18 Nov 17

Priorslee Lake only

3.5°C > 5.0°C: Thin sliver of clear air to E and N moved away with low cloud spreading from S and unexpected light rain c.09:10. Light mainly S wind. Mainly very good visibility

Sunrise: 07:37 GMT

Priorslee Lake: 06:30 – 09:40

(135th visit of the year)

Markings have appeared around the edge of the football field: I was told these are the areas to be replanted with trees, replacing those cut down unnecessarily during preparation for the new academy

Notes from today:
- 8 Mallard flew off E before 07:00 but are believed to have returned before I did my count
- one Tufted Duck, sex not determined, flew off W at 06:45
- 3 Goosanders (2 drakes) came from the E, circled once, and then headed off SSW once more
- just Great Crested Grebes today: one a juvenile
- a Water Rail was heard calling from the main N-side reeds: an different location from usual
- c.65 Black-headed Gulls arrived from the W early many soon leaving to both the E and W. Thereafter there were birds flying in and out from both directions more or less continually but never more than c.40 present at any one time. How many birds were involved is impossible to say
- no Wood Pigeon passage at all this morning though a low-flying group of 16 may have been on the move rather than local birds – these are usually well-spaced out when they move
- well the Starlings did roost again after yesterday’s attack: an attack that was repeated today with a Starling singled out and seen with a raptor in hot pursuit. The view was somewhat better but still very brief and I have to say the twisting, turning chase was more reminiscent of a Merlin than a Sparrowhawk. But in the still poor light .... Distracted by this, my total of the Starlings seen is even more of a ‘best effort’ than usual. (A confirmed Sparrowhawk was seen flying to the E earlier)
- a Fieldfare was in trees in the Ricoh copse opposite the academy this morning: not unprecedented but I always think of this species as an open country bird
- a Song Thrush was heard in quiet song this morning
- in addition to the single fly-over Meadow Pipit another bird visited the ‘football field’ alongside the academy
- >20 Siskins around in the Alders this morning
and
- no moths on the lamps again
- 2 harvestmen, both apparently Mitostoma bimaculatum, were on different lamps this morning
- a spider sp., probably a Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis), was on another lamp

On with today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake:
- 3 (2♂) Goosander
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 (2?) Sparrowhawks (see notes)
- 11 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Stock Dove
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 32 Wood Pigeons only
- c.750 Jackdaws
- 5 Rooks
- 1 Raven
- 2 Pied Wagtails
- 30 Redwings (3 groups)
- 1 Meadow Pipit again (see notes)
- 4 Goldfinches
- 2 Siskins (singles)

Birds noted leaving roosts around the lake:
- >14 Magpies
- >150 Starlings
- 6 Redwings

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 9 (5♂) Gadwall remain
- 18 (10♂) Mallard
- 2 (2♂) Pochard
- 39 (23♂) Tufted Ducks (see notes)
- 1 Grey Heron
- 3 Little Grebes
- 4 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Water Rail heard
- 9 Moorhens again
- 168 Coots
- c.65 Black-headed Gulls (see notes)
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 1 Kingfisher

(Ed Wilson)

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On this day..........
2016
Local Area
Today's Sightings Here

2013
Priorslee Lake
1 Wigeon 
5 Gadwall 
2 Teal 
1 Pochard 
102 Tufted Duck 
1 Water Rail
229 Coots 
1 Snipe
>500 Starlings
127 Fieldfare
7 Redwings 
99 Jackdaws
1 Brambling
1 Yellowhammer
(Ed Wilson)

2012
Newport
1 Waxwing
(Ed Wilson)

2011
Priorslee Lake
1 Adult Yellow legged Gull
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Flash
1 adult Yellow legged Gull
2 female Goosander
(John Isherwood)

2006
Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
36 Pochard
49 Tufted Duck
1 Ruddy Duck
11 Lapwings
1 Woodcock
c.1700 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
>600 Black-headed Gulls
5 Herring Gull
1 Yellow-legged Gull
2 Great Black-backed Gulls
910 Wood Pigeons
22 Robins
21 Blackbirds
258 Fieldfares
13 Redwings
201 Jackdaws
158 Rooks
348 Starlings
4 Reed Buntings
(Martin Adlam / Ed Wilson)

2005
Priorslee Lake
c.1000 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
c.1500 Black-headed Gulls
10 Herring Gull
2 Yellow-legged Gulls
1 Wigeon
(Martin Adlam)

