19 Feb 16

Priorslee Lake: 07:15 – 09:35

Telford sunrise: 07:18

c.1.0°C > 4.0°C. Fine and frosty start, clouding from W after 10:00. Light S wind. Good visibility

Start as early as Mr. Arriva will allow!

(22nd visit of the year)

Other notes
- 2 Swans flew low over the water but were ‘dissuaded’ from landing by the threat from the resident cob
- rather more Coots this morning: better conditions for me and the ice on smaller pools may have driven some birds in
- reasonable number of Wood Pigeons over, but all singles / small parties going in all different directions
- 1 Kingfishers at least again
- the earlier dawn means the Jackdaws and Rooks have now mostly passed over before I arrive
- Coal Tit heard and seen singing in three different locations: they are now becoming very vocal but whether this was single mobile bird or different birds is hard to saw
- there were also three different parties of Long-tailed Tits: the winter groups tend to split up around now with breeding pair, often assisted by last year’s juveniles, setting up a territory rather than staying in the roaming winter parties
- 4 Redwings in the W end trees later
- at least 23 Greenfinches left the Ricoh hedge area
- Reed Bunting still in song at W end
- 1 male Dotted Border moth on the lamps

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 2 Mute Swans
- 34 Canada Goose (6 groups)
- 8 Black-headed Gulls
- 14 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 2 Stock Doves
- 67 Wood Pigeons
- 7 Jackdaws only
- 13 Rooks
- 1 Redwing
- 2 Greenfinches
- 7 Siskins

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 2 Canada Geese
- 3 (1♂) Gadwall
- 6 (4♂) Mallard]
- 9 (8♂) Pochard
- 21 (11♂) Tufted Ducks
- 3 Cormorants
- 2 Grey Herons
- 1 Little Grebe
- 18 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Water Rail
- 15 Moorhens
- 77 Coots
- 21 Black-headed Gulls

A tranquil sunrise over the lake.

This male Reed Bunting started singing here about a week ago.

The cob Swan arrives, scattering a duck Tufted Duck.

Grey Heron more or less in silhouette.

A Wren in deafening song: this species is not easy to photograph, always active and often in cover. When singing in Spring from a song-perch, as here, you often have about a minute to get your act together and get a shot.

A male Siskin here.

A Siskin compare and contrast: male on left; female on right.

A male Dotted Border moth (the female of this, and many other moth species active at this time of year) is flightless.

The ‘golden rain’ of Spring: Hazel catkins catching the early sun against the blue sky.

Great Crested Grebes
Great Crested Grebes are now beginning to display seriously.

What a splendid ‘ruff’ on this bird.

And here is a pair doing their mating dance complete with weed: the male brought a large clump and then the female took part of the clump.

And now she seems to have dropped it!

And now they both have and are having a good head-shake.

Before swimming off together.

Black-headed Gulls
I spent a little while photographing the (very few) Black-headed Gulls this morning. Plumage is changing fast at the moment and birds will soon be heading off (did they ever arrive this year?).

This Black-headed Gull well in to summer plumage: just a flew white flecks in the hood. No hint of any black in the tail.

Possibly the same, or a very similar-plumaged, bird.

This one even more so with a solid black head.

Whereas neither of these has more than a hint of the black summer hood, the black being mainly the winter ‘ear-muffs’.

A 1st winter bird still with extensive brown markings on the wings and showing little sign of moult in to 1st summer plumage.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 09:50 – 10:20

(15th visit of the year)

No ice remaining

Of note
- the small Cackling / Lesser Canada Goose was my first sighting of this bird here this year – it flew over the lake earlier in the month
- the Tufted Duck are beginning to think about moving: small groups were chasing around and flying short distances in excited groups
- Kingfisher seen again
- Nuthatch heard calling: my first at this site this year
- at least 10 Siskins in the area – they are using garden feeders in the area as well as the alder trees

Birds noted flying over
- 7 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 15 Canada Geese
- 1 small Cackling / Lesser Canada Goose
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 29 (17♂) Mallard
- 2 (1♂) Pochard
- 51 (31♂) Tufted Duck
- 2 (0♂) Goosander
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 Moorhens
- 18 Coots
- 13 Black-headed Gulls

(Ed Wilson)


On this day in 2006, 2010, 2013, 2014 and 2015
Priorslee Lake

Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake

1 Little Grebe 
1 Cormorant 
7 Pochard 
24 Tufted Duck 
5 Greater Scaup 
92 Redwings
216 Jackdaws
163 Rooks
12 Siskins
1 Yellowhammer
2 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
1 Pochard 
169 Tufted Ducks 
2 Goosanders
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock Pool
4 Great Crested Grebes 
1 Pochard 
54 Tufted Duck 
1 Goosander 
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Middle Pool
6 Tufted Duck 
3 Buzzards
(Ed Wilson)

Horsehay Pool
Iceland Gull
2 Yellow-legged Gulls
(Paul King)

Priorslee Lake

4 Great Crested Grebes 
1 Heron 
2 Teal
4 Gadwall
48 Pochard
75 Tufted Ducks
1 Goosander
1 Sparrowhawk
>500 Black-headed Gulls
>350 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
27 Herring Gulls
126 Coots 
1 Lapwing
1 Oystercatcher
2 single Redwing
16 Fieldfare
15 Siskins
3 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake

2 Gadwall
12 Pochard
16 Tufted Ducks
107 Coots
2 Water Rails
425 Wood Pigeons
1 Sky Lark
20 Robins
12 Blackbirds
17 Greenfinches
45 Siskins
1 Redpoll
4 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)