9 Mar 17

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

8.5°C > 11.0°C: Fine and clear. Moderate W wind. Very good visibility

Sunrise: 06:39 GMT

Priorslee Lake: 05:24 – 07:10 // 08:00 – 09:26

 (26th visit of the year)

Best today was the Chiffchaff singing as it made its way rapidly along the N side

Notes from today:
- decreasing number of Tufted Ducks – moving off to breed?
- at 12 the largest count of Great Crested Grebes this year
- Jackdaws using very many different flight-lines this morning – almost all in small groups
- thwarted again with the early Rook departure. Despite being in place by 05:35 the much lighter morning meant that once again I only heard them over as I arrived
- 22 Redwings seen in trees in NW area suggests birds moving back through
- in addition to the 5 fly-over Pied Wagtails 2 birds seem to have claimed the roof of the Holy Trinity Academy
- no moths on the lamps this morning
- first flower of Spring – Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna [was Ranunculus ficaria])

Birds noted flying over the lake
- 2 Greylag Geese (singles)
- 22 Canada Geese (7 groups)
- 2 Cormorants
- 9 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Stock Dove
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 30 Wood Pigeons
- 1 Collared Dove
- 212 Jackdaws (32 singles / groups)
- 13 Rooks only (7 singles / groups)
- 2 Ravens
- 4 Starlings
- 5 Pied Wagtails
- 1 Greenfinch
- 2 Goldfinches again
- 4 Siskins (2 groups)

No meaningful counts of any roosts today

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 2 (1♂) Gadwall again
- 8 (5♂) Mallard
- 16 (10♂) Tufted Ducks
- 3 Cormorants
- 1 Grey Heron
- 12 Great Crested Grebes
- 14 Moorhens
- 28 Coots
- 56 Black-headed Gulls
- 2 Herring Gulls

A splendid sunrise and the red sky did not mean ‘shepherd’s warning’ today.

From a different view

A close up of part.

And the early sun lighting the reeds.

Turned in to a splendid Spring day.

An almost full breeding-plumage adult Black-headed Gull – just a few white flecks still in the face.

A ‘compare and contrast’: the head of a first-year Black-headed Gull. The bill just peeking in to the photo shows the darker red of an adult even though the head of this bird does not yet show much black as yet.

A different first-year Black-headed Gull in flight.

And the upper-wing of the same bird. It is an unusually strongly-marked bird but considerable variation occurs.

This group dropped in later and contained a much-higher proportion of adult than I have seen here this month.

Will try harder to get a better shot but here we see a Dunnock raising one wing in characteristic display. Dunnocks lead a rather interesting life with analysis of eggs in any nest revealing eggs from various partners and indeed eggs that have nothing to do with either of the ‘owners’ of the nest.

Always hard to approach this species: a Redwing in the trees.

This singing Chiffchaff was working its way quickly through the N side trees. I managed to catch up and grab this shot.

My first flower of the year here (if you discount catkins as being flowers – which they are of course). This is a Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna [was Ranunculus ficaria]). It comes complete with a small fly.

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 07:20 – 07:55

(20th visit of the year)

The Stock Dove over-flying here was my first of the year at this site

- drake Pochard new in
- duck Goosander flew off at 07:40
- at least 3 Nuthatches again

Birds noted flying over here
- 1 Stock Dove
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 2 Wood Pigeons

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 33 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 16 (13♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Pochard
- 20 (10♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 (0♂) Goosander
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 6 Moorhens still
- 13 Coots
- 6 Black-headed Gulls

In addition to the Moorhens here and at the lake a single birds was seen on the upper small pool alongside the path between the lake and The Flash.

The ‘new-in’ drake Pochard was uncharacteristically approachable. Ploughing through water it is showing a bow-wave.

Nuthatches are being very noisy at the moment. Gives me the opportunity to snap them when they are not running up and down trunks and branches.

He hopped around for a different view.

(Ed Wilson)

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

Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
1 Iceland Gull
1 Grey Wagtail
(Martin Grant)

Priorslee Lake
13 Pochard
37 Tufted Ducks
1 Chiffchaff. First of the year
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
3 Snipe
1 Teal
11 Pied Wagtails
13 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
1 Glaucous Gull
17 Redwings
1 Linnet
(Ed Wilson, Martin Grant)

Priorslee Lake
6 Cormorant
22 Tufted Duck
1 Ruddy Duck
420 Wood Pigeon
33 Wren
25 Robin
22 Blackbird
17 Fieldfare
22 Redwing
1 Chiffchaff. First of the year
4 Goldcrest
59 Magpie
218 Jackdaw
6 Reed Bunting
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Flash
4 Great Crested Grebe
3 Pochard
38 Tufted Duck
11 Goosander
1 Stock Dove
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
6 Great Crested Grebes
6 Pochard
33 Tufted Ducks
2 Ruddy Ducks
115 Coots
226 Wood Pigeon
178 Jackdaws
21 Blackbirds
c.25 Fieldfares
12 Redwings
1 Willow Tit
9 Greenfinches
6 Redpolls
7 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)