24 Feb 15

Priorslee Lake: 6:00am - 8:59am

Telford sunrise: 7:07am

3.5°C > 6.5°C Sunshine and passing light showers. Fresh and chill W wind. Excellent visibility.

Overall rather quiet. A few things seem to have moved out though in the rather windy and chilly conditions they may have been sheltering.

(21st visit of the year)

The 5 Canada Geese that landed on the lake were soon seen off by the resident cob Swan.
Little Grebes seen together with much calling at the W end.
At least 10 Wood Pigeons were flushed from a roost in the trees around the lake.
In the blustery conditions Song Thrushes seemed reluctant to sing – only 5 heard today.

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 14 Canada Geese
- 7 (?♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Goosander
- 36 Black-headed Gulls
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 269 Jackdaws
- 97 Rooks
- 3 Pied Wagtails
- 1 Linnet

Counts of birds leaving roosts around the lake
- 10 Wood Pigeons (see above)
- ?? Magpies
- 3 Starlings
- 45 Redwing
Magpies had started to leave their roost before I left the Redwing roost area this morning

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 5 Canada Geese
- 4 (2♂) Gadwall
- 5 (2♂) Mallard
- 5 (3♂) Pochard
- 43 (26♂) Tufted Duck
- 2 Cormorants
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 Little Grebes
- 13 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 Water Rails heard
- 11 Moorhens
- 68 Coots again
- 32 Black-headed Gulls
- 2 Herring Gulls
A rather chill-looking start to the morning.

This adult Black-headed Gull is superficially still in winter plumage but the head shows slightly more black smudging indicating that the change to summer plumage has started.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 9:04am - 9:55am

(19th visit of the year)

- 2 of the 11 Goosanders were in a plumage that I cannot find in the literature: I suspect these were both 1st year drakes moulting out of the ‘brownhead’ winter plumage.
- One of the duck Goosanders managed to catch a Roach of at least 1lb if not more.

Birds noted flying over
- 23 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 4 Herring Gulls

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 20 Canada Geese
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 29 (19♂) Mallard
- 1 white feral duck
- 1 (1♂) Shoveler
- 46 (30♂) Tufted Ducks
- 11 (4? ♂) Goosanders
- 3 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 Moorhens
- 16 Coots
- 43 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull
These two Great Crested Grebes are slightly further forward in their courtship with one bird, presumably the male (he noted, chauvinistically!) presenting weed to his intended. It looks here as if his intended is rather young as she lacks significant head plumes as yet.....

....the difference in appearance being highlighted in this view.

 ....but she seems to know how to look coy.

This view highlights the proportionally rather large head of Goosanders and well illustrates the hook on the end of the large bill. A duck bird here.

Note the difference in the amount of white shown by the rear-most bird. It suggests to me that this is in fact a drake, possibly even a 2nd year bird, which still retains much of its winter ‘brownhead’ plumage. This plumage is not illustrated in any of my bird books.

And here is a different but similarly-plumaged bird. It was supposed to be a compare and contrast with a typical adult duck but she dived as I pressed the shutter and you can see just a few tail-feathers!

This grey-side bird is how a typical adult duck looks.

....and here she helps by showing her wing pattern.

Another ‘now you see it: now you don’t’ shot. The drake is being showered by splash from the duck’s dive – again just her tail-tips are visible.

Don’t tell the fishermen! That is a good-sized breakfast and it does not look as if it is about to be shared.....

Though at least one of the drakes seems keen to help the duck with a Roach of around a 1lb.

A duck Goosander shows how to ‘walk on water’.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 10:08am - 10:38am

(12th visit of the year)

- all the drake Shoveler gone, leaving the 3 ducks
- a 5th Great Crested Grebe this morning: a juvenile being chased by one of the resident adults
- 1 Kingfisher heard again


The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 9 Canada Geese
- 2 (1♂) Gadwall
- 7 (4♂) Mallard
- 2 feral Mallard-type ducks
- 3 (0♂) Shoveler
- 1 (0♂) Pochard
- 36 (18♂) Tufted Ducks
- 3 (2♂) Goosander
- 2 Little Grebes
- 5 Great Crested Grebes
- 4 Moorhens
- 52 Coots
- 132 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

Sleeping it off: the immature Great Crested Grebe at Trench tries not to attract the attention of either of the pairs that ‘own’ their patches on the water.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014
Priorslee Lake
Adult Iceland Gull
3 Yellow-legged Gull (2 adult and a 3rd winter)
10+ Great Black-backed Gull
(Gary Crowder)
Glaucous Gull
(Observer Unknown)
(Ed Wilson)
2009Juvenile Glaucous Gull
1st winter Glaucous Gull
2nd-winter Iceland Gull
Adult Yellow-legged Gull
(John Isherwood / Jason Buckley and et al)