6 Mar 15

Priorslee Lake: 5:22am - 9:00am

Telford sunrise: 6:45am

6.0°C > 9.0°C Overcast to start but breaks soon developed in to good sunny spells. Moderate SW wind. Very good visibility

An interesting morning with distant Golden Plover new for my UK year-list: and Snipe new for my site year list

(31st visit of the year)

- a party of 9 Canada Geese seemed to be confused and passed over the lake at least 5 times!
- yesterday’s 4th pair of Gadwall gone
- yesterday’s 4 new Pochard still here and still rather ‘jumpy’: the previous group no longer at The Flash
- very distant group of Golden Plover high to the E / SE in a characteristic and diagnostic formation
- a wisp of 10 Snipe shot over: my first record of such a group here. Good to get on the list after a blank year for this species here last year
- strange how Lesser Black-backed Gulls seem to fly over whereas the Herring Gulls drop in and hang around
- a new record count of Magpies leaving the roost: is that a good thing?
- after hearing a Jay yesterday two birds appeared this morning
- the early cloud was reflecting the light pollution from the town centre and I could just make out 22 Rooks passing over at 05:25. Nothing else was noted until Magpies started to leave their roost at 06:15 (apart from the singing Song ThrushesRobins etc.)
- 2 Ravens flew over: what was probably the same two birds came back very low a few minutes later
Sky Lark heard over fields to the E again

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 2 Greylag Geese
- 23 Canada Geese
- c.50 Golden Plover
- 10 Snipe
- 5 Black-headed Gulls again
- 28 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 6 Herring Gulls
- 5 Feral Pigeons
- c.500 Jackdaws
- 50 Rooks exactly
- 2 Ravens
- 1 Redwing

Counts of birds leaving roosts around the lake
- 97 Magpies
- 2 Reed Buntings
Redwing roost area not visited: just 1 seen leaving in the distance

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 6 (3♂) Gadwall
- 4 (2♂) Mallard
- 4 (3♂) Pochard again
- 8 (6♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 Grey Heron
- 1 Little Grebe heard
- 14 Great Crested Grebes
- 11 Moorhens
- 68 Coots
- c.180 Black-headed Gulls
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 29 Herring Gulls
The Redwing roost around the lake is starting to thin out, but a few are still around and will be for at least the rest of this month. With luck we may even hear a few singing – a typical thrush-type song but distinctive.

Another species momentarily distracted by the workmen along Teece Drive. This Jay allowed a quick shot before it moved on.

The Daffodil heads are beginning to swell and the flowers should just about make it by Mothering Sunday on March 15.

Well I still find it quite bizarre: a Great Crested Grebe in display. The head adornment tends to draw the eye away from the raised tail, well shown here.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 9:05am - 9:56am

(28th visit of the year)

- additional Mute Swan again, today being chased on to the grass at the N end. Later a bird was chased by the cob on to the island and that was 7HXE, his partner from last year. Whether this was different to the bird chased on the grass is hard to tell – that bird also had a blue ring on its left leg but was I unable to get a clear-enough photo to read it
- Pochard gone (with yesterday’s new group the only birds at the lake)
- Grey Wagtail flying over was my first of the year here

Birds noted flying over
- 2 Canada Geese
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls only
- 1 Feral Pigeon

The counts from the water
- 3 Mute Swans again
- 23 Canada Geese
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 16 (11♂) Mallard
- 1 white feral duck
- 4 (3♂) Shoveler still
- 77 (53♂) Tufted Ducks
- 3 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 Moorhens only
- 18 Coots
- 25 Black-headed Gulls only
- 1 Herring Gull

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 10:05am - 10:15am // 10:50am - 11:15am
(16th visit of the year)

Not much change of significance
- one rather blooded Canada Goose: not sure whether the cob Swan was the culprit

Overhead (en route to Middle Pool)
- 2 Canada Geese

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 22 Canada Geese
- 7 (5♂) Mallard
- 3 feral Mallard-type ducks
- 1 (1♂) Shoveler
- 1 (0♂) Pochard
- 26 (20♂) Tufted Ducks
- 3 Little Grebes
- 4 Great Crested Grebes
- 4 Moorhens
- 53 Coots
- 48 Black-headed Gulls
- 3 Herring Gulls

This poor Canada Goose has been in the wars. I think it was the one being chased earlier by the cob Swan though he did not catch it this time.

This is a decent shot of the underside of a 1st year Herring Gull. The three (four?) outer tail-feathers are noticeably short. I have searched the web to see whether this is normal or whether these are still growing after moulting out of juvenile plumage. But I did not come to any conclusion. Will have to try an adult – or perhaps better, wait a few months and see what 1st year birds look like. Problem is that Herring Gulls will mainly be on the coast in June.

This Little Grebe was, like most of its type, lurking some way away and not about to allow closer approach. What can be seen here though is the pale yellow gape – a sign it is coming in to breeding condition even though the body is only starting to get the chestnut feathering.

There is some quite different behaviour amongst the Tufted Ducks at the moment – they are spending time in quite large groups just sitting on the water, as show here. Perhaps they are becoming restless and anxious to be moving?

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Middle Pool: 10:20am - 10:45am

(6th visit of the year)

- many of the Mallard seem to have gone off to breed
- only 1 Great Crested Grebe found: none seen around usual nest site at E end of island, but just possibly both (?) tucked up under the vegetation.

The counts
- 2 Mute Swans
- 12 Greylag Geese
- 42 Canada Geese
- 11 (7) Mallard
- 5 feral Mallard-type ducks
- 10 (6♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 Great Crested Grebes
- 9 Moorhen
- 14 Coots
- 107 Black-headed Gulls
- 3 Herring Gulls

This Long-tailed Tit is raiding a spider-web on a post at Middle Pool. Whether it is feeding on trapped insects (or indeed the spider itself) or whether it is collecting the web to use in its own nest is hard to say – it looks rather like the latter. The web material makes the web ‘elastic’ and gives a growing brood space to keep their tails (up to 8 eggs will be laid later this month). Note this bird’s tail is being held at a very strange angle having been snagged on a nail on the post.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2007, 2009, 2010 and 2014
Priorslee Lake
Adult summer Mediterranean Gull
Adult Yellow-legged Gull
(Gary Crowder)
Barn Owl
(John Isherwood)
Juvenile Glaucous Gull
(Observer not known)
(Martin Adlam)