28 Feb 17

Priorslee Lake: 07:25 – 09:15

0°C > 3°C: Variable but increasing mainly high cloud. Light SW wind, increasing moderate. Very good visibility.

Sunrise: 06:57 GMT

(17th visit of the year)

2 Ravens over were my 64th species for my 2017 Priorslee Lake list

1 Starling over later was therefore my 65th species for my 2017 Priorslee Lake list

Notes from today:
- at least one Stock Dove around the usual old Ash tree though I have never actually confirmed nesting at the site
- 2 singing Song Thrushes this morning
- 2 Redwings flushed from trees: on this date could be birds beginning to migrate back to their breeding grounds, likely in Scandinavia
- different songsters heard today included Willow Tit and Goldcrest: also Great Spotted Woodpecker drumming
- Long-tailed Tit groups seemed to have broken up for nesting: usually at most 3 parties seen, often just one large party – today birds in at least 5 locations
- single Starling over seemed to be returning to nest area in the estate
- unusually more Chaffinches than Greenfinches; and at 7 birds rather more than usual
- at least 30 Siskins at various points around the N and W sides of the lake. Birds moving around and birds noted overhead assumed to be some of these birds moving around
- 3 Reed Buntings in song
- the first pussy willow of the year beginning to open. These are white catkins of Salix sp., likely Salix caprea (Goat Willow), and become yellow on male trees and greenish on female trees (male and female catkins are on different plants (dioecious))

Birds noted flying over the lake
- 5 Canada Geese (1 group)
- 4 Black-headed Gulls
- 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Herring Gulls
- 1 Stock Dove
- 2 Feral Pigeons
- 8 Wood Pigeons
- 4 Jackdaws
- 5 Rooks
- 2 Ravens
- 1 Starling
- 1 Pied Wagtail
- 1 Greenfinch
- 1 Goldfinch

Too late for any roost / departure counts

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 2 (1♂) Gadwall
- 3 (2♂) Mallard
- 18 (12♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Cormorants
- 1 Grey Heron again
- 8 Great Crested Grebes again
- 6 Moorhens
- 34 Coots
- 19 Black-headed Gulls

A Cormorant in full breeding plumage – white head plumes and thigh patch. It used to be thought that birds as white as this were continental birds and while it is true that such birds tend to have whiter heads when breeding it is now realised that ‘our’ birds get whiter with age – rather like me – and this is likely just a fully mature adult – rather unlike me.

This ‘pair’ of Great Crested Grebes seems to include a 1st year bird yet to acquire the plumes. Birds are displaying all around the lake at the moment though the actual ‘pairing’ seems not to have taken place with birds displaying to more than one other individual.

I know it is only a Robin but looks great in the early morning sun.

The male Marsh Tit – it was singing so it must have been the male. No sign of a 2nd bird again – as has been the case the previous two summers.

The ‘pussy willow’ (Salix sp. catkins) beginning to break.

The Siskins were very flighty this morning. Here is a female: as the breeding season approaches the sexes become very easily separable. She is more strongly streaked on the flanks now but rather grey-toned.

And the male Siskin, also more strongly streaked but with much more yellow tones on the breast and face as well as having a black ‘hat’.

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 09:20 – 09:40

(14th visit of the year)

New species for my 2017 Flash list
- Goldcrest (birds heard several times previously along the Wesley Brook between the lake and The Flash, but my first of the year around The Flash itself)

Notes from today:
- the two adult Mute Swans were keeping well apart today
- probably more Canada Geese with a lot of noise from the island suggesting nesting areas being disputed
- Buzzard calling very high over

Birds noted flying over here
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 17 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 15 (12♂) Mallard
- 36 (23♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 Great Crested Grebe again
- 3 Moorhens
- 10 Coots
- 30 Black-headed Gulls

As a postscript to yesterday the Cormorant was new for my 2017 Flash list

(Ed Wilson)

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

Little Wenlock, Candles Landfill Site
2 Iceland Gulls
(Observer Unknown)


Priorslee Lake
31 Wigeon 
7 Gadwall 
5 Pochard 
18 Tufted Ducks 
1 Greater Scaup
2 Lapwings
c.1600 Black-headed Gulls
c.800 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
c.100 Herring Gulls
1 Iceland
1 Glaucous Gull
1 Caspian Gull
1 Yellow-legged Gull
38 Redwings
2 Fieldfare
15 Siskins
(Ed Wilson, Martin Grant, Tom Lowe)

The Flash

1 Little Grebe
10 Pochard 
123 Tufted Duck 
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock Pool

21 Tufted Duck 
1 Goosander 
(Ed Wilson)

Horsehay Pool

1 Yellow-legged Gull
(Tom Lowe)

Little Wenlock, Candles Landfill Site

2 Yellow-legged Gulls.
(Tom Lowe)


Priorslee Lake
4 Great Crested Grebes
3 Pochard
32 Tufted Duck
4 Curlew
2 Siskins
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock

26 Tufted Duck 
9 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
13 Herring Gulls
1 Yellow-legged Gull
(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe as noted 
6 Great Crested Grebes
4 Gadwall
39 Pochard
57 Tufted Ducks
99 Coots 
29 Blackbirds
4 Redwing
8 Song Thrushes
22 Siskins
3 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake
Common Gull
6 Ravens
(Ed Wilson)

Woodhouse Lane

(John Isherwood)


Priorslee Lake
4 Cormorant
2 Pochard
15 Tufted Duck
1 Ruddy Duck
1 Peregrine Falcon
26 Robin
11 Redwing
63 Magpie
196 Jackdaw
12 Greenfinch
10 Reed Bunting
(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake
2 Little Grebes
6 Great Crested Grebes
2 Cormorants
7 Pochard
35 Tufted Ducks
1 Water Rail
800 Wood Pigeon
142 Starlings
14 Pied Wagtails
18 Robins
20 Blackbirds
11 Fieldfare
10 Song Thrushes
2 Willow Tits
15 Greenfinches
11 Siskins
7 Reed Buntings 
(Ed Wilson)