21 Nov 17

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

12.0°C: Broken low cloud below medium-high overcast; less low cloud to the S. Moderate SW wind. Good visibility

Sunrise: 07:42 GMT

Priorslee Lake: 06:30 – 09:20

(138th visit of the year)

Notes from today:
- some of the Gadwall seem to have left while several of those still present had moved from the E end to the W end
- a drake Shoveler flew E at 08:20
- 11 Goosanders flew W at 07:45. It was still rather dark and I was unable to sex these birds. 2 peeled off heading in the direction of Holmer Lake; 7 seemed to be going towards The Flash (they weren’t there by the time I arrived); the other 2 headed straight away
- 2 Grey Herons over at 07:20 may have been disputing who was going to take charge of feeding at the lake this morning and may therefore have included the bird seen later
- 6 Lapwings circling over today and seemed to be looking at both the dam face and the SW grass to land, but in the event flew off NE
- just 2 groups of Wood Pigeons on passage, all passing NNE
- the Starling roost today saw a male Sparrowhawk chasing one of the birds: this was some 20 minutes after the same or another male Sparrowhawk flew over
- 17 Redwings in the main roost: 11 more roosting in scattered locations
- a Song Thrush singing quietly again
and, all on the lamps
- 2 Winter Moth
- 1 Northern Winter Moth
- 1 Mottled Umber moth
- 1 Garden Spider (Arameus diadematus)

On with today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake:
- 1 (1♂) Shoveler
- 11 (?♂) Goosanders
- 1 Cormorant
- 2 Grey Herons
- 1 Sparrowhawk (male)
- 1 Buzzard again
- 6 Lapwings
- 16 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Stock Doves
- 79 Wood Pigeons (including 47 migrants in 2 groups)
- c.410 Jackdaws
- 1 Rook
- 2 Starlings (singles)
- 1 Fieldfare
- 21 Redwings (5 groups)
- 5 Goldfinches
- 2 Siskins

Birds noted leaving roosts around the lake:
- [Magpies not counted]
- c.120 Starlings
- 28 Redwings
- 1 Reed Bunting

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans again
- 5 (3♂) Gadwall
- 20 (12♂) Mallard
- 50 (28♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron
- 4 + 1 Great Crested Grebes again
- 1 Water Rail heard
- 5 Moorhens again
- 165 Coots
- >200 Black-headed Gulls
- 10 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

In the poor light this was the best I could do with the group of 6 Lapwing.

At least this one came closer.

This is, I think, a Winter Moth. Separation from Northern Winter Moth is difficult without seeing the diagnostic underwing tone – brownish on Winter Moth; white on Northern Winter Moth Despite it name Northern Winter Moth is equally common across most of the UK. It tends to be slightly larger and have a more prominent centre band.

Size is deceptive here as the moth was further away. The rather silky tone and prominent band both suggest Northern Winter Moth.

Two for the price of one. The upper moth is probably another Winter Moth. The lower one is a ‘classic’ Mottled Umber – a species which is very variable in appearance. Both are males: like both ‘winter’ moths the Mottled Umber females are virtually wingless, certainly flightless. My first Mottled Umber of the season – flight season is through to January as it is for both these species.

(Ed Wilson)

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The Flash: 09:25 – 10:10

(97th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- a third Great Crested Grebe today
- a Greenfinch heard making its long wheezy ‘song’, usually not heard before mid/late January

Birds noted flying over
- 7 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 9 Feral Pigeon (2 groups)
- 1 Wood Pigeon
- 2 Jackdaws
- 5 Starlings

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans again: the remaining cygnet is Blue 7IVP
- 2 Canada Geese
- 1 white feral goose
- 27 (19♂) Mallard
- 4 (3♂) Pochard
- 25 (8♂) Tufted Ducks
- 3 Great Crested Grebes
- 4 Moorhens
- 14 Coots
- 52 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Kingfisher still

I have remarked before that Moorhens are surprisingly adept at climbing. Here one gets a reward by eating the hips.
(Ed Wilson)

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

2014
Local area
Today's Sightings Here

2013
Priorslee Lake
5 Gadwall 
1 Pochard 
125 Tufted Duck
3 Water Rails 
15 Moorhens 
221 Coots counted again 
1 Snipe 
23 Fieldfare
8 Redwings 
196 Jackdaws
4 Rooks
2 Ravens
Redpoll
(Ed Wilson)

2012
Priorslee Lake
3 Gadwall 
8 Pochard 
27 Tufted Ducks 
9 Moorhens 
142 Coots 
(Ed Wilson)

2011
Priorslee Lake
2 Yellow-legged Gulls
1st winter Great Black-backed Gull
3 female Goosander
3 Wigeon
(John Isherwood)

