40

(11th visit of the year)

Bird notes
- the same(?) goose party was not on the lake and flew E overhead at a later time – at 07:42
- a brownhead Goosander first noted on the water at 07:45: may have arrived much earlier, even roosted. Still present at 09:15 at least. Another flew W at 08:15
- in better light today I now think the two displaying Great Crested Grebes are new arrivals that have usurped the juvenile remaining from last year and banished it from the N side reeds to lurk in the SE corner
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls noted on the water by 07:10: likely roosted here. None of the Black-headed Gulls arrived before 07:45
- amazing Jackdaw total – just like the old days. 55 at 07:38; then a huge group of c.550 at 07:48 with c.150 following close behind; and two groups of c.25 birds later

Bird totals

Birds noted flying over or flying near the lake
- 1 Greylag Goose
- 9 Canada Geese
- 1 (0♂) Goosander
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 10 Wood Pigeons again
- c.800 Jackdaws (gulp)
- 4 Starlings

Birds recorded leaving roosts around the lake
- 2 Reed Buntings

The counts from the lake area:
- 2 Mute Swans
- 6 (3♂) Gadwall
- 11 (7♂) Mallard
- 9 (5♂) Pochard
- 32 (13♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 (0♂) Goosander
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 Little Grebe
- 4 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Water Rail heard
- 7 Moorhens
- 70 Coots again
- c.175 Black-headed Gulls
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

My log of other things, on lamp poles
- 1 Winter Moth
- 2 stretch spiders, Tetragnatha sp.


This is the forecast cloudy morning ....

The low sun lighting the N shore against the contrasting dark clouds behind.

This Common Buzzard appears to be watching me closely. In fact it had heard the camera ‘beep’ as it focused and peered directly at the sound. Over the previous two winters one or two, occasionally three, buzzards have roosted to the S of the M54 and flown low over the lake pre-dawn to hunt the brownfield area to the N and the fields to the E. None this year. The brownfield is no more with the construction work in full flow, though the fields are still there. This bird arrives pre-dawn from the E and uses favoured perches around the lake.

(Ed Wilson)
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The Flash:  09:45 – 10:15

(11th visit of the year)

New bird species for my 2019 log from here
None

Notes from here
- apart from the omnipresent Parakeet very quiet
- the ‘now it is here, now it is not’ Great Crested Grebe was here

Birds noted flying over / near The Flash
None

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans as ever
- 2 Canada Geese
- 30 (19♂) Mallard
- 24 (9♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Great Crested Grebe
- 2 Moorhens
- 21 Coots
- 12 Black-headed Gulls only

(Ed Wilson)

Note:

1. Click Here for a Summary of the 2018 Priorslee Lake Report.

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On this day..........
2017
Local area
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
3 Scaup
1 Common Gull
(Dave Tromans/Tom Lowe)

2013
Horsehay Pool
3 Yellow-legged Gulls
2 Common Gulls
2000 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
20+ Greater Black-backed Gulls
600 Herring Gulls
(Kris Webb and Jim Almond)

2010
Priorslee Lake
5 Bullfinch
4 Goosander
2 Water Rail
Common Snipe
Woodcock
4 Gadwall
Bittern
Peregrine
38 Swans
26 Pochard
57 Tufted Ducks
333 Coots
c.200 Black-headed Gulls
c.20 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
3 Herring Gulls
12 Siskins
(Ed Wilson, Martin Grant)

2008
Priorslee Lake
1 Glaucous Gull
(Paul King)

2007
Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
11 Pochard
62 Tufted Ducks
5 Goosanders
>1000 Black-headed Gulls
10 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
16 Robins
13 Redwings
34 Magpies
378 Jackdaws
348 Rooks
3 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

2006
Priorslee Lake
c.20 Golden Plover
2 Gadwall
c.1100 Black-headed Gulls
145 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
52 Herring Gulls
3 Great Black-backed Gulls
11 Pochard
37 Tufted Duck
226 Coots
1 Water Rail
221 Jackdaws
392 Rooks
12 Siskins
13 Pied Wagtails
3 Reed Buntings
21 Robins
18 Blackbirds
1 Willow Tit
5 Bullfinches
(Ed Wilson)

10 Jan 19

Priorslee Lake, The Flash, Trench Lock Pool and Trench Middle Pool

Priorslee Lake:  06:45 – 09:30
The Flash:  09:35 – 10:15
Trench Lock Pool:  10:25 – 10:35 // 11:15 – 11:40
Trench Middle Pool:  10:40 – 11:10

