2 Dec 14

Priorslee Lake:

Afternoon Update: 12:00pm

2 Yellow legged Gull - Adult and 1st winter
4 Great Black-backed Gull - 2 Adult, 3rd winter and 1st winter
6 Gadwall
8 Pochard

Morning Report: 7:00am - 9:27am

6.0°C > 5.0°C > 6.5°C:  Broken medium-level cloud clearing to SE with high overcast also starting to clear from N later. Moderate N wind. Very good visibility.

Best of the day was the leucistic gull at Trench. This is presumably the same bird reported at Belvide Reservoir in Staffordshire between 16 and 25 November and identified as a Lesser Black-backed Gull (and a bird also noted last winter).

Otherwise rather quiet with Autumn migration complete and only local movements.

(134th visit of the year)

Today’s counts over the lake
- 4 Greylag Geese
- 17 Black-headed Gulls
- 167 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 5 Herring Gulls
- 2 Pied Wagtails
- 19 Redwings
- c.165 Jackdaws
- 3 Rooks

Other notes
Little Grebe not noted today.
The Greylag Geese were, unusually, flying N.
Yesterday’s Shoveler gone.
1 Water Rail seen and at least another heard.
Many of the larger gulls overhead seemed to be leaving Bayliss Pools alongside the M54.
1 Song Thrush singing.
10 Redwings roosted along the N side (these in addition to the 19 overhead).
Corvids flying very high – as they usually do when flying with a tail-wind: most were also very far to the E and many probably missed.
1 Starling seen leaving roost: no others noted.

The counts
4 Great Crested Grebes
1 Grey Heron
2 Swans
6 (3) Gadwall
20 (10) Mallard
6 (6) Pochard
64 (37) Tufted Duck
2 Water Rails
11 Moorhens
174 Coots
36 Black-headed Gulls
7 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
6 Herring Gulls

Another day: another sunrise ...

 ... gets better as the cloud moves away.

“what’s he doing?”. 2 Black-headed Gulls look on as another takes a dive ... 
 ... and one is about to join in.

Here is a head-on shot of a 1st winter Black-headed Gull: the easiest plumage feature is the neat tail-band. An adult would also not show the dark marks on the leading edge of the wing so clearly.

Here an adult is shown in a similar head-on aspect. Two birds are 1st winters with tail-bands. Quite why both the underwings of the left-most bird are so dark: it is an adult judging from the red bill and leg colour – an effect of the light which makes the bird to its left look so pale?

The leucistic gull stands out very clearly. An albino would show pink bill, eye and legs whereas they are normally pigmented here. Two immature Herring Gulls fly with it and do look rather larger suggesting the leucistic bird is a Lesser Black-baked Gull.

Here we see the complete absence of marking across the wing, back and tail.

But the obvious pink colour of the leg. They should of course be yellow on an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull but the bill marks suggest this is still immature so this is not necessarily a problem.

Even on the water it stands out clearly from the other gulls: note that the bill lack any red marks which would be typical of a 2nd winter bird (what was likely this bird was seen at Belvide last year; and it returned last month).

And another view with a 2nd winter Herring Gull behind it for comparison.

And another with adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls showing very similar structure.

Here is a Cormorant showing the white thigh patch of a breeding condition bird – the earliest I can recall seeing this. Can Spring be far away?

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 9:30am - 10:07am

(111th visit of the year)

Today’s counts over here: just
- 23 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

Other notes
49 (22) of the Tufted Ducks flew in while I was walking around – from the lake?
Very high count of Goosanders – my largest this year: early winter numbers are usually higher.

3 Great Crested Grebes
2 Swans
39 Canada Goose
1 all-white feral goose
39 (27) Mallard
1 all-white feral duck
80 (36) Tufted Ducks
33 (5) Goosanders
2 Moorhens
18 Coots
61 Black-headed Gulls
1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool:

Afternoon Update:

1st winter drake Long-tailed Duck still present (Via BirdGuides)

Morning Report: 10:16am - 11:06am

(50th visit of the year)

Other notes
All Great Crested Grebe juveniles now left: one of the pairs seen displaying.
The Cormorant was already showing a breeding condition white thigh patch: I have only previously noted this pre-Christmas on one occasion.
All the Canada Geese flew over towards Middle Pool.
2 pairs of Shoveler: these were my first this year at this site.
The Long-tailed Duck was reported as present by a photographer but despite a thorough search I was unable to locate it.
Large number of gulls flew in while I was present – the leucistic bird with them.
A Mistle Thrush flew over: another first for me this year at this site.

The counts
1 Little Grebe
4 Great Crested Grebes
1 Cormorant
1 Grey Heron
2 Swans
21 Canada Geese
19 (13) Mallard
3 feral Mallard-type ducks
4 (2) Shoveler
50 (26) Tufted Ducks
7 Moorhens
159 Coots
c.75 Black-headed Gulls
c.350 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
c.120 Herring Gulls

(Ed Wilson)


Devil's Dingle: 10:00am

12 Teal
1 Snipe

(John Isherwood)

On this day in 2011
Priorslee Lake
3 adult Yellow-legged Gulls
2 Great Black-backed Gulls (adult & 1st winter)
Adult Caspian Gull
(John Isherwood and et al)