3 Dec 14

Priorslee Lake:

Afternoon Update: 1:00pm - 3:30pm

Water Rail
Great Spotted Woodpecker
1 Goldcrest
2 Bullfinch
Little Grebe
Raven over N to S

(Martin Grant)

Morning Report:  7:01am - 9:58am

-0.5°C > 1.5°C:  Fine, clear and frosty. Light / moderate NNW wind. Very good visibility

Still to be fully investigated is the probable Dusky Warbler I found at the lake: it would be a most exceptional record if confirmed. This species is an infrequent late Autumn vagrant to the UK, almost always found at migration birding hot-spots on the E or S coast. It should be wintering on the Indian sub-continent well away from its breeding ground in Siberia.

Note: On 4 Dec (Here) the probable Dusky Warbler was confirmed as a Cetti's Warbler and is a first for the Lake and just one of a few ever recorded in Shropshire.

Otherwise quiet again.

(135th visit of the year)

Today’s counts over the lake
- 13 Greylag Geese (4 outbound; 9 inbound)
- 2 brownhead Goosanders
- 22 Black-headed Gulls
- c.180 large gulls
- 10 Feral Pigeons
- 7 Redwings
- c.650 Jackdaws
- 28 Rooks

Other notes
2 adult Swans dropped in and were soon dispatched by the residents.
The 2 brownhead Goosanders looked as if they were headed for The Flash but were not there later.
Large gulls started arriving by 7:00am and many skeins from the far W as well as from Bayliss Pool dropped in for a short wash, though almost as many carried on over the top. Then at 9:00am >500 large gulls arrived from the N with only a few staying more than 10 minutes. Good number of Herring Gulls with this group – too dark to be certain for the earlier arrivals.
The 10 Feral Pigeons were flying very low in an open group – usually these are in tight groups more than 50’ up
No Pied Wagtails overhead today: just 1 on the dam later
Song Thrush singing again
Redwings at least seen leaving the roost along the N side (these in addition to the birds overhead).
Corvids flying high again and much more visible against the clear sky: the largest group of Jackdaws flew to the W today but with plenty also far to the far E during the long period of passage. Again only a few Rooks and many of these were flying N before dawn – as they often do just at this time of year.
At least 40 Magpies seen leaving the usual winter roost site in the NW area: seems largely unaffected by the close proximity of the school building work.
c.70 Starlings left a reed-bed roost in three groups: no others noted.

The counts
Great Crested Grebes
Grey Heron
6 (3) Gadwall
22 (12) Mallard
4 (4) Pochard
78 (45) Tufted Duck
15 Moorhens
177 Coots
c.75 Black-headed Gulls
c.750 large gulls with c.125 of these Herring Gulls

A splendid clear and frosty start.

4 of the 5 Great Crested Grebes at the lake: the bird on the left is certainly a 1st winter; and the bird on the right probably also a 1st winter. The other two seem to be adults. It would be strange if these were a family group as on various days in October all the resident birds left at least briefly.

An adult Lesser Black-backed Gull in winter plumage: the dark on the trailing edge of the underwing extends right across the inner primaries – on a Herring Gull this area forms a pale so-called ‘window’. Here of course we can see the upper wing and yellow legs to confirm the ID. The extent of the dark head marking is very variable for reasons that seem to be unknown.

Here we see an adult Herring Gull with extensive head markings and the pale ‘window’ over-emphasized by the low sun: with it is a 1st winter Lesser Black-backed Gull with dark all along the trailing edge of the upper wing and no hint of a window.

Here are adult Lesser Black-backed (on the left) and Herring Gulls (at the right) with a 1st winter Herring Gull showing the pale ‘window’ on the inner primaries. A 1st winter Lesser Black-back would also show greater coverts the same shade as the exposed parts of the secondaries and more white on the upper tail coverts.

You have to be hardy to fly one of these flex wing aircraft in winter: he does look well wrapped up.

2 female Bullfinches doing what they like doing best – eating buds.

(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Flash: 10:01am - 10:36 am

(112th visit of the year)

Today’s counts over here:
- 23 Lesser Black-backed Gulls again
- 1 Redwing

Other notes
16 of the Canada Geese flew in
No Goosanders today

Great Crested Grebes
42 Canada Goose
1 all-white feral goose
35 (27) Mallard
1 all-white feral duck
32 (18) Tufted Ducks
20 Coots
78 Black-headed Gulls
Lesser Black-backed Gulls

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2010
Priorslee Lake
2 ad Yellow-legged Gulls
3rd-winter Caspian Gull 
(J Reeves)