31 Oct 15

Priorslee Lake: 06:06 – 09:26

Telford sunrise: 07:04

10.5°C > 13.0°C. Started with broken mid/high-level cloud but after 07:45 patchy low cloud increased. Calm start with moderate ESE wind, veering S. Good visibility but moderate after low cloud arrived

Significant passage this morning

(132nd visit of the year)

- the Greylag Geese all flew inbound (to The Flash?) at 09:00
- all but 2 of the Canada Geese on the lake left pre-dawn
- 8 Gadwall now
- just 1 duck Shoveler this morning
- 8 of the 74 Tufted Duck flew off towards The Flash pre-dawn
- 2 or 3 Grey Herons disputing who should ‘own’ the fishing rights
- single Lapwing circled over for a while
- 23 migrant groups of Wood Pigeons but no really large parties as yet: passage more or less stopped on the arrival of the low cloud. Single Feral Pigeon and Stock Dove noted buried inside different groups
- at least 2 very noisy Kingfishers
- most of the Jackdaws in large group of c.370 at 06:47
- again no parties of Rooks seen with relatively few stragglers: must have found a different foraging area
- Starling roost in NW reeds just 2 single birds! 3 small groups also out of the NE reeds today. With 86 more logged flying over
- Cetti’s Warbler very vocal early on but quiet after 07:00
- the mild weather perhaps responsible for a brief snatch of song from one of the Song Thrushes
- good number of passing Fieldfares and Redwings: at least 11 more Redwings in the trees around the lake
- 41 Greenfinches logged with many leaving a roost somewhere at the W end: good to see these numbers picking up again
- at least 25 Goldfinches in the alders: all in adult plumage

- no moths again

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- c.75 Greylag Geese (1 party)
- 28 Canada Geese (2 parties)
- 32 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Lapwing
- 4 Feral Pigeons
- 5 Stock Doves
- 848 Wood Pigeons (23 migrant groups)
- 527 Jackdaws
- 30 Rooks
- 1 Raven
- 1 Sky Lark
- 86 Starlings (9 groups)
- 582 Fieldfare (20 groups)
- 90 Redwings (10 groups)
- 7 Pied Wagtails
- 3 Meadow Pipits
- 2 Siskins
- 1 Redpoll

Birds seen leaving roosts around the lake
- 37 Starlings (5 groups)
- 2 Reed Buntings

The counts from the lake area
All counts potentially affected by wind and rain
- 2 Mute Swans
- 30 Canada Geese
- 8 (5♂) Gadwall
- 12 (6♂) Mallard
- 1 (0♂) Shoveler
- 3 (2♂) Pochard
- 74 (?♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 or 3 Grey Herons
- 1 Little Grebe
- 10 Great Crested Grebes
- 38 Moorhens
- 243 Coots
- c.210 Black-headed Gulls
- 57 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Herring Gulls

A dark and brooding start this morning: for once the red sky meant neither rain nor wind.

As the sun was about to rise the red ameliorated somewhat, but still an attractive start.

A good portrait of a Grey Wagtail. In winter plumage males and females are not safely separable, but the white throat tells us this is an adult – a 1st winter would show a buff throat.

An adult Black-headed Gull in winter plumage. Note the outer primary is still to complete its growth – it should be longer than its neighbour.

Another bird: here the outer two primaries appear to be equal in length. Note the tongue visible as the bird calls.

another angle on this same bird.

Two birds here

And here a 1st winter bird with a black tip to the tail and brown on the wing.

Another fine portrait of a winter adult.

And comes in to ‘land’. Note the black nails on the feet.

More destruction: these willows were at the end of the old unsurfaced part of Teece Drive. They looked as if they were dying – perhaps affected by the works to improve the road and put the Wesley Brook behind piles. The fact that both had metal discs indicating they were preserved trees seems to have counted for little. Can’t have branches falling on the path and injuring the children can we? Hang the wildlife that found the trees a rich source of food.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 09:35 – 10:13

(43rd visit of the year)

- just the 2 resident Swans now
- rather fewer Coot here since a month ago: seems they are congregating at the lake this year
- what seemed to be an adult Yellow-legged Gull (legs not visible) was my first of year here
- Kingfisher seen
- Grey Wagtail here

Birds noted flying over
- 6 Greylag Geese

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 1 Canada Goose
- 19 (12♂) Mallard
- 3 feral Mallard-type ducks
- 27 (12♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Grey Herons
- 3 Great Crested Grebes
- 13 Moorhens
- 159 Coots
- 55 Black-headed Gulls
- 143 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 6 Herring Gulls
- 1 Yellow-legged Gull

This gull was having a bathe and I hoped that as if it flapped it might show its legs – I suspected it might be a Yellow-legged Gull from the clean and very white head. But not conclusive here.

However here we can see the very top of the leg and it does indeed look yellow. More evident in this shot is a dark smudge on the upper mandible which also supports the Yellow-legged identity. Note how odd the wet primaries appear as it flaps hard.

In this view there is only extensive white at the tip of the outer primary – on a Herring Gull there should be more white on P2 and P3. Two immature Lesser Black-backed Gulls in the background.

However: while not quite sharp this view as the bird takes off shows that the feet at least are pink and it must be a Herring Gull: perhaps!

The bird in the centre here is another, and perhaps better, candidate as a Yellow-legged Gull. The mantle is very dark – almost “is it a dark Herring-type or a pale Lesser-black?” in tone. The rather strange head-shape is, I think, just because it is holding its head like that. But there is no disputing the rather large bill.
Here the bird is amongst a gaggle of winter-plumage Lesser Black-backed Gulls and its head is strikingly brighter white and ‘cleaner’ than any of those. The amount of streaking on the head of adult winter Lesser Black-backs is very variable for reasons that don’t appear to be well understood – age?

(Ed Wilson)
On this day in 2005, 2009, 2010, 2013 and 2014
Priorslee Lake

Today's Report Here
(Ed Wilson)

Candles Landfill Site
2nd winter Caspian Gull
8 Yellow-legged Gulls
Great Black-backed Gull
c.700 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
(Tom Lowe)

Priorslee Lake
Mistle Thrush
29 Fieldfares
32 Redwings
13 Siskins
3 Linnets
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
1 Shoveler
5 Wigeon
(John Isherwood)

Trench Pool

2 Goosander
10 Shoveler
(John Isherwood)