14 Oct 14

Priorslee Lake: 6:43am - 9:02am

8.5°C > 9.5°C:  Overcast and dull again: some light rain. more persistent after 10:00. Moderate NNW wind fell away. Good visibility.

Again a few notable sightings
- 2 duck / immature Wigeon circled the lake and then landed: but I never re-found them.
- an adult Yellow-legged Gull at Trench.
- >20 Redwings: with a party of at least 16 over the lake and bird(s) heard at The Flash (amazingly these are my first at The Flash this year.
– I recorded several Fieldfares early in the year, but no Redwings)

Again a few confirmed over flights
- 14 Pied Wagtails over the lake
- 1 Linnet over the lake
- 2 Redpolls over The Flash (these also a new species for me this year here)

(116th visit of the year)

Other notes
c.80 of the Black-headed Gulls flew off S from the Ricoh area without coming to the lake first.
c.135 Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the lake when I arrived and seem likely to have roosted – this is rather unusual even in the depth of winter, the loafing birds seen late afternoon usually leave at or after dark (for ?). Many of these then went to the fields to the E: later some returned and / or flew off W. Therefore the number of additional birds passing over was difficult to estimate.
As recorded above I logged 14 Pied Wagtails over: may have been more as it was too dark to see all the birds and at least initially there are often small groups on roost dispersal which need to be seen.
2 Reed Buntings heard in N side reeds today: one seen flying off at dawn. The previous roost at the W end seems not to be used at the moment.

1 Little Grebe
4 Great Crested Grebes
2 Swans
2 (0) Wigeon
16 (10) Mallard!
65 Tufted Duck
9 Moorhen
134 Coots
c.125 Black-headed Gulls
c.175 Lesser Black-backed Gulls: c.135 roosted
Corvid roost dispersal: c.520 Jackdaws and c.175 Rooks
1 (0) Chiffchaff
>19 Redwing

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 9:05am - 9:39am

(97th visit of the year)

Again only 2 Great Crested Grebes: did not check age.
The Grey Heron was seen in the distance being pursued by Magpies low over the estate roofs.
As highlighted one or more Redwings heard calling.

2 Great Crested Grebes
1 Grey Heron
2 Swans
77 Greylag Geese
1 Greylag x Canada Goose
126 Canada Geese
The all-white feral goose
43 (28) Mallard
The all-white feral duck
49 (13) Tufted Ducks
6 Moorhen
14 Coots
14 Black-headed Gulls


Trench Lock Pool: 9:48am - 10:17am

(42nd visit of the year)

1 feral Mallard again: where does this go and hide? Does it / can it fly?
2 Kingfishers seen in flight together.

The counts
2 Little Grebes
4 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
2 Swans
6 Canada Geese
8 (5) Mallard
1 feral Mallard
27 (9) Tufted Ducks
6 Moorhens
147 Coots
29 Black-headed Gulls
1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
1 Yellow-legged Gull
1 Herring Gull

What I think is an adult Yellow-legged Gull. The legs themselves are not really ‘yellow’: but neither are they the pink or flesh colour of Herring Gull. Other clues are the rather darker grey of the mantle; the noticeable red of the orbital ring; the overall clean look; and the square-looking head (though this feature is far from diagnostic as it all depends upon the posture)
(Ed Wilson)