12 Dec 14

Trench Lock Pool: 10:14am - 10:25am // 11:05am - 11:47am

2.5C > 4.0°C > 3.0°C  Remaining cloud clearing slowly to the S: moderate W wind. Excellent visibility

Eschewed the wind and rain of the early morning and did a later visit to see what had been blown in. More seemed to have been blown out and it was rather quiet with very few birds flying over.

Only notable sighting was the 50 (9) Goosanders at The Flash.

(55th visit of the year)

Now 5 Little Grebes but they can be very hard to find.

The counts
Little Grebes
Great Crested Grebes
Grey Heron
7 (5) Mallard
feral Mallard-type ducks
32 (15) Tufted Ducks
15 Moorhens
166 Coots
16 Black-headed Gulls
15 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
Herring Gulls

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Middle Pool: 10:30am - 11:00am

(26th visit of the year)

Dog-walkers and fishermen probably helped lower some of the counts.

3 adult Swans were the usual trio: Blue 7FTX and 7HSZ and Orange 00C.

The counts
Great Crested Grebe
22 Canada Geese
39 (26) Mallard
feral Mallard-type ducks
7 (3) Tufted Ducks
16 Coots
32 Black-headed Gulls
Lesser Black-backed Gull

These small fungus were growing on a dead tree-stem at Middle Pool – trunk is not the right word for something thinner than a limp wrist. Provisional ID Panellus mitis (Elastic Oysterling).
Must be winter: from the footbridge between Middle Pool and Trench Lock Pool the distant Welsh Hills show the results of last night’s snow. If I have my directions correct we are looking at Horseshow Pass area near Llangollen.
(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 11:57am - 12:53pm

(118th visit of the year)

The counts from the water
Little Grebe
Great Crested Grebes
Canada Geese
1 all-white feral goose
28 (19) Mallard
1 all-white feral duck
29 (15) Tufted Ducks
50 (9) Goosander
14 Coots
26 Black-headed Gulls
Lesser Black-backed Gull

Largest number of Goosanders this year.
Two species of fungus found: one seemed to be a very late Shaggy Ink-cap (Coprinus comatus): the other too battered to try to identify.

Spent a long while photographing the many Goosanders at The Flash: the winter sun was somewhat higher today which made for somewhat less contrast to try and handle. So this fine drake Goosander is the first of a series.

A brownhead in similar pose.
Another brownhead.

One brownhead has a good flap.

A pair doing synchronised swimming.

“where did you get that hair-do?”.

Not good with the wind behind you though! More hairspray needed.

And a collection of drakes and ducks.

A rather stumpy and battered specimen, but this seems to be a very late Shaggy Ink-cap (Coprinus comatus).

Someone or something has had a good gnaw at this adjacent fungus: not at all sure of its identity.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake: 1:01pm - 2:20pm

(144th visit of the year)

The counts from the water
Great Crested Grebes
2 Swans
8 (4) Gadwall
4 (1) Mallard
5 (5) Pochard
59 (31) Tufted Duck
Water Rail heard only
176 Coots
86 Black-headed Gulls
c.125 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
22 Herring Gulls

Other notes
The 3 Cormorants stayed at least 30 seconds!
Cetti's Warbler along N side today.
Mottled Umber moth on the lamps: surprising after the weather last night.

A rather ‘snouty’-looking adult Lesser Black-backed Gull steps it out.

The light shining through the wing of this first-winter Herring Gull enables you to see how the feathers all lock together to produce the wing.

Quite unusual to see flowers in December. This umbellifer is possibly Hogweed: that species has white flowers but I think the pink flush shown here on the still tightly closed flowers is misleading. I am also slightly concerned about the very ‘open’ structure of the rays which is not typical of Hogweed. No umbellifers normally flower at this time of year according to my Flora. There is a photo on the web labelled as a Hogweed and in flower in December: but it does not look much like this specimen (and I am not entirely convinced the picture is of Hogweed). This specimen seems to have suspended flowering – not much point when there are no pollinators.

A Mottled Umber moth on a lamp

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2008
Priorslee Lake
- 2 Yellow-legged Gull (2 adults)
- 7 Great Black-backed Gull (5 adults, 2 1st winter)
- 45 Golden Plover in flight
( John Isherwood)