7 Mar 16

Priorslee Lake: 07:15 – 09:55

Sunrise: 06:41

c.1°C: after clear frosty night some cloud and a very light shower early before clear again; calm start with light NNW wind later; excellent visibility

(34th visit of the year)

- very few gulls at the lake today and most of those only stayed a few minutes
- a Little Grebe again. Once more I have to suspect that several different birds are lurking largely unseen: this morning it was the turn of the bird with little, if any, sign of breeding plumage to put in an appearance
- 8 Crows were seen together sitting on power lines to the SE. Conventional wisdom has Crows in singles / pairs and Rooks in groups – this shows that birds do not always obey conventional wisdom
- a Robin seen with several white wing-feathers making it look most odd in flight. Wrong place to get a picture
- a mixed party of nine small finches included Linnets, Siskins and at least 1 Redpoll. Later 4 Linnets were seen together feeding close to the Academy right alongside Teece Drive. These seemed to be different birds

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 7 Canada Geese (3 groups)
- 5 Black-headed Gulls
- 17 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 3 Herring Gulls
- 11 Jackdaws
- 2 Rooks again
- 6 Starlings again
- 5 Greenfinches
- 5 Goldfinches
- 3 Siskins

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 5 (3♂) Gadwall once more
- 6 (4♂) Mallard
- 14 (9♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 Grey Heron
- 1 Little Grebe
- 12 Great Crested Grebes
- 23 Moorhens
- 68 Coots
- 6 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 4 Herring Gulls

This promising start degenerated somewhat.

No apologies for another Jay photo – I was intrigued by the way the feet seem to be supporting the bird without it using its claws at all: just ‘balancing’ perhaps?

Its mate, I presume, seems to be holding on as I would expect.

Well, this male Siskin was there so I thought why not. Then I moved to try and get a photo of one of the females, but ...

... it was NOT a female Siskin with the wing bar and the yellow bill. The bill provides the main clue and suggests Redpoll, and moving around to a better angle ....

.. confirms it is a male, beginning to get some breeding colour on its breast as well at the red ‘poll’ that is present all year

Just enough to identify this as a Linnet – the grey head and nape, the warm brown back, the white-edged black primaries and the dark bill (the only shot where the camera was less interested in the many branches between it and me!).

Another Cormorant portrait: I find the eyes of this whole family amazing. Some are red, some are green, like the Eurasian Shag, and others, like this Cormorant, are bluish (some people would can this green!). Why? No-one seems to know. This way ...

 ... and that way – at a stretch.

Only a Great Tit but worth noting is the olive-green back of this bird. Some birds are much greyer than this. They are probably at their smartest and most colourful as the breeding season commences.

Let’s have another fine-looking Buzzard

Superb with the light shining through like this.

Different lighting on the same bird.

Very obliging with tail fully spread.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2006, 2007, 2010, 2014 and 2015
Priorslee Lake

Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
1 Yellow-legged gull.
(Gary Crowder)

Horsehay Pool
1 Iceland Gull
(Ian Grant)

Priorslee Lake
4 Wigeon dropped
2 Gadwall
5 Teal
8 Goosander
15 Pochard
40 Tufted Ducks
7 Great Crested Grebes
1 Cormorant
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
8 Great Crested Grebes
1 Cormorant
6 Gadwall
26 Pochard
5 Goosanders
62 Tufted Duck
1 Water Rail
76 Coots
62 Magpies
2 Yellowhammers
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
3 Cormorant
Grey Heron
16 Tufted Duck
Ruddy Duck
425 Wood Pigeon
Grey Wagtail
37 Robin
26 Blackbird
Song Thrush
47 Magpie
146 Jackdaw
10 Greenfinch
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
2 Little Grebe
6 Great Crested Grebes
2 Herons
4 Pochard
52 Tufted Ducks
1 Ruddy Duck
106 Coots
1 Water Rail
1 Curlew 
23 Blackbirds
11 Greenfinches
2 Siskins
3 Reed Bunting
(Ed Wilson)