28 Feb 15

Priorslee Lake: 5:58am - 8:55am

Telford sunrise: 6:58am

6.0°C > 8.5°C Low cloud and drizzle gradually lifted with some bright spells later. Moderate S wind. Moderate visibility, becoming good.

Only notable record was the Blackcap heard sub-singing at The Flash – my first in the area this year (though I had one in my Newport garden on 12 January)

The fishing group (CFSG – Castle Farm Specimen Group) have organised another work party to open up the N-side path to dry it out and allow access to their fishing ‘pegs’.

(25th visit of the year)

- the Canada Goose that tried its luck on the water was soon seen off
- now at least 16 Great Crested Grebes!
Skylark again today but this one heard singing from the fields to the E, probably noted because of less traffic at weekends
- 4 small groups of Long-tailed Tits suggests that the larger winter groups are breaking up into smaller breeding pairs / groups

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 28 Canada Geese
- 1 Black-headed Gulls only
- 6 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull
- 6 Feral Pigeons
- 387 Jackdaws
- 72 Rooks
- 2 Pied Wagtails

Counts of birds leaving roosts around the lake
- 49 Magpies
Redwing roost not visited and none seen / heard later

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans: rings read as Blue 7FAD7HFB
- 1 Canada Goose
- 6 (3♂) Gadwall again
- 6 (3♂) Mallard again
- 5 (3♂) Pochard still
- 48 (31♂) Tufted Duck
- 2 Cormorants
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 Little Grebes
- 16 Great Crested Grebes
- 9 Moorhens
- 69 Coots
- 182 Black-headed Gulls
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 11 Herring Gulls

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 8:59am - 9:51am

(23rd visit of the year)

- the Swans are still trapping the feral white goose on the banks of the water: it only escapes when the Swans decide to go after some of the bread being proffered by the regular duck-feeder
- the Black-headed Gulls were most reluctant to settle, swirling around overhead. At one stage they almost all settled but left again within seconds
- most unusually 2 Ravens were perching on a roof in the estate
- 2 Starlings over seemed to be from the nearby estate: birds not yet back on roofs here
- see also notes from the lake: 3 small groups of Long-tailed Tits here

Birds noted flying over were just
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 21 Canada Geese
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 21 (14♂) Mallard
- 1 white feral duck
- 5 (4♂) Shoveler
- 48 (24♂) Tufted Ducks
- 5 (1+♂) Goosanders
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 11 Moorhens
- 17 Coots
- c.50 Black-headed Gulls

Most unusual I would have thought: a Raven shouting from the roof of a house alongside The Flash. I associate these birds with open farmland and cliffs. One of my bird books says “also about fringes of towns and villages with large trees” which does not seem to describe the area too well.

Still trying to get to grips with these three distinctive plumages on the Goosanders. The bird on the right is an adult drake – no problems there; the bird on the left most closely resembles a duck but the extent of the white around the base of the bill suggests it may be a 1st year bird. But the middle? It has to be an immature drake but whether it is moulting in to 1st summer or 2nd/adult summer seems to me to be less clear.
And here is a different puzzle-bird in close(r)-up. Is that a few dark green feathers emerging at the base of otherwise brown part of the neck?

Watch out: Swans on the war-path. It is supposed to be easy to distinguish a cob (male) by the larger knob on top of the base of the bill but I often struggle and it is not apparent here. What is apparent is relatively little difference in bill colour – the pen (female) of this pair is just coming up to 2 years old (and his daughter, but we will skip over that) and probably still ‘immature’. They may not successfully breed this year.

Nice synchronisation! I assume the cob is in the lead but probably me being chauvinistic again.

(Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock Pool: 9:59am - 10:20am

(14th visit of the year)

Apart from a few more gulls rather similar to my last visit and nothing of note

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 14 Canada Geese
- 2 (1♂) Gadwall
- 8 (5♂) Mallard
- 3 feral Mallard-type ducks
- 1 (1♂) Shoveler
- 1 (0♂) Pochard
- 27 (14♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 (0♂) Goosander
- 4 Great Crested Grebes
- 7 Moorhens
- 61 Coots
- 35 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 10 Herring Gulls

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2009 and 2013
Priorslee Lake
2nd winter Iceland Gull
2nd winter Glaucous Gull
1st winter Caspian Gull
Adult Yellow-legged Gull.
Drake Scaup
(Ed Wilson / Tom Lowe)

Adult Common Gull
Male Stonechat
(Ed Wilson)