11 Nov 14

Priorslee Lake:

Afternoon Update: 12:00pm

4 Gadwall
2 Teal

(John Isherwood)

Morning Report: 6:24am - 9:07am

9.0°C > 9.5°C:  Overcast with spells of drizzle and sometimes heavy rain: also some dry spells. Moderate / fresh SE wind. Good visibility, moderate in rain.

My star of the day, month (and possibly year – I did not find the Velvet Scoter in January) Long-tailed Duck at Trench Lock Pool. When I first saw it was among Great Crested Grebes and I nearly overlooked it until it dived with partly open wings – something a grebe would never do. Photos show it is likely a first-winter drake with some white showing the scapulars. This species has a bewildering array of plumages as the very different-looking adult drakes and ducks moult between breeding and non-breeding garb: then there are the immatures ... Only my second in Shropshire and first at this site.

(132nd visit of the year)

Today’s counts over the lake
- 1 Cormorant
- 82 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 1 Herring Gull
- 10 Pied Wagtails
- 22 Fieldfare
- 17 Redwings
- c.420 Jackdaws
- 5 Starlings again

Other notes
2 more Great Crested Grebes today, these acting as a pair.
1 pair of Teal new in.
Another big count of Tufted Ducks today: 2 of these flew off.
2 Lapwings over and these then settled on the dam-face for a while: it must be >20 years since Lapwings could be found roosting here in some numbers – in those days the dam-face had almost no vegetation.
One lone Black-headed Gull has, for at least the last 5 days, left the main party on the water and the jetties and wandered around the grass in front of the yacht club shelter: the same bird each day? why?
7 more Redwings in the trees around the lake.
>1200 Starlings left the roost this morning: same reed bed as yesterday. 16 birds dribbled out for some minutes after the main party left.
1 Siskin heard and then presumed same found amongst the Goldfinches on the Alder cones.

The counts
1 Little Grebe
4 Great Crested Grebes
2 Swans
4 (2) Gadwall
2 (1) Teal
12 (8) Mallard
2 (2) Pochard
134 (?) Tufted Duck
3 Water Rails
4 Moorhens only
178 Coots
2 Lapwings
c.275 Black-headed Gulls
4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

Male Siskin feeding from the Alder cones. It has a seed crosswise in its bill which makes the bill look rather Crossbill shaped!

(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Flash:

Afternoon Update: 12:30pm

5 Goosander

(John Isherwood)

Morning Report: 9:10am - 9:47am

(110th visit of the year)

Rather quiet in the rain.

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

Other notes
Only 5 Great Crested Grebes today
Just 1 goose present (ignoring the all-white feral bird): its Canada Goose made had stayed behind!
4 brownhead Goosanders

5 Great Crested Grebes
2 Swans
1 Canada Goose
1 all-white feral goose
35 (23) Mallard
1 all-white feral duck
10 (3) Tufted Ducks
4 (4) Goosanders
4 Moorhens
18 Coots
12 Black-headed Gulls

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 9:56am - 10:30am // 11:00am - 11:21am

(49th visit of the year)

Other notes
3 Little Grebes today
1 Cormorant again
1 drake Pochard was new in

The counts
3 Little Grebes
4 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
1 Cormorant
1 Grey Heron
2 Swans
26 Canada Geese
13 (8) Mallard
3 feral Mallard-type ducks
1 (1) Pochard
73 (32) Tufted Ducks
1 (0) Long-tailed Duck
15 Moorhens
147 Coots
58 Black-headed Gulls
17 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
2 Herring Gulls

The Long-tailed Duck: as it preens here the tail is raised and looks ‘long’ but this is typical of ducks and juveniles. On an adult drake it would be far longer.

Here there are definite white scapulars. This suggests it is an immature drake. It is very similar At first sight there appears to be one elongated dark scapular, though this is black rather than white as it would be in a winter drake: in fact this is the wing-tip extended by the bird to keep its balance while preening – this species has long pointed wings. Note the spread tail. [there is a stunning shot of a similar bird on the web Here (most of the shots on the web are of the even more spectacular drakes]

Another view showing both wing-tips held above the body.

Size comparison with Coot and Black-headed Gull.

A mini-sequence here: the bird starts to rise ...

... leaps forward with wings beginning to open ...

... and dives with wings half-spread.

The Coot behind it has leapt forward and, in comparison, dives with wings closed.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Middle Pool: 10:35am - 10:55am

(24th visit of the year)

Back to 3 adult Swans – only 2 rings read: Blue 7FTX and 7HSZ.
3 Canada Geese only – where have they all gone?
Goosander back here as well.

The counts
1 Great Crested Grebe
3 Swans
3 Canada Geese
40 (21) Mallard
5 feral Mallard-type ducks
10 (2) Tufted Ducks
4 (2) Goosander
10 Moorhen
13 Coots
49 Black-headed Gulls
2 Lesser Black-backed Gull over

(Ed Wilson)


Devil's Dingle: 10:30am

1 Goldeneye
1 Green Sandpiper
12 Snipe

(John Isherwood)

On this day in 2006
Priorslee Lake
>670 Black-headed Gulls
 >2008 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
(Ed Wilson)