7 Jan 17

Priorslee Lake: 07:10 – 09:40

8°C > 9°C: Low cloud and drizzle to start; even then a few holes; cloud lifted and drizzle petered out. Light and variable wind. Good visibility but moderate in drizzle and areas of mist over lake as warm air came in to contact with the still frozen water.

Sunrise: 08:19 GMT

(6th visit of the year)

c.10% ice ending to melt away

Four new species for my 2017 Priorslee Lake list
#55 a Common Snipe was flushed from the S side. Somewhat unusually I did not hear this bird call as it flushed but there was no mistaking the shape and, especially, the bill. Bird of the day and a species that eluded me here in 2016
#56 a Feral Pigeon flew over
#57 a single Fieldfare flew over
#58 2 Mistle Thrushes at the W end: one bird on the roof of the academy; the other on one of its favourite song-perches alongside Teece Drive. It was not singing, though the mild weather tempted 4 Song Thrushes and a Blackbird to sing

Two of the puzzling “are they dark Herring Gulls or pale Lesser Black-backed Gulls” flew over. But the light was too poor to be able to claim either as a Yellow-legged Gull

Other notes from today
- big reduction in Tufted Duck with the thaw: but where did they go? not at The Flash
- Black-headed Gulls behaved very differently today: 56 arrived at 06:35 and stayed until c.07:10; then at 08:00 c.130 arrived from the W, stayed a while and mostly left to the SE; at c.09:20 86 arrived (along with the two Lesser Black-backed Gulls). Exactly how many of these were different birds is open to conjecture
- no moths on the lamps
- a spider sp. on one of the lamps, perhaps a Black Lace-weaver (Amaurobius ferox)

Birds noted flying over the lake
- 37 Black-headed Gulls
- 6 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 3 Herring Gulls
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 6 Wood Pigeons
- c.195 Jackdaws
- 1 Rook
- 1 Fieldfare
- 5 Pied Wagtails
- 4 Greenfinch
- 8 Goldfinches
- 4 Siskins
- 2 Linnets

Roost counts
[Magpies not counted]
- 9 Redwings
- 1 Linnet

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 18 (10♂) Mallard
- 10 (8♂) Pochard
- 28 (19♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Common Snipe
- 1 Cormorant
- 2 Grey Herons once more
- 2 Little Grebes
- 6 Great Crested Grebes again
- 10 Moorhens
- 45 Coots
- c.275? Black-headed Gulls (see notes)
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

Its getting to be that time of the year: they may not have their head-plumes as yet but does not stop the courtship of these Great Crested Grebes.

A normally very wary Grey Heron stayed put on the Wesley Brook bridge parapet long-enough for me to get this shot.

A misty lake in places, the warm air over the cold water the reason.

Rather spooky!

And looking the other way a bit later as the mist was dispersing.

A spider sp. a different species from that seen on Wednesday and perhaps Black Lace-weaver (Amaurobius ferox). This species is unusual in that the young devour their mother(!)
Not entirely sure what to make of this – a spider that has been sucked dry? It was on the lamp that held the presumed Pirate Spider (Ero cambridgei): that species is known to kill and eat other spiders.
(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 09:45 – 10:05

(4th visit of the year)

Still some ice at the S end

New species for my 2017 Flash list
#32 1 adult Herring Gull standing on the ice
#33 a Great Spotted Woodpecker was calling in the NW area
#34 a Nuthatch was in the ‘pollarded’ tree at the N end
#35 a Redwing flew over
#36 two Mistle Thrushes seen in flight to the N

Other notes
- one of the drake Tufted Ducks was floating dead in the water
- Goosanders quick to note that most of the ice was gone

Birds flying over here
- 5 Lesser Black-backed Gull

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 4 Canada Geese again
- 1 all white feral goose
- 26 (19♂) Mallard
- 29 (21♂) Tufted Ducks (one drake dead in the water)
- 4 (0♂) Goosanders
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 Moorhens again
- 14 Coots
- 46 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in ...........
Priorslee Lake
Caspian Gull
2 Yellow-legged Gulls
A drake Scaup
(J Reeves)


Priorslee Lake
Glaucous Gull
(Paul Paclett)


Priorslee Lake
7 Great Crested Grebes.
17 Pochard
45 Tufted Duck
2 Gadwall
1 Pintail
236 Coot
2 Water Rail
1 Great Black-backed Gull
1 Yellow-legged Gull
c.140 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
46 Herring Gulls
15 Siskins
3 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)