11 Nov 16

Priorslee Lake: 07:25 – 10:05

Sunrise: 07:25 GMT

-2°C > 8°C: Clear and frosty with some increasing high cloud from SW. Calm start with light SSE breeze later. Very good visibility with a few low-level misty bits

No real highlights today and lower number of most things on and around the lake for no obvious reason

(146th visit of the year)

Notes from today
- very low number of Black-headed Gulls this morning
- no significant passage of large gulls – all Lesser Black-backs this morning were mainly singles or groups of 2 to 5
- just 8 Lapwings very low over the lake: did not see where they went and whether in fact they landed
- 658 of the over flying Wood Pigeons were in the 40 migrant groups: again moving between NW and NE. Many of the groups quite small, the largest contained 61 birds
- as many as 5 Goldcrests this morning: as with the Chiffchaffs it is hard to know whether some birds move along with the roving tit parties and could be encountered several time
- a Mistle Thrush had a quick sing again
- as well as the identified overflights at least 13 more ‘finches’ were seen out of earshot
- no moths on the lamps today

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 2 Canada Geese
- 3 (3♂) Goosander
- 2 Cormorants
- 80 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Stock Dove
- 682 Wood Pigeons (40 groups)
- 16 Jackdaws
- 10 Rooks
- 1 Skylark
- 9 Starlings (5 singles / groups)
- 68 Fieldfare (6 groups)
- 3 Redwings (2 groups)
- 1 Pied Wagtail
- 1 Meadow Pipit again
- 1 Greenfinch
- 2 Goldfinches
- 2 Siskins
- 13 unidentified finches

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 4 (2♂) Gadwall
- 6 (4♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Pochard
- 46 (29♂) Tufted Ducks
- 8 Lapwings
- 1 Grey Heron again
- 1 Little Grebe
- 7 Great Crested Grebes only
- 9 Moorhens
- 61 Coots
- 23 Black-headed Gulls only
- 8 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

The sunrise with the sky streaked with vapour trails of aircraft arriving overnight from the US.

A sleeping family: not entirely sure why the nearest adult had brown marks in its wing.

How’s that work them? the reflections of these Great Crested Grebes are sharper than the real birds!

That’s better: looks like he nearer bird is an immature with a shorter bill and less feathering on the crown.

I know it is only a Blue Tit but posed in the early sun worth a shot.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock: 11:25 – 12:15

(4th visit of the year)

Another visit so soon? Was impressed by the ease of seeing and photographing gulls – they seem less concerned about people on the adjacent footpath than they do at Priorslee Lake

- did I mess-count the number of cygnets on my last visit – only 3 today
- the gulls were coming and going again and probably more than double the number of individuals were involved: highest ‘instant’ count quoted
- a Kingfisher shot by
- a Grey Wagtail was in the Blue Pig car park

The counts from the water
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 19 Canada Geese
- 4 (2♂) Mallard
- 25 (8♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Great Crested Grebe
- 7 Moorhens
- 63 Coots
- 62 Black-headed Gulls
- 52 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 5 Herring Gulls again

A Common Buzzard being harassed by the local Carrion Crows.

Typical adult winter Herring Gull.

Typical 2nd winter Herring Gull: the amount of black on the bill is a good guide as the moult on the mantle and the wings can be rather variable.

Typical 1st winter Herring Gull with the pale grey mantle feathers extensively edged brown.

Same bird: here we can see ‘up its chuff’ courtesy of the reflection and see the undertail marks.

‘Look: no body’! the same bird again: showing the underwing marks.

This is probably a different 1st winter Herring Gull though the difference in underwing markings is due to the angle of the light. On a Lesser Black-backed Gull the rump would be less marked and have a darker and neater tail band.

And the upper-wing shows the paler ‘window’ of the back half of the inner primaries and outer secondaries.

A typical adult winter Lesser Black-backed Gull.

This bathing adult winter Lesser Black-backed Gull shows that P1 has yet to full re-grow.

We see the same in this flying shot of a different bird.

... whereas this one shows a full-grown P1.

A typical adult in flight.

And another typical adult from below: the dark shadow along the trailing edge shows no paler area at the inner primaries as would an adult Herring Gull.

To all intents and purposes the bird about to land is an adult winter Lesser Black-backed Gull: but it seems to have pink legs! Why? Pass! A 3rd winter Lesser Black-backed – the dark marks on the bill – is behind it; and an adult Herring Gull bathes behind them.

There is no doubt about it: the legs are pink (and the left foot looks damaged): however ....

It most assuredly is a Lesser Black-backed Gull.

And this is another apparently pink-legged adult Lesser Black-backed Gull.

A typical adult 2nd winter Lesser Black-backed Gull. While the mantle appears all-black there are some browner feathers visible. The iris is pale though the bill shows extensive black. The extensive head-streaking is typical.

Two Lesser Black-backed Gulls in flight (well 4 actually).

A 1st winter adult Lesser Black-backed Gull in flight

And another, this bird showing unusually uniform dark wings: the strength of the tail band is the best age indicator, The rump should show faint barring, probably ‘blown out’ by the strong sun.

And its underside ...

... here as well.

Probably a 3rd winter Lesser Black-backed Gull in flight: some black on the bill and a hint of dark tips to the outer tail-feathers.

The dark tips to the outer tail-feathers are better shown here.

Perhaps the same bird – the dark in the bill suggests 2nd winter but that should show more dark in the tail. Pink legs in sub-adults is normal.

Another pass by the same bird.

‘Look: no body again’! this is an adult winter Black-headed Gull.

And the upper wing.

Yes: thank you!

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in ...........

Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

The Wrekin
(Andy Latham)

Priorslee Lake
10 Great Crested Grebes
10 Cormorants
8 Pochard
107 Tufted Ducks
c.1600 Wood Pigeons
c.1700 Fieldfare
c.460 Redwings
359 Jackdaws
124 Rooks
105 Starlings
c.12 Siskins
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
140 Lapwings
150+ Golden Plover
1 Snipe
1 Gadwall
1 Shoveler
15 Pochard
60 Tufted Ducks
2 Water Rails
6 Meadow Pipits
21 Redwings
20 Fieldfare over
3 Goldcrests
c.400 Starlings
1 Siskin
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
28 Pochard
58 Tufted Ducks
15 Lapwings
670+ Black-headed Gulls
2008+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls
1207 Wood Pigeons
88 Fieldfare
24 Redwings
254 Jackdaws
229 Rooks
795 Starlings
10 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)