17 Nov 17

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

1.0°C > 3.5°C: Some cloud cover had kept the frost away until a clearance allowed the grass to turn white. Very light SSW wind. Very good visibility

Sunrise: 07:35 GMT

Priorslee Lake: 06:35 – 09:20

(134th visit of the year)

Some numbers may have been impacted by last night’s unauthorised firework party, the remains of which I cleared up from the dam-top

Other notes from today:
- a drake Goosander flew W at the unusually late time of 08:20 – normally soon after sun-up
- I think there were 5 Great Crested Grebes today: a juvenile was heard begging early on but not seen with any of the adults later. There seemed to be two different juveniles. The birds are no longer keeping to ‘territory’ making counting difficult as they move around under water
- most of the migrating Wood Pigeons were heading N or NNW this morning – as were most Redwings
- will be interesting to see whether the Starlings use the roost again tomorrow: as the main body left what seemed to be a Sparrowhawk dived in to the pack and flew off with a hapless bird in its talons. Whether this was just luck as it was passing-by or whether it ambushed them from a perch is a moot point. Whatever it caused great consternation, not only among the Starlings but also among the 100 or so Black-headed Gulls that were on the water by the reeds trying to steal food from the diving Tufted Ducks
and
- no moths on the lamps this cold morning, but ...
- a Caddis Fly sp on one of the lamps – strange date. Likely Stenophylax permistus

On with today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake:
- 2 Canada Geese (1 group, inbound)
- 3 (2♂) Mallard yet again
- 1 (1♂) Goosander
- 50, exactly, Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Stock Doves (singles)
- 704 Wood Pigeons (of these 656 migrants in 13 groups)
- >440 Jackdaws
- 1 Rook
- 56 Redwings (4 groups)
- 1 Meadow Pipit
- 1 Greenfinch again
- 1 Chaffinch
- 3 Siskins (all singles)

Birds noted leaving roosts around the lake:
- >20 Magpies
- c.105 Starlings in 6 groups
- 7 Redwings

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 9 (5♂) Gadwall again
- 10 (6♂) Mallard yet again
- 3 (2♂) Pochard
- 38 (24♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Grey Herons
- 5 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 Water Rails heard
- 9 Moorhens
- 149 Coots
- c.145 Black-headed Gulls
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

Not too promising a-sunrise.

But it did get better.

A young male Blackbird attacks the haws.

My best effort at identifying this caddis fly is Stenophylax permistus. There are 199 species to choose from, though to be fair many of these look nothing like this mainly brown species. The excellent Naturespot web site notes this species as coming to light and flying unusually late in the year which seems to fit.

After the sun rose it melted the frost and left a damp coating on the always attractive Blackberry (Rubus sp.) leaves.

Here are some more Blackberry leaves. A fine example of Autumn ....

But look: it’s Spring! These Alder (Alnus glutinosa) catkins. As far as I can tell from the web there should not be any catkins before February.
(Ed Wilson)

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The Flash: 09:25 – 10:15

(95th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- geese resumed mainly somewhere else
- still low number of Coots: as many Moorhens today
- quite a few things flying over: nothing too special
and
a visit to the bank of Ivy which was in full sun produced an array of sightings despite the ambient temperature being c.3C
- >5 wasps sp., several of which seemed rather small but probably all Common Wasps (Vespula vulgaris)
- >3 hoverflies, all those ID-ed being Tapered Drone Flies (Eristalis pertinax)
- >20 flies of at least 2 species: provisionally Eudasyphora cyanella and Sepsis fulgens

Birds noted flying over
- 1 Sparrowhawk
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 1 Raven
- 2 Starlings
- 1 Pied Wagtail
- 1 Chaffinch
- 1 Siskin

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 2 Canada Geese again
- 1 white feral goose remains
- 29 (20♂) Mallard
- 2 (2♂) Pochard
- 31 (12♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Great Crested Grebes again
- 9 Moorhens
- 9 Coots
- 47 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 1 Kingfisher

Always happy to take the photograph of a posing Dunnock.

One of the wasps on the Ivy. It is likely a Common Wasp (Vespula vulgaris) as the very similar German Wasp (Vespula germanica) is slightly larger and this specimen looked small. They can only be separated by looking head-on at the face. The German Wasp’s flight period ends somewhat earlier than that of the Common Wasp. It is late for any wasp.

Here we see one of the few hoverflies that are still flying in November – the Tapered Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax).

