17 Nov 16

Priorslee Lake: 07:20 – 09:30

Sunrise: 07:36 GMT

Well it may have been a supermoon once: just an ordinary waning gibbous moon by this morning.

4°C > 7°C: Clearing after late night showers; then heavy showers inbound from the W as I was leaving. Moderate SW wind. Very good visibility

A first winter drake (Greater) Scaup now at The Flash: not entirely sure it is the same bird though

Best today were again Goosanders, seen apparently flying away from The Flash: a party of 11 (at least 3 drakes) flew S to the W at 08:45; a few minutes later another drake did the same and then turned E to pass high over the lake. None seen when I visited The Flash later

(150th visit of the year)

Notes from today
- another pair of Gadwall today
- a drake Shoveler was new in: was having nothing to do with the duck Shoveler, that still present today, and with the Mallard
- 76 of the 138 Wood Pigeons flying N overhead in 5 groups
- checked the plants still in flower this morning and located:
Daisy (Bellis perennis)
Common Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris formerly Senecio jacobaea)
Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Wild Angelica (Angelica sylvestris)
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
Dandelion sp. (probably Taraxacum officinale)
Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus acris)
One as yest unidentified but possibly Zigzag Clover (Trifolium medium)
I would have thought this number was unusual at this date. The Red Clover is about over – I could find a single red flower, all the other heads seemed to have been frosted

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 12 (4??) Goosander
- 8 Black-headed Gulls
- 47 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 3 Herring Gulls
- 12 Feral Pigeons (2 groups)
- 2 Stock Doves (singles)
- 138 Wood Pigeons
- 5 Jackdaws
- 1 Rook
- 21 Starlings (4 groups)
- 17 Fieldfare (4 groups)
- 7 Redwing (1 group)
- 2 Pied Wagtails again
- 2 Greenfinches
- 2 Goldfinches
- 2 Siskins
- 1 Linnet
- 12 unidentified finches (5 singles / small groups)

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 4 (2?) Gadwall
- 12 (7?) Mallard again
- 2 (1?) Shoveler (see notes)
- 6 (6?) Pochard remain
- 87 (48?) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron
- 1 Little Grebe again
- 8 Great Crested Grebes remain
- 9 Moorhens
- 71 Coots
- c.110 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull

The drake Shoveler new in: had nothing to do with the still-present duck.

The drake Goosander overhead.

A Song Thrush of course: looks quite normal here, but ...

... head-on the shape of the head is rather unexpected.

A Goldfinch gets tucked in to a tasty Alder cone.

... and a female Siskin does the same.

a male Siskin ponders

While looking for plants that were still in flower I came across these alongside the Wesley Brook. Consulting my reference books the best I have come up with is that it might be the last gasp of the flowers of Zigzag Clover (Trifolium medium) – the leaf shape seems a reasonable match. The site is where Teece Drive was remodelled to allow access to the Holy Trinity Academy so it may be this was in soil brought from elsewhere. Any help would be appreciated.

Still not too late to find Autumn colours. Harry Warren and Al Dubin wrote “The leaves of brown came tumbling down, remember in September in the rain” so they were either not very observant or climate change has had a dramatic effect!

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 09:35 – 10:00

(110th visit of the year)

The sun was on the bank of Ivy this morning and despite a very cool breeze blowing across it and an apparent lack of any nectar / pollen (the insects were darting about) I noted
- at least 2 wasps
- 2 different species of hoverfly, one an Eristalis sp. with other probably a Melanostoma sp.
- at least 3 different (unidentified) species of fly
Remarkable for mid-November

Birds noted flying over
- 18 Redwings

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 1 Canada Goose
- 1 all white feral goose
- 28 (20?) Mallard
- 46 (30?) Tufted Ducks
- 1 (1?) (Greater) Scaup (as highlighted)
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Moorhen again
- 14 Coots
- 30 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

The first-winter drake (Greater Scaup) seems to have moved here. Stayed asleep throughout. I have to say that this closer view makes it look rather a different bird with more vermiculations on the back.

Another view.

I wanted it to turn around but this was as far as it went!

But I think you would agree the vermiculations are quite extensive. It refused to show its bill for me.

Here is one of many flies on the Ivy this morning.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in ...........
Priorslee Lake
1 Wigeon 
2 Gadwall 
2 Teal 
62 Tufted Duck 
214 Coots 
9 Lapwings over 
c.210 Black-headed Gulls
c.250 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
2 Herring Gulls
7 Fieldfare
10 Redwings 
2 Siskins
1 Redpoll
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Caspian Gull
(Andy Latham)

Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
37 Pochard
55 Tufted Ducks
 >625 Black-headed Gulls
2245 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
2 Herring Gulls
1 Great Black-backed Gull
424 Wood Pigeons
23 Blackbirds
374 Fieldfares
58 Redwings
379 Jackdaws
151 Rooks
4 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)