2008
Priorslee Lake
7 Great Crested Grebes
2 Cormorants
30 Greylag Gees
16 Pochard
166 Tufted Duck
3 Goosander
Water Rail
148 Coot
c.700 Black-headed
c.1300 Lesser Black-backed
<20 Herring Gulls
93 Redwings
c.500 Starlings left a roost
(Ed Wilson)

2006
Priorslee Lake
3 Great Crested Grebes
33 Pochard
69 Tufted Ducks
6 Buzzards
>1750 Black-headed Gulls
2251 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
26 Robins
32 Blackbirds
96 Fieldfares
4 Song Thrushes
13 Redwings
384 Jackdaws
216 Rooks
22 Greenfinch
2 Siskins
2 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

20 Nov 17

Priorslee Lake: then Trench Lock Pool and Trench Middle Pool

9.0°C > 13.0°C: Scattered low level cloud below broken mid-level cloud: some clear bits and then some light showers later. Moderate SW wind, fresh at times. Good visibility

Sunrise: 07:40 GMT

Priorslee Lake: 06:25 – 09:30

(137th visit of the year)

Notes from today:
- 4 Lapwings appeared overhead c.08:20, circled for a while and then moved on. First record here since 14 May
- nice to see some Herring Gulls among the over-flying large gulls. Since the demise of the landfill site the number of all gulls in and around the lake has declined markedly
- two Long-tailed Tit parties today: at least 13 birds in the group by the Teece Drive gate: later 10 birds flew E over Castle Farm Road from the S side. I often see these groups but they are usually difficult to count
- of the 19 Redwings logged as roosting just 7 were in the ‘traditional’ site along the N side. The rest were mainly singles flushed / seen leaving various other locations around the lake
- c.110 Starlings shot out of the reeds, again with a Sparrowhawk in hot pursuit – success unknown. Some five minutes later another c.60 birds flew over leaving a local roost but exactly where from I am unsure. They seemed to come from the trees above the reeds: but Starlings normally use only reed-beds or vegetated areas (conifers or evergreen shrubs) in which they can hide and there is nothing suitable in the area
and, all on the lamps
- 1 Winter Moth pre-dawn only again
- 3 Garden Spiders (Arameus diadematus)
- 1 Earwig sp. (likely Forficula auricularia)
- 1 Crane-fly sp. (most likely Tipula luteipennis)

On with today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake:
- 1 Buzzard
- 4 Lapwings
- 58 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 3 Herring Gulls
- 5 Feral Pigeons (single and one group)
- 3 Stock Doves (singles)
- 92 Wood Pigeons (including 59 migrants in 3 groups)
- c.720 Jackdaws
- 2 Rooks again
- 1 Starling again
- 6 Fieldfares (2 groups)
- 133 Redwings (15 singles / groups)
- 2 Pied Wagtails
- 2 Meadow Pipits
- 5 Greenfinches
- 13 Goldfinches
- 6 Siskins

Birds noted leaving roosts around the lake:
- [Magpies not counted]
- c.170 Starlings (see notes)
- 19 Redwings (see notes)

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 9 (5♂) Gadwall once more
- 19 (11♂) Mallard
- 2 (2♂) Pochard
- 44 (20♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 Little Grebes
- 4 + 1 Great Crested Grebes again
- 5 Moorhens
- 167 Coots
- c.125 Black-headed Gulls
- 12 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

This crane-fly sp. is most likely Tipula luteipennis on the basis of unmarked wings, slender body and flight date. This species is also noted as attracted to light – which clearly this was.

(Ed Wilson)

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Trench Lock Pool: 09:40 – 10:15 // 11:00 – 11:05

(31st visit of the year)

Notes from here
- on my first look I counted 21 Lesser Black-backed Gulls with 2 Herring Gulls and a putative Yellow-legged Gull. As I was positioning for a better view most of these took off and flew around with many leaving. Luckily the camera came up trumps and I was able to confirm it was a Yellow-legged Gull. Then when I returned from Middle Pool for a quick re-check I found 20 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, many of which seemed to be different birds from those present earlier
- a Grey Wagtail here again

Birds noted flying over here [apart from the local Wood Pigeons and Jackdaws coming and going]
- 18 Starlings
- 12 Redwings

The counts from the water
- 1 + 6 Mute Swans again
- 29 Canada Geese
- 23 (13♂) Mallards
- 1 (1♂) ‘feralMallard again
- 43 (24♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 (1♂) Goosander again
- 3 Little Grebes
- 2 Great Crested Grebes still
- 6 Moorhens again
- 118 Coots again
- 49 Black-headed Gulls
- 21 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (see notes)
- 2 Herring Gulls
- 1 Yellow-legged Gull (see notes)

This is the adult winter Yellow-legged Gull leaving. In the poor light the bird is not quite sharp but it seems to have the white ‘mirror’ on the outer primary only. Note also the unmarked head and quite dark-looking wings, though not as dark as a Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Another view.