2°C > 4°C:  Clouded after frost earlier in night. Occasional very light drizzle. Light W wind. Very good visibility

Sunrise: 08:18 GMT

Priorslee Lake:  06:45 – 09:30

(10th visit of the year)

New bird species for my 2019 log from here on a rather quiet morning
None

Bird notes
- the Mute Swan cob is wearing blue Darvic ring 7JNU. This has now been confirmed as the cob that successfully raised three cygnets in 2018. The current pen has no ring
- the small goose party was on the lake pre-dawn and left at the very early time of 07:20
- two of the Great Crested Grebes were displaying frequently starting pre-dawn at 07:20. No head-shaking with weed as yet
- had my most prolonged view of a Water Rail here for some long while – the bird failed to notice me for what seemed like several minutes. Scurried off when it did
- best Jackdaw totals for a long while. The first 78 at 07:41. >180 at 07:51 followed by 2 groups of c.45 a few minutes later. Why so many?
- I stayed longer along the N side for any departing Reed Buntings: none seen. Later one flew off from the SW scrubby area and, unusually, was calling as it flew

Bird totals

Birds noted flying over or flying near the lake
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 10 Wood Pigeons
- c.350 Jackdaws
- 3 Redwings
- 1 Pied Wagtail

Birds recorded leaving roosts around the lake
- 1 Reed Bunting!

The counts from the lake area:
- 2 Mute Swans (cob 7JNU; pen unringed)
- 1 Greylag Goose
- 9 Canada Geese
- 6 (3♂) Gadwall as ever
- 9 (5♂) Mallard
- 6 (4♂) Pochard
- 24 (13♂) Tufted Ducks
- 3 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Water Rail
- 11 Moorhens
- 70 Coots
- >200 Black-headed Gulls

My log of other things, on lamp poles
- 1 Winter Moth
- 1 stretch spider, Tetragnatha sp.

(Ed Wilson)

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The Flash:  09:35 – 10:15

(10th visit of the year)

Bird species added to my 2019 log from here
37      Bullfinch

Notes from here
- 2 brownhead Goosanders came a had a look at the pool and decided against landing
- likewise the Cormorant circled and left
- Parakeet back up to full volume and flying between trees in gardens alongside Derwent Drive

Birds noted flying over / near The Flash
- 2 (0♂) Goosanders
- 1 Cormorant

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 5 Canada Geese
- 42 (24♂) Mallard
- 23 (8♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 (0♂) Goosander
- 1 Grey Heron
- 5 Moorhens
- 20 Coots
- 25 Black-headed Gulls

Always happy to snap a male Bullfinch.

(Ed Wilson)

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Trench Lock Pool:  10:25 – 10:35 // 11:15 – 11:40

(3rd visit of the year)

Bird species added to my 2019 log from here
29      Stock Dove
30      Long-tailed Tit
31      Collared Dove

Notes from here
- no idea where the large brown/black/white feral Mallard can hide – as far as I am aware in cannot / does not fly
- Stock Dove flushed from the trees at the S end
- Collared Dove displaying over houses to N

Birds noted flying over / near here (other than local Wood Pigeons and Jackdaws)
- 1 Stock Dove

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans again
- 1 Canada Goose only
- 4 (3♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Pochard again
- 19 (13♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 (1♂) Goosander
- 1 Little Grebe
- 1 Great Crested Grebe
- 3 Moorhens
- 84 Coots
- 25 Black-headed Gulls
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

(Ed Wilson)

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Trench Middle Pool:  10:40 – 11:10

(3rd visit of the year)

Bird species added to my 2019 log from here
25      Shoveler
26      Teal

Other notes from here
turned out to be the most interesting location of the morning
- small party of Teal returned
- a pair of Shoveler were my first here for at least 5 years and perhaps my first-ever here

Birds noted flying over / near here
None

The counts from the water
- 2 Greylag Geese
- 8 Canada Geese only
- 4 (1♂) Teal
- 23 (18♂) Mallard again
- 2 (0♂) feral Mallard
- 2 (1♂) Shoveler
- 9 (4♂) Tufted Ducks
- 5 (1♂) Goosanders
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 Grey Heron
- 15 Moorhens
- 34 Coots
- 142 Black-headed Gulls
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

Somewhat shy and swimming away we see four Teal, the drake in the lead showing its yellow tail sides, white flank strip and brown crown. The three ducks can be picked out by their small size compared with most other female ducks, the clincher being the short white tail sides which shows up amazingly well even at long range.

