7 Mar 15

Priorslee Lake: 5:42am - 9:11am

Telford sunrise: 6:43am

8.5°C > 9.0°C Medium / high overcast, scattered below. Moderate SW wind fell away. Good visibility

(32nd visit of the year)

- apparently 2 new Pochard today: the duck(?) was a very distinctively marked moulting bird
- amazing number of Herring Gulls appeared after 08:30: also an unusually large arrival of Black-headed Gulls at this time – well unusual in the context of recent sightings
- possibly 2 Pheasants this morning: one heard calling along the S side and then a male seen in flight N to S over W end of lake
Sky Lark heard over fields to the E again
- single Siskin over: this species has been scarce this winter and I read that the RSPB is concerned about their sudden absence from gardens this year

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 1 Greylag Goose
- 39 Canada Geese
- 3 (3♂) Tufted Duck
- 34 Black-headed Gulls
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 3 Herring Gulls
- 1 Collared Dove
- 379 Jackdaws
- 96 Rooks
- 8 Fieldfare
- 10 Redwings
- 4 Pied Wagtails
- 1 Siskin

Counts of birds leaving roosts around the lake
- 83 Magpies
- 2 Reed Buntings
Redwing roost area not visited: 5 seen leaving in the distance

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 6 (3♂) Gadwall
- 6 (3♂) Mallard
- 2 (1♂) Pochard
- 10 (9♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 Cormorants
- 15 Great Crested Grebes
- 8 Moorhens
- 75 Coots
- >375 Black-headed Gulls
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 67! Herring Gulls
An update to this year’s singing Willow Tit picture. Once again this bird started in the NW area – here in the Ricoh hedge – and then vocalised all the way along the N side; crossing Castle Farm Way and around the sluice; re-crossing the road and all along the S side. Had to tweak the exposure a bit – shooting into the light – but otherwise pretty much as it came off the camera: he did allow me to get really close.

This is a blotchy-looking Pochard that I have not noted here before. The ‘spectacle’ effect around the eye indicates this is a duck but the body plumage is paler than any illustration I can find in the literature for ducks in breeding or eclipse plumage. I can only surmise it is a moulting 1st winter bird.

Here is a motley collection of various ages of Herring Gulls. For the last few days these have appeared in some number after c.08:30 and then mainly just sat around on the water. Today there were more than 65. Oddly there are almost no Lesser Black-backed Gulls with them whereas this latter species is normally the most numerous large gull inland.

Another shot of a displaying pair of Great Crested Grebes. This started with the bird on the right proffering weed to his intended teenage conquest, though he had dropped it by the time I managed this shot. No idea what the mark is at the base of her neck – detritus of some sort I would think.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2006, 2007 and 2014
Priorslee Lake
3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull
(Gary Crowder)
(Ed Wilson)
Ruddy Duck
(Ed Wilson)