1 Mar 16

Priorslee Lake:  15:55 – 17:30

c.12°C. High cloud increasing from W after broken clouds to start; moderate / fresh W wind; good visibility

Avoided the very wet start to the day with an afternoon / evening visit

(30th visit of the year)

- the Little Grebe showed no sign of breeding plumage and therefore is possibly a different bird to the 1 or 2 birds last logged over a week ago
- only 11 Great Crested Grebes logged – others perhaps sheltering in the reeds?
- >600 Black-headed Gulls on the water with continual small numbers arriving and departing before they all started to move off after 17:00
- corvids returning to roost in the evening do so in much smaller groups over a protracted period and across a wider range of flight-paths than when outbound at dawn. But oddly this afternoon I logged 23 Jackdaws and 42 Rooks – indeed most of the Rooks – going the ‘wrong way’ and southbound as if it were the morning
- at least 1 Redwing in the trees
- two Pied Wagtails were flushed from the dam – my first here for many weeks. Later another flew over
- 1 Linnet in the trees by the Academy

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 5 Canada Geese (1 group)
- 1 Cormorant
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 13 Herring Gulls
- 263 Jackdaws
- 56 Rooks
- 1 Pied Wagtail

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 5 (3♂) Gadwall still here
- 2 (1♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Pochard
- 11 (8♂) Tufted Ducks again
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 Little Grebe
- 11 Great Crested Grebes only
- 25 Moorhens
- 69 Coots
- >600 Black-headed Gulls
- 10 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 4 Herring Gulls

Part of the flock of c.600 Black-headed Gulls this afternoon [3 Tufted Duck and a Coot as well].

Here some of the flock are leaving toward dusk. Can you spot the 2nd year Herring Gull still on the water in the group?

This should make it easier!

These adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls have all lost their winter head-streaking and now look smart and ready for the breeding season.

‘Like water off a duck’s back’ except it is a Great Crested Grebe of course. Real waterproofing.

If you are slightly jaded by the sunrise photos here is something different – an evening pre-sunset view.

  (Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 15:10 – 15:45

(20th visit of the year)

- in addition (?) to the two Buzzards over the lake (strictly they were ‘hanging’ in to wind) two Crows were seen chasing a Buzzard low over the houses with all three birds below roof-top level
- in addition to the 4 Moorhens on The Flash there were single birds on both the pools between The Flash and the lake

Birds noted flying over
- 2 Buzzards
- 14 Jackdaws
- 2 Goldfinches
- 1 Siskin

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 14 Canada Geese
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 23 (14♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Pochard again
- 15 (10♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 4 Moorhens
- 24 Coots
- 38 Black-headed Gulls

One of the Buzzards ‘hanging’ overhead closing its wings from time to time to prevent the strong wind lifting it aloft or blowing it backwards. Note the single well-barred feather in the middle of the right wing – I assume this is a retained immature feather on an otherwise (near?) adult bird.

An adult Black-headed Gull almost in summer / breeding plumage coming in to land. Note some of the feathers on the mantle and the inner wing are elevated – in aviation terms these parts of the bird are effectively ‘stalled’ and not contributing any aerodynamic lift and cannot be used to control the flight, all that being done by the outer wings.

Moments later as it touches down we note that the all the visible secondaries are ‘stalled’.
At, literally, splash-down gravity takes over and the feathers are smooth again.

In flight it appears the wing-tips of Magpies are white, but the picture reveals the white feathers are in fact tipped black.

(Ed Wilson)
On this day in 2006, 2009, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015
Priorslee Lake

Today's Sightings Here


Shirlett High Park
16 Crossbills
(Yvonne C)

Priorslee Lake
1 Yellow-legged Gull
(JW Reeves)

Horsehay Pool 
1 Yellow-legged Gull
(JW Reeves)

Priorslee Lake

4 Great Crested Grebes
2 Pochard
17 Tufted Duck 
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock
3 Pochard
50 Tufted Duck 
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake

2 Gadwall
1 Water Rail
4 Linnets
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake

10 Great Crested Grebes
4 Heron
3 Cormorants
5 Pochard
26 Tufted Ducks
107 Coots
2 Water Rails
606 Wood Pigeon
334 Jackdaws
156 Rooks
25 Starlings
11 Pied Wagtails
21 Fieldfare
1 Redwing
1 Willow Tit
26 Starlings
10 Greenfinches
69 Siskins
3 Redpolls
9 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)