11 Jan 17

Priorslee Lake: 07:25 – 09:35

10°C > 8°C: Often clear with some patches of cloud and the odd light shower. Fresh / strong WNW wind. Good visibility

Sunrise: 08:17 GMT again

(9th visit of the year)

No sign of the duck (Greater) Scaup today, either here or at The Flash

One new species for my 2017 Priorslee Lake list
#61 Peregrine: what seemed to be a male (on size) flew fast SW apparently without any of the birds around noticing

One other highlight:
- c.35 Golden Plover seen very far to the E at dawn

Other notes from today: *** all numbers affected by the strong wind – hard to even stand up on the dam!
- I had expected the Magpie roost count to be low because bird were coming straight out of the roost and not stopping in the tops of the wildly-waving trees as they usually do before heading off: not so – I logged my highest number of this winter
- a Blue Tit in full song was my first song of the year from this species
- a Greenfinch heard giving its wheezy song again
- no moths or other insects on the lamps

Birds noted flying over the lake
- 2 Black-headed Gulls
- 26 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Feral Pigeons
- 8 Wood Pigeons
- 327 Jackdaws
- 2 Rooks
- 3 Pied Wagtails
- 2 Greenfinches
- 3 Goldfinches
- 4 Siskins
- 2 Linnets

Roost counts
- 84 Magpies

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 2 (1♂) Gadwall again
- 10 (6♂) Mallard
- 9 (8♂) Pochard again
- 27 (15♂) Tufted Ducks
- 3 Cormorants
- 2 Grey Herons again
- 3 Little Grebes
- 3 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Water Rail (heard only)
- 7 Moorhens
- 44 Coots
- 67 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

Another sunrise ...

... and an arty view

Will not win any prizes despite my best efforts with a photo editor. It is not even really identifiable at this range – well they do go at some speed! This is the fast-disappearing Peregrine.

The Black-headed Gulls were patrolling the edge of the dam, presumably looking for morsels thrown up by the strong wind. The gulls seem to cope rather more easily with the wind than I did.

The question is how do they manage to avoid each other? It provided a rare opportunity to get flight shots in good light which I took despite having to try and hold the camera steady in the strong wind as try to see what I was doing as my eyes streamed!

Closer: a 1st winter bird in the centre and another in its 11 o’clock.

An adult winter in close-up.

If you try long-enough you can one really close.

... as it goes by.

And another.

And another.

And three adult winter birds.

Another trio, the top bird being a 1st winter – the orange (rather than red) on the bill is easier to see than the wing-pattern here.

Two adults here showing both upper- and under-wing patterns.

This shot has another 1st winter bird in the centre.

Now for something different: Goldfinches in dappled sunlight on swaying branches are also not easy. This proves that Siskins do not have the monopoly on the Alder cones.

A female Siskin hangs on tight.

Now some winter views: against an incoming shower the N side reeds and copse show well in the early light.

And the wider view.

A different sunlit view of the N side reed beds.

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 09:45 – 10:05

(7th visit of the year)

New species for my 2017 Flash list
#43 Raven: flew over to the N

Other notes
- many of the Canada Geese left while I was walking past with more taking to the air and then deciding, perhaps, it was too windy and landing again
- a few more Tufted Ducks today, probably taking shelter: apparently not from the lake though

Birds flying over here
- 6 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 3 Herring Gulls
- 1 Raven

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 104 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 34 (26♂) Mallard
- 2 (2♂) Pochard again
- 54 (37♂) Tufted Duck
- 5 (4♂) Goosanders
- 1 Great Crested Grebe
- 1 Moorhen again
- 14 Coots
- 37 Black-headed Gulls

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in ...........
Priorslee Lake
3 Scaup
1 Common Gull
(Dave Tromans/Tom Lowe)

Horsehay Pool
3 Yellow-legged Gulls
2 Common Gulls
2000 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
20+ Greater Black-backed Gulls
600 Herring Gulls
(Kris Webb and Jim Almond)

Priorslee Lake
5 Bullfinch
4 Goosander
2 Water Rail
Common Snipe
4 Gadwall
38 Swans
26 Pochard
57 Tufted Ducks
333 Coots
c.200 Black-headed Gulls
c.20 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
3 Herring Gulls
12 Siskins
(Ed Wilson, Martin Grant)

Priorslee Lake
1 Glaucous Gull
(Paul King)

Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
11 Pochard
62 Tufted Ducks
5 Goosanders
>1000 Black-headed Gulls
10 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
16 Robins
13 Redwings
34 Magpies
378 Jackdaws
348 Rooks
3 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
c.20 Golden Plover
2 Gadwall
c.1100 Black-headed Gulls
145 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
52 Herring Gulls
3 Great Black-backed Gulls
11 Pochard
37 Tufted Duck
226 Coots
1 Water Rail
221 Jackdaws
392 Rooks
12 Siskins
13 Pied Wagtails
3 Reed Buntings
21 Robins
18 Blackbirds
1 Willow Tit
5 Bullfinches
(Ed Wilson)