The duck Shoveler swimming left.

While the drake swims right. Neither of these is a stunning photo: record shots of what are almost certainly my first-ever Shoveler here.

(Ed Wilson)

Note:

1. Click Here for a Summary of the 2018 Priorslee Lake Report.

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On this day..........
2018
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2017
Local area
Today's Sightings Here

2013
Priorslee Lake
Drake Scaup
(Kris Webb)

Trench Lock Pool
Yellow-legged Gull
(Kris Webb)

Horsehay Pool
Ring-billed x Lesser Black-backed Gull hybrid
Glaucous x Great Black-backed Gull hybrid
1500+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls
20+ Greater Black-backed Gulls
400 Herring Gulls
Yellow-legged Gull
(Kris Webb)

2012
Priorslee Lake
Peregrine
5 Great Crested Grebes
14 Pochard
24 Tufted Duck
c.1200 Black-headed Gulls
c.900 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
c.300 Herring Gulls
3 Yellow-legged Gulls
44 Great Black-backed Gulls
5 Song Thrushes 
18 Redwings
Tawny Owl
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Pool
204 Canada Geese
3 Pochard
83 Tufted Duck
104 Coot
110 Black-headed Gulls
34 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
17 Herring Gulls
3 Great Black-backed Gulls
Chiffchaff
(Ed Wilson)

2010
Priorslee Lake
33 Swans
4 Gadwall
6 Wigeon
15 Pochard
70 Tufted Duck 
2 Water Rail
2 Snipe
c.200 Black-headed Gulls
c.200 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
5 Herring Gulls
2 Yellow legged Gull
3 Adult Great Black-backed Gulls
2 Willow Tits
13 Siskins
(Ed Wilson, Jim Almond, John Isherwood)

2007
Priorslee Lake
18 Greylag Geese
12 Pochard
39 Tufted Ducks
6 Goosanders
c.80 Golden Plover
>1000 Black-headed Gulls
c.250 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
5 Great Black-backed Gulls
3 Yellow-legged Gulls
Caspian Gull
9 Herring Gulls
22 Robins
14 Blackbirds
41 Redwings
3 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson, Jason)

2006
Priorslee Lake
2 Gadwall
13 Pochard
51 Tufted Duck
227 Coots
Glaucous Gull
c.1100 Black-headed Gulls
c.170 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
4 Yellow-legged Gulls
1 Great Black-backed Gull
c.120 Herring Gulls
302 Jackdaws
385 Rooks
2 Siskins
(Ed Wilson)

9 Jan 19

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

Priorslee Lake:  06:45 – 09:30
The Flash:  09:35 – 10:20

0°C>2°C:  Mainly clear and frosty; cloud to E gradually encroached but tended to break up. Frosty Light NNW wind. Very good visibility

Sunrise: 08:19 GMT

Priorslee Lake:  06:45 – 09:30

(9th visit of the year)

Two bird species added to my 2019 log from here
55      Little Egret
56      Lapwing

Bird notes
- again unable to get close to the Mute Swans
- a lone Greylag Goose in with the outbound Canada: it would be good to see these in better light to check whether there are any hybrids
- the Little Egret was seen being chased W by a few Black-headed Gulls at 07:45. Not certain whether it was a fly-through (as logged) or whether it had been flushed from the NE area somewhere
- I am certain the 2 Grey Herons flew straight over – perhaps those seen at The Flash later?
- 2 Great Crested Grebes seen displaying at 07:42 and again after 09:00 – one of these seemed to be one of last year’s juveniles that has never left (and I have yet to see fly). A 3rd bird in the NW area as usual
- Coot numbers always seem to be low when the SW grass is frosted and few, if any, of them feed there. But where do they go?
- 32 Lapwings overhead at 08:50 eventually settled on the SW grass until disturbed by dog-walkers. Many a year since I saw this many on the deck here
- 69 Jackdaws at the early time of 07:29: the other 84 ten minutes later
- changed my vantage point to check for Reed Buntings this morning. I had heard bird(s) calling along the N side where they usually breed (as well as at the W end). I wanted to see whether there was a roost here too. Four birds were seen leaving – but from yet another roost in the NE area! When no more birds were heard I repositioned back to the W end only to find that birds were still leaving the roost here. As a result no Magpies or Redwings seen at roost