And another specimen.

One of the many flies on the Ivy this morning. Under the wing we can see a glossy green tone and it is likely this is Eudasyphora cyanella. This fly over winters and is active both late in the year and in Spring. Older specimens lose some of the bright green gloss.

A different specimen: from this angle the slight green gloss is easier to see.

My best effort at this very small fly is Sepsis fulgens, an ant-mimic.

(Ed Wilson)

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On this day..........
2016
Local Area
Today's Sightings Here

2013
Priorslee Lake
1 Wigeon 
2 Gadwall 
2 Teal 
62 Tufted Duck 
214 Coots 
9 Lapwings over 
c.210 Black-headed Gulls
c.250 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
2 Herring Gulls
7 Fieldfare
10 Redwings 
2 Siskins
1 Redpoll
(Ed Wilson)

2011
Priorslee Lake
Caspian Gull
(Andy Latham)

2006
Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
37 Pochard
55 Tufted Ducks
 >625 Black-headed Gulls
2245 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
2 Herring Gulls
1 Great Black-backed Gull
424 Wood Pigeons
23 Blackbirds
374 Fieldfares
58 Redwings
379 Jackdaws
151 Rooks
4 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

16 Nov 17

Priorslee Lake: then Trench Lock Pool and Trench Middle Pool

6.5°C > 10.5°C: Cloud clearing away to the E for a while: then broken mid-level cloud: became overcast after 10:00 and then heavy rain for a while starting at 10:50. Calm start with light mist: later a light, eventually moderate S / SW wind. Very good visibility until arrival of rain.

Sunrise: 07:33 GMT

Priorslee Lake: 06:30 – 09:15

(133rd visit of the year)

Another sighting that got away: a party of 14 geese flew N more or less overhead the lake at 07:15. Rather small and fast-flying they were certainly not Canada Geese. I did not see them until they were through the overhead and they gave little clue as to their identity. The extent of the white at the rear-end suggested either Greylag or Pink-footed Geese. I was unable to see the upper-wing pattern and I did not hear any calls. My impression was they were rather too small for Greylag Geese, but ...

A rather busier morning

Other notes from today:
- early on there was a single drake Gadwall at the W end: the totals below came from the E end at which time I was unable to confirm whether the W end bird was still there
- only the adult Great Crested Grebes seen today. A juvenile was pestering an adult yesterday without apparently getting any response from its sleeping parent: perhaps it has taken the hint
- 2 Water Rails heard squealing along the S side – so still here. Later one calling from the NW area and presumed same also squealing
- 14 of the Wood Pigeons shot out of the trees together and climbed high suggesting that they were migrants that had roosted around the lake rather than local birds. The six migrant parties were heading E, N and SW with most of the birds going NW
- the roosting Starlings were all around the W / NW area this morning: 2 singles shot out of separate areas at the W end; then 4 small groups from the NW reeds; and another single from the SW somewhere. Plenty of Starlings over later, all moving W
and
- 2 Winter Moths and 2 November-type (Epirrita sp.) moths on the lamps. I have yet again changed my mind about the earlier moths this week. Having seen two very obvious Winter Moths and seen how noticeably smaller they are it is clear that, despite their variable markings, all the previously logged moths this week have been November-type (Epirrita sp.) moths. Males Epirrita sps. have slightly different wing shapes from females which adds to the confusion
- a harvestman, probably Mitostoma bimaculatum, and two spiders of different species were sharing a lamp

In my mid-month check of plants still in flower I included
- Dandelion sp. (probably Taraxacum officinale)
This was a bit of a ‘cheat’ as I could only find ‘clocks’: all resolved when today a new flower was opening

On with today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake:
- 2 Canada Geese (1 group, outbound)
- 14 geese sp. (see notes)
- 1 Common Buzzard
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls again
- 10 Feral Pigeons (2 parties)
- 195 Wood Pigeons (of these 165 migrants in 6 groups)
- 89 Jackdaws
- 3 Rooks
- 1 Redwing only
- 2 Fieldfares
- 106 Starlings (8 singles / groups)
- 2 Pied Wagtails
- 1 Greenfinch
- 2 Chaffinches
- 6 Siskins (all singles)

Birds noted leaving roosts around the lake:
- 14 Wood Pigeons (see notes)
- 53 Starlings in 7 singles /groups
- 8 Redwings
- 2 Reed Buntings

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 9 (5♂) Gadwall (perhaps 10 (6♂))
- 10 (6♂) Mallard again
- 2 (2♂) Pochard again
- 37 (22♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron yet again
- 1 Little Grebe
- 4 Great Crested Grebes
- 3 Water Rails heard
- 11 Moorhens
- 159 Coots
- >160 Black-headed Gulls
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Kingfishers

Cannot let the first sunrise for a while go unchallenged.

