1 Mar 15

Priorslee Lake: 5:58am - 8:56am

Telford sunrise: 6:56am

5.5°C > 6.5°C Mainly scattered cloud with showers in the vicinity. Strong W wind. Good visibility

In spite of (because of?) the strong wind good numbers of most things recorded. Gull numbers ‘best effort’ as birds at the lake were swirling around in the wind and hard to determine which were new arrivals.

The footpath from Teece Drive was opened yesterday lunchtime when work finished on the road construction and this should be the pattern from now on – open Saturday lunchtime until early Monday morning.

(26th visit of the year)

- the Canada Geese that landed again soon seen off
- more Tufted Ducks than recently – and also at The Flash. Here the birds were all bunched up at one end, partly to shelter from the wind, but there seems to be an excitement amongst the groups – “we’ll soon be off back home for the summer holiday”? Just one of the drakes flew off pre-dawn
- many more Herring Gulls than Lesser Black-backed Gulls settled on the water – more of the Lessers flew straight over
- highest total of Magpies leaving the roost: odd because in the strong wind they were not using post-roost perches on the nearby trees but flew straight out of the roost trees
- 3 Goldcrests with two together, one opening its ‘crest’ to expose the orange central feathers that are normally concealed
- two groups of Starlings left separate roost sites in patches of reeds this morning

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 1 Greylag Goose
- 54 Canada Geese
- 1 Lesser Canada Goose sp.
- 8 Black-headed Gulls
- 29 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 22 Herring Gull
- 5 Feral Pigeons
- 1 Stock Dove
- c.670 Jackdaws
- 133 Rooks
- 44 Fieldfare
- 12 Redwings
- 6 Pied Wagtails

Counts of birds leaving roosts around the lake
- 85 Magpies
- 36 Starlings
- 2 Reed Buntings
Redwing roost not visited: just 2 seen leaving from a distance

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 3 Canada Geese, briefly
- 6 (3♂) Gadwall still
- 9 (4♂) Mallard again
- 5 (3♂) Pochard again
- 63 (39♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 Grey Heron
- 1 Little Grebe
- 15 Great Crested Grebes
- 6 Moorhens
- 68 Coots
- >250 Black-headed Gulls
- 12 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 63 Herring Gulls
A breezy start with little colour this morning.

Sun-up. And no that’s not a reflection: like many hedges years of flailing the top each year has left the base decidedly thin.

Teece Drive entrance opened up for the weekend.

A Robin greets the morning sun. You can nearly see what it had for breakfast!

Decidedly fuzzy-looking Blue Tit, I assume with feathers fluffed against the chilly wind and also with the wind the ‘wrong way’.

Just clipped the left wing-tip but still a fine flying shot of a 2nd winter Herring Gull – note the band across the bill. A Lesser Black-back would have a neater tail-band and less prominent pale area in the wing where the inner primaries and outer secondaries meet – the so-called ‘window’.

What’s this then? not quite what it first seems it is just an immature Herring Gull flying with its head turned away giving a very strange profile with a seemingly small bill.

All lined up in to the wind this collection of Black-headed Gulls show many in various stages of getting their breeding ‘hood’.

These Black-headed Gulls were all feeding along the line where the strong wind was washing up against the dam....

 ....and this 1st winter bird has been rewarded with a small Perch.

A ‘compare and contrast’ shot with the middle two birds being 1st year and adult Black-headed Gulls. The 1st year shows an orange (not red) bill and feet and the under-wing pattern is less ‘crisp’.

And the upper-wing pattern comparison on the right hand two birds here. Again the 1st year bird seems to be carrying a small fish. But I am fairly certain this is a different bird as this shot was taken at least 4 minutes later than the previous bird with its fish.

An adult Black-headed Gull passes by (pity about the twig!).

This adult Black-headed Gull is hanging in the wind and looking intently for a fish to grab.

The wing-pattern suggests an adult Black-headed Gull but the bill is rather orange: probably a 2nd year bird.

 “do you want me to smile?”

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 9:00am - 9:35am

(24th visit of the year)

Rather exposed here and a quick walk around failed to produce anything of note
- the 4 Goosanders (no adult drakes) flew off
Moorhens seemed to have their heads down somewhere

No birds noted flying over

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 23 Canada Geese
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 24 (14♂) Mallard
- 1 white feral duck
- 4 (3♂) Shoveler
- 79 (45♂) Tufted Ducks
- 4 (0♂) Goosanders
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 3 Moorhens
- 16 Coots
- 93 Black-headed Gulls

Rather scruffy! This drake Shoveler is still coming in to adult plumage.

(Ed Wilson)
On this day in 2006 and 2013
Priorslee Lake
3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull.
(JW Reeves)

2 Water Rails
(Ed Wilson)