26 Mar 17

Priorslee Lake, Trench Lock Pool and Trench Middle Pool


1.5°C > 6.0°C: Fine. clear and frosty again with rather more high cloud. Light / moderate E wind. Very good visibility.

Sunrise: 06:59 BST

Priorslee Lake: 06:03 – 09:01

(40th visit of the year)

Clear weather again so rather few fly-overs

Notes from today:
- 1 Water Rail heard calling: it is rather late in the season for this species here, though there is really no reason why it should not breed
- 21 Fieldfares flew out of the trees in SW area. Outside the breeding season this species is usually an open country bird and rarely seen in the trees around the lake
- 2 Redwings seen leaving their roosts
- still no moths on the lamps

Birds noted flying over the lake
- 2 Greylag Geese (pair)
- 8 Canada Geese (3 groups)
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 21 Wood Pigeons
- 377 Jackdaws (87 groups)
- 20 Rooks (15 singles / pairs)
- 3 Greenfinches
- 4 Goldfinches
- 1 Lesser Redpoll

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 7 (6) Chiffchaffs again

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 8 (7♂) Mallard
- 20 (13♂) Tufted Ducks again
- 3 Cormorants
- 2 Grey Herons
- 7 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Water Rail heard
- 6 Moorhens
- 26 Coots

The earliest I could get any sort of photo of the sunrise.

Nicely colouring up.

At the actual sunrise high cloud masked the sun.

Much later.

I know these are ‘only’ a pair of Mallard but because of that I rarely photograph them – indeed it is not that often that you see them flying.

Around for another lap.

The drake comes in to ‘land’.

About to touch down feet-first.

So graceful – NOT.

One of the Cormorants has a big fish to try and deal with.

Seems to have gone down in one gulp.

The single Mistle Thrush is being very difficult this year. Its chosen song perch is blocked by twigs from what ever angle I try. This is about the best I can do. Note the spots are rather more isolated than on the smaller Song Thrush. We can also just make out the pale edges to the wing coverts.

The party of Fieldfare rather caught me by surprise and this was the best of a poor bunch. Note the pale ‘arm-pits’ shared with Mistle Thrush. The flight action of Fieldfare is not quite so leisurely. On this shot we can see the grey head and the relative lack of spotting on a warm-toned breast.

So what will become of the land – the old Celestica site that has been more or less fallow for at least 10 years.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 09:10 – 09:25 // 10:15 – 10:24

(13th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- the remaining cygnet being chased strongly today: would not even fly much less leave
- a duck Goosander again (but see note under Middle Pool)
- Coot seen with brood of 2 very small young: seems very early to have young
- no gulls at all (here or at Middle Pool)
- the Stock Dove fly-over may have been one of the birds from Middle Pool area
- noisy party of Jays (at least 3) seen here after those seen at Middle Pool: same?
- 1 singing Chiffchaff again

Birds noted flying over here
- 1 Stock Dove

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 1 (1) Chiffchaff again

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 6 Canada Geese
- 3 (3♂) Mallard
- 28 (21♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 (0♂) Goosander
- 1 Great Crested Grebes
- 4 Moorhens
- 41 + 2 Coots

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Middle Pool 09:30 – 10:10

(11th visit of the year)

- two interloping adult Mute Swans soon seen off
- duck Goosander here as well but as it flew off while I was present perhaps the same bird as at Trench Lock Pool
- two Stock Dove seen flying away from the island: perhaps planning to nest here?
- two (or more) Jays making a lot of noise
- three singing Chiffchaffs today
- pair of Grey Wagtails
- a dead Rat on the path around the water: seemed to have had most of its tail severed – before or after death?

Birds noted flying over here
- 1 Buzzard

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 3 (3) Chiffchaffs

The counts from the water
- 4 Mute Swans
- 23 Greylag Geese
- 36 Canada Goose
- 12 (10♂) Mallard
- 8 (4♂) Tufted Ducks again
- 1 (0♂) Goosander
- 1 Cormorant in same place
- 2 Great Crested Grebes again
- 7 Moorhens again
- 15 Coots

Two interloping Mute Swans at Trench Middle Pool caused a lot of commotion. My position and the lighting gave some opportunity for some classic shots. Inbound to land and ....

... touchdown.

Another flight view.

And another.

And banking away.

... right away.

Not wanted here: better leave.

The ‘other one’ gets airborne

Does not look an easy process.

Not to be outdone by the swans a Canada Goose gives me a fly-by.

“But I am still the best”.

Another take-off.

Greylag Geese in full ‘honk’. Well it is that time of the year!

Handsome birds. This one has just stretched its left wing and not yet fully retracted it, hence we can see the white on the forewing that is so obvious in flight.

Really handsome.

And the Greylags get in to the flight action.

Even a Jay gets in on the action.

And a pair of Grey Wagtails were happy to have their photos taken. Here is what I think is a 1st year male as there seems to be a hint of black in the bib and there is some mottling on the back (adult males have a jet-black bib in breeding season). And ‘grey’ not ‘yellow’ – it is the back colour that gives wagtails their vernacular name.

This a much ‘smarter’ bird and is a female with a white throat: it almost seems to be frownings.

(Ed Wilson)

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

Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
3 Great Crested Grebes
13 Cormorants
4 Greylag Geese
22 Tufted Duck
5 Sand Martins
6 Redwings
8 Chiffchaffs
>500 Jackdaws
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
50 Tufted Ducks
4 Chiffchaffs
4 Siskins
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
6 Great Crested Grebes
1 Cormorant
7 Wigeon 
2 Gadwall 
1 Pochard 
42 Tufted Ducks 
1 Great Black-backed Gull
Mediterranean Gull.
Ring-billed x Lesser Black-backed Gull.
>1500 Black-headed Gulls
2 Redwings
65 Magpies
25 Siskins
2 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
2 Great Crested Grebes 
6 Swans
2 Pochard 
85 Tufted Duck 
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
3 Buzzards
1 Little Grebe 
5 Great Crested Grebe
4 Gadwall
36 Tufted Duck
c.160 Jackdaws
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
4 Great Crested Grebe 
3 Greylag Geese 
32 Tufted Duck

1 Cormorant
43 Tufted Ducks
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Little Ringed Plover
1 Cormorant
1 Mallard x Pintail
18 Tufted Duck
1 Ruddy Duck
1 Little Ringed Plover
1 Kittiwake
33 Wren
29 Robin
24 Blackbird
3 Chiffchaff
39 Magpie
3 Greenfinch
6 Reed Bunting
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
8 Great Crested Grebe
2 Pochard
27 Tufted Duck
1 Snipe
3 Chiffchaff
2 Reed Bunting
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
1 Barn Owl
1 Little Grebe
5 Great Crested Grebes
1 Shoveler
30 Tufted Ducks
2 Water Rails
321 Wood Pigeons
2 Sky Larks
5 Meadow Pipits
33 Wrens
21 Robins
21 Blackbirds
1 Fieldfare
3 Redwings
1 Chiffchaff
1 Willow Tit
18 Greenfinches
8 Siskins
1 Linnet
6 Reed Buntings
1 Yellowhammer.
(Ed Wilson)