5 Feb 16

Priorslee Lake: 07:10 – 09:25

Telford sunrise: 07:46

9.0°C > 10.0°C. Mostly cloudy with a few brighter bits. Moderate / fresh SSW wind. Very good visibility. Mild again

Arrival as early as possible by public transport so in different areas of the lake from usual visits. This probably accounts for some differences in numbers.

(14th visit of the year)

New species for my year-list at this site were the small Lesser Canada Goose (over), Sparrowhawk (over) and Great Black-backed Gull (also new for me for the year anywhere)

Other notes
- very many Canada Geese this morning, mainly in small groups. Many different flight-lines being used but with the strong wind behind them they were flying rather erratically anyway so hard to know where they were coming from or going to. One small-looking Canada Goose in with one group likely to have been the Lesser Canada Goose sp.
- two fewer Great Crested Grebes counted this morning. However two separate birds were sitting quietly alongside the reeds and this might indicate a mate already on a nest somewhere inside the reeds
- Little Grebe flushed along the N side: thereafter not seen. Likely to have been present throughout (last recorded on 24 January)
- two Kingfishers again this morning
- 4 of the 5 Song Thrushes were in song
- Mistle Thrush also heard in song
- in addition to the 12 fly-over Redwings at least 2 were in the trees at the W end later
- no Starling roost noted but probably in the wrong place: one of the dog-walkers reported seeing c.500 birds in a murmuration on several recent evenings
- one of the 9 Greenfinches around the lake heard making its long unmusical wheezy song for the first time this year

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 3 Greylag Geese (1 group)
- 122 Canada Geese (17 groups)
- 1 probable small race Canada Goose sp.
- 1 Sparrowhawk
- 39 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Herring Gulls
- 1 Stock Dove
- 2 Feral Pigeons
- c.250 Wood Pigeons (over fields to E)
- 12 Redwings
- c.480 Jackdaws
- c.115 Rooks
- 4 Pied Wagtails
- 3 Greenfinches
- 8 Goldfinch
- 1 Siskin

Birds seen leaving roosts around the lake
- 47 Magpies (partial count)

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 5 (3♂) Gadwall
- 2 (1♂) Mallard
- 20 (17♂) Pochard
- 30 (11♂) Tufted Ducks
- 4 Cormorants
- 2 Grey Heron
- 1 Little Grebe
- 15 Great Crested Grebes
- 27 Moorhens
- 89 Coots
- 72 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 6 Herring Gulls
- 1 Great Black-backed Gull

Rather a lot going on here. Centre-stage is a Great Black-backed Gull. Behind it is a Herring Gull-type with a rather dark-toned mantle, though I think from the amount of streaking on the head this is likely to be bird of the darker (and larger) Scandinavian population rather than the hoped for Yellow-legged Gull. The much smaller Herring Gull in front of the Great Black-backed Gull has the neat appearance of a Yellow-legged Gull but the mantle-tone looks like an ordinary Herring Gull and indeed adults of this species will be losing their head-streaking rapidly now as they begin to come in to breeding condition. A blizzard of Tufted Duck has been caught flying through; a Coot looks on; and we can just see 4 drake Pochard against the reeds at the top left.

This would seem to clinch the smaller Herring Gull in front of the Great Black-backed Gull as being just that – it has pink legs!

Compare and contrast time. Horrible lighting conditions but we see how much larger a Mistle Thrush is than a Redwing. The Redwing is slightly further away from me but not significantly so. Note how the Mistle Thrush’s shows a small head on a thin neck whereas the Redwing's head and neck are just an extension of the body (Redwing is just about the same size as Song Thrush).
(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 09:35 – 10:00

(10th visit of the year)

New species for my year-list at this site were Sparrowhawk, Collared Dove (over), Coal Tit (in song), and Siskin (over)

- 2 of the 6 Ravens had very scruffy-looking and worn wings

Birds noted flying over
- 1 Buzzard
- 1 Sparrowhawk
- 19 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull
- 3 Collared Doves
- 6 Ravens
- 1 Siskin

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 4 Canada Geese
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 32 (21♂) Mallard
- 69 (41♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 3 Moorhens
- 15 Coots
- 46 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2006, 2007, 2008, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014
Priorslee Lake

Velvet Scoter
3 Scaup
(Observer Unknown)

Priorslee Lake

10 Gadwall
29 Wigeon
Caspian Gull
2 Yellow-legged Gull
7 Great Black-backed Gulls
(John Isherwood, Kris Webb)

The Flash
2 Goosander
(John Isherwood)

Holmer Lake
13 Goosander
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake

4 Great Crested Grebes
11 Pochard
65 Tufted Duck
c.50 Lapwings
c.300 Black-headed Gulls
c.400 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
c.50 Herring Gulls
1 Glaucous Gull
1 Common Gull
(Ed Wilson / Jim Almond)

Priorslee Lake

9 Pochard
>1000 Black-headed Gulls
82 Herring Gulls
1 Glaucous Gull
2 Yellow-legged Gulls
>500 Wood Pigeons
248 Jackdaws
211 Rooks logged
1 Redpoll
(JW Reeves, Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake

102 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
1 Yellow-legged Gull
9 Herring Gulls
(Martin Adlam)

Priorslee Lake

1 Little Grebe
12 Pochard
57 Tufted Ducks
2 Water Rails
32 Robins
26 Blackbirds
13 Song Thrushes
4 Redwings
2 Willow Tits
11 Greenfinches
3 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake

c.850 Black-headed Gulls
8 Great Crested Grebes
2 Gadwall
20 Pochard
85 Tufted Ducks
163 Coots
20 Robins
22 Blackbirds
10 Song Thrushes
1 Willow Tit
13 Greenfinches
10 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)