15 Oct 14

Priorslee Lake:

Afternoon Update: A juvenile Arctic Tern passed through at 1:30pm heading east. Photo Here (Tom Lowe)

Early Morning Report: 6:49am - 8:56am

10.5°C > 11.5°C:  Low overcast and dull yet again: some light drizzle at first. Light SE wind fell calm. Moderate visibility.

Best sighting was the male Peregrine that shot low over the field between The Flash and the old A5 to the N and then away to the W. Seemed to be on a hunt but when it pulled up over the water it ignored a passing party of 10 Feral Pigeon and they, in turn, seemed to ignore it. My first Peregrine at this site this year.

Today’s over flights
- 1 Sky Lark over The Flash.
- 5 Pied Wagtails over the lake; another over The Flash.
- 21 Redwings over the lake (and another 5 in the trees); another 5 over The Flash.
- at least 15 Goldfinches over the lake (in addition to the small groups in various Alders around the lake).
- 1 Siskin over the lake.
- 8 unidentified and strangely silent finches in a tight group; another party of 10 birds over The Flash.

(117th visit of the year)

Other notes
2 Song Thrushes in song this morning: both singing rather quietly.
Later a Blackbird was also heard singing – no doubt encouraged by the mild weather.
Not sure what happened with the corvid dispersal this morning: started as usual with a large group of Rooks – 180 counted – with c.30 Jackdaws with them. But then nothing until several small (by usual standards) groups of Jackdaws both to E and W. Passage continued sporadically for over 90 minutes with, unusually, more Rooks than Jackdaws.
A lacewing sp. on one of the lamps.

1 Little Grebe
3 Great Crested Grebes
2 Swans
11 Greylag Geese, all outbound
11 (6) Mallard
71 (34) Tufted Duck
7 Moorhen
122 Coots
c.145 Black-headed Gulls
23 Lesser Black-backed Gulls: 10 of these on the water
Corvid roost dispersal: 213 Jackdaws and 253 Rooks
26 Redwings (as highlighted)

At last some signs of Autumn: the trees and shrubs alongside Castle Farm Way are now starting to colour.

Another picture that certainly won’t win any prizes: the male Peregrine disappears over The Flash – did not have any notice to get the camera ready for this! Even in this edited tail-on shot you can sense the power and see both the sharply pointed wings and the rather stout body.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 8:59am - 9:42am

(98th visit of the year)

5 Great Crested Grebes this morning: one was certainly an immature with striped face; and two of the others seemed also to be immatures (one fewer seen at the lake this morning).
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.
Not sure why more of the Tufted Duck seemed to be drakes this morning: incompetence?

5 Great Crested Grebes
1 Grey Heron
2 Swans
7 Greylag Geese
51 Canada Geese
The all-white feral goose
37 (26) Mallard
The all-white feral duck
48 (21) Tufted Ducks
3 Moorhen
17 Coots
21 Black-headed Gulls
12 Lesser Black-backed Gulls all flying over

(Ed Wilson)