And from another vantage point.

Now THIS is a real Winter Moth.

So THIS is a November-moth (Epirrita sp.).

This seems to be the harvestman Mitostoma bimaculatum (there is no vernacular name). A harvestman with relatively short legs and active all-year.

The harvestman was sharing its lamp with two spiders: the most obvious one looks rather fierce but I have been unable to ID it from the web. From what can be seen of the other, hiding behind a leaf caught in the web, looks like a Garden Spider (Arameus diadematus).

I did not notice the small bug on the top of this Autumnal leaf.

And some more Autumn leaves (note: it is not true that “The leaves of brown came tumblin' down, remember: in September in the rain” even if Harry Warren and Al Dubin composed it and Dinah Washington sang it).

A whole melange of colour here with one leaf very much past its sell-by date. When the light breeze sprang up later the remaining leaves started a veritable cascade and it cannot be long now before the trees are gaunt.

So meanwhile here are a few more views.

Another.

(Ed Wilson)

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Trench Lock Pool: 09:35 – 10:00

(30th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- 6 cygnets with the lone adult today. perhaps I overlooked the 6th yesterday? seems unlikely so perhaps it was ‘visiting’ somewhere
- only the drake Goosanders fishing today

No birds noted flying over here [apart from the local Wood Pigeons and Jackdaws coming and going]

The counts from the water
- 1 + 6 Mute Swans
- 45 Canada Geese
- 20 (13♂) Mallards
- 1 (1♂) ‘feralMallard remains
- 1 (0♂) Shoveler
- 42 (18♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 (1♂) Goosander
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 Great Crested Grebes again
- 6 Moorhens
- 118 Coots
- 73 Black-headed Gulls
- 16 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

An adult Lesser Black-backed Gull. The position of the white area in the outer primaries and the length of these shows that regrowth after the moult is not complete.

And here it (or a very similar bird) is on the water.

Looking at the rather more extensive winter head-spotting this different bird is also still regrowing the outer primaries.

In contrast the flapping bird here shows a correctly positioned white area and full length outer primaries.

This is a clever trick: gives me neck-ache and its friends seem surprised.

(Ed Wilson)

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Trench Middle Pool: 10:05 – 10:45

(27th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- the Mute Swan family went for a test-flight this morning: 3 of the cygnets flying strongly with full lift-off
- some geese at least have returned
- an overflight by a Pied Wagtail was my first record from here for two years
and
- no moths seen today: yesterday’s moths re-identified as November-type moths (see above)
- a new plant for here was noted – not terribly exiting
- Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Birds noted flying over here
- 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Pied Wagtail

The counts from the water
- 2 + 5 Mute Swans
- 1 Greylag Goose
- 34 Canada Geese
- 23 (18♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) ‘feralMallard
- 11 (7♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 Great Crested Grebes remain
- 15 Moorhens
- 42 Coots
- 59 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

A popular spot to feed the birds – probably with the wrong sort of food, but we will let that pass. Birds get very used to people and the lure of food presents opportunities to photograph the often rather shy Moorhens.

Again here: the back bird is a bird born this year and yet to get the red shield

This view shows the huge feet. It makes the bird amazingly adept at climbing in vegetation.

Unlike Coots there seems to be little aggression between Moorhens and they often gather in some numbers (two Canada Geese try to get in the picture).
(Ed Wilson)

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On this day..........
2014
Local Area
Today's Sightings Here

2013
Priorslee Lake
1 Wigeon 
5 Gadwall 
2 Teal 
69 Tufted Duck 
215 Coots 
19 Lapwings 
c.400 Black-headed Gulls
c.220 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
21 Herring Gulls 
74 Starlings
8 Fieldfare
38 Redwings 
93 Jackdaws
19 Rooks
3 Ravens
(Ed Wilson)

2012
Priorslee Lake
12 Greylag Geese
3 Wigeon
1 Shoveler 
3 Pochard 
11 Tufted Ducks 
Snipe
c.35 Redwings
(Ed Wilson)

2011
Priorslee Lake
2 Caspian Gulls
8 Yellow-legged Gulls
1,600 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
30+ Herring Gulls
4 Great Black-backed Gulls
Hybrid Lesser Black-backed x Herring Gull
(Tom Lowe)