From the underside the presence of the ‘mirror’ on the outer primary is confirmed. Note the rather large bill of this species. Do those legs look yellow? I think they do but in shadow it is hard to be certain.

In contrast here is an adult winter Herring Gull showing rather more extensive head spotting than many. The black on the upper mandible is typical at this date – will start losing this within a month or six weeks as it start a slow change to summer plumage.
(Ed Wilson)

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Trench Middle Pool: 10:20 – 10:55

(28th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- at least one of cygnets from the Mute Swan family is now sporting a blue Darvic ring – 7JLI
- my first Goosanders of the season here. As elsewhere the ratio of drakes is much higher so far this winter than in recent years when ‘brownheads’ have far outnumbered drakes (this species last recorded here 26 March)
- a Great Spotted Woodpecker here
- the Siskins over may have also landed here: my first at this site since 2014 at least
and
- Tufted Vetch noted still in flower here

Birds noted flying over here
- 1 Buzzard
- 1 Redwing
- 3 Siskins

The counts from the water
- 2 + 5 Mute Swans
- 37 Canada Geese
- 29 (19♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) ‘feralMallard again
- 8 (5♂) Tufted Duck
- 12 (5♂) Goosanders
- 1 Cormorant
- 2 Great Crested Grebes again
- 11 Moorhens
- 43 Coots
- 91 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 1 Herring Gull

The one swan ring I managed to read today – 7JLI.

One of the drake Goosanders trails weed from its bill as it passes an adult winter Black-headed Gull.

Here are three other drake Goosanders. The middle bird is a first winter moulting out of ‘brownhead’ plumage.

The first winter with an adult drake

Rather better light here on this adult winter Herring Gull. This bird has black on both mandibles and you would struggle to see any red on the lower mandible – just a hint at the front of the black spot. There are no signs in the wing-markings that this is anything other than a full adult.

(Ed Wilson)

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

2014
Local area
Today's Sightings Here

2012
Priorslee Lake
3 Gadwall 
8 Pochard 
15 Tufted Ducks 
149 Coots 
286 Redwings
84 Fieldfares
c.350 Jackdaws but no Rooks seen.
(Ed Wilson / John Isherwood)

2009
Priorslee Lake
42 Mute Swan
1 Wigeon
c. 45 Tufted
36 Pochard
c. 240 Coot
c. 400 Lesser Black-backed Gull
c. 120 Black-headed Gull
10 Herring Gull
3 Yellow Legged Gull
(Mike Cooper)

2007
Priorslee Lake
1 male Stonechat showing well near to sailing club hut.
1 Gadwall
(John Isherwood)

2006
Priorslee Lake
31 Pochard
52 Tufted Ducks
8 Lapwings
>550 Black-headed Gulls
187 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
239 Wood Pigeons
40 Robins
32 Blackbirds
60 Fieldfares
11 Redwings
1 Willow Tit
310 Jackdaws
150 Rooks
35 Greenfinch
6 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

2005
Priorslee Lake
18 Pochard
55 Tufted Duck
3 Ruddy Duck
1 Wigeon
c.200 Coot
4 Cormorant
C.750 birds
24 Fieldfare
3 Redpoll
12 Siskin
5 Reed Bunting
1 Willow Tit
(Martin Adlam)

19 Nov 17

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

2.5°C > 5.0°C: Scattered medium level cloud below broken, mainly thin, high cloud. Calm / light variable wind. Very good visibility.

Sunrise: 07:39 GMT

Priorslee Lake: 06:35 – 09:20

(136th visit of the year)

Notes from today:
- 11 Mallard flew off E at 06:50 leaving at least 3 behind. My later count may have included returning birds
- 3 Tufted Ducks, sex not determined, flew off W at 06:50
- back to 4 adult Great Crested Grebes with the remaining juvenile heard begging early on
- two Water Rail was heard calling in the NW area today
- >180 Black-headed Gulls arrived from the W by 07:25 when something spooked them all and they headed off both E and W. Thereafter small numbers coming and going, never more than 50
- small Wood Pigeon passage with most of the migrants in one party of c.120 birds. Many of the singles / small groups over were at ‘migrant height’ but did not seem to be chasing after groups
- bigger Starling roost today with a female Sparrowhawk confirmed as the predator today: her intended victim got away this morning
and
- 1 Winter Moth on a lamp pre-dawn only
- no spiders etc. found today

