28 Dec 14

Priorslee Lake: 7:01am - 10:03am

-1.5°C > 0.0°C:  Fine and clear.  Light NW wind. Moderate visibility

(158th visit of the year)

Some thin ice around the N edges.

Counts of birds flying over the lake (therefore in addition to those on / around lake)
- 8 Cormorants (see notes)
- 2 Canada Geese
- 1 drake Shoveler
- 6 Tufted Duck (see notes)
- c.175 large gulls
- 1 Pied Wagtail
- 2 Fieldfare
- 6 Redwings
- 541 Jackdaws
- 4 Rooks
- 22 Corvid sp. (see notes)

Counts of birds leaving roosts around the lake
71 Magpies
Redwings not counted
7 Starlings
3 Reed Buntings

The counts from the water
1 Little Grebe
10 Great Crested Grebes
1 Cormorant
2 Swans
6 (3) Gadwall
8 (4) Mallard
11 (10) Pochard
47 (27) Tufted Duck
1 Water Rail (heard only)
17 Moorhens
170 Coots
43 Black-headed Gulls
c.260 large gulls early
58 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
16 Herring Gulls
1 Great Black-backed Gull

Other notes
Now 10 Great Crested Grebes – some movement in from smaller pools beginning to ice?
8 Cormorants over in two groups: later a lone bird circled for ages before landing and staying less than a minute.
6 Tufted Duck flying over were very high and seemed to be nothing to do with the lake.
Low Coot count: not sure why (too cold on top of dam to try again!).
1 Woodcock again – going to roost in a different area today: just perhaps a 2nd bird.
Very few Black-headed Gulls today.
Large number of large gulls spiralled in at 7:30am, but soon left. Some of these were passing birds that doubled back: so numbers of real fly-overs hard to separate.
>100 Wood Pigeons in fields to E.
1 Song Thrush only: no song this cold morning.
Jackdaws again used unusual flight-lines and were very high today.
22 larger corvids flew N to the far E against the roost dispersal: Rooks? Crows? Ravens? – too distant.

A cold clear start this morning: you can just make out some thin ice in the foreground.

If you cannot, like yesterday, use bramble leaves to provide colour you can use them to show frost patterns.

A group of three Cormorants: two show white on the belly indicating immatures; the highest bird is showing the white thigh patch of a breeding condition adult.

Rather strange angle as this Cormorant touches down for a few moments. No white on the belly or any white thigh-patch confirms this in not from the previous group of three. The white-looking underwing is an effect of the low sun.

Some oaks keep some or all of their leaves all winter: here the morning sun makes them glow orange. These are called marcescent leaves and may be present on all or just part of a tree. They are usually the newer parts of a large tree; or anywhere on younger tree.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012
Priorslee Lake
1 drake Scaup.
1 large female Peregrine
(John Isherwood)
Near-adult Caspian Gull
3rd cal year Caspian Gull
9 Yellow-legged Gulls
(Dawn Balmer, Peter Wilson and David Fairhurst)
Black-necked Grebe
(John Isherwood)
1 Peregrine
c.100 Black-headed Gulls
c.1100 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
2 Yellow-legged Gulls
1 Great Black-backed Gull
(Martin Adlam)
Lesser black-backed Gulls C.5000
Black-headed Gulls C.4000
Herring Gulls 83
Great Black-backed Gulls 3
Yellow-legged Gull 2
1st winter Common Gull
(Martin Adlam)