12 Oct 14

Priorslee Lake:

Late Morning: 10:30am - 11:45am

WeBS Count for October

Hazy fog/bright

5     Great Crested Grebe
120     Coot
19(8)   Tufted duck
96    Black-headed Gulls
32    Lesser Black-backed Gull
4     Herring Gull
2      Mute Swan
13     Moorhen
3(1)   Mallard
8     Greylag Geese

(Tony Beckett)

Early Morning: 6:47am - 9:17am

2.5°C > 7.0°C:  Low-level mist cleared quite quickly here, though unusually lingered elsewhere – the lake is usually a fog-trap. Calm. Poor but later moderate visibility.

Rather quieter this morning: highlights
- male Peregrine over the lake
- what may well have been a Brambling overhead: not 100% confident of this species’ flight-call and without a better view will have leave this as a ‘probable’. I have listened to the recordings on the excellent web site xeno-canto.org without any real conclusion.

Confirmed over flights
- at least 2 Sky Larks over The Flash and over the lake
- 7 Meadow Pipits
- 7 Pied Wagtails
- 1 Siskin again

(114th visit of the year)

Little Grebe again: lost in the mist yesterday I suspect.
Single Cormorant flew over and then back again.
A few outbound Canada Geese seen: another large party heard but lost in the mist.
All the Mallard again flew in from the NW.
54 Tufted Ducks: several groups later flew off and were probably then recorded at The Flash.
8 Song Thrushes, one in song. 4 of these seen flying over in tight group – probably migrants.
Just one Chiffchaff: called once only and then seen foraging rather low in the edge of the N side reed bed.
The mist cleared just after the first large noisy party of Jackdaws (and, I assume, the usually, quieter and earlier Rooks) passed: nevertheless >300 Jackdaws seen.

1 Little Grebe
4 Great Crested Grebes
1 Cormorant over
2 Grey Herons
2 Swans
>6 Canada Geese outbound
14 (8) Mallard
54 Tufted Duck
1 Water Rail
11 Moorhen
132 Coots
c.250 Black-headed Gulls
83 Lesser Black-backed Gulls: 12 of these only on the water
1 Herring Gull over
Corvid roost dispersal: >300 Jackdaws and 42 Rooks
2 (0) Chiffchaff

This was a surprise sighting: in the distance this misty morning was this plume of what my Physics master would have insisted was water vapour – “you can’t see steam, boy”. As far as I can tell the origin was probably Rugely Power Station (though I initially thought it might just be Kegworth)

You always need foreground for the best sunrise shots. Will these preening Swans do? Note the moulted feathers floating away.

Not as stark as pre-dawn shots but still showing impressive cross-lit craters here is this morning’s waning moon.

Birds are nothing if not opportunistic: this Buzzard is using the scaffolding around the new school as an early-morning perch. The workers will not disturb it today, but.....

... eagle-eyed(?) he did not like the camera being pointed at him and flew off.

Just frosted in the sheltered spots this morning: this web is, however, only showing liquid droplets from the morning mist.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash:

WeBS Count for October: 9:25am - 10:20am

Bright with slight haze, Chilly around 60

3      Great Crested Grebe
165   Canada Geese
36      Black-headed Gulls
19      Coot
22(13)   Mallard
6      Moorhen
79(35)  Tufted Ducks
2     Mute Swan
2      Feral Geese
66     Greylag Geese

(Tony Beckett)

Morning Sightings: 9:21am - 10:15am

(95th visit of the year)

A 4th Great Crested Grebe again today and now fairly certain there are 3 adults and 1 immature.
Not sure why rather few Mallard this morning.
Even if Tufted Duck numbers were boosted by arrivals from the lake it was still a high count: again a preponderance of immatures / ducks.
An Epirrita sp (November Moth agg.) moth on one of the lamps here this morning.

3 + 1 Great Crested Grebes
2 Swans
137 Greylag Geese
1 Greylag x Canada Goose
1 Cackling-type Canada Goose
164 Canada Geese
The all-white feral goose
20 (13) Mallard
The all-white feral duck
85 (31) Tufted Ducks
7 Moorhen
18 Coots
21 Black-headed Gulls
2 Lesser Black-backed Gull over

Geese arriving at The Flash: all but one are Greylag Geese showing the pale grey in forewing. The other goose, at first glance, looks like a Canada Goose but is in fact a hybrid showing only pale, not white, cheeks. Also shows some white shafts and grey in the wings.

Meanwhile the Greylag formation team practices overhead ...

.. but seems to need some work on the synchronised undercarriage lowering.

(Ed Wilson)


Horsehay Pool: 12:00pm - 12:45pm

WeBS Count for October:

14    Coot
285    Canada Geese
30(12)   Mallard
8    Moorhen
8    Black-headed Gull
2    Feral Geese
(1)   Tufted Duck

(Tony Beckett)