On with today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake:
- 2 Buzzards
- 52 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Stock Doves
- c.207 Wood Pigeons (c.168 migrants in 6 groups)
- c.425 Jackdaws
- 2 Rooks
- 1 Skylark
- 1 Starling
- 22 Redwings (5 groups)
- 4 Pied Wagtails
- 1 Meadow Pipit once more
- 3 Chaffinches
- 3 Siskins

Birds noted leaving roosts around the lake:
- [Magpies not counted]
- >450 Starlings
- 10 Redwings
- 2 Reed Buntings

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 9 (5♂) Gadwall still
- 14 > 8 (5♂) Mallard
- 3 (2♂) Pochard
- 42 (23+♂) Tufted Ducks (see notes again)
- 2 Grey Herons
- 4 + 1 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 Water Rails heard
- 9 Moorhens yet again
- 165 Coots
- >180 Black-headed Gulls (see notes)
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

The splendid sunrise this morning.

Another view.

And another.

The last ...

A sedge against the sunrise.

(Ed Wilson)

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The Flash: 09:25 – 10:00

(96th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- both male and female Sparrowhawks seen passing over

Birds noted flying over
- 2 Sparrowhawk
- 11 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Feral Pigeon
- 6 Wood Pigeons

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 7 Canada Geese
- 1 white feral goose remains
- 26 (20♂) Mallard
- 2 (2♂) Pochard again
- 36 (16♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Great Crested Grebes still
- 10 Moorhens
- 11 Coots
- 13 Black-headed Gulls only
- 1 Kingfisher

As I parked the car this adult winter Black-headed was on the railings. It seemed disinclined to move so I took the opportunity.

(Ed Wilson)

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WeBS Count 19 Nov 2017


Also today WeBS Count by Tony Beckett

Priorslee Flash  08.50 – 09.20

Canada Geese 5
Coot 6
Feral Geese 1
Great Crested Grebe 1
Mallard 34 (21 male)
Mute Swan 4
Moorhen 3
Pochard 2
Tufted Duck 43 (32)
Black-headed Gull 19
Lesser Black-backed Gull 1

Priorslee Lake 09.30 – 10.40

Coot 14
Gadwall 9 (4 male)
Great Crested Grebe 5
Mallard 8 (5 male)
Moorhen 2
Mute Swan 5
Pochard 3
Tufted Duck 53
Black-headed Gulls 53
Lesser Black-backed Gulls 12

(Tony Beckett)

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On this day..........
2015
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Local area
Today's Sightings Here

2013
Priorslee Lake
26 Greylag Geese
5 Wigeon 
5 Gadwall 
134 Tufted Duck
2 Goosander
2 Water Rails 
229 Coots
>400 Wood Pigeon
302 Fieldfare
88 Redwings 
309 Jackdaws
(Ed Wilson)

2012
Priorslee Lake
3 Gadwall 
7 Pochard 
17 Tufted Ducks
146 Coots 
244 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
7 Herring Gulls
1 Yellow-legged
c.145 Wood Pigeons
47 Redwings
82 Fieldfares
238 Jackdaws
2 Siskins
11 Bullfinches
(Ed Wilson)

2008
The Flash
10 Goosanders
c.30 Tufted Ducks
c.100 Lesser Black-backed Gull
c.200 Black-headed Gull
1 Buzzard
(Mike Cooper)

2007
Priorslee Lake
1 Gadwall
8 Wigeon
(John Isherwood)

The Flash
4 Goosander
4 Wigeon
(John Isherwood)

Nedge Hill
1 Woodcock
(John Isherwood)

2006
Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
25 Greylag Geese
1 drake Teal
34 Pochard
48 Tufted Ducks
drake Ruddy Duck
11 Lapwings
>1080 Black-headed Gulls
1435 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
202 Wood Pigeons
28 Robins
16 Blackbirds
142 Fieldfares
15 Redwings
158 Jackdaws
100 Rooks
(Ed Wilson)

2005
Priorslee Lake
c.3000 Black-headed Gull
c.2000 Lesser-Black-backed Gulls
12 Pochard
55 Tufted Duck
1 Wigeon
2 Ruddy Duck
3 Water Rail
1 Snipe
5 Redwing
23 Fieldfare
13 Reed Bunting
8 Siskin
170 Rooks
220 Jackdaws
c.500 Starlings in roost
c.500 Wood Pigeon
(Martin Adlam)

