26 Nov 16

Priorslee Lake: 07:10 – 09:35

Sunrise: 07:51 GMT

5°C > 3°C: Low cloud with a few breaks. Light NE wind. Moderate visibility

Significant movement of Redwings this morning: triggered by what? and why were they not all flying the same way?

(157th visit of the year)

Notes from today
- another sub-adult Mute Swan made a brief appearance
- an eclipse drake Wigeon dropped in
- one of duck Gadwall not logged today
- the first winter drake (Greater) Scaup had changed allegiance today and was in the NW area for a change
- lots of Goosanders again: a group of 20 came from the S and turned W at 07:40 when it was rather too dark to sex them; five minutes later a brownhead flew W. After 09:00 there were, unusually, 5 on the water – 1 drake and 4 brownheads
- two Little Grebes again today: both in the NE today
- a Water Rail was, briefly, very vocal this morning
- Saturday’s bus gets me to the lake some 10 minutes earlier and it was a much darker morning: as a result I was in time to see (some?) of the Magpies leaving their traditional roost site – just 24 noted, but numbers do tend to build up throughout the winter
- a Green Woodpecker called from the N side: birds have occasionally roosted here in previous winters
- a Nuthatch was heard calling and then flew on to a roof of a house in Teece Drive and proceeded to poke about in the moss
- the Redwings were headed in all directions: a party of at least 80 birds (perhaps my largest-ever group?) flew WSW; most of the other birds were headed N, NE or even E
- while I was at the W end trying to decide whether the Goldfinches had roosted there or flown in a party of 4 Linnets shot out of the bushes: seemed they had roosted

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 1 Greylag Goose
- 21 (?♂) Goosanders (see notes)
- 10 Black-headed Gulls
- 45 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 4 Herring Gulls
- 77 Wood Pigeons
- 193 Jackdaws
- 11 Rooks
- 27 Starlings (4 groups)
- c.68 Fieldfares (1 group plus singles)
- 228 Redwings (6 groups)
- 1 Pied Wagtail
- 1 Greenfinch
- 2 Goldfinches
- 7 Siskins again
- 1 Linnet

The counts from the lake area
- 3 + 1 Mute Swans
- 1 (1♂) Wigeon
- 3 (2♂) Gadwall
- 7 (5♂) Mallard
- 1 (0♂) Shovelers
- 6 (4♂) Pochard
- 140 (79♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 (1♂) (Greater) Scaup still here
- 1 Grey Heron once again
- 2 Little Grebes again
- 6 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Water Rail heard
- 7 Moorhens
- 58 Coots
- c.100 Black-headed Gulls
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull

Here we can see one drake and three brownhead Goosander at the lake – the concrete ramp identifies! A Coot and drake Tufted Duck get in the picture.

Some sort of symmetry with the drake and brownhead Goosander. This time it is a duck Tufted Duck getting in on the action.

Through the binoculars I had this as a duck Wigeon – the classic rounded head-shape identifies. Looking closely at the photo I think the head is too reddish-brown and the line between the head and neck is too sharp for a duck and therefore it has to be an eclipse drake.

On a lamp-post in Teece Drive was this Buzzard. The yellow cere (the top of the bill) and the barred breast identify as an adult – the breast of juveniles is streaked.

Most unusually it allowed me to get very close without seeming concerned – this is straight off the camera.

“are you pointing that at me?”

“oh: OK then. This is my good side”

Had to walk past it and look back to get the whole bird in the frame!

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 09:40 – 10:05

(117th visit of the year)

There was the noise and disturbance of hedge trimming this morning which may have affected some numbers

- the Swans were not seen this morning – perhaps they just swam the other way around the island to the direction I walked
- drake Pochard back – if it ever went away
- I had logged 24 Goosanders (7 drakes) on the water. As I was leaving they all(?) took off and there were at least 25 birds (8 drakes). I was momentarily distracted by the party of c.20 Redwings flying E overhead and when I looked again there were possibly 2 more birds circling around, though since I could not see all the earlier birds I was unsure
- a Mottled Umber moth on one of the lamps: perhaps my first-ever at this site

Over-flying birds noted
- c.20 Redwings (see notes)

The counts from the water
- 1 Canada Goose
- 1 all white feral goose
- 39 (28♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Pochard
- 13 (7♂) Tufted Ducks
- 25 (27?) (8?♂) Goosanders (see notes)
- 1 Grey Heron once again
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 7 Moorhens
- 10 Coots
- 51 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

A male Mottled Umber moth – females of this species, like many winter-flying moths – are virtually wingless and most certainly cannot fly.
(Ed Wilson)

On this day in ...........
Priorslee Lake
22 Tufted Ducks
143 Coots
34 Redwings
1 Fieldfare
228 Jackdaws
98 Rooks
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
11 Greylag Geese
27 Pochard
70 Tufted Ducks
1 drake Ruddy Duck
70 Coots
>400 Black-headed Gulls
315 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
5 Herring Gulls
221 Wood Pigeons
22 Blackbirds
45 Fieldfares
38 Redwings
264 Jackdaws
71 Rooks
5 Siskins
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
1 Pochard
40 Tufted Duck
1 Goldeneye
2 Ruddy Duck
C.700 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
16 Herring Gulls
2 Yellow-legged Gull
2 Great Black-backed Gulls
Caspian Gull
c.628 Jackdaws
c.358 Rooks
(Martin Adlam)