1 Dec 16

Priorslee Lake: 07:20 – 09:45

0°C > 3°C: Fine, clear and frosty. Calm / light SW wind. Good visibility

The forecast had been for a cloudy night and morning with no frost: not so!

(162nd visit of the year)

Severn-Trent contractors were busy doing some strimming this morning: nothing too serious, just clearing an access path to some of the monitoring equipment and making it easier for the grass-cutting on the dam to mow around the trees

c.20% ice today – mainly thin ice

Highlight today was my first Barnacle Goose of the year. One has to wonder how ‘wild’ this bird might have been. It seemed a good candidate to me: it was on its own rather than with other geese; and seemed rather wary and took flight when all the gulls were put up by a passing Grey Heron

Other notes from today
- three more Shoveler new in: a full-plumaged drake joined the other drake at the W end; two new ducks were along the NE shore; and the long-time duck was with her two Gadwall friends against the dam
- now apparently only 4 Great Crested Grebes: the pair in the NW area were doing some low-key displaying
- two different Water Rails heard calling and perhaps one of these seen
- almost no Wood Pigeons this morning: in addition to the 11 over I recorded only 2 more in the trees
- 2 Kingfishers this morning
- at least 20 Siskins and 6 Linnets were at the W end shortly after day-break: whether they had flown in (I had heard Siskins over before this) or roosted here was hard to say
- just as you thought it was the start of winter I noted some Hazel catkins this morning!

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- Greylag Geese heard only
- Canada Geese heard only
- 8 Black-headed Gulls
- 43 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Herring Gulls
- 2 Feral Pigeons
- 11 Wood Pigeons only
- 54 Jackdaws
- 15 Rooks
- 2 Pied Wagtails
- 1 Meadow Pipit
- 25 Fieldfare (1 group)
- 4 Redwings (2 groups)
- 7 Siskins
- 2 finch sp.

Birds leaving roost around lake

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 1 Barnacle Goose
- 4 (2♂) Gadwall again
- 20 (13♂) Mallard
- 5 (2♂) Shovelers
- 7 (6♂) Pochard
- 98 (55♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Grey Herons again
- 1 Little Grebe
- 4 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 Water Rails
- 4 Moorhens
- 59 Coots
- c.110 Black-headed Gulls
- 36 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 5 Herring Gulls

The rather unexpected sunrise this morning – the forecast was for cloud!

One of my ‘burning bush’ special sunrises!

The first chance I had to photo the Barnacle Goose – it was too dark earlier. It was looking rather unsettled so I took a chance. The neat barring on the rear flanks identify this as an adult. Drake and duck Pochard behind.

I was right to get the shot early: it did not stay.

Did a couple of circuits before it left.

Here is the smarter of the two drake Shoveler present this morning.

And here is he other drake Shoveler with pale tips to the flank feathers.

The bird asleep in the centre is a bit of a puzzle. To my eyes it looks rather brown to be a duck Tufted Duck – there is one of those asleep on the right (the one on the back left is, I think, a 1st winter drake yet to moult). In tone it looks more like a Scaup sp. but neither Greater nor Lesser Scaups show white on the undertail. So it must be a duck Tufted Duck.

A male Siskin attacking the Alder cones.

Another male takes a breather to look around.

A messy eater with flakes of the Alder cones floating down.

Spring is here! These are Hazel catkins.

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 09:50 – 10:05

(121st visit of the year)

Quick walk past the mainly frozen water for the bus, interrupted by the arrival of most of the geese logged below – the first Greylags for a while which all arrived and circled several times looking for the open water

Other notes
- my 4th count of 51 Black-headed Gulls in the last five visits: odd
- there are always numerous Magpies around: this morning there were 14 together in the copse outside the dental surgery all making a racket – could not see any obvious reason
- the sun was on the Ivy again this morning: after the sharp frost I failed to see any insects there, not even a fly

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 39 Greylag Geese
- 10 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 11 (6♂) Mallard
- 7 (5♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Moorhens
- 11 Coots again
- 51 Black-headed Gulls again

Some of Greylag Geese circling over as they look for a landing site.

Another view.

And again.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool

The immature drake Velvet Scoter is still present at 15:56. Via BirdGuides Here,

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

Priorslee Lake
Today's sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
3 Gadwall 
7 Pochard 
29 Tufted Ducks
1 Goldeneye 
1  Goosander
142 Coots
33 Redwings
2 Fieldfares
203 Jackdaws
50 Rooks
3 Siskins
1 Redpoll
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
1st-winter Mediterranean Gull
500 Black-headed Gulls
Yellow-legged Gull
800 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
3 Great Black-backed Gulls
30 Herring Gulls
A drake hybrid Mallard x Pintail
(Tom Lowe)

11 Waxwing
(Observer Unknown)

Granville Country Park
10 Waxwing
100+ Redwing 
6 Bullfinch 
20+ Redpoll 
1 Tawny Owl
3 Sparrowhawk 
1 hovering Buzzard
(Stuart Edmunds)

Priorslee Lake
Yellow-legged Gull
(Richard Vernon)

The Wrekin
(Observer Unknown)

Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
3 Great Crested Grebes
23 Pochard
58 Tufted Ducks
65 Coots
>450 Black-headed Gulls
1128 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
30 Robins
29 Blackbirds
46 Fieldfares
6 Song Thrushes
19 Redwings
2 Mistle Thrushes
168 Jackdaws
122 Rooks
1 Siskin
15 Linnets
4 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
10 Reed Buntings
A duck Wigeon
3500 Black-headed Gulls
2000 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
6 Herring Gulls
2 Pochard
53 Tufted Duck
228 Coot
496 Jackdaws
193 Rooks
(Ed Wilson)