9 Feb 15

Priorslee Lake: 11:19 – 12:26

4.5°C  Low cloud with a few breaks. Light / moderate NW wind. Moderate visibility

Strangely rather fewer birds than over the weekend when the disturbance seemed to be greater

Best of the day
- 5 Shoveler at The Flash
- Water Rail seen at the lake

(6th visit of the year)

The Teece Drive entrance is well and truly blocked with vehicles, equipment and piles of earth
the 40 mph speed limit on the M54 has greatly reduced the road noise pollution: long may it last!
an unmarked new structure by the yacht club building seems to be a new toilet block.

The Heron was, surprisingly, new for my year-list at this site
Redwing in the trees

Birds counted flying over
Canada Geese
30 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
6 Herring Gulls

Counts from the water
Mute Swans [Blue 7FAD, 7HFB]
6 (3♂) Gadwall
11 (5♂) Mallard
2 (2♂) Pochard
39 (17♂) Tufted Duck
Grey Heron
Great Crested Grebes
Water Rail
140 Coots
289 Black-headed Gulls
49 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
Herring Gulls

Two of the Great Crested Grebes at the lake beginning to display ...

But it was all rather short-lived as the bird on the left is clearly an immature in that it lacks the head-plumes and probably did not quite know what to do next. Cradle-snatching / sugar-daddy behaviour is not restricted to humans!

Now the north shore vegetation did need some trimming: but this much butchering?

I suppose when the school access road is finished we might get a nice smooth road in to the Teece Drive gate: not at the moment.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 10:34 – 11:14

(5th visit of the year)

Pochard new in – at least some probably from the lake, but the duck was new anyway
A duck Goosander circled low: unclear whether it actually landed
Fieldfare over was my first in Shropshire this year
2, perhaps 3, Ravens overhead
Other new species for my site year list were Feral Pigeon(!) and Bullfinch

Other birds counted flying over The Flash
33 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
Herring Gulls

The counts from the water
2 Mute Swans
14 Canada Geese
Lesser Canada Goose ssp.
1 all-white feral goose
42 (28♂) Mallard
feral ducks (white one only)
5 (3♂) Shoveler
6 (5♂) Pochard
36 (16♂) Tufted Ducks
1 (0♂) Goosander
18 Coots
53 Black-headed Gulls
Lesser Black-backed Gulls
Herring Gulls

Most birds acquire breeding plumage at more or less the same time but occasionally some are early (and others late). With so many Black-headed Gulls about it is not surprising to find a few well-advanced as seen here. That both are adults is confirmed by the red bills and lack of brown feathering in the wing. The black hooded bird shows a deeper tone to the bill but this is part of the breeding plumage.

Here is the smaller Lesser Canada Goose ssp. (or Cackling Goose) with a normal Canada Goose. Apart from its small size and noticeably smaller bill the browner tone to the breast and, less evidently, to the chin-strap set it apart. It has been here on and off for over two years now. It bears a well-marked ring but no-one, not even the BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) as guardian of ringing in the UK, has been able to determine the origin of the ring. It is thus tarnished with the ‘escape’ epithet.

Cute! A drake Tufted Duck in full breeding finery. Most ducks acquire breeding plumage and start to pair up in the autumn or early winter.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 3:30pm
1st-winter Caspian Gull again at mid-day. Via BirdGuides

On this day in 2009 and 2012
Priorslee Lake
2 Iceland Gulls (A juvenile and a 2nd winter)
Juvenile Glaucous Gull
1st winter Greater Black-backed Gull
Adult Common Gull
(Ian Grant / Roger Clay / Martin Grant / Jim Almond / Paul King / Ed Wilson)

1st winter Glaucous Gull
(Martin Grant)