4 Mar 15

Priorslee Lake: 5:45am – 9:01am

Telford sunrise: 6:49am

2.0°C > 7.0°C Few clouds faded away; then clear for a while before cloud increased again after 09:30. Moderate / fresh and chilly W wind. Very good visibility

Best sighting of the day was a mammal – see below

(29th visit of the year)

The footpath is now ‘sort of’ open again: there remains no access from Teece Drive itself. However the footpath that runs south across Cadnam Drive and links in to that part of the Teece Drive extension alongside the playing fields is open. From there a fenced off path leads to the Teece Drive gate and hence the lake itself. The works to isolate the Wesley Brook are taking place along one side of this path: and the Academy is being worked on along the other side. There remains no vehicular access

- one of the Gadwall pairs spends much time around the NW reeds – thinking of nesting here?
- most of the Pochard gone back to The Flash again, with 1 drake remaining
Tufted Duck numbers declining: 1 bird, drake?, flew off pre-dawn
- largest Magpie roost count of the winter and larger than any counts last winter
- the (same?) male Pheasant was flushed off the dam-face and flew to the copse in the SE corner
- even bigger passage of Jackdaws this morning: the Rooks, as I opined, started very early – heard over at 05:45 when too dark to locate them. Small passage continued until I left. Later movements of Rooks often by birds apparently with food in their bills: and a Lesser Black-backed Gull seemed to think so too and chased the Rook, Skua-fashion, for some while
Song Thrushes rather quiet – just 5 heard today (and none at The Flash): have the migrant birds begun to leave?
Willow Tit heard calling in usual NW area at dawn; also as usual soon started to move off W along N side. Presumably the same bird heard calling from around the sluice exit across Castle Farm Way some 90 minutes later
Hare seen: location deliberately vague as I have seen men with dogs likely hare-coursing in the area

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 4 Greylag Geese
- 8 Canada Geese
- 29 Black-headed Gulls
- 39 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Herring Gulls
- 3 Feral Pigeons
- 3 Collared Doves
- >800 Jackdaws
- >92 Rooks
- 15 Fieldfare
- 8 Redwings
- 1 Pied Wagtail

Counts of birds leaving roosts around the lake
- 94 Magpies
- 3 Pied Wagtails
- 1 Reed Bunting
Redwing roost not visited: 6 seen leaving in the distance

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 6 (3♂) Gadwall still
- 9 (5♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Pochard
- 14 (8?♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 Grey Heron
- 1 Little Grebe heard
- 14 Great Crested Grebes again
- 1 Water Rail heard
- 7 Moorhens
- 73 Coots
- 31 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 11 Herring Gulls

A change from a sunrise: a moon-set! Could not do much about the heat-haze I am afraid – tell Ricoh to switch off their air-conditioning perhaps?

Always good to get a shot of a Bullfinch. This female seems to have a broken beak.

Posse of 4 of the Great Crested Grebes at the lake – recent numbers, peaking at 16, have been as high as I can recall. Two adults and two 1st year birds here.

Another songster: Chaffinches have been singing at The Flash for several weeks now but only just started at the lake. For some reason finches are not numerous around the lake and I usually log more Bullfinches than Chaffinches or Greenfinches.

Spring! Blackthorn blossom is just appearing in sheltered areas

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 9:14 – 10:15am

(26th visit of the year)

Swans were back (if they ever went): when I arrived the resident cob was chasing another Swan aggressively. Whether this was the resident pen I could not be certain about as I could not read its ring. Later the cob was moving around on his own with wings held up and then strutting about the area of the usual nest site on the island. The resident pen was at this stage standing, and then sitting, quietly on the other side of the island
- most of the Pochard seemed to have returned
Mistle Thrush heard singing again

No birds noted flying over again

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 5 Greylag Geese
- 59 Canada Geese
- 1 Lesser Canada Goose sp.
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 18 (11♂) Mallard
- 1 white feral duck
- 4 (3♂) Shoveler still
- 4 (2♂) Pochard
- 88 (51♂) Tufted Ducks
- 3 Great Crested Grebes
- 6 Moorhens
- 16 Coots again
- 111 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull

(Ed Wilson)


No Sightings in so far today, but there is an African Chaffinch in a Telford Garden. More Here

On this day in 2008, 2009 and 2010
Priorslee Lake
A leucistic (pure white) Black-headed Gull (bright red bill with faintest smudge behind eye)
1 Common Gull
1 adult Yellow-legged Gull
(Mike Cooper)
A Bittern
Glaucous Gull
Iceland Gull
(Ed Wilson and et al)
1st winter Glaucous Gull
(Paul King)