18 Nov 17

Priorslee Lake only

3.5°C > 5.0°C: Thin sliver of clear air to E and N moved away with low cloud spreading from S and unexpected light rain c.09:10. Light mainly S wind. Mainly very good visibility

Sunrise: 07:37 GMT

Priorslee Lake: 06:30 – 09:40

(135th visit of the year)

Markings have appeared around the edge of the football field: I was told these are the areas to be replanted with trees, replacing those cut down unnecessarily during preparation for the new academy

Notes from today:
- 8 Mallard flew off E before 07:00 but are believed to have returned before I did my count
- one Tufted Duck, sex not determined, flew off W at 06:45
- 3 Goosanders (2 drakes) came from the E, circled once, and then headed off SSW once more
- just 4 Great Crested Grebes today: one a juvenile
- a Water Rail was heard calling from the main N-side reeds: an different location from usual
- c.65 Black-headed Gulls arrived from the W early many soon leaving to both the E and W. Thereafter there were birds flying in and out from both directions more or less continually but never more than c.40 present at any one time. How many birds were involved is impossible to say
- no Wood Pigeon passage at all this morning though a low-flying group of 16 may have been on the move rather than local birds – these are usually well-spaced out when they move
- well the Starlings did roost again after yesterday’s attack: an attack that was repeated today with a Starling singled out and seen with a raptor in hot pursuit. The view was somewhat better but still very brief and I have to say the twisting, turning chase was more reminiscent of a Merlin than a Sparrowhawk. But in the still poor light .... Distracted by this, my total of the Starlings seen is even more of a ‘best effort’ than usual. (A confirmed Sparrowhawk was seen flying to the E earlier)
- a Fieldfare was in trees in the Ricoh copse opposite the academy this morning: not unprecedented but I always think of this species as an open country bird
- a Song Thrush was heard in quiet song this morning
- in addition to the single fly-over Meadow Pipit another bird visited the ‘football field’ alongside the academy
- >20 Siskins around in the Alders this morning
and
- no moths on the lamps again
- 2 harvestmen, both apparently Mitostoma bimaculatum, were on different lamps this morning
- a spider sp., probably a Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis), was on another lamp

On with today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake:
- 3 (2♂) Goosander
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 (2?) Sparrowhawks (see notes)
- 11 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Stock Dove
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 32 Wood Pigeons only
- c.750 Jackdaws
- 5 Rooks
- 1 Raven
- 2 Pied Wagtails
- 30 Redwings (3 groups)
- 1 Meadow Pipit again (see notes)
- 4 Goldfinches
- 2 Siskins (singles)

Birds noted leaving roosts around the lake:
- >14 Magpies
- >150 Starlings
- 6 Redwings

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 9 (5♂) Gadwall remain
- 18 (10♂) Mallard
- 2 (2♂) Pochard
- 39 (23♂) Tufted Ducks (see notes)
- 1 Grey Heron
- 3 Little Grebes
- 4 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Water Rail heard
- 9 Moorhens again
- 168 Coots
- c.65 Black-headed Gulls (see notes)
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 1 Kingfisher

(Ed Wilson)

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On this day..........
2016
Local Area
Today's Sightings Here

2013
Priorslee Lake
1 Wigeon 
5 Gadwall 
2 Teal 
1 Pochard 
102 Tufted Duck 
1 Water Rail
229 Coots 
1 Snipe
>500 Starlings
127 Fieldfare
7 Redwings 
99 Jackdaws
1 Brambling
1 Yellowhammer
(Ed Wilson)

2012
Newport
1 Waxwing
(Ed Wilson)

2011
Priorslee Lake
1 Adult Yellow legged Gull
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Flash
1 adult Yellow legged Gull
2 female Goosander
(John Isherwood)

2006
Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
36 Pochard
49 Tufted Duck
1 Ruddy Duck
11 Lapwings
1 Woodcock
c.1700 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
>600 Black-headed Gulls
5 Herring Gull
1 Yellow-legged Gull
2 Great Black-backed Gulls
910 Wood Pigeons
22 Robins
21 Blackbirds
258 Fieldfares
13 Redwings
201 Jackdaws
158 Rooks
348 Starlings
4 Reed Buntings
(Martin Adlam / Ed Wilson)

2005
Priorslee Lake
c.1000 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
c.1500 Black-headed Gulls
10 Herring Gull
2 Yellow-legged Gulls
1 Wigeon
(Martin Adlam)

17 Nov 17

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

1.0°C > 3.5°C: Some cloud cover had kept the frost away until a clearance allowed the grass to turn white. Very light SSW wind. Very good visibility