2007
Priorslee Lake
140 Golden Plover
1 Gadwall
2 Wigeon
(John Isherwood)

2006
Priorslee Lake
4 Cormorants
29 Pochard
54 Tufted Ducks
>675 Black-headed Gulls
2571 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
3 Herring Gulls
272 Wood Pigeons
32 Robins
26 Blackbirds
212 Fieldfares
5 Song Thrushes
50 Redwings
7 Mistle Thrushes
5 Goldcrests
563 Jackdaws
144 Rooks
33 Starlings
1 Redpoll
6 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

15 Nov 17

Priorslee Lake: then Trench Lock Pool and Trench Middle Pool

8.5°C > 10.5°C: Mostly cloudy at medium level again. Light and variable wind. Good visibility

Sunrise: 07:32 GMT

Priorslee Lake: 06:30 – 09:05

(132nd visit of the year)

One that got away: a probable Woodcock flew past me and dropped in to the wooded area in the NE area at 06:55. I saw it only out the corner of my eye but it seemed the right size at the right time in the right location. However a ‘probable’ it must remain and I am not adding it to my species list

Other than that it was very quiet this morning, especially flying over with the few Wood Pigeons making only local movements

Other notes from today:
- 5 Goosanders flew overhead at 07:25 and again headed off SW. Seemed to be all drakes: not the best of views
- 3 Little Grebes today: two positioned from the NW to the NE area; with one still in the NW area later
- 10 or more Magpies flushed as I walked underneath their roost pre-dawn – hard to be certain how many. Still many fewer than the usual winter roost count that has, in the past, reached >80 birds. 12 birds seen afterwards may have included birds that roosted elsewhere
- getting reliable numbers for Jackdaws passing is proving hard at the moment. The corvid dispersal used to start c.3 minutes after the first Wren began calling and comprised several loose groups of Rooks. Then some 5 minutes later multiple parties comprising between c.20 and c.150 Jackdaws passed for some 10 minutes with a few smaller groups thereafter. At the moment Rooks seem to be absent with the first Dunnock calls (some 5 minutes after the first Wren) marking the start of the Jackdaw passage. This typically comprises just one or two large, swirling groups that are exceptionally hard to even estimate
- 9 of the roosting Redwings left the traditional NE area
- 4 Siskins noted in trees around the Teece Drive gate
- a Reed Bunting left its W end roost
and
- 2 Winter Moths on the lamps [NB: yesterday’s moth has been re-identified as this species and that becomes the first of the season (and 2017)]
- another moth seen in flight likely also this species
- a fly sp. on one of the lamps seemed to be a spider victim and was probably dead
- yesterday’s group of fungus seem to be Common Bonnet (Mycena galericulata)

One addition to yesterday’s mid-month check of plants still in flower.
- Shaggy Soldier (Galinsoga quadriradiata)

On with today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake:
- 5 (5♂?) Goosanders
- 2 Common Buzzards
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 13 Wood Pigeons only
- c.475 Jackdaws
- 9 Redwings (2 groups)
- 1 Pied Wagtail

Birds noted leaving roosts around the lake:
- >10 Magpies (see notes)
- [Starlings not seen but was in the wrong place for viewing]
- 11 Redwings
- 1 Reed Bunting

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 7 (4♂) Gadwall
- 10 (6♂) Mallard
- 2 (2♂) Pochard
- 38 (22♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Cormorants
- 1 Grey Heron again
- 3 Little Grebes
- 4 + 1 Great Crested Grebes
- 9 Moorhens
- 173 Coots
- >140 Black-headed Gulls
- 16 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull

This was the specimen that convinced me that my ID was wrong yesterday: this is a Winter Moth.

The distinction between the November Moth group and Winter Moth (apart from the subtly different wing-shape) is well illustrated here: none of the ‘November Moths’ would show the banding seen on this specimen. All these are males: like most winter-flying moths the female are almost wingless.

A puzzle here: from the striped thorax I thought this was a dead hoverfly but looking at the photo I see the spurs on the legs and hairy body which means it is likely a ‘true fly’. But which I cannot say, being unable to locate any similar examples on the web.

Here is the flower I missed yesterday – Shaggy Soldier (Galinsoga quadriradiata).

