15 Jan 15

Priorslee Lake:

Late Morning Update:  11:00am

Great Black-backed Gull

(John Isherwood)

Morning Report: 7:03am - 9:44am

3.0°C > 4.5°C Overnight rain and gales had cleared: after 10:00 some light showers. Moderate / fresh SW wind. Moderate visibility with rather watery sun.

Some important news about access to Priorslee Lake. The road and footpath from the surfaced part of Teece Drive will be closed from 26 January for up to 13 weeks while the access road to the new academy is built. This will also involve some changes to the junction with Priorslee Avenue. A new set of lights in Castle Farm Way will allow safer egress from Priorslee Avenue.

The road will be open at weekends, primarily for access by the yacht club (and Severn Trent will be able to gain emergency access at all times). Otherwise access to the lake will only be possible from the lay-by in Castle Farm Way.

When work is completed the road and path will be restored though whether the car parking area by the gate will exist is unclear. Contrary to some reports the foot tunnel under Priorslee Avenue will still exist.

All this direct from a Council official who was affixing the usual incomprehensible statutory notice, with map, to the gate.

On with the birds: best this morning was a Woodcock presumably going to roost in the copse alongside the Castle Farm Interchange.

(3rd visit of the year)

Counts of birds flying over the lake (therefore in addition to those on / around lake)
- 117 Canada Geese
- 128 Black-headed Gulls
- 15 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull
- 5 Feral Pigeons
- 1 Stock Dove
- 355 Jackdaws
- 214 Rooks
- 3 Redwings

Counts of birds leaving roosts around the lake
- >430 Wood Pigeons from Wards Rough
- 47 Magpies
Redwing roost not visited

The counts from the water
2 Mute Swans
6 (3♂) Gadwall
8 (4♂) Mallard
5 (5♂) Pochard
61 (33♂) Tufted Duck
11 Great Crested Grebes
14 Moorhens
142 Coots
61 Black-headed Gulls
Lesser Black-backed Gulls
Herring Gulls
Great Black-backed Gulls

Other notes
Large number of distant Canada Geese this morning: at the moment all are heading NE well to the NW of the lake, the origin of these birds being hard to say.
now 11 Great Crested Grebes
Very few gulls again
Black-headed Gulls arrived from the west / Ricoh but whereas they usually stop-off at the lake for a while almost all of them flew through and away SE. Some did apparently return later.
- almost no large gulls over and just a few drifted in after 09:00
After weeks of smaller than usual numbers the Rooks were back with a bang this morning with >50 over well ahead of most of the Jackdaws. There were no large groups of Jackdaws either, just a long spell of small groups passing.
At least 3 Goldcrests this morning: I suspect more as I could hear what seemed to be more calling birds, though these high-pitched calls can be hard to locate.

This morning’s sliver moon: the cross-lighting always highlights the craters.

(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Flash: 9:47am - 10:28am

(3rd visit of the year)

Last recorded by me on 26 May last year what seems to be the same slightly large and very dark-plumaged feral Mallard with a white breast was present this morning. But nowhere near its previous consort, the all-white feral bird.
Little Grebe back (from hiding?)

Counts of birds flying over The Flash (therefore in addition to those on / around water)
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls only

The counts from the water
Mute Swans
15 Canada Geese
1 all-white feral goose
32 (25♂) Mallard
feral ducks
3 (2♂) Pochard
23 (14♂) Tufted Ducks
33 (6♂) Goosander
1 Little Grebe
Great Crested Grebes
14 Coots
104 Black-headed Gulls
1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
Herring Gulls

“are you laughing at my feet?”: well, yes actually. This ‘brownhead’ Goosander at The Flash. Not sure quite why the wings were being held at this angle. The bird was intermittently preening. Later she entered the water and swam away looking quite normal ...

.. as we see here. From the extent of the white in the wing I suspect this might be a 1st winter drake coming in to plumage though the crest would suggest a duck!

and the other side in an unusually close approach.

5 species at once: left to right Canada Goose, (different) Goosander, adult winter Black-headed Gull, drake Tufted Duck and Coot.

(Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock Pool: 10:36am - 11:15am

(2nd visit of the year)

Buzzards overhead
Otherwise little of note

The counts from the water
Mute Swans
11 Canada Goose
13 (8♂) Mallard
feral Mallard-type ducks
feral Muscovy-type duck
2 (2♂) Pochard
46 (16♂) Tufted Ducks
2 (0♂) Goosander
Grey Heron
Little Grebe
Great Crested Grebes
135 Coots
167 Black-headed Gulls
53 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
18 Herring Gulls

Can never resist soaring Buzzards when the light is right! The lack of a dark band at the tail-tip and only a small amount of yellow on the cere at the top of the bill suggests this is an immature bird.

Food was on offer – a local throwing (white!) bread. So the gulls arrive. All adult Black-headed

Here is a nice shot of one of these adult Black-headed Gulls in flight.

(Ed Wilson)
On this day in 2008, 2009, 2013 and 2014
Priorslee Lake
Velvet Scoter female
3 Scaup (1 1st winter drake and 2 1st winter females)
4 Great Black-backed Gull
(Chris Cameron/Gary Crowder)
Drake Scaup
Goldeneye duck 
Great Black-backed Gull
1 Dunlin
(John Isherwood / Ed Wilson / Mike Cooper)
Adult winter Mediterranean Gull
4 adult Yellow legged Gulls
3 Great Black-backed Gulls
(Mike Cooper / Andy Latham)
1st winter Glaucous Gull
(Geoff Holmes)