8 Dec 16

The Flash: 10:10 – 10:30

(124th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- increase in Pochard and Tufted Duck numbers: perhaps moved in from the lake where drake Pochard and Tufted Duck numbers were lower
- another high count of Goosander – word that the ice has gone spreads quickly!
- Song Thrush in song

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 18 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 39 (27♂) Mallard
- 3 (3♂) Pochard
- 44 (28♂) Tufted Ducks
- 34 (7♂) Goosander
- 1 Grey Heron
- 1 Great Crested Grebe still
- 5 Moorhens
- 11 Coots only
- 69 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 1 Herring Gull again

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake: 10:35 – 12:00

14°C > 12°C: Clearing after early rain; a shower to start. Moderate / fresh SW wind. Very good visibility

I waited for the persistent rain to pass before venturing out

(166th visit of the year)

Notes from today
- no sign of the Gadwall
- all the Shoveler were together for a change and the camera convinced me that there are two drakes and two ducks (and not three ducks as I thought yesterday)
- 3 Little Grebe is a good count: 2 in NW area; another in NE area, possibly another here – typically elusive
- the gulls were coming and going: the numbers are typical ‘instant’ counts
- Coal Tit in song
- another plant species added to my December flowering list
Wild Angelica (Angelica sylvestris)
- having looked more closely I think the buttercup sp. in flower is Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens)

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 11 (7♂) Mallard
- 4 (2♂) Shovelers
- 9 (5♂) Pochard
- 54 (26♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 Grey Heron
- 3 Little Grebe
- 5 Great Crested Grebes
- 5 Moorhens
- 47 Coots only
- 207 Black-headed Gulls
- 136 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 18 Herring Gulls

The four Shoveler more or less asleep. The camera confirms what I suspected: there are in fact two drakes, with the bird in the middle noticeably darker and slightly rufous along the flanks – a 1st winter drake then. The obvious drake behind could be an eclipse drake or another more advanced 1st winter.

One of the three Little Grebes seen today.

Great light once the rain cleared. This Buzzard tempted the camera.

The Buzzard came over for another lap.

Sometimes I just want to give up with gulls! On the flying bird the mantle looked conspicuously darker than a typical Herring Gull and I had it as a putative Yellow-legged Gull. Well here the legs look as pink as they come. Also noticeable is the rather restricted amount of black on the wing tip. Add to the list of ‘funny’ gulls? (it IS a winter adult Lesser Black-headed Gull with it – and a Great Crested Grebe in the distance).

This view does not rally help but we see the outer primary is not full-grown.

Those legs sure do look pink!

This adult winter Herring Gull shows a more typical amount of black in the wing tips.

This is an adult winter Lesser Black-headed Gull from below – the dark along all the rear part of all the primaries and secondaries separates from adult Herring Gulls that have paler inner primaries and outer secondaries.

The light very good on another adult Lesser Black-headed Gull. Note the width of the white trailing edge of the secondaries.

The Lesser Black-headed Gull formation flying team. These birds both seem to be adult winter birds at first glance: but look at the bills: the bird with the dark marks on the bill has to be a third winter bird. Do the legs on these birds look yellow?

If you answered ‘yes’ to the yellow legs, how about now?

Another well-lit gull: this a winter adult Black-headed Gull.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool

Immature drake Velvet Scoter still present this morning. Via BirdGuides Here.

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

Priorslee Lake
Today's sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
2 Wigeon
3 Gadwall
9 Pochard
41 Tufted Ducks
3 Goosanders
166 Coots
Peregrine Falcon
118 Black-headed Gulls
>500 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
c.40 Herring Gulls
1 Great Black-backed Gull
43 Redwings
2 Fieldfares
c.469 Jackdaws
53 Rooks
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Black-necked Grebe
4 Great Crested Grebes
33 Swans
31 Pochard
70 Tufted Ducks
1 Water Rail
308 Coots
c.1300 Black-headed Gulls
1 Common Gull
c.300 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
1 adult Yellow-legged Gull
102 Herring Gulls
1 Great Black-backed Gull
225 Jackdaws
3 Siskins
2 Redpolls
(Ed Wilson)

2 Great Crested Grebes
3 Cormorants
8 Pochard
60 Tufted Ducks
drake Mallard x Pintail
1 adult Yellow-legged Gull 
6 Herring Gulls
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
12 Pochard
56 Tufted Ducks
1 drake Ruddy Duck
2 Goosanders
3 Lapwings
1 Snipe
>1700 Black-headed Gulls
865 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
22 Robins
22 Blackbirds
6 Redwings
243 Jackdaws
133 Rooks
22 Chaffinches
1 Brambling
12 Greenfinches
4 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Water Rail
6 Pochard
27 Tufted Duck
247 Coot
402 Jackdaws
483 Rooks
37 Siskins
1 Redpoll
21 Fieldfares.
2 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)