Bird totals

Birds noted flying over or flying near the lake
- 1 Greylag Goose [outbound]
- 9 Canada Geese [1 group outbound]
- 3 Cormorants
- 1 Little Egret
- 2 Grey Herons
- 12 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Stock Dove
- 33 Wood Pigeons
- 153 Jackdaws

Birds recorded leaving roosts around the lake
see notes
- 13 Reed Buntings

The counts from the lake area:
- 2 Mute Swans still
- 5 Canada Geese
- 6 (3♂) Gadwall
- 6 (5♂) Mallard
- 6 (3♂) Pochard
- 39 (21♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Cormorant
- 3 Great Crested Grebes
- 9 Moorhens
- 62 Coots
- 32 Lapwings
- >350 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

Nothing else seen – lamp poles devoid of creatures

Some of the Lapwing flock after it was flushed by dog-walkers.

If you have ever tried counting a flying flock of Lapwing you will know how difficult it is: they are for ever changing direction and formation. Luckily we can snap the flock and count it at leisure – 32 it is.

Generally only singing birds allow close approach so this Song Thrush with its bill shut is somewhat unusual.

(Ed Wilson)

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The Flash:  09:35 – 10:20

(9th visit of the year)

Council contractors working both on one of the bridges and repairing the collapsed fencing along the W side

Bird species added to my 2019 log from here
None

Bird notes from here
- a few brownhead Goosanders back today
- 3 Grey Herons almost side-by-side when I arrived. Two flew off singly N
- the parakeet not seen or heard
and
- 1 Grey Squirrel

Birds noted flying over / near The Flash
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 4 Canada Geese again
- 31 (20♂) Mallard
- 34 (16♂) Tufted Ducks
- 3 (0♂) Goosanders
- 3 Grey Herons
- 1 Great Crested Grebe
- 4 Moorhens
- 18 Coots
- 32 Black-headed Gulls

Something I do not recall seeing here before is Black-headed Gulls on the ridge tiles of the houses in the estate.

(Ed Wilson)

Note:

1. Click Here for a Summary of the 2018 Priorslee Lake Report.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On this day..........
2017
Local area
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
2 female Scaup
10 Pochard
79 Tufted Duck
1 Great Crested Grebe
39 Herring Gulls 
85 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
4 Great Black-backed Gulls
296 Black-headed Gulls
(Gary Crowder)

2013
Priorslee Flash
A drake Scaup
(Observer Unknown)

2012
Priorslee Lake
14 Pochard
12 Tufted Duck
5 Yellow-legged Gulls
36 Great Black-backed Gulls
A dark-mantled Scandinavian Herring Gulls
Common Gull
c.550 Black-headed Gulls
39 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
88 Herring Gulls
32 Redwings
(Ed Wilson, Tom Lowe, John Isherwood)

Priorslee Flash
3 Great Crested Grebes
7 Pochard
78 Tufted Duck
233 Black-headed Gulls,
1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
1 Herring Gull
1 Great Black-backed Gull
1 Reed Bunting
(Ed Wilson)

Holmer Lake
71 Goosander,
(John Isherwood)

2010
Priorslee Lake
Bittern
15 Wigeon
1 Common Gull
2 Great Black-backed Gulls
46 Magpies
39 Swans
4 Gadwall
28 Pochard
89 Tufted Ducks
3 Goosander
3 Water Rail
1 Snipe
303 Coots
>1000 Black-headed Gulls
c.50 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
2 Yellow legged Gull
c.15 Herring Gulls
3 Redwings
2 Willow Tits
126 Jackdaws
10+ Siskins
(Ed Wilson, Jim Almond, John Isherwood)

2009
Priorslee Lake
2 Great Black-backed Gull
1 Common Gull 
2 Raven 
(John Isherwood)

2007
Priorslee Lake
16 Pochard
47 Tufted Ducks
>670 Black-headed Gulls
>515 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
43 Herring Gulls
1 Caspian Gull
3 Yellow-legged Gulls
7 Great Black-backed Gulls
22 Robins
3 Fieldfares
50 Redwings
351 Jackdaws
264 Rooks
(Ed Wilson, Paul King)

2006
Priorslee Lake
2 Gadwall
8 Pochard
63 Tufted Duck
1200 Black-headed Gulls
21 Robins
19 Blackbirds
28 Greenfinches
28 Siskins
1 Reed Bunting
(Ed Wilson)