10 Nov 15

Priorslee Lake: 06:20 – 09:36

Telford sunrise: 07:21

14.5°C > 15.5°C. Started with scattered cloud below broken cloud with this usual Telford ‘hat’ of low cloud; more low cloud later a few light showers. Moderate/ fresh SW wind. Very good visibility

Only 01 July and 10 August have provided me with warmer starts at the lake this year – amazing. No doubt we will pay for all this warm weather later in the winter

Best sighting for me was the pair of Gadwall at The Flash. I do not have easily searchable logs for years before 2011 but as far as I can recall this is a new species for me at the site

(139th visit of the year)

- an additional drake Gadwall today
- the duck Shoveler that had been present for a week was missing yesterday: today there were two drakes new in
- the ‘brownhead’ Goosander was seen very low flying W: it may just have come off the water rather than being a fly-over
- largest movement of gulls so far this season
--- maximum count of Black-headed Gulls on the water was c.320. As usual birds were moving to & fro from Ricoh making reliable counts hard. But I suspect many more passed through as I noted a large party apparently flying off E before I took the count
--- several big groups of large gulls appeared to the E and many (but not all) of the birds in these groups stopped off for variable periods before moving on. This made it hard to know how many flew straight over and exactly how many different birds landed. Almost all were checked and only 4 Herring Gulls found amongst them
- the early Wood Pigeon passage comprised of small groups apparently unsure of where they were headed – some going E, some NE and some W. Later the bigger parties (up to 120 birds) were all heading S
- single significant Jackdaw group today was very low and well to the E; thereafter the same steady passage of small groups still passing after 09:00
- no Starlings seen leaving roosts in the reeds: 2 groups overhead
- Cetti’s Warbler vocal again and faithful to a small clump of reeds between the two fishing platforms
- very small passage of Fieldfare and Redwings today. At least 15 more Redwings seen in (and then leaving) trees around the lake. One of these groups also contained a Song Thrush
- 1 Meadow Pipit dropped in to the long grass in the SW area again; another (?) flew over

- no moths on the lamps despite the mild and cloudy night
- looked hard to see whether the warm weather tempted any bats to hunt: none seen

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 88 (5 groups) Greylag Geese
- 53 (5 groups) Canada Geese
- 1 (0♂) Goosander
- 3 Cormorants
- >200 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (see notes)
- 1 Herring Gull
- 11 Feral Pigeons (7 singles / small groups)
- 8 Stock Doves (3 groups)
- 482 Wood Pigeons (17 migrant groups)
- 229 Jackdaws
- 9 Rooks
- 1 Raven
- 68 Starlings (2 groups)
- 22 Fieldfare (4 groups)
- 25 Redwings (5 groups)
- 1 Meadow Pipit

Birds seen leaving roosts around the lake
- c.25 Magpies
- [no Starling]
- 5 Redwings
- 6 Greenfinches

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 7 (4♂) Gadwall
- 15 (8♂) Mallard
- 3 (2♂) Pochard again
- 2 (2♂) Shoveler
- 56 (27♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron again
- 1 Little Grebe
- 8 Great Crested Grebes
- 29 Moorhens
- 244 Coots
- >320 Black-headed Gulls (see notes)
- >450 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (see notes)
- 3 Herring Gulls

The ‘Telford hat’ of low cloud prevent this potentially interesting sunrise from spreading any further across the sky.

From the NW looking E with plenty of autumn tints.

One of the two drake Shoveler (with 3 Coots).

The other drake Shoveler (with 2 Coots and drake Tufted Duck).

Always a delight: a drake Gadwall shows off the fine vermiculations of the flanks and the delicate brown edges to the secondary coverts and the all-black bill and ‘stern’.

Here are 3 Gadwall and a drake Tufted Duck. 2 of the Gadwall are ducks: on one of these the white speculum is visible but they are best separated from duck Mallard by their smaller size and the very obvious orange edges to the bill. The drake is a bit of a puzzle as it should have an all-black bill and I can only assume it is a 1st winter bird that has yet to acquire full adult features (note also that is ‘blinking’ and showing the nictating membrane across the eye.

