10 Nov 14

Priorslee Lake: 6:20am - 9:20am

5.5°C > 6.°CC:  A layer of medium cloud moved off to the N to be replaced by a bank of fog rolling in from the S. Not so thick as yesterday and cleared for a while c.8:30am.

Best today was a Chiffchaff at the lake. Otherwise the foggy period again reduced the count of flyovers.

(131st visit of the year)

Today’s counts over the lake in limited visibility
- 1 Lapwing
- 1(!) Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 12 Wood Pigeons
- 1 Skylark
- 6 Pied Wagtails
- 5 Redwings
- c.375 Jackdaws
- 5 Starlings
- 2 Redpoll

Other notes
2 pairs of Gadwall new in.
Big count of Tufted Ducks today: sexing these birds hampered by many continually diving.
1 Song Thrush in song again. A Blackbird joined in briefly.
In the trees around the lake were 7 Fieldfare and another 4 Redwings.
>1000 Starlings left the roost this morning – all in a different red-bed to any used previously this autumn.
2 moths on the street-lamps including my first Mottled Umber of the year (the other another November Moth agg.).
Two different species of fungus noted: I am sure there are many more.

The counts
1 Little Grebe
1 Great Crested Grebe
2 Swans
4 (2) Gadwall
7 (4) Mallard
2 (2) Pochard
149 (>87) Tufted Duck
3 Water Rails
13 Moorhen
174 Coots
51 Black-headed Gulls
6 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

As the cloud moves away stage left the fog rolls in stage right.

A Blue Tit checks for danger while gleaning from the willow – probably insect eggs.

Today’s surprise – a Chiffchaff. While these over-winter in small numbers they can be hard to find as between mid-October and mid-February they rarely, if ever, call. Often in mixed parties with tits (as this was) but also forage alone as they are rather more lethargic than tits.

And an action shot of the Chiffchaff pecking at something.

Bracket fungus. Clearly therefore a Polypore, but which? Likely to be Inonotus radiatus (Alder Bracket). But then again ...

So there are some autumn colours – these are Acer sp. leaves (probably Sycamore (Acer pseudoplatanus), though no keys in evidence).

A male Mottled Umber moth – like many species of moth that are active in winter the female is flightless. My first of this year (though the flight period extends in to January).

Just the local cob Swan going for a short flight. What this action shot shows that it actually patters to slow down before ...

... it puts its gig webbed feet forward to act as brakes. Note the alula feathers sticking up indicating that the wing is aerodynamically stalled at this point and not providing lift.

The mist clearing away.

Gotcha! how many shots does it take to nail a photo of a Goldcrest, one of the most restless of birds as they forage to get enough food for their metabolism. Well this was number 4 (this morning), but the next 20 failed to improve on it!

Another species of fungus: these are very small fruits – the whole branch is thinner than my wrist. It looks a bit like some photos of Crepidotus mollis (aka Peeling Oysterling). But again ... anyone out there know better?

Not dandruff but water droplets adorn the head of this recently surfaced drake Tufted Duck. Apart from a slight soggy crest it shows amazing tolerance to being immersed.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 9:23am - 10:04am

(109th visit of the year)

Today’s counts over here: just
- 35 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Herring Gulls

Other notes
8 Great Crested Grebes, all more or less together was a most unusually high count here.
Again no geese present (ignoring the all-white feral bird) until a party of 44 Canada Geese flew in.
13 brownhead Goosanders.
2 Kingfishers today.

8 Great Crested Grebes
2 Swans
44 Canada Geese
1 all-white feral goose
28 (19) Mallard
1 all-white feral duck
24 (14) Tufted Ducks
13 (13) Goosanders
4 Moorhens
18 Coots
21 Black-headed Gulls
1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2006
Priorslee Lake
1 drake Ruddy Duck
 >1700 Black-headed Gulls
>518 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
(Ed Wilson)