My fungi identification is always tentative. I am fairly certain this is a Mycena sp.: I would vote for Common Bonnet (Mycena galericulata). Slight concern that it is a rather late date for this species and it should be growing on dead wood – perhaps a branch hidden in the leaf litter?

Some more Autumnal views: here is one.

And another.

And another.

And yet another.

(Ed Wilson)

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Trench Lock Pool: 09:25 – 09:50 // 15:15

(29th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- only 5 cygnets with the lone adult today. I know these birds can fly so I hope the other two have flown away. One of the remaining five was keeping well-away from the rest
- both drake and brownhead Goosanders fishing in the lake
- 2 Great Crested Grebes today: one adult and one 1st year

Birds noted flying over here [apart from the local Wood Pigeons and Jackdaws coming and going]
- >25 Starlings from the local estate?

The counts from the water
- 1 + 5 Mute Swans
- 4 Canada Geese
- 15 (10♂) Mallards
- 1 (1♂) ‘feralMallard remains
- 44 (21♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 (1♂) Goosanders
- 2 Little Grebes again
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 5 Moorhens yet again
- 120 Coots
- 61 Black-headed Gulls
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

As a postscript a quick look while walking past at 15:15 revealed
- 39 Canada Geese
- 1 (0♂) Shoveler
- 246 Black-headed Gulls with more arriving all the time
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls arrived

The drake Goosander measured against a Coot.

And the brownhead Goosander, likely a female with the shaggy hair-do rather too extensive for a first-winter drake.

(Ed Wilson)

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Trench Middle Pool: 09:55 – 10:20 // 14:55

(25th visit of the year)

Notes from first visit
- where are all the geese? The lone Canada Goose flew in
- another record number of Coots for me here
and
- 2 Winter Moths on the lamps: moths have been scarce here this year since the lamp-heads were changed for the latest LEDs with a different colour-spectrum
- a Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) again
- I did not do a plant survey here: however I noted flowering Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca) which seems to be no longer in flower at the lake

Birds noted flying over here
None

The counts from the water
- 2 + 5 Mute Swans
- 1 Canada Goose
- 25 (19♂) Mallard
- 9 (5♂) Tufted Duck
- 2 Great Crested Grebes remain
- 13 Moorhens
- 46 Coots
- 2 Black-headed Gulls briefly

And as a postscript here: at 14:55
- 24 Canada Geese
- 23 Black-headed Gulls

Another Winter Moth: the specimens seen to today show the variability of the marking on this species. The wing shape at rest is a good clue.
This specimen is much less well-marked.

(Ed Wilson)

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On this day..........
2016
Local Area
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Local Area
Today's Sightings Here

2013
Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe 
1 Wigeon 
5 Gadwall 
2 Teal 
77 Tufted Duck 
230 Coots 
c.650 Black-headed Gulls
c.450 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
21 Herring Gulls
36 Fieldfare
2 Redwings
(Ed Wilson)

2012
Priorslee Lake
3 Wigeon
1 Shoveler 
3 Pochard 
11 Tufted Ducks 
c.35 Redwings
c.175 Jackdaws
36 Rooks
(Ed Wilson)

2011
Priorslee Lake
4 Yellow-legged Gulls
(John Isherwood)

2006
Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebes
30 Pochard
75 Tufted Ducks
50 Coots
>550 Black-headed Gulls
1329 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
7 Herring Gulls
1 Yellow-legged Gull
242 Wood Pigeons
36 Robins
22 Blackbirds
72 Fieldfares
22 Redwings
1 Redpoll
3 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

14 Nov 17

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

8.0°C > 10.5°C: Mostly cloudy with a few breaks for a while. Light WSW wind. Very good visibility

Sunrise: 07:30 GMT

Priorslee Lake: 06:40 – 09:20

(131st visit of the year)

Notes from today:
- just 2 Canada Geese seen in the distance this morning
- 2 drake Goosanders circled overhead at c.07:45 and then headed off SW towards Holmer Lake? At 09:10 a pair circled and landed briefly
- still a significant Wood Pigeon passage in variable sized groups (from 4 to c.285) in many different directions – S, SW, NE but mainly NW. Very few in trees around the lake – just 5 noted
- c.225 Starlings flew out of roosts in NW reeds in 8 small groups. 2 more came from somewhere else
- at least 1 Lesser Redpoll: could have been a single bird circling or more than one passing
- Bullfinch was an usual ‘fly-over’ species: seemed too high to be a local bird
and
- 1 November Moth type (Epirrita sp.) on a lamp
- 1 spider sp. also on a lamp: probably Nursery a Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)
- a group of fungus noted but a flat camera battery precluded a photo to try and ID them

