9 Dec 15

Priorslee Lake: 06:54 – 09:59

Telford sunrise: 08:09

3.0°C > 8.5°C. Clear start, just frosted in shelter of moderate S wind. Low cloud for a while around dawn then scattered cloud. Very good visibility

I read on the Belvide Blog Here, that gulls are in very low numbers there as well.

(150th visit of the year)

Potentially the best sighting was the mammal that walked along the edge of the water just after 07:00. I only glimpsed this as it was disappearing in the undergrowth but I am fairly certain from the way it moved it was not a Fox and either a Mink or an Otter and on size it would have to been an Otter

- concentrated on the Magpie roost this morning so most of the geese would have passed unseen far to the N
- many ducks flying around pre-dawn included at least 3 pairs of Mallard that seemed to leave and then return. Four smaller ducks that were not diving ducks (e.g. Tufted Ducks) were also seen leaving, though when I did the counts later there were 4 MORE Gadwall than I recorded yesterday
- note sure about the Shoveler this morning: I think it might have been an effect of the low winter sun but it looked like a drake this morning: it stayed asleep so hard to be sure
- a Water Rail was seen in the Wesley Brook this morning
- no large party of Jackdaws seen or heard this morning again
- Starlings were muttering in the reeds when I arrived with the big group of at least 500 birds not flying out until 07:66
- in addition to the 17 Redwings leaving roosts there were 5 more in the trees
- 7 Siskins in the trees: the birds recorded flying over were some 45 minutes earlier, but could have returned
- single Winter Moth and a new Mottled Umber moth this morning
- Red Campion and what seemed to be female Hazel (Corylus avellana) flowers noted (as well as the Ragwort and Common Hogweed)

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 21 Canada Geese (1 party)
- 46 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 6 Herring Gulls
- 396 Jackdaws
- 12 Rooks
- 3 Pied Wagtails
- 6 Feral Pigeons (2 groups)
- 1 Stock Dove
- 15 Wood Pigeons (1 party)
- 8 Fieldfare (2 groups)
- 4 Starlings (singles)
- 4 Greenfinches
- 5 Siskins

Birds seen leaving roosts around the lake

- 79 Magpies
- >500 Starlings
- 17 Redwings
- 9 Reed Buntings

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 13 (7♂) Gadwall (see notes)
- 12 (6♂) Mallard
- 1 (0?♂) Shoveler
- 5 (4♂) Pochard again
- 69 (?♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Grey Herons
- 1 Little Grebe again
- 11 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Water Rail
- 37 Moorhens
- 254 Coots
- c.100 Black-headed Gulls
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

For a time an area of low cloud threatened to spoil the day. But it improved the sunrise.

Not at all sure about this: there were two of these on the same lamp this morning. They seem to be beetles but a strange date and I can find nothing on the web that looks like these.

This is a particularly well-marked example of a Winter Moth.

Yet another variation of Mottled Umber moth. The prominent spot in each forewing precludes any other species flying in winter.

This is Red Campion (Silene dioica) flower. It is not too unusual to see this plant in flower in winter, but I am sure the recent mild spell has helped.

I think might be the female flower of a Hazel (Corylus avellana) shrub. Please tell me if you know otherwise!
A Redwing of course.

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 10:01 – 10:30

(103rd visit of the year)

Other notes
- 1 of the cygnets missing this morning – the remaining birds are the one without a Darvic ring and the bird whose ring ends ‘V’ – the numbers have already worn off!
- all yesterday’s additional dabbling ducks have gone
- with food on offer this morning all the Mallard were tempted from wherever they and gathered alongside Derwent Drive: hence the high number

Birds noted flying over
- 2 Buzzards
- 1 Sparrowhawk
- 9 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

The counts from the water
- 2 + 2 Mute Swans
- 5 Canada Geese again
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 48 (29♂) Mallard
- 43 (24♂) Tufted Duck
- 10 (5♂) Goosander
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 4 Moorhens
- 18 Coots
- 64 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 1 Herring Gull

Here we see the different upperwing pattern of drake (the centre bird) and duck (the other two) Goosander. Eclipse drakes have similar body plumage to ducks but retain the more extensive white in the upperwing. Immature males soon acquire white median coverts on the upper wing. So we are safe to describe this trio as a drake and two ducks (rather than use the less prescriptive epithet ‘ brownhead’).

(Ed Wilson)
On this day in 2005, 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2014
Priorslee Lake

Today's Report Here
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe.
1 Little Egret
3 Gadwall
3 Pochard.
34 Tufted Ducks
169 Coots
c.233 Wood Pigeons
6 Redwings
1 Fieldfare.
c.800 Jackdaws
137 Rooks.
16 Siskins
2 Linnets
1 Redpoll
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock Pool
39 Tufted Duck.
1 Goldeneye.
162 Coots counted again.
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe 
4 Great Crested Grebes
38 Swans
34 Pochard
45 Tufted Ducks
2 Water Rails
c.1800 Black-headed Gulls
210 Lesser Black-backs
8 Herring Gulls
1 Great Black-backed Gull 
14 Redwings
1 Siskin flew over
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
12 Pochard
56 Tufted Ducks
1 drake Ruddy Ducks
2 Goosanders
3 Lapwings
1 Snipe
>1700 Black-headed Gulls
865 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
22 Robins
22 Blackbirds
6 Redwings
243 Jackdaws
133 Rooks
1 Brambling
4 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
2500 Black-headed Gulls
250 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
2 Little Grebes
11 Pochard
34 Tufted Duck
237 Coot
2 Redpolls
24 Siskins
2 Redwings
3 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)