22 Dec 14

Priorslee Lake

Evening Update: 4:15pm

1 Caspian Gull present via BirdGuides. (Observer Unknown)

Morning Report: 7:35am - 9:47am

11.5°C throughout:  cloudy and mild with occasional light drizzle. Fresh / strong SW wind. Good visibility.

The strong wind affected most things today. Small birds were mainly hiding away and even larger birds struggled.

(154th visit of the year)

Counts of birds flying over the lake (therefore in addition to those on / around lake)
- 34 Canada Geese
- 11 Black-headed Gulls
- 64 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 24 Herring Gulls
- 9 Feral Pigeons
- 2 Pied Wagtails
- 2 Redwings
- c.520 Jackdaws
- 18 Rooks

In the windy conditions no sensible counts of birds leaving roosts around the lake could be made.

The counts from the water
1 Little Grebes
2 Great Crested Grebes
2 Swans
1 Greylag Goose
6 (3) Gadwall
9 (6) Mallard
71 (42) Tufted Duck
12 Moorhens
187 Coots
116 Black-headed Gulls
6 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
24 Herring Gulls
3 Great Black-backed Gulls

Other notes
Greylag Goose left at 7:50am before the Swans awoke to chase it off.
With many fewer large gulls and these all twisting and turning against the wind it was possible to specifically identify them all.
Even the Kingfisher – normally a speeding arrow – was seen tacking across and struggling with the wind.
Cetti's Warbler not heard again this morning.
Another Mottled Umber moth.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 9:50am - 10:26am

(126th visit of the year)

Tufted Duck numbers return to a more ‘normal’ figure – decamped back to the lake apparently.
Still 11 drake Goosanders: always a fine sight.
At least 22 Goldfinches in Alders on the island.

The counts from the water
1 Little Grebe
4 Great Crested Grebes
1 Grey Heron
2 Swans
9 Canada Geese
1 all-white feral goose
30 (21) Mallard
1 all-white feral duck
6 (5) Pochard
43 (22) Tufted Ducks
24 (11) Goosanders
7 Moorhens
19 Coots
73 Black-headed Gulls
1 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
2 Herring Gulls

Another in my close-up-and-personal series: Moorhen of course.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 10:34am - 10:49am // 11:29am - 12:00pm

(59th visit of the year)

One of the drake Shoveler was a 1st year bird yet to acquire full breeding plumage.

The counts from the water
4 Little Grebes
3 Great Crested Grebes
3 Cormorants
1 Grey Heron
2 Swans
1 Canada Goose
32 (19) Mallard
3 feral Mallard-type ducks
6 (4) Shoveler
2 (2) Pochard
46 (22) Tufted Ducks
1 (0) Goosander
5 Moorhens
164 Coots
c.320 Black-headed Gulls
27 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
17 Herring Gulls

Two of the drake Shoveler at Trench – no mistaking that snout! The nearer bird is likely a 1st winter bird – whatever it is still to complete the moult in to breeding plumage.

Here are two drakes and two duck in flight: note the 1st winter drake shows some white on the chest.

A ‘brownhead’ Goosander of course: the mottling on the flanks and the paleness of the flight feathers suggests to me that this is a 1st winter drake beginning to acquire adult plumage. The literature does not illustrate birds in transition.

... however the stretched wing here is less supportive of the 1st drake theory.

... but then again the faint pink flush on the very white belly is a drake characteristic.

Time for a preen: a Great Crested Grebe gets in the picture as well.

A 1st winter Black-headed Gull trying out its submarine tactic.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Middle Pool: 10:54am - 11:25am

(27th visit of the year)

So where have the Tufted Duck gone – checking my records I note there were only singles in January whereas the rest of the year there have been as many as 16! Counter intuitive.
A Redwing heard here: my first of the year at this site.
At least 18 Goldfinches in Alders here.

The counts
1 Great Crested Grebe
1 Grey Heron
3 Swans
19 Canada Geese
24 (14) Mallard
3 feral Mallard-type ducks
1 (0) Tufted Ducks
3 (0) Goosander
12 Moorhen
12 Coots
182 Black-headed Gulls
1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2009, 2011 and 2013
Priorslee Lake
Adult Caspian Gull
Greater Scaup
(Ed Wilson)
5000+ Gulls 
5 possibly 6 adult Yellow-legged Gulls plus a 1st winter
5 or 6 Great Black-backed Gulls.
 (Martin Adlam and Ian Grant)
Black-necked Grebe by Pontoon just off South bank.
40+ Mute Swans on the Ice
30 Lapwing overhead
c.2000 Black-headed and Lesser Black-backed Gulls.
Great Black-backed Gull
(Ed Wilson)
A lot of Ice (Martin Adlam)