4 Mar 17

Priorslee Lake: 05:47 – 08:40 // 09:30 – 09:51

4.5°C > 7.0°C: High cloud and hazy sun to E; clearer to W though some low cloud. Calm / light S wind later. Very good visibility.

Sunrise: 06:48 GMT

(21st visit of the year)

A fly-over Meadow Pipit was the first of the year and therefore my 68th species for my 2017 Priorslee Lake list

An all-white goose present throughout lacked the black primaries that might have led me to wonder about the likelihood of a genuine vagrant white-morph Snow Goose. As it was it seemed to be slightly less concerned about me than the two Mute Swans – probably a correct analysis as the swans were pursing it across the grass as well as the water. I presume this was a feral bird – it seemed a strong flyer. It was unringed – all birds in wildfowl collections are supposed to be ringed

And talking of swans and my note that one (at least) of the adults present is without a Darvic ring: Paul (who runs the lay-by cafe) told me of a almighty ruckus while I was away when an interloping pair staged a real battle. At one stage they had stopped the traffic in Castle Farm Way while battling it out and Paul tried unsuccessfully to separate them with a broom! One bird was later found dead – with a foot missing; and another had to be taken away by the RSPCA. So we could well have different birds here – which explains too why one of the fishermen commented that they were being a real nuisance whereas previously they were an unusually well-behaved pair that gave the fishermen no trouble

No sign of the putative Woodcock today either

Other notes from today:
- yesterday’s additional drake Gadwall gone
- 5 Cormorants a good count
- the Grey Heron flew off well before dawn
- none of the 10 Great Crested Grebes seen today was an immature bird – I photographed one here on Tuesday
- 2 Kingfishers making a lot of noise and chasing around
- no idea why the Rooks are going out from their roost (wherever that is) in dribs and drabs: most years at this date tight parties of >50 are common
- a Reed Bunting was calling unusually loudly pre-dawn and then flew off making the less often heard rasping nasal call
- 2 March Moths again – but on different lamps this morning

Birds noted flying over the lake
- 1 Greylag Goose
- 16 Canada Geese (6 groups)
- 4 (0♂) Goosanders
- 8 Black-headed Gulls
- 18 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Herring Gulls
- 15 Wood Pigeons
- 180 Jackdaws (18 groups)
- 29 Rooks (15 singles / groups)
- 1 Meadow Pipit
- 3 Siskins
- 2 Linnets

Roost / departure counts
- [Magpie roost not counted]
- 7 Redwings

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 2 (1♂) Gadwall
- 9 (5♂) Mallard
- 17 (13♂) Tufted Ducks
- 5 Cormorants
- 1 Grey Heron
- 1 Little Grebe
- 10 Great Crested Grebes again
- 2 Water Rails heard again
- 11 Moorhens again
- 31 Coots
- 77 Black-headed Gulls
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls again

Another parhelion this morning – this time the ice crystals in the high-level cloud producing a halo (well that part of it we can see above the horizon). There is an often correct weather saw “the bigger the ring the nearer the rain”: basic physics dictates that the halo gets larger as the cloud descends and lower cloud usually means rain nearby. Not today though.

Earlier on only a small part of the halo was visible and it looked much more like another sun-dog (there were in fact two this morning on opposite sides of the sun but I could not get an angle to include both).

The all-white goose of unknown origin: rather a handsome-looking bird.

And again.

In flight we see no black primaries and it is not therefore a white-morph Snow Goose – which would almost equally unlikely be a real wild bird.

A flotilla of Tufted Ducks: numbers of white-sided drakes are usually higher than the dark-sided ducks.

Silly haircuts on the Great Crested Grebes! At present birds are still pairing and looking for territories so display may take place at any time anywhere on the lake so I had to ‘grab’ this at rather longer range than I would have liked.

 One bird attempting to look coy.

All 5 Cormorants lined up on the yacht club platform.

Morning light catching this circling Buzzard.

Getting the exposure right on this in the sun is almost impossible: here the mantle tone of the adult Lesser Black-backed Gull is about right but the now-white head of a breeding condition bird is ‘blown out’ and no feather detail is visible.

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 08:45 – 09:20

(17th visit of the year)

The 2 over flying Siskins were new for my 2017 Flash species list

Other notes
- 2 Great Crested Grebes today
- 2 Sparrowhawks were circling high to SW being chased by crows – still to get this species on my 2017 lake list!
- at least 2 Coal Tits singing and another 2 non-singing birds

Birds noted flying over here
- 1 Black-headed Gull
- 2 Feral Pigeons
- 3 Jackdaws
- 2 Siskins

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 29 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 18 (15♂) Mallard
- 29 (19♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 Cormorant again
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 5 Moorhens
- 12 Coots
- 4 Black-headed Gulls

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 10:00 – 10:24

(6th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- Shoveler all gone since Wednesday
- now 3 drake Pochard here
- good count of Goosanders for date
- Grey Heron was new for my 2017 species list for this site
- gull numbers still very low
- party of at least 40 Jackdaws to N: I always see a few but this many is unusual

Birds noted flying over here
- 2 Herring Gulls

The counts from the water
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 26 Canada Geese
- 2 (1♂) Mallard again
- 3 (3♂) Pochard
- 49 (31♂) Tufted Ducks
- 9 (1♂) Goosander
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 3 Moorhens
- 51 Coots
- 23 Black-headed Gulls

(Ed Wilson)


Telford Crematorium

Adult Iceland Gull in fields east of Telford crematorium; also juvenile Glaucous Gull there. Via BirdGuides Here.

On this day in ...........
Priorslee Lake

Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake

Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake

57 Herring Gull
154 Lesser Black-backed Gull
186 Black-headed Gull
1 Great Black-backed Gull
4 Cormorant
3 Great Crested Grebe
16 Tufted Duck
(Gary Crowder )

Priorslee Lake

5 Great Crested Grebes
1 Little Grebe
6 Gadwall
36 Pochard
55 Tufted Duck
600 Black-headed Gulls
100 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
A leucistic Black-headed Gull
1 Great Black-backed Gull
1 Common Gull
1 Yellow-legged Gull
7 Herring Gulls
(Ed Wilson, Mike Cooper)

Priorslee Lake

9 Tufted Duck
1 Bittern
1 Heron
1 Cormorant
7 Swans
c.400 Black-headed Gulls
1 Iceland Gull
c.700 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
c.70 Herring Gulls
46 Siskins
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake

Glaucous Gull
(Paul King).

Priorslee Lake

6 Great Crested Grebe
8 Pochard
81 Tufted Duck
3 Shoveler
1 Goosander
1 Cormorant
1 Water Rail
180 Lesser-black Backed Gulls
300 Black-headed Gulls
8 Siskin
2 Willow Tit
(Martin Adlam, Peter Parton)