20 Nov 16

The Flash: 11:00 – 11:40

4°C > 6°C: Mainly cloudy with just a few brighter spells after rain. Moderate NW wind. Very good visibility

No early start – no early buses on Sunday and it was raining anyway

(112th visit of the year)

- my first Collared Dove in the area for nearly a month: this species seems to be more scarce these days
- first Pochard of the season, no doubt from the lake ....
- large number of Tufted Duck, probably also decamped from the lake. Enabled me to check that the first winter drake (Greater) Scaup has indeed moved on

Bird noted flying over
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 1 Canada Goose remains
- 1 all white feral goose
- 21 (16♂) Mallard
- 4 (4♂) Pochard
- 126 (67♂) Tufted Ducks
- 13 (2♂) Goosander
- 2 Great Crested Grebes remain
- 4 Moorhens again
- 16 Coots
- 28 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull as ever.

A drake Goosander with attendant Black-headed Gulls all hoping to snatch a free meal from the fishing Goosanders.

Two brownhead Goosanders. I presume the presence of a few black feathers on the back of the rearmost bird indicates it is a drake starting to moult in to adult plumage.

Side-by-side the rearmost bird looks larger. It also has a sharp division between the brown and white on the neck – this indicates it is an adult. The rather fuzzy border on the closer bird suggests a 1st winter bird.

This drake Pochard may look as if it asleep but its beady eye is watching me.

A different drake Pochard with two Tufted Ducks. The right-hand bird is clearly a drake; the left-hand bird is one of those “is it or isn’t it” a 1st drake or a duck. I would favour a drake with the flank feathers too pale for a duck, but I have been wrong before and I am sure I will again. The white undertail suggests I am and it is a duck after all!

A view of what seems to be the only two Great Crested Grebes here at the moment. It looks to me like an adult on the left with more extensive head markings; and a juvenile on the right – perhaps the juvenile raised here?

(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake: 11:50 – 13:00

(152nd visit of the year)

The yacht club were out on the lake in the chilly wind and after overnight rain. Many birds were hiding and / or had been flushed off – see The Flash totals of Tufted Duck for instance

Did not undertake my usual watch for over flying birds. Did note the large gulls passing – these were in the largest groups of the Autumn so far, not that a group of 24 would have been noteworthy a few years ago

Notes from today
- 1 drake Gadwall seems to have gone
- all the Tufted Duck had left, probably mostly to The Flash. Surprisingly some of the normally more-jumpy Pochard had decided to ‘sit it out’
- presumably other Moorhens and Coots were tucked away in the reeds

Birds noted flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 54 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Herring Gulls

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 3 (1♂) Gadwall again
- 4 (2♂) Mallard
- 4 (2♂) Pochard
- no Tufted Ducks
- 1 Little Grebe still here
- 5 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 Moorhens
- 52 Coots
- 46 Black-headed Gulls

Very good illustration of the upper wing of a 1st winter Black-headed Gull.

This adult Black-headed Gull came in with its legs extended and feet together as shown here. The camera suggests that the legs are tied together somehow. Most odd.

More inedible fruit: these are Black Bryony (Tamus communis), Could cause sickness and even paralysis if eaten by children ....
... but they look rather good!

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in ...........
Local area
Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
3 Gadwall 
8 Pochard 
15 Tufted Ducks 
149 Coots 
286 Redwings
84 Fieldfares
c.350 Jackdaws but no Rooks seen.
(Ed Wilson / John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake
42 Mute Swan
1 Wigeon
c. 45 Tufted
36 Pochard
c. 240 Coot
c. 400 Lesser Black-backed Gull
c. 120 Black-headed Gull
10 Herring Gull
3 Yellow Legged Gull
(Mike Cooper)

Priorslee Lake
1 male Stonechat showing well near to sailing club hut.
1 Gadwall
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake
31 Pochard
52 Tufted Ducks
8 Lapwings
>550 Black-headed Gulls
187 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
239 Wood Pigeons
40 Robins
32 Blackbirds
60 Fieldfares
11 Redwings
1 Willow Tit
310 Jackdaws
150 Rooks
35 Greenfinch
6 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
18 Pochard
55 Tufted Duck
3 Ruddy Duck
1 Wigeon
c.200 Coot
4 Cormorant
C.750 birds
24 Fieldfare
3 Redpoll
12 Siskin
5 Reed Bunting
1 Willow Tit
(Martin Adlam)