Sunrise: 07:35 GMT

Priorslee Lake: 06:35 – 09:20

(134th visit of the year)

Some numbers may have been impacted by last night’s unauthorised firework party, the remains of which I cleared up from the dam-top

Other notes from today:
- a drake Goosander flew W at the unusually late time of 08:20 – normally soon after sun-up
- I think there were 5 Great Crested Grebes today: a juvenile was heard begging early on but not seen with any of the adults later. There seemed to be two different juveniles. The birds are no longer keeping to ‘territory’ making counting difficult as they move around under water
- most of the migrating Wood Pigeons were heading N or NNW this morning – as were most Redwings
- will be interesting to see whether the Starlings use the roost again tomorrow: as the main body left what seemed to be a Sparrowhawk dived in to the pack and flew off with a hapless bird in its talons. Whether this was just luck as it was passing-by or whether it ambushed them from a perch is a moot point. Whatever it caused great consternation, not only among the Starlings but also among the 100 or so Black-headed Gulls that were on the water by the reeds trying to steal food from the diving Tufted Ducks
and
- no moths on the lamps this cold morning, but ...
- a Caddis Fly sp on one of the lamps – strange date. Likely Stenophylax permistus

On with today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake:
- 2 Canada Geese (1 group, inbound)
- 3 (2♂) Mallard yet again
- 1 (1♂) Goosander
- 50, exactly, Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Stock Doves (singles)
- 704 Wood Pigeons (of these 656 migrants in 13 groups)
- >440 Jackdaws
- 1 Rook
- 56 Redwings (4 groups)
- 1 Meadow Pipit
- 1 Greenfinch again
- 1 Chaffinch
- 3 Siskins (all singles)

Birds noted leaving roosts around the lake:
- >20 Magpies
- c.105 Starlings in 6 groups
- 7 Redwings

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 9 (5♂) Gadwall again
- 10 (6♂) Mallard yet again
- 3 (2♂) Pochard
- 38 (24♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Grey Herons
- 5 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 Water Rails heard
- 9 Moorhens
- 149 Coots
- c.145 Black-headed Gulls
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

Not too promising a-sunrise.

But it did get better.

A young male Blackbird attacks the haws.

My best effort at identifying this caddis fly is Stenophylax permistus. There are 199 species to choose from, though to be fair many of these look nothing like this mainly brown species. The excellent Naturespot web site notes this species as coming to light and flying unusually late in the year which seems to fit.

After the sun rose it melted the frost and left a damp coating on the always attractive Blackberry (Rubus sp.) leaves.

Here are some more Blackberry leaves. A fine example of Autumn ....

But look: it’s Spring! These Alder (Alnus glutinosa) catkins. As far as I can tell from the web there should not be any catkins before February.
(Ed Wilson)

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The Flash: 09:25 – 10:15

(95th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- geese resumed mainly somewhere else
- still low number of Coots: as many Moorhens today
- quite a few things flying over: nothing too special
and
a visit to the bank of Ivy which was in full sun produced an array of sightings despite the ambient temperature being c.3C
- >5 wasps sp., several of which seemed rather small but probably all Common Wasps (Vespula vulgaris)
- >3 hoverflies, all those ID-ed being Tapered Drone Flies (Eristalis pertinax)
- >20 flies of at least 2 species: provisionally Eudasyphora cyanella and Sepsis fulgens

Birds noted flying over
- 1 Sparrowhawk
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 1 Raven
- 2 Starlings
- 1 Pied Wagtail
- 1 Chaffinch
- 1 Siskin

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 2 Canada Geese again
- 1 white feral goose remains
- 29 (20♂) Mallard
- 2 (2♂) Pochard
- 31 (12♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Great Crested Grebes again
- 9 Moorhens
- 9 Coots
- 47 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 1 Kingfisher

Always happy to take the photograph of a posing Dunnock.

One of the wasps on the Ivy. It is likely a Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris) as the very similar German Wasp (Vespula germanica) is slightly larger and this specimen looked small. They can only be separated by looking head-on at the face. The German Wasp’s flight period ends somewhat earlier than that of the Common Wasp. It is late for any wasp.

Here we see one of the few hoverflies that are still flying in November – the Tapered Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax).

And another specimen.

One of the many flies on the Ivy this morning. Under the wing we can see a glossy green tone and it is likely this is Eudasyphora cyanella. This fly over winters and is active both late in the year and in Spring. Older specimens lose some of the bright green gloss.

A different specimen: from this angle the slight green gloss is easier to see.

My best effort at this very small fly is Sepsis fulgens, an ant-mimic.

