4 Nov 14

Priorslee Lake: 6:05am - 9:32am

0.5°C > 8.5°C:  Clear and frosty start: low-level fog quickly rolled in from W: then clouds and very light showers from the W. Very light W wind. Very good visibility except during short foggy period.

Best today were the 3, at least, Water Rails at the lake with 2 of these having a noisy set-to.

Again mainly Wood Pigeons this morning.

Today’s counts from the lake.
- c.2200 Wood Pigeons (and 14 late migrant birds high over The Flash)
- 1 Sky Lark
- 1 Meadow Pipit
- 4 Pied Wagtails
- 1 Fieldfare (with 2 more in trees around the lake)
- 5 Redwings (with 16 more in trees around the lake)
- 23 Starlings (just 5 came out the reeds)

(125th visit of the year)

Other notes
Work in the Ricoh grounds seemed to be thinning the copse alongside Teece Drive – much needed as most of the trees were planted at the same time and they are too closely-packed and leggy.

2 Little Grebes today – both out in the open.
A single Lapwing over.
Not sure where all the Jackdaws were today: they should have passed while the mist was at is thickest, but it was very shallow and the Rooks could be seen easily. No large parties were heard. There was none of the recent continued light passage either, and this should have been well after the mist cleared. (there were 32 much later over The Flash where only small numbers are usual at the time I am normally there. So?).
A single Raven over.

2 Little Grebes
2 Great Crested Grebes
2 Swans
4 Canada Geese overhead outbound.
12 (8) Mallard
3 (2) Pochard
39 (21) Tufted Duck
3 Water Rails
13 Moorhen
179 Coots
1 Lapwing
c.135 Black-headed Gulls
292 Lesser Black-backed Gulls counted: 135 of these stopped on the water.
1 Yellow-legged Gull on the water.
3 Herring Gulls on the water.
Corvid roost dispersal: just 103 Jackdaws and 41 Rooks.

A very different sunrise this morning – looking the ‘wrong way’ at incoming shower clouds.

 Frosty and misty for a while.

The early light enhances the autumn tones in some of the vegetation.

Ah, breakfast! This female Blackbird tucks in to delicious hawthorn berry. May be that last night’s frost was just enough to soften the fruits as these bushes have been left untouched until now.

down the hatch...


Never as easy to approach as Blackbirds this Song Thrush tucks in as well.

While the Redwing thinks about it.

Mist all gone ...

... but still frosted in the shade.

The bolder of the Little Grebes.

The reflections, including the sleeping drake Mallard, make an almost oil-painting effect.

Another in the ‘close-up and personal’ series. This Robin scores high marks for posing. Note the three feathers still with light brown tips. Not sure whether this means it is a juvenile that has just about moulted in to adult plumage or whether, like many passerines, all the new adult feathers would have had buffy tips, these wearing away to reveal the full breeding plumage. They would need to wear quickly in Robins as the full red breast garb is needed to defend winter feeding territories not just for spring mating.

Another of the few flowers still around: this buttercup (Ranunculus sp.) shows droplets of melted frost.

A group of delicate fungus: while I was ‘gardening’ to remove the leaves and twigs to get this better shot the whole fruits were rocking back and forth, almost trembling. These do look like Sulphur Tuft (Hypholoma fasciculare).

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 9:36am - 10:20am

(104th visit of the year)

Certainly 6 Great Crested Grebes today.

6 Great Crested Grebes
2 Swans
3 Greylag Geese
38 Canada Geese
1 all-white feral goose
28 (20) Mallard
1 all-white feral duck
41 (21) Tufted Ducks
8 Moorhen
16 Coots
57 Black-headed Gulls
59 Lesser Black-backed Gulls: just 1 of these on the water.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool:10:28am - 11:05am // 11:40am - 11:48am

 (46th visit of the year)

Now 5 Little Grebes.
3 adult Swans being chased by the resident pair: one bird previously seen at Middle Pool.
1 Cackling-type small Canada Goose flew over with 7 Canada Geese.
1 Canada x ? Goose: a rather unusual bird in that it was even larger than the Canada Geese – no wild geese are larger than Canadas. Otherwise it was rather like a Greylag x Canada cross with pale checks and a pink bill: legs not seen.
2 all-white feral ducks were new – now where have these come from?
Pochard gone.
Another increase in Tufted Duck numbers.

The counts
5 Little Grebes
4 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
5 Swans
1 Cackling-type small Canada Goose
1 Canada x ? Goose
42 Canada Geese
17 (11) Mallard
3 Feral Mallard-type ducks
85 (41) Tufted Ducks
12 Moorhens
160 Coots
7 Black-headed Gulls
15 Lesser Black-backed Gulls: 4 of these on the water.

This Little Grebe at Trench still shows a yellow gape and must be a recently fledged bird.

Here is one of the Swans being chased at Trench. You can see a broken blue Darvic ring on its leg which suggests to me that it is ‘7FTX’ that I noted with just such a broken ring when it was one of the three Swans at Middle Pool on 29 October – there were only two there today.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Middle Pool: 11:10am - 11:35am

(23rd visit of the year)

Now only 1 adult Great Crested Grebe.
Now only 2 adult Swans.
Highest count of Coots all year – even when the juveniles were about.

The counts
1 Great Crested Grebe
2 Swans
44 Canada Geese
34 (23) Mallard
6 feral Mallard-type ducks
4 (1) Tufted Duck
11 Moorhen
17 Coots
71 Black-headed Gulls
1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
1 Herring Gull over

(Ed Wilson)