6 Nov 14

Priorslee Lake: 6:09am - 9:36am

1.5°C > 4.5°C:  High cloud spreading rapidly in after red sunrise: a few spots later. Increasing S wind failed to clear smoky atmosphere after the evenings whizz bangs. Moderate visibility.

Somewhat less hectic this morning, though with a big increase in thrush movements, all going W. Many fewer Wood Pigeons: whether that was a reaction to last night’s fireworks, the incoming weather front, the somewhat restricted visibility or simply that the bulk have moved through I am unsure. Movement continued well after 9:00am and I have therefore separated the counts over The Flash).

(127th visit of the year)

Today’s counts over the lake only.
- c.675 large gulls: again all those seen well-enough to ID were Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 7 Lapwings
- c.825 Wood Pigeons
- 3 Meadow Pipit
- 3 Pied Wagtails
- 657 Fieldfares
- 110 Redwings (with 3 more in trees around the lake)
- 47 Starlings (19 came out of 2 roosts in the reeds)
- >625 Jackdaws
- just 15 Rooks

Other notes
1 Little Grebe again: this was lurking in the reeds today.
2 duck Teal were new (but the Gadwall has gone again).
Water Rail(s) very vocal again, but how many? could not decide whether there was >1 today.
2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers together – a male and female. Seeing two birds is not infrequent, but seeing them together on the same dead stem outside the breeding season is unusual.
>10 groups of Goldfinches flying around: eventually 32 counted in single group, but prior to that 41 logged. How many of these were duplicates as they formed in to the group.
A Raven over.
Several Stretch Spiders (Tetragnatha montana?) on the lamps:  no moths.

Counts from the water
1 Little Grebe
2 Great Crested Grebes
2 Grey Herons
2 Swans
2 Canada Geese
2 (0) Teal
17 (11) Mallard
2 (2) Pochard
57 (25) Tufted Duck
1+ Water Rail
8 Moorhen
177 Coots
c.65 Black-headed Gulls
188 Lesser Black-backed Gulls counted on the water (in addition to the passage birds).
3 Herring Gulls on the water.

“red sky in the morning ....”

This is rather strange: a Common Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) plant that was ostensibly over and dead has thrown out what seems to be a flowering off-shoot.

This spider sp. has the characteristic shape of the genus Tetragnatha, known as Stretch Spiders. I have never previously noticed specimens whose very elongated front legs are dotted. Tetragnatha montana has spots in some photos on the web and is occasionally to be found in November; it has been mild so it is most likely that species. There are hundreds of similar species world-wide.

(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Flash: 9:39am - 10:22am

(106th visit of the year)

Today’s counts over here
- 142 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 3 Herring Gulls
- 48 Wood Pigeons
- 59 Fieldfares
- 6 Redwings (with 2 more in trees)
- 44 Starlings
- 1 Redpoll (my first of the year at this site)

Other notes
>30 Goldfinches here

6 Great Crested Grebes
2 Swans
46 Canada Geese
1 all-white feral goose
39 (25) Mallard
1 all-white feral duck
65 (34) Tufted Ducks
4 Moorhen
20 Coots
86 Black-headed Gulls again
1 Lesser Black-backed Gulls on the water.

Some of the Great Crested Grebes at The Flash were more confiding than usual today. Sadly there was not much light to get really sharp photos. All six at The Flash look similar to this example, lacking any hint of adult breeding plumes. Some the adults at Trench Lock still have well-defined rufous feathering on their necks so I had assumed that all these plain birds were immatures. But I think the extent and tone of the pink on the bill suggests that this is an adult in winter plumage – the birds at Trench are still feeding a late brood so I guess they are yet to complete their post-breeding moult.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2006
Priorslee Lake
1 drake Ruddy Duck
c.562 Black-headed Gulls
63 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
(Ed Wilson)