(Ed Wilson)

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On this day..........
2016
Local Area
Today's Sightings Here

2013
Priorslee Lake
1 Wigeon 
2 Gadwall 
2 Teal 
62 Tufted Duck 
214 Coots 
9 Lapwings over 
c.210 Black-headed Gulls
c.250 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
2 Herring Gulls
7 Fieldfare
10 Redwings 
2 Siskins
1 Redpoll
(Ed Wilson)

2011
Priorslee Lake
Caspian Gull
(Andy Latham)

2006
Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
37 Pochard
55 Tufted Ducks
 >625 Black-headed Gulls
2245 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
2 Herring Gulls
1 Great Black-backed Gull
424 Wood Pigeons
23 Blackbirds
374 Fieldfares
58 Redwings
379 Jackdaws
151 Rooks
4 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

16 Nov 17

Priorslee Lake: then Trench Lock Pool and Trench Middle Pool

6.5°C > 10.5°C: Cloud clearing away to the E for a while: then broken mid-level cloud: became overcast after 10:00 and then heavy rain for a while starting at 10:50. Calm start with light mist: later a light, eventually moderate S / SW wind. Very good visibility until arrival of rain.

Sunrise: 07:33 GMT

Priorslee Lake: 06:30 – 09:15

(133rd visit of the year)

Another sighting that got away: a party of 14 geese flew N more or less overhead the lake at 07:15. Rather small and fast-flying they were certainly not Canada Geese. I did not see them until they were through the overhead and they gave little clue as to their identity. The extent of the white at the rear-end suggested either Greylag or Pink-footed Geese. I was unable to see the upper-wing pattern and I did not hear any calls. My impression was they were rather too small for Greylag Geese, but ...

A rather busier morning

Other notes from today:
- early on there was a single drake Gadwall at the W end: the totals below came from the E end at which time I was unable to confirm whether the W end bird was still there
- only the adult Great Crested Grebes seen today. A juvenile was pestering an adult yesterday without apparently getting any response from its sleeping parent: perhaps it has taken the hint
- 2 Water Rails heard squealing along the S side – so still here. Later one calling from the NW area and presumed same also squealing
- 14 of the Wood Pigeons shot out of the trees together and climbed high suggesting that they were migrants that had roosted around the lake rather than local birds. The six migrant parties were heading E, N and SW with most of the birds going NW
- the roosting Starlings were all around the W / NW area this morning: 2 singles shot out of separate areas at the W end; then 4 small groups from the NW reeds; and another single from the SW somewhere. Plenty of Starlings over later, all moving W
and
- 2 Winter Moths and 2 November-type (Epirrita sp.) moths on the lamps. I have yet again changed my mind about the earlier moths this week. Having seen two very obvious Winter Moths and seen how noticeably smaller they are it is clear that, despite their variable markings, all the previously logged moths this week have been November-type (Epirrita sp.) moths. Males Epirrita sps. have slightly different wing shapes from females which adds to the confusion
- a harvestman, probably Mitostoma bimaculatum, and two spiders of different species were sharing a lamp

In my mid-month check of plants still in flower I included
- Dandelion sp. (probably Taraxacum officinale)
This was a bit of a ‘cheat’ as I could only find ‘clocks’: all resolved when today a new flower was opening

On with today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake:
- 2 Canada Geese (1 group, outbound)
- 14 geese sp. (see notes)
- 1 Common Buzzard
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls again
- 10 Feral Pigeons (2 parties)
- 195 Wood Pigeons (of these 165 migrants in 6 groups)
- 89 Jackdaws
- 3 Rooks
- 1 Redwing only
- 2 Fieldfares
- 106 Starlings (8 singles / groups)
- 2 Pied Wagtails
- 1 Greenfinch
- 2 Chaffinches
- 6 Siskins (all singles)

Birds noted leaving roosts around the lake:
- 14 Wood Pigeons (see notes)
- 53 Starlings in 7 singles /groups
- 8 Redwings
- 2 Reed Buntings

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 9 (5♂) Gadwall (perhaps 10 (6♂))
- 10 (6♂) Mallard again
- 2 (2♂) Pochard again
- 37 (22♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron yet again
- 1 Little Grebe
- 4 Great Crested Grebes
- 3 Water Rails heard
- 11 Moorhens
- 159 Coots
- >160 Black-headed Gulls
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Kingfishers

Cannot let the first sunrise for a while go unchallenged.

And from another vantage point.

Now THIS is a real Winter Moth.

So THIS is a November-moth (Epirrita sp.).

