11 Dec 15

Priorslee Lake

Lunchtime Update: 12:00

1 Great Black-backed Gull
11 Gadwall
10 Pochard

(John Isherwood)

Morning Report: 06:58 – 09:51

Telford sunrise: 08:11

4.0°C > 6.5°C. Fine with mainly high cloud, though some lower cloud to N. Light wind, becoming moderate W. Very good visibility

(152nd visit of the year)

Another strange mammal sighting. I glimpsed a very dark (black?) mammal run across the path near the yacht club hut. From the brief view I judged this to be about 50% larger than a Fox with proportionally shorter legs. The only other feature I noted was a long and bushy tail held horizontally. Later I was told that one of the regular dog-walkers has seen what he thought was an otter. Hmm

- Swan activity today: an adult and cygnet circled the lake: these I suspect were birds from The Flash. Then two adults had to be chased off by the residents – these then went to harass the pair at The Flash where I was able to read the rings (with the aid of the camera): Orange 17H and blue 7HLP
- no geese seen this morning: I was elsewhere around the lake from where their recent flight path was out of my sight-line
- the Gadwall were very flighty this morning and keeping track of them to provide an accurate count was a trial
- unsure again about the Shoveler: I glimpsed it moving in to the reeds where it stayed. I thought a drake
- small movement of large gulls: one group contained 2 Black-headed Gulls and these continued on with the larger birds
- one party of c.40 Jackdaws stopped off for a while in the trees in the NE part of the lake – strange as they usually only do this when they get disorientated in fog
- single fly-over Sky Lark and Meadow Pipit: neither common overhead at this time of year
- Cetti’s Warbler not heard or seen
- no Starlings at all today
- 16 of the roosting Redwings were seen leaving the traditional roost at the E end of the N side, the first time I have noted this roost with more than 2 or 3 birds this winter. Another 5 seen much later in the Ricoh hedge
- 11 Siskins in the trees
- 1 Redpoll on the fence of the yacht compound
- at least 9 Bullfinches seen this morning
- after 5 Reed Buntings flew out of the W end roost there were still at least 3 birds calling around the lake
- three Winter Moths on the same lamp this morning
- Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus acris) added to my list of unseasonal flowering plants today

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 1 + 1 Mute Swans
- 2 Black-headed Gulls (see notes)
- 63 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 4 Herring Gulls
- 8 Feral Pigeons (2 groups)
- 3 Stock Doves
- 5 Wood Pigeons (1 party)
- 635 Jackdaws
- 7 Rooks
- 1 Raven
- 1 Sky lark
- 3 Pied Wagtails again
- 1 Meadow Pipit
- 5 Greenfinches
- 3 Siskins

Birds seen leaving roosts around the lake
- Magpies: not counted
- no Starlings
- 19 Redwings
- 5 Reed Buntings

The counts from the lake area
- 4 Mute Swans (see notes)
- 11 (6♂) Gadwall (see notes)
- 4 (2♂) Mallard
- 1 (0?♂) Shoveler (see notes)
- 8 (6♂) Pochard again
- 58 (31♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Grey Herons
- 1 Little Grebe
- 10 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Water Rail heard
- 37 Moorhens
- 236 Coots
- 88 Black-headed Gulls

A Jay of course. Don’t get too many opportunities to photograph these rather wary birds.

And head on: rather soggy-looking breast plumage, for once not from rain! Assume from leaping through damp vegetation.

As long as it is prepared to pose I am prepared to shoot!

Your starter for 10: what is this species having a good preen? It can be identified – the V-notch in the tail means it is a finch; the brown on the tips of the coverts mean it is a Linnet or Redpoll. And the streaking and pale rump lead to the identity as a Redpoll.

But it is a lot easier this way round!. Now you know why it is called a Redpoll.

Always worth a shot: a fine male Bullfinch.

Rather strange that all 3 male Winter Moths should be on the same lamp. I assume there was a (flightless) female somewhere nearby giving off pheromones, but I could not find her.

Here is the Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus acris) I added to my list of unseasonal flowering plants today.

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 09:54 – 10:50

(105th visit of the year)

- the two adult Mute Swans chased off the main lake were here and being chased somewhat half-heartedly by the residents. They seemed unsure which bird to chase, swapping duties, which may suggest the interlopers were not at pair and amenable to man-to-man and woman-to-woman conflict
- as with the main lake this morning one group of passing large gulls contained 2 Black-headed Gulls and these continued on with the larger birds
- Kingfisher again
- a Raven over here as well as the lake

Birds noted flying over
- 2 Black-headed Gulls
- 88 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull
- 1 Raven

The counts from the water
- 4 + 2 Mute Swans (see notes)
- 5 Canada Geese still
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 33 (23♂) Mallard
- 42 (23♂) Tufted Duck
- 2 (1♂) Goosander
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 5 Moorhens
- 19 Coots
- 51 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull

Here is one of the Mute Swan visitors – identified as orange 17H thanks to the camera. I could never have read it with binoculars.

Here is the other one being given a hard time. 


And now we have its identity too – blue 7HLP.

Closing in!

The light is not very good at this time of year but this Moorhen shows little sign of adult plumage. Compared with all the 35+ birds at the lake which all have red shields on the bill this is very immature-looking bird. Perhaps just from a late brood? Perhaps some genetic problem at so late a day?

(Ed Wilson)


Devil's Dingle: 10:30

30 Teal
4 Raven

(John Isherwood)


Holmer Lake: 11:30

15 Goosander

(John Isherwood)

On this day in 2005, 2006, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014
Priorslee Lake

Today's Report Here
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Scaup imm/fem
4 Yellow-legged Gull
(Gary Crowder)

Priorslee Lake
3 Yellow legged Gull
8 Great Black-backed Gulls
1 duck Gadwall
3 Goosander
4 Teal
1 Wigeon
1 Redshank
8 Pochard.
55 Tufted Ducks 
1 Water Rail
172 Coots.
4 Great Black-backed Gulls . 
36 Redwings
42 Fieldfares
453 Jackdaws
64 Rooks
(John Isherwood/Roger Clay/Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock Pool
35 Mute Swans
1 drake Wigeon
1 duck Goldeneye
2 drake Shoveler
40 Tufted Duck
1 Common Gull
6 Herring Gull
163 Lesser Black-backed Gull
128 Black-headed Gull
2 Great Black-backed Gulls
165 Coot
Lesser Black-backed Gull with a Dark Blue ring with Orange [red] numbers 567. This bird bred in Germany. 
(Martin Grant/Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Adult Caspian Gull
(Tom Lowe)

Priorslee Lake
Black necked Grebe
1 Great Black-backed Gull
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake
5 Cormorants
18 Pochard
56 Tufted Ducks
27 Robins
23 Blackbirds
3 Fieldfares
2 Redwings
1 Willow Tit
2 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Water Rail
750 Black-headed Gulls
1000 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
1 Little Grebes
5 Great Crested Grebes
15 Pochard
27 Tufted Duck
2 Redpolls
25 Siskins
15 Pied Wagtails
2 Redwings
32 Fieldfares
5 Reed Buntings
13 Robins
18 Blackbirds
11 Greenfinches
(Ed Wilson)