My mid-month check of plants still in flower. Many were in very poor condition. Common (or Stinging) Nettle was not noted during my mid-October hunt
- Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
- Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus agg.) – flowers as well as fruit
- Common Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium)
- Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
- Common Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris)
- Daisy (Bellis perennis)
- Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum)
- Red Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
- Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus acris)
- Dwarf Thistle (Cirsium acaule)
- Perennial Sow-thistle (Sonchus arvensis)
- Dandelion sp. (probably Taraxacum officinale)
- Common (or Stinging) Nettle (Urtica dioica)

The following plants were noted as in fruit
- Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
- Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus agg.)
- Snowberry (Symphoricarpos sp. probably S. albus)
- Blackthorn [Sloe] (Prunus spinosa)
- Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus)
- dogwood sp. likely Red-osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)
- Wall Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster horizontalis)

On with today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake:
- 2 Canada Geese (inbound)
- 2 (2?) Goosanders
- 1 Common Buzzard
- 7 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Feral Pigeons (1 group)
- 2 Stock Doves (1 group)
- >1100 Wood Pigeons (14 groups)
- c.675 Jackdaws
- 12 Starlings (2 groups)
- 50 Redwings (6 groups)
- 1 Greenfinch
- 2 Siskins
- 1 Lesser Redpoll
- 1 Bullfinch
- 16 unidentified finch sps.

Birds noted leaving roosts around the lake:
- >225 Starlings
- 2 Redwings

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 9 (5?) Gadwall
- 11 (7?) Mallard
- 4 (2?) Pochard
- 43 (25?) Tufted Ducks
- 2 (1?) Goosanders
- 1 Grey Herons
- 4 + 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Water Rail heard
- 6 Moorhens
- 172 Coots
- >110 Black-headed Gulls
- 48 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Kingfisher

This morning’s November Moth type (Epirrita sp.). An unusually warm-toned specimen, so much so that I initially logged it as a Mottled Umber moth which is a species with very variable markings. Looking at the photo shows that the wing shape is quite wrong for either of the ‘umber’ moths and the few markings that are present line up with the November Moth complex.

This looks to me like the Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis). My references suggest that this species is only active in early summer. The markings look right though and I note that I recorded the same species on 16 January this year.

A ‘flower’ I did not find last month but seems to be having renewed growth – Common (or Stinging) Nettle (Urtica dioica). The small grey-white flowers are quite inconspicuous.

Still a number of Acer sp. trees with leaves showing Autumn colour.

(Ed Wilson)

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The Flash: 09:25 – 09:50

(94th visit of the year)

A very quiet morning here

Notes from here
- what was presumably the only other cygnet to have been seen here recently was noted dead on the island
- first Pochard of the season here
- Coot numbers very low again
- 22 Goldfinches at least in trees on the island

Birds noted flying over
None

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 2 Canada Geese
- 1 white feral goose again
- 23 (15?) Mallard
- 1 (1?) Pochard
- 25 (11?) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 4 Moorhens
- 7 Coots
- 57 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

(Ed Wilson)

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On this day..........
2016
Local Area
Today's Sightings Here

2013
Priorslee Lake
80 Golden Plover
1 Wigeon
5 Gadwall
2 Teal
76 Tufted Duck
1 Water Rail
229 Coots
133 Wood Pigeons
254 Fieldfare
51 Redwings
391 Jackdaws
66 Rooks
(Ed Wilson)

2012
Priorslee Lake
3 Gadwall
6 Pochard
11 Tufted Ducks
150 Coots
1 Yellow-legged Gull
1 Great Black-backed Gull
2 Snipe
70 Redwings
105 Fieldfares 
c.325 Starlings left the roost 
c.645 Jackdaws
116 Rooks
Brambling
(John Isherwood/Ed Wilson)

2006
Priorslee Lake
35 Pochard
56 Tufted Ducks
1 drake Ruddy Duck
>750 Black-headed Gulls
>825 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
1 Great Black-backed Gull
660 Wood Pigeons
1 Kingfisher
31 Robins
27 Blackbirds
155 Fieldfares
23 Redwings
1 Willow Tit
415 Jackdaws
194 Rooks
69 Starlings
3 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)