5 Mar 17

Priorslee Lake: 11:50 – 12:06

6.0°C: An almost dry interlude between some spells of rain. Light SE wind. Very good visibility

(22nd visit of the year)

A short visit to check whether any of the reported unusual gulls had dropped in. Not likely as there were yachts on the water. This these counts are very much influenced by many birds hiding

Birds passing overhead
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls again

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 2 (1♂) Gadwall also seen by John Isherwood
- 7 (5♂) Mallard
- 10 (7♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Cormorant
- 5 Great Crested Grebes
- 5 Moorhens
- 21 Coots
- 12 Black-headed Gulls

(Ed Wilson)


Telford Crematorium 12:30

1st-winter Glaucous Gull
1 Brambling over-head

(John Isherwood)


Undisclosed Site

I then made my way to another reported site where the interesting gulls had been seen: this is a sensitive site so the exact location is withheld.

Present was the reported first-winter Glaucous Gull [but not the reported adult Iceland Gull]

c.200 other gulls here included Black-headed, Lesser Black-backed and Herring Gulls of varying ages – enough to keep a gull-enthusiast happy and two that remained a puzzle

Another field near here was being grazed by >50 Canada Geese

While here a Brambling was heard flying over – my first in the area this year (seen at Venus Pool reserve earlier in the week).

In rather poor conditions – dull and some rain – it was hard to get a decent shot of this gull as it spent a lot of time asleep and was usually almost head-on. Thus the identification features of a first winter Glaucous Gull were hard to see. The bird is in the centre foreground here and we can at least see the distinctive 2-tone bill with a black tip to a pale pink bill. The rather dark belly is not atypical though here just as likely as a result of it spending time sitting on the mud.

Another view of the first winter Glaucous Gull. The bird is asleep between and behind two adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls. We can see the wing-tip pattern rather better but not the bill pattern. We can also see it is a much larger bird.

This bird is rather confusing: the wing-tips look pale brown and would appear to suggest a first winter Glaucous Gull but the bill pattern is wrong and that and the head-shape would suggest Herring Gull. With help from others on the web the consensus is that it is probably a Glaucous x Herring Gull hybrid. Confusingly – given the similarity of some species – hybrid gulls are not uncommon. With Glaucous Gull being uncommon in our area anyway this hybrid is quite a find.

Another view of what is likely the same bird. I must say the bill pattern looks slightly different but the chances of two Glaucous x Herring Gull hybrids seems so far-fetched that I will put it down to the poor light.

(Ed Wilson)

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

Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

Horsehay Pool
4 Great Crested Grebes
20 Goosander
1 Glaucous Gull
1 Yellow-legged Gull
(Paul King)

Priorslee Lake
4 Great Crested Grebes
2 Pochard
21 Tufted Duck 
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Flash
2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers
4 Great Crested Grebes
8 Pochard
51 Tufted Duck 
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
5 Great Crested Grebes 
1 Heron 
6 Gadwall
28 Pochard
57 Tufted Duck
c.1000 Black-headed Gulls
55 Magpies
1 Linnet
2 Siskin
12 Reed Bunting
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Glaucous Gull
c.200 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
c.10 Herring Gulls
2 Common Gulls
9 Mute Swans
12 Tufted Duck
8 Great Crested Grebe
(Mike Cooper)

Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
7 Great Crested Grebes
2 Herons
1 Cormorant
11 Pochard
90 Tufted Ducks
1 Water Rail
607 Wood Pigeon
11 Greenfinches
23 Siskins
5 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)