This seems to be the harvestman Mitostoma bimaculatum (there is no vernacular name). A harvestman with relatively short legs and active all-year.

The harvestman was sharing its lamp with two spiders: the most obvious one is a Nursery Spider (Pisaura mirabilis) and the other, hiding behind a leaf caught in the web, looks like a Garden Spider (Arameus diadematus).

I did not notice the small bug on the top of this Autumnal leaf.

And some more Autumn leaves (note: it is not true that “The leaves of brown came tumblin' down, remember: in September in the rain” even if Harry Warren and Al Dubin composed it and Dinah Washington sang it).

A whole melange of colour here with one leaf very much past its sell-by date. When the light breeze sprang up later the remaining leaves started a veritable cascade and it cannot be long now before the trees are gaunt.

So meanwhile here are a few more views.

Another.

(Ed Wilson)

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Trench Lock Pool: 09:35 – 10:00

(30th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- 6 cygnets with the lone adult today. perhaps I overlooked the 6th yesterday? seems unlikely so perhaps it was ‘visiting’ somewhere
- only the drake Goosanders fishing today

No birds noted flying over here [apart from the local Wood Pigeons and Jackdaws coming and going]

The counts from the water
- 1 + 6 Mute Swans
- 45 Canada Geese
- 20 (13♂) Mallards
- 1 (1♂) ‘feralMallard remains
- 1 (0♂) Shoveler
- 42 (18♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 (1♂) Goosander
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 Great Crested Grebes again
- 6 Moorhens
- 118 Coots
- 73 Black-headed Gulls
- 16 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

An adult Lesser Black-backed Gull. The position of the white area in the outer primaries and the length of these shows that regrowth after the moult is not complete.

And here it (or a very similar bird) is on the water.

Looking at the rather more extensive winter head-spotting this different bird is also still regrowing the outer primaries.

In contrast the flapping bird here shows a correctly positioned white area and full length outer primaries.

This is a clever trick: gives me neck-ache and its friends seem surprised.

(Ed Wilson)

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Trench Middle Pool: 10:05 – 10:45

(27th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- the Mute Swan family went for a test-flight this morning: 3 of the cygnets flying strongly with full lift-off
- some geese at least have returned
- an overflight by a Pied Wagtail was my first record from here for two years
and
- no moths seen today: yesterday’s moths re-identified as November-type moths (see above)
- a new plant for here was noted – not terribly exiting
- Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Birds noted flying over here
- 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Pied Wagtail

The counts from the water
- 2 + 5 Mute Swans
- 1 Greylag Goose
- 34 Canada Geese
- 23 (18♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) ‘feralMallard
- 11 (7♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 Great Crested Grebes remain
- 15 Moorhens
- 42 Coots
- 59 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

A popular spot to feed the birds – probably with the wrong sort of food, but we will let that pass. Birds get very used to people and the lure of food presents opportunities to photograph the often rather shy Moorhens.

Again here: the back bird is a bird born this year and yet to get the red shield

This view shows the huge feet. It makes the bird amazingly adept at climbing in vegetation.

Unlike Coots there seems to be little aggression between Moorhens and they often gather in some numbers (two Canada Geese try to get in the picture).
(Ed Wilson)

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On this day..........
2014
Local Area
Today's Sightings Here

2013
Priorslee Lake
1 Wigeon 
5 Gadwall 
2 Teal 
69 Tufted Duck 
215 Coots 
19 Lapwings 
c.400 Black-headed Gulls
c.220 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
21 Herring Gulls 
74 Starlings
8 Fieldfare
38 Redwings 
93 Jackdaws
19 Rooks
3 Ravens
(Ed Wilson)

2012
Priorslee Lake
12 Greylag Geese
3 Wigeon
1 Shoveler 
3 Pochard 
11 Tufted Ducks 
Snipe
c.35 Redwings
(Ed Wilson)

2011
Priorslee Lake
2 Caspian Gulls
8 Yellow-legged Gulls
1,600 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
30+ Herring Gulls
4 Great Black-backed Gulls
Hybrid Lesser Black-backed x Herring Gull
(Tom Lowe)

2007
Priorslee Lake
140 Golden Plover
1 Gadwall
2 Wigeon
(John Isherwood)

2006
Priorslee Lake
4 Cormorants
29 Pochard
54 Tufted Ducks
>675 Black-headed Gulls
2571 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
3 Herring Gulls
272 Wood Pigeons
32 Robins
26 Blackbirds
212 Fieldfares
5 Song Thrushes
50 Redwings
7 Mistle Thrushes
5 Goldcrests
563 Jackdaws
144 Rooks
33 Starlings
1 Redpoll
6 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)