23 Nov 16

Trench Middle Pool: 10:15 – 10:35

7°C > 9°C: Low cloud with a few drizzly bits and a few brighter bits. Light / moderate NNE. Good visibility except in drizzle

The forecast was for low cloud early so I decided against my usual start time – there would be very little to be seen flying over in such conditions. So waited for daylight and then visited all the local pools – with rather little reward

Amazingly I located just 2 geese – single Canada's at Trench Middle Pool and The Flash. Where have they all gone?

(3rd visit of the year)

The water here was rather murky and might be the reason for the decline in Coot numbers

- the new Mute Swan was an unringed immature
- the Great Crested Grebe was new in

The counts from the water
- 1 Mute Swan
- 1 Canada Goose
- 29 (22♂) Mallard
- 8 (5♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Great Crested Grebe
- 16 Moorhens
- 4 Coots only
- 56 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 10:40 – 11:20

(6th visit of the year)

- the Cormorant dropped in only briefly
- another, apparently immature, Great Crested Grebe new in
- one of the birds logged as a Herring Gull may have been a ‘Yellow-legged’-type – perhaps not quite dark-enough? But it seemed to be too small to be from the darker Scandinavian race

The counts from the water
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 8 (5♂) Mallard
- 13 (2♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Cormorant
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 8 Moorhens again
- 48 Coots
- 16 Black-headed Gulls only
- 8 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 5 Herring Gulls

Here is the adult ‘Yellow-legged’-type Herring Gull, slightly darker than a typical Herring Gull. Scandinavian race (ssp. argentatus) birds are slightly darker but are typically larger – this bird looks about the same size as the usually slightly smaller Lesser Black-backed Gull behind. So ...?

I think this is the same bird in flight in which case the wing-tip pattern supports it being a Herring Gull of ssp. argentatus.

Nothing odd about this: a ‘standard’ adult winter Lesser Black-backed Gull. Note that the dark back is slightly paler than the wing tips.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake:

Evening Update: 4:15pm
1st-winter drake Scaup present this evening. Via BirdGuides Here

Morning Report: 11:55 – 13:05

(154th visit of the year)

Did not make the usual comprehensive notes at the lake, concentrating on the birds on the water. The lake was being used by the Model Boat Club but it seemed to have no impact on the birds present

Firstly a correction to yesterday: I am almost certain that there was not an ‘extra’ duck Gadwall yesterday and that it was the duck Shoveler that has been present for over a week: I simply failed to check closely enough. The Gadwall and the Shoveler were all together today – as they had been yesterday when, in my defence, they were further away. The totals on the web have been changed to reflect this.

Notes from today
- eventually found 8 Great Crested Grebes: for much of the time I could find only 4 or 5!
- the number of Coots has definitely declined over the last few days
- the gulls were flying in and out and / or re-positioning: the quoted numbers are the highest ‘point’ count
- my first Great Black-backed Gull of the winter period

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 4 (2♂) Gadwall
- 4 (3♂) Mallard
- 1 (0♂) Shoveler
- 6 (4♂) Pochard again
- 119 (70♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 (1♂) (Greater) Scaup again
- 1 Grey Heron
- 8 Great Crested Grebes
- 9 Moorhens
- 53 Coots
- c.120 Black-headed Gulls
- >33 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- >3 Herring Gulls
- 1 Yellow-legged Gull
- 1 Great Black-backed Gull

So now we know the ring number of the cygnet here!

The source of yesterday’s error: two pairs of Gadwall and a duck Shoveler (and not three duck Gadwall as I logged)
Adult winter and first-winter Lesser Black-backed Gull for contrast.

Here is the adult winter Yellow-legged Gull amongst adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

Here we can note the head of the winter Yellow-legged Gull has rather few streaks on the head.

We see the underwing of the bird here – the trailing edge of the underwing is much darker than I would expect.

Here a range of birds. From the left: adult winter Lesser Black-backed Gull; typical adult winter Herring Gull; the putative adult winter Yellow-legged Gull; and another adult winter Lesser Black-backed Gull at the back.

Here we see the adult winter Yellow-legged Gull leaving: in flight note the four neat black tips showing on the trailing edge of the wings – another good pointer to this species but not likely to be much use without a camera.

Here is an adult winter Great Black-backed Gull: note, as well as the (unreliable) pale pink feet, that the mantle is darker than a Lesser Black-backed Gull – as dark as the wing-tips. This I would judge to be a female as it does not immediately strike me as being especially large and neither is the bill, better seen ....

... here as massive as on many birds, albeit larger than on most Lesser Black-backs. Note also the absence of head-streaking in this species at all times once adult.

this group of drake Tufted Ducks need to high-tail it to Trench where there were 11 ducks and only 2 drakes!

A Redwing of course: not often they stay around to be photographed.

A Winter Moth (the regular one, rather than the Northern Winter Moth I photographed here last Friday (18th).

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 13:15 – 13:35

(114th visit of the year)

After all the rain the island almost is not, being flooded

- even more Goosanders today

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 1 Canada Goose again
- 1 all white feral goose
- 42 (29♂) Mallard
- 19 (12♂) Tufted Ducks
- 32 (6♂) Goosander
- 5 Great Crested Grebes again
- 1 Moorhen again
- 11 Coots
- 11 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

(Ed Wilson)

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

Priorslee Lake
2 Gadwall 
2 Pochard 
123 Tufted Duck 
1 Goosander 
2 Water Rails 
15 Moorhens 
227 Coots counted 
1 Snipe
2 Yellow-legged Gulls
600 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
5 Great Black-backed Gulls
2 adult hybrid Lesser Black-backed x Herring Gulls
102 Fieldfare
39 Redwings 
266 Jackdaws
(Ed Wilson/Tom Lowe)

Trench Middle Pool
22 Swans
6 Shoveler 
14 Tufted Duck 
183 Coots 
61 Black-headed Gulls
14 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
17 Herring Gulls
Caspian/Yellow-legged Gull
2 Ravens
1 Redwing
(Ed Wilson)

Little Wenlock, Candles Landfill Site
Adult + 1st winter Yellow-legged Gulls
1500 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
(Tom Lowe)

Priorslee Lake
30 Greylag
3 Gadwall
6 Pochard.
21 Tufted Ducks
3 Goosander
153 Coots 
c.640 Wood Pigeons
8 Redwings again.
453 Jackdaws
61 Rooks logged.
2 Siskins 
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
6 Yellow-legged Gulls
(Andy Latham)

Priorslee Lake
2 Cormorants 
>60 Greylag Geese
14 Pochard
177 Tufted Duck
1 Lapwing
1 Snipe
2 Water Rails
159 Coot
c.1300 Black-headed Gulls
c.100 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
5+ Herring Gulls
74 Redwings
c.60 Fieldfare
132 Jackdaws
166 Rooks
c.1750 Starlings
c.30 Siskin
(Ed Wilson)