24 Mar 16

Priorslee Lake:  07:15 – 09:55

Sunrise: 06:01

6°C > 8°C: High overcast, scattered below, lowering with rain after 08:45; moderate SW wind; very good visibility, becoming good at onset of rain

(47th visit of the year)

Nothing to highlight this morning. A slightly extended stay to see if the onset of the rain brought anything to visit: it didn’t!

- an additional drake Gadwall today
- [one of the fishermen reported seeing the Little Grebe yesterday so I expect it is still around but usually keeping in cover]
- with fishermen occupying the SW grass there was no obvious area for the Moorhens to feed in the open: so they were hard to see and count this morning
- none of the gulls ever looked like landing on the water, with a few of the Herring Gulls pausing to have a closer look before continuing
- 20 of the Wood Pigeons flying over were in small groups very high up and flying N – an unusual direction and the obverse to the large parties that fly high over in early November
- at least 14 Crows seen together on the wires to the ESE
- in addition to the 16 Redwings over there were at least another 5 in trees around the lake
- the Cetti’s Warbler had relocated to the E end of the N side today

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 1 Cormorant
- 2 Black-headed Gulls
- 11 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 7 Herring Gulls
- 2 Feral Pigeons
- 2 Stock Doves
- 41 Wood Pigeons
- 3 Jackdaws again
- 5 Rooks
- 16 Redwings
- 4 Pied Wagtails
- 5 Meadow Pipits
- 6 Greenfinches
- 5 Goldfinches
- 3 Siskins

Singing warblers around the lake
- 1 Cetti’s Warbler again
- 3 Chiffchaffs again

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 6 (4♂) Gadwall
- 4 (3♂) Mallard again
- 12 (8♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Cormorant again
- 13 Great Crested Grebes
- 10 Moorhens
- 68 Coots

I spent some time with this Willow Tit around the lake this morning. Between spells of searching for food it calls incessantly – not the buzzy nasal call or the sad Wood Warbler-like notes, but what seems to be an advertising call rather than a territorial call. At no time did I see or hear any indication of another bird with it. I suspect that this is a lone male of this rapidly declining species and that he has so far failed to find a mate – and probably failed to do so last year as well.

Here he is calling. Not easy to capture this active bird against the light and in rather poor conditions. At least it was before the rain started.

Here he attacks the end of a broken and lichen-covered twig. This may well be the only bird of this species in Shropshire other than a few(?) pairs on The Wrekin.

And is typically acrobatic in doing so

This shows the rather diffuse and large bib of this species – smaller and neater on Marsh Tit

I include this one only to point out how obvious the pale panel in the wing can be – when it was hardly noticeable in the previous shots.

My last word on the subject (until we get better light).

(Ed Wilson)


Woodhouse Lane: 08:45 – 08:55

Some notes:
Very quiet again but only a quick visit as the rain started
- 1 additional singing Chiffchaff
- 2 Sky Larks in song again
- 1 Reed Bunting: a male flew in to trees around the sluice calling. Birds have bred in the rape fields here for the last few years. As yet the crop is too small for breeding activity

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in .....................
Priorslee Lake

7 Chiffchaffs
1 Little Grebe
4 Great Crested Grebes
5 Cormorants
1 Grey Heron
19 Tufted Duck
3 Buzzard
30 Fieldfares
5 Redwings
7 Chiffchaffs
>700 Jackdaws
1 Raven
1 Marsh Tit
(Ed Wilson, Martin Grant)

The Flash
2 Great Crested Grebes
2 Common Teal
50 Tufted Ducks
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake

1 Little Grebe
3 Great Crested Grebe
7 Wigeon
2 Gadwall
37 Tufted Ducks
c.180 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
c.50 Herring Gulls
2 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake

11 Pied Wagtail
2 Redwings
Willow Warbler
4 Chiffchaffs singing
12 Linnets
1 Siskin
4 Great Crested Grebe
2 Gadwall
28 Tufted Duck
c.225 Jackdaws
(Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
3 Wheatears
(Ian Grant)

The Flash
4 Great Crested Grebes
46 Tufted Duck
2 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake

4 Great Crested Grebe
25 Tufted Duck
1 Ruddy Duck
1 Sky Lark
1 Sand Martin
28 Wren
20 Robin
33 Blackbird
1 Redwing
3 Chiffchaff
32 Magpie
117 Jackdaw
4 Greenfinch
6 Reed Bunting
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Village
(Martin Adlam)

Nedge Hill
3 Sky Lark
1 Chiffchaff
3 Greenfinch
6 Yellowhammer
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
6 Great Crested Grebe
2 Pochard
22 Tufted Duck
2 Chiffchaff
1 Reed Bunting
(Ed Wilson)