5 Mar 16

Priorslee Lake: 07:15 – 09:25

Sunrise: 06:45

2°C > 3°C. Overnight showers moving away to E and just broken cloud; moderate NNW wind; good visibility

(33rd visit of the year)

- today a drake and two brownhead Goosanders flew W
- 7 Cormorants is the highest count at the lake this year (a larger party flew over): as already noted not all of these seemed to be interested in fishing and were just hauled out
- 14 Great Crested Grebes confirmed today
- 3 Redwings in the trees (as well as the fly-over)
- noisy Willow Tit again

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 2 Greylag Geese (1 group)
- 3 Canada Geese (1 group)
- 3 (1♂) Goosanders
- 65 Black-headed Gulls
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 3 Jackdaws
- 2 Rooks
- 6 Starlings
- 1 Redwing
- 3 Greenfinches
- 3 Goldfinches
- 2 Siskins

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 5 (3♂) Gadwall
- 4 (2♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Pochard still here
- 14 (10♂) Tufted Ducks
- 7 Cormorants
- 2 Grey Herons
- 14 Great Crested Grebes
- 25 Moorhens
- 60, exactly, Coots
- 12 Black-headed Gulls
- 7 Herring Gulls

Not my best but proof that you can see the Sky Lark singing over the fields to the E of Castle Farm Way when standing on the dam. The wing shape and short tail help identify when you cannot hear the song.

Five of this morning’s Cormorants crowd one of the boat launching platforms. The right-hand bird has much white on its head; the next in line is a brown immature bird; and next to that a bird with the breeding thigh patch but little in the way of head plumes. Rather extreme range, I took the photo because with binoculars I was not sure whether there were four or five birds.

And three of them rather closer after a dog had put them in to the water.

The same three departing: [four Tufted Duck (three drakes), three Coots, three Moorhens and three black blobs in the distance].

Two first-year Herring Gulls having a tussle, though I am not sure whatever they were battling with was edible. Wings, legs and bill all thrown in to the action!

The victor with its spoils.

But promptly proceeded to ‘play’ with it, deliberately dropping it and inviting another scrap.

A nice crisp shot of a flying first-year Herring Gull

Possibly even better: a different individual.

The light catches one underwing of a Buzzard to reveal the patterning. A very variable species but almost all birds show the darker crescent across the breast which is not shown on any other raptor (bird of prey) likely to be seen in the UK.

An attempted landing in the top of a pine tree. A pair of Magpies thought it was too close to their nest and soon shooed it away [the other bird is a Mistle Thrush on its song-perch].

As it flies away and we can see from the crop that it is evident that this Buzzard is not hungry.
Peace at last.

Was pleased to get this shot through a narrow window. Willow Tits can often look like proto ‘angry-birds’.
In song like this it would have been an even better picture, but sadly it is not quite sharp.

Another big thrush, almost Mistle Thrush size, is the Fieldfare. Not the best angle but does show the prominent grey rump that is often obvious in flight. The flight action of this species is a good way to identifying this thrush. It undulates like a Mistle Thrush but is less unhurried. It also is often in large numbers whereas Mistle Thrushes are rarely in anything other than family groups, except for some reason in late summer when Fieldfares would not have arrived from Northern Europe.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 09:35 – 09:55

(22nd visit of the year)

Nothing to highlight

Birds noted flying over

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 2 Greylag Geese
- 20 Canada Geese
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 22 (14♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Pochard
- 21 (12♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 (0♂) Goosander
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 6 Moorhens
- 17 Coots
- 13 Black-headed Gulls
- 2 Herring Gulls

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013 and 2015
Priorslee Lake

Today's Sightings Here


Horsehay Pool
4 Great Crested Grebes
20 Goosander
1 Glaucous Gull
1 Yellow-legged Gull
(Paul King)

Priorslee Lake
4 Great Crested Grebes
2 Pochard
21 Tufted Duck 
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Flash
2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers
4 Great Crested Grebes
8 Pochard
51 Tufted Duck 
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
5 Great Crested Grebes 
1 Heron 
6 Gadwall
28 Pochard
57 Tufted Duck
c.1000 Black-headed Gulls
55 Magpies
1 Linnet
2 Siskin
12 Reed Bunting
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Glaucous Gull
c.200 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
c.10 Herring Gulls
2 Common Gulls
9 Mute Swans
12 Tufted Duck
8 Great Crested Grebe
(Mike Cooper)

Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
7 Great Crested Grebes
2 Herons
1 Cormorant
11 Pochard
90 Tufted Ducks
1 Water Rail
607 Wood Pigeon
11 Greenfinches
23 Siskins
5 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)