9 Nov 16

The Flash: 10:10 – 10:35

Sunrise: 07:22 GMT

5°C > 7°C: Mainly cloudy with showery outbreaks of rain and a few brighter intervals. Moderate NW wind falling away. Moderate visibility especially in showers

Decided against my usual early start because of the rain. Then decided that it is only a 4 mile round trip from Oakengates to walk to the Trench pools and it was about time I visited them

Did not make the usual comprehensive notes at the lake, concentrating on the birds on the water

(106th visit of the year)

Special to note

Birds noted flying over
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gulls

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 35 Canada Goose
- 1 all white feral goose
- 31 (22♂) Mallard
- 30 (14♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 (0♂) Goosanders
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 Great Crested Grebes remain
- 1 Moorhen only
- 12 Coots
- 18 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull remains

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake: 10:45 – 11:40

(144th visit of the year)

Yesterday’s cut reeds are piled in front of the shelter awaiting ....? Those from the day before remain in the water near the dam

Notes from today
- nothing special seen today – probably fall-out from the reed cutting activity
- the November Moth agg. sp was in the Priorslee Avenue tunnel again

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
the later visit and rather poor weather means not much today
- 9 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull
- 1 Skylark
- 11 Goldfinches

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 4 (2♂) Gadwall
- 11 (8♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Pochard remains
- 58 (30♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron
- 8 Great Crested Grebes
- 12 Moorhens
- 62 Coots
- 40 Black-headed Gulls

Here is the pile of cut reeds in front of the shelter ready for collection ....

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Middle Pool: 12:25 – 12:50

 (1st visit of the year)

- almost no geese here either: where are they all?
- just 1 feral-type Mallard seen
- unusually no Great Crested Grebes located

The counts from the water
- 4 Canada Geese
- 23 (15♂) Mallard
- 11 (6♂) Tufted Ducks
- 12 Moorhens
- 21 Coots
- 59 Black-headed Gulls

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock: 12:55 – 13:25

(3rd visit of the year)

- after several years of failure good to see the Swans with well-grown cygnets
- the erstwhile ever-present 3 Feral Mallard not located
- low count of Coots – as at Priorslee Lake: there are normally >100 here
- the gulls were coming and going: some photos of the Yellow-legged Gull-type await further examination

The counts from the water
- 2 + 4 Mute Swans
- 12 (7♂) Mallard
- 2 (1♂)Shoveler
- 18 (10♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Great Crested Grebe
- 5 Moorhens
- 69 Coots
- 41 Black-headed Gulls
- 22 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 5 Herring Gulls
- 1 Yellow-legged Gull-type

A trio of adult gulls, two easy and one rather less so. The front one is a Lesser Black-backed Gull; the middle one a Herring Gull; but the back one? The mantle tone is too dark for the Scandinavian race of Herring Gull and that race would be typically larger than ‘southern’ Herring Gulls. The tone is more reminiscent of Yellow-legged Gull though that would typically show little or no head-streaking. So ...?

I think this is the same bird – the camera tends to give slightly different tones depending on the zoom setting I use. Here we see it has extensive head-streaking which extends down the neck: this would seem to rule out Yellow-legged Gull as such. Note the bill lacks any black on the upper mandible – this is very apparent on he accompanying Lesser Black-backed Gull.

Here we see that it in fact has pink legs (and black toe-nails!). The wing-tip pattern is rather puzzling too in that there seem to be only two primaries with dark tips (and white ‘mirrors’ and tips). However I suspect the P1 – the outer primary is not yet fully re-grown and not properly visible. Puzzled? Me?

Sadly there was not enough light to ‘freeze’ the upper wing pattern. From what I can see it does not seem to help.

Here we see another oddity: it looks like an adult Herring Gull with P1 yet to complete re-growth. The outer three primaries are black. Now the confusion: the outer greater primary coverts show a small area of brown tones which indicates this is not yet a full adult even though there is nothing else to suggest this.

Here we are on safer ground comparing the paler adult Herring Gull with an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull. Note this particular Lesser Black-backed Gull shows neither head streaking nor any black on the upper mandible. The Herring Gull is very typical with streaking mainly around the eye and as a neck collar.

Another ‘classic’ adult winter Herring Gull with rather more extensive streaking on the crown.

Here is a more typical winter adult Lesser Black-backed Gull with extensive head-streaking.

Here we are back with our puzzling gull: but ignore that and note the rather strange head-shape of the adult Lesser Black-backed Gull behind it.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in ...........
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake

4 Wigeon
4 Gadwall
1 Pochard
60 Tufted Duck
1 Water Rail
235 Coots
7 Song Thrushes
118 Fieldfare
30 Redwings
466 Jackdaws
139 Rooks
c.450 Starlings from roost
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
c.100 Greylag Geese
3 Gadwall
8 Pochard
18 Tufted Ducks
153 Coots
c.500 Black-headed Gulls
c.450 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
10 Herring Gulls
1 Great Black-backed Gull
118 Wood Pigeons
103 Redwings
154 Fieldfares
809 Jackdaws
201 Rooks
7 Siskin
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
1 Pink-footed Goose
c.100 Greylag Geese
41 Canada Geese
41 Tufted Duck
12 Goosander
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Yellow legged Gull
Great Black-backed Gull
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake
28 Pochard
65 Tufted Duck
46 Greenfinches
5 Fieldfares
11 Redwings
12 Siskins
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
2 Goosanders
1 Pochard
45 Tufted Duck
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Great Black-backed Gull
1 Gadwall
1 Shoveler
2 Wigeon
Peregrine Falcon
(Ed Wilson/John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake
23 Pochard
75 Tufted Ducks
950+ Black-headed Gulls
1204+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls
499 Wood Pigeons
11 Meadow Pipits
23 Robins
23 Blackbirds
13 Fieldfares
4 Song Thrushes
18 Redwings
1 Willow Tit
321 Jackdaws
241 Rooks
22 Greenfinches
9 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)