6 Jan 17

Priorslee Lake: 07:20 – 09:40

+2°C > 4°C: Medium overcast with some very light rain later. Light S wind. Good visibility

Sunrise: 08:20 GMT yet again

(5th visit of the year)

>50% ice: frost and ice remained in sheltered areas for a while

Just one new species for my 2017 list here
#54 Grey Wagtail

Other notes from today
- high count of Mallard – presumably forced off small iced-over local pools. Most seemed either quite tame (or hungry) as quite happy to approach the folks feeding them
- 10 of the 74 Tufted Ducks flew off W at 07:35 when too dark to sex them, so total number of drakes unknown
- 17 Cormorants appeared over with 2 peeling off and landing; about 5 minutes later 8 (of the same?) appeared over with 5 apparently landing – no more than 7 ever seen in the water. Again none seen with the breeding white thigh-patches
- number of Black-headed Gulls on the water more reminiscent of mid-June than January

- no moths on the lamps

Birds noted flying over the lake
- 10? Cormorants (see notes)
- 63 Black-headed Gulls
- 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Herring Gulls
- 2 Wood Pigeons only
- 136 Jackdaws
- 4 Rooks
- 1 Pied Wagtail
- 3 Greenfinch
- 1 Goldfinch again
- 6 Siskins
- 11 Linnets

Roost counts
- 60 Magpies

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 2 (1♂) Gadwall
- 33 (19♂) Mallard
- 9 (7♂) Pochard
- 74 (>37♂) Tufted Ducks (see notes)
- 7? Cormorants (see notes)
- 2 Grey Herons yet again
- 1 Little Grebe yet again
- 6 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Water Rail (heard only)
- 12 Moorhens
- 44 Coots
- 12 Black-headed Gulls only
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 3 Herring Gulls again

Two drake and a duck Mallard wandering across the ice

This flying shot of a drake Mallard shows a feature not usually obvious – the extent of the white in the sides of the spread tail (interesting ice-effect on the reflection of the tree on the left of the photo).

An adult winter Black-headed Gull stands on the ice: note how the claws are held.

The same bird investigates something on the ice.

This bird is starting to acquire the full black hood. The ice must have been softer here as the claws are not visible. Nice ‘flat’ light, what there was of it, enables the true contrast of the plumage to be seen.

A rather unusual view as the bird takes off ‘head-on’.

A split-second later as the bird starts to lift and water drops off its belly.

And another split-second later as the feet start to propel the bird, dipping the belly back in!

Here is the ice-covered east end of the lake – the temperature was just above freezing but had little effect in reducing the ice.

Silhouetted against the ice are some Great Reedmace (Typha latifolia), often called Bulrush though nothing to do with those that, according to The Bible, Moses was found amongst. These are usually illustrated as the Paper Reed (Cyperus papyrus). Incidentally I read on the web (so it must be true) that the dark brown velvety cylindrical head is a catkin – which begs the question ...

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 09:50 – 10:05

3rd visit of the year)

Iced over apart from the very edges and around some of the island

Two new species for my 2017 Flash list
#30 Goldfinch
#31 Long-tailed Tit

Nothing much to note from here with the regulars surviving on hand-outs and other things moved off

Birds flying over here
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 4 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 35 (24♂) Mallard for 3rd count
- 27 (16♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Moorhens
- 11 Coots
- 44 Black-headed Gulls again
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

(Ed Wilson)

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

Priorslee Lake
2 Scaup
5 Great Black-backed Gulls - 4 adult and a 1st winter
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake
1st winter Caspian Gull
6 Great Black-backed Gulls
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake
2 adult Caspian Gulls
10+ Yellow-legged gulls (most adults and 3rd-winters, at least 1 1st-winter)
10 Great Black-backed Gulls
(J W Reeves)

Priorslee Lake
Adult Mediterranean Gull
Pair of Brambling
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Evening Report
An adult winter Ring-billed Gull at about 3:15pm
3 adult Common Gulls
(Ed Wilson)

Daytime Report
4 Common Gull
2 adult Yellow-legged Gull
1 adult Great Black-backed Gull
Black-necked Grebe
1 Snipe
(Jason, Pete Jordan and Ian & Jim)