Here we see two drake Gadwall the closest of which does have the all black bill. A duck is sandwiched between them (and a drake Tufted Duck moulting out of eclipse and still showing some dusky tones to white flanks is just disappearing out of the shot).

These are Snowberries (from the shrub Symphoricarpus albus). They are very evident at the W end of the lake at the moment and more prolific than I recall from earlier years. I was asked yesterday whether the berries were poisonous – I quote the web “Although the berries contain an impressive array of toxins their white colour seems to discourage ingestion and the violent vomiting caused seems to limit absorption”. So don’t!

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash:  09:38 – 10:18

(96th visit of the year)

- the cygnets now flying well – yet to work out how to turn at the end of the lake!
- in addition to the Gadwall a duck Teal has turned up again
- an additional Great Crested Grebe: another juvenile apparently
- best passage of large gulls over this season
- counted the Jackdaws over (for what it is worth: not so many as I recall yesterday)

Birds noted flying over 
- 97 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull
- 20 Jackdaws
- 1 Redpoll

The counts from the water
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 8 Greylag Geese
- 43 Canada Geese
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 1 (0♂) Common Teal
- 2 (1♂) Gadwall
- 30 (20♂) Mallard
- 26 (15♂) Tufted Duck
- 9 (0♂) Goosander
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 2 Herons
- 3 Great Crested Grebes: 2 immatures
- 4 Moorhens
- 22 Coots
- 27 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull again

A couple more Goosander shots to show their current plumage variations. This bird has rather indistinct marks around the face and with some white between the bill and the eye seems likely to be a 1st winter bird. The black tip to the bill is also rather indistinct.

This bird is a whole lot ‘smarter’ with a neat black bill-tip, clean white chin and no white in front of the eye – indeed it is a obviously darker than the previous bird. An adult.

These two are / have been preening. Note the grey breast on the nearer bird which makes it a 1st winter bird. Quite different from the clean white breast of the adult behind.

Another delightful drake Gadwall: but at The Flash this time.

The duck Teal spent most of its time with its head underwater: it came up for air and this was the best. The small size and rather grey-looking plumage are the clues here. What we can just make out is the pale edge to the tail which is slightly more extensive that shown by duck Gadwall, Mallard and Shoveler.

... this however is better in showing the green speculum which identifies.

A record shot to show the 3 cygnets going for a practice fly. Not mastered the turn as yet so they land at the end.

Great Crested Grebe of course. Most adults have lost their head plumes and most immatures have lost their juvenile head-stripes so ageing this species is currently quite hard. I suspect an immature might still show some dark toward the tip of the bill and that this is therefore an adult. But ...

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2014
Priorslee Lake
Today's Report Here
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
2 Teal
1 Wigeon
7 Gadwall
75 Tufted Duck
1 Water Rail
226 Coots
720+ large gulls over and c.50 on the lake
1 Yellow Legged Gull
c.3100 Wood Pigeons
159 Fieldfare
31 Redwings
(Ed Wilson / John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake
c.170 Greylag Geese
3 Gadwall
6 Pochard
19 Tufted Ducks
146 Coots
c.700 Black-headed Gulls logged
c.250 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
5 Herring Gulls
41 Redwings
10 Fieldfares
634 Jackdaws
198 Rooks
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock Pool
Yellow-legged Gull
(Martin Grant)

Priorslee Lake
300+ Wood Pigeons
326 Redwings
652 Fieldfare
269 Jackdaw
136 Rooks
c.75 Starlings seen leaving roost
6 Pochard
78 Tufted Ducks
4 Siskins
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
4 Goosander
47 Greylag
95 Canada Geese
42 Tufted Duck
6 Redwings
1 Kingfisher
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
21 Starlings in the roost
12 Pochard
57 Tufted Ducks
c.80 Lapwing
192 Coot
500+ Black-headed Gulls
800+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls
1 Chiffchaff
26 lb Carp landed by one of the fishermen
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
20 Pochard
60 Tufted Ducks
1 drake Ruddy Duck
1 Water Rail
19 Lapwings
1700+ Black-headed Gulls
518+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls
334 Wood Pigeons
14 Pied Wagtails
24 Robins
27 Blackbirds
1 Fieldfare
8 Song Thrushes
12 Redwings
52 Jackdaws
142 Rooks
5 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)