2 Mar 17

Priorslee Lake: 06:01 – 09:05; also 12:30 – 12:40

3.0°C > 5.5°C: Started cloudy with some mainly light rain; breaks appeared and clearance after 08:30. Fresh W wind. Good visibility.

Sunrise: 06:53 GMT

(19th visit of the year)

An overflying Collared Dove was my 66th new species for my 2017 Priorslee Lake list

Potential best sighting was what was likely a Woodcock seen flying in to roost at 06:20. The bird shot past me with the strong wind ‘up its chuff’ and disappeared towards the site where I have seen this species go to roost previously but in the very brief view I had I was unable to see any features

Other notes from today:
- one of the Mute Swans seems to have either lost its Darvic ring or is a different bird
- 9 Great Crested Grebes today – I thought yesterday there might have been a 9th but was unable to confirm it
- Water Rail heard in the NE area again. Viewing the ditch where I have seen this bird in previous years in now virtually impossible due to several fallen trees
- Kingfisher again: one or more birds have, unusually, been present more or less continuously through the winter, reflecting the lack of ice and cold weather
- the Magpie were flushed from their tree-roost as I walked through to the area where the Redwings roost and it was not possible to get an accurate count
- single big parties of 180 Jackdaws flying over from their roost: otherwise a protracted passage of small groups of birds being blown about in the wind
- much better total of Rooks today with many of these preceding the Jackdaws – as they traditionally do
- perhaps as many as 50 Siskins in very flighty, noisy and apparently excitable groups this morning. Rather few of these birds seen attempting to feed on the swaying Alders. Often a few Redpolls in such groups in Spring but could not find any today
- what seems likely to be an Acleris hastiana (Sallow Button) moth on one of the lamps. This very variable species is new for me at the lake

Birds noted flying over the lake
- 7 Canada Geese (2 groups)
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 7 Wood Pigeons
- 1 Collared Dove
- 312 Jackdaws (19 groups)
- 28 Rooks
- 1 Redwing
- 1 Greenfinch

Roost / departure counts
- >30 Magpies
- 7 Redwings

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 1 Canada Goose
- 2 (1♂) Gadwall remain
- 3 (2♂) Mallard
- 14 (9♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Cormorants
- 1 Grey Heron again
- 9 Great Crested Grebes
- 1+ Water Rails heard
- 10 Moorhens
- 34 Coots
- 71 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

These figures relate to the early visit: a short view from the E-end lay-by later produced just
- 4 Cormorants
Of interest. I was disappointed to find there were no large gulls at all (and very few Black-headed Gulls)

After yesterday’s challenge to photograph the sun-dog today I had a rainbow to contend with!

Rather dark when I took this shot of a 1st winter Black-headed Gull with rather strangely marked wings. Looks very different from the ‘classic’ illustrations but I found a photo in my ‘Gulls’ monograph which is almost identical and which is captioned “some birds show more extensive black in wing-tip, here with large white mirrors in P9-10”. That photo was taken in October and one might presume that some wear / moult might have taken place since but apparently not so. Anyway: what else could it be?! (the bill looks rather long here because the birds was carrying a small stick).

For comparison these two 1st winter Black-headed Gulls show the typical upper-wing pattern.

After many attempts managed to get this female Bullfinch reasonably in focus and not too badly hidden by the Hawthorn branches from which she is eating the buds.

Even better!

This small moth seems most likely to one of the many variable form of the micro moth Acleris hastiana (Sallow Button).

(Ed Wilson)

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

The Wrekin
c.35 Crossbills near the summit.
(Frank Hinde)


Priorslee Lake
Grey Wagtail
10 Song Thrushes
c.20 Redwings
2 Siskins
4 Great Crested Grebes
3 Pochard
12 Tufted Duck 
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Flash

4 Great Crested Grebes
11 Pochard
69 Tufted Duck 
(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake
9 Great Crested Grebes
12 Tufted Duck
6 Goosander
1 Glaucous Gull
1 Iceland Gull.
17 Fieldfare
4 Redwings
1 Kingfisher
 >350 Jackdaws
(Ed Wilson, Jim Almond)