11 Mar 16

Priorslee Lake: 07:15 – 09:35

Sunrise: 06:31

c.-3°C > +5°C: Frosty and misty start soon warming up but staying rather hazy. Calm, then light SE. Poor visibility, becoming moderate

Two highlights this morning
- 2 Oystercatchers, perhaps a pair, on the grass in front of the yacht club shelter. Tempting to think they may be the same birds that spent six weeks in the area last Spring

- Reed Bunting singing at The Flash. Yesterday perhaps the same bird was singing at the lower pool between the lake and The Flash

(37th visit of the year)

- the 3 Cormorants at the lake may have been the party of three that flew over Oakengates while I was en route by bus
- 64 of the 89 Wood Pigeons overhead were in parties: 18 flew N and then 46 flew W though these may have been some of the, at least, 300 birds seen in trees to NE and in Ward’s Rough
- at least 4 Siskins still in the Alders
- at least 6 Linnets still around the Academy area

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 3 (2♂) Mallard
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 Stock Dove
- 89 Wood Pigeons (but again seen notes)
- 1 Jackdaw
- 1 Rooks
- 2 Pied Wagtails
- 1 Sky Lark again
- 3 Redwings
- 1 Starling
- 1 Greenfinch
- 1 Goldfinches
- 1 Siskin

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 4 (2♂) Gadwall again
- 5 (3♂) Mallard
- 14 (9♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Oystercatchers
- 1 Grey Heron
- 3 Cormorants
- 11 Great Crested Grebes again
- 21 Moorhens
- 72 Coots
- 11 Black-headed Gulls
- 8 Herring Gulls

A distinctly misty start this morning – this is along the S side. Luckily soon cleared.

Here is the view from the N side during the clearance. Stayed rather hazy.

None of the Song Thrushes is singing in the open where I can get a shot of its bill wide open, so this non-singing bird will have to suffice.

For comparison a singing Mistle Thrush – sorry about the small branch. When I repositioned to get rid of it the bird got rather agitated and flew off. Note the different shape of the spots and the prominent white edges to the flight feathers.

Completing the trio of thrushes here is, most unusually, a Redwing sitting proudly atop a tree. Normally they will sit some feet from the very top.

A fine Greenfinch in the morning sun. Breeding plumage males always look rather fierce with the black mask.

One of the two singing Reed Buntings this morning: this along the N side.

Another view.

Here is one of the two Oystercatchers (with a drake Tufted Duck).

And here is the two birds. The faint white chin-strap on the closer bird indicates it is an adult that has yet to moult in to full summer plumage. Had it been a first-year bird the bill would have a black tip (the black mark is halfway along this bird’s bill and is just mud); and the back would be dark grey rather than black like its companion.

I know I have taken plenty of Siskin shots but as long as they pose I’ll take more! A female.

And a male in fairly typical pose. I suppose they don’t get a rush of blood to the head doing this.

“yes it is a Canon camera I’m pointing at you”.

“still pointing it?”

And the pair – why don’t they get neck-ache?

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 09:45 – 10:05

(25th visit of the year)

- 2 Cormorants this morning, just perhaps a third
- more gulls here than at the lake for some reason
- no idea why the Moorhen and Coot numbers are so variable here – I look in the same places every day

Birds noted flying over
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 14 Canada Geese again
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 24 (16♂) Mallard
- 18 (9♂) Tufted Duck again
- 5 (1♂) Goosander
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 2 Cormorants
- 1 Great Crested Grebe
- 3 Moorhens
- 14 Coots
- 38 Black-headed Gulls
- 5 Herring Gulls

This is the male Reed Bunting that was singing alongside Derwent Drive this morning.

One of the Cormorants here today, this one an immature and, judging by the extent of the white probably a first year bird. Although it looks quite grey that is at least in part due to the angle of the light (the shape behind is not a turtle but the front half of a duck Mallard with its head submerged!)

Fine lighting on this duck Goosander.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here


1 Common Sandpiper
Green Sandpiper


(J Reeves)

Priorslee Lake

10 Pochard
25 Tufted Duck
1 Chiffchaff singing
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Village
2 Redwing
Frog spawn
(Martin Adlam)

The Flash
Great Crested Grebe 5
31 Tufted Duck
10 Goosander

(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake

8 Linnets
15 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake

6 Cormorant
17 Tufted Duck
29 Wren
35 Robin
25 Blackbird
14 Redwing
Chiffchaff singing
47 Magpie
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake

6 Great Crested Grebes
1 Shelduck
6 Pochard
40 Tufted Ducks
1 Goldeneye
1 Goosander
1 Ruddy Duck
114 Coots
1 Water Rail
221 Lesser-black Backed Gulls
c.500 Black-headed Gulls
5 Herring Gull
4 Yellow-legged Gulls
1 Common Gull
159 Jackdaws
c.80 Fieldfares
12 Redwings
10 Greenfinches
3 Siskins
3 Redpoll
4 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson, Martin Adlam)