24 Nov 16

Priorslee Lake

Afternoon Update: 13:00

1 Caspian Gull probable 3rd-winter - far from expert on this species but key features  - head shape, upper-parts, primaries and leg colour all fitted.
2 Great Black-backed Gulls
1 drake 1st-winter Scaup
4 Gadwall
1 Shoveler

(John Isherwood)

Late Morning Report:10:20 – 12:15

7°C > 8°C: Broken cloud and some sun. Brisk ENE wind. Very good visibility

Another morning with low overcast so I waited until it cleared

(155th visit of the year)

Notes from today
- a Little Grebe was where it usually is, so I have probably overlooked it the last few days
- likely 3 Yellow-legged Gulls today. An adult flew off soon after I started checking the gulls and that most certainly had yellow legs. Two more (an 3rd winter and a 2nd winter that stuck close by) arrived just as I was about to leave
- a Robin with extensive white patches in both wings flew across Teece Drive near the gate – a most arresting bird that I had not noted before. I was about to take a record shot of it perched when I noted that to do so I would be pointing the camera at classrooms in the Holy Trinity Academy: in these strange days that did not seem a good idea

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 4 (2♂) Gadwall again
- 8 (4♂) Mallard
- 1 (0♂) Shoveler again
- 5 (3♂) Pochard
- 118 (66♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 (1♂) (Greater) Scaup remains
- 1 Grey Heron again
- 1 Little Grebe
- 9 Great Crested Grebes
- 10 Moorhens
- 55 Coots
- >135 Black-headed Gulls
- >140 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- >8 Herring Gulls
- 3 Yellow-legged Gull
- 1 Great Black-backed Gull again

Synchronised head-turning from a duck Tufted Duck (on the left) and the first winter drake Scaup with 2 drake Tufted Ducks (probably three) behind.

Here is the first winter drake Scaup showing just how much the adult pale back is now emerging (Coot and 2 drake Tufted Ducks behind).

Only pretending to be asleep. Here we see the vermiculated pattern emerging.

And the same on the other side.

The back bird here is a duck Tufted Duck that is showing some white at the base of the bill inviting comparison with a duck (Greater) Scaup. However the white is nowhere near extensive-enough for that species and it would never show white undertail nor would the black tip to the bill ever show a white area behind (three other duck Tufted Ducks in front, the middle bird showing rather little marking on the bill).

Here is the same bird head-on.

Another duck Tufted Duck with a hint of pale at the base of the bill. Note the extensive black tip to the bill.

This was taken at The Flash and shows another duck Tufted Duck with white at the base of the bill: but there is no mistaking the hint of a ‘tuft’ to ID this bird.

A Buzzard flies over: note its rather full-looking crop and assume it has found something to eat this morning.

This seems to be a 3rd winter Yellow-legged Gull. The rather dark back and the ‘clean’ head point to this species. The tips of some of the greater coverts and the tertials show some brown marks and the bill shows only black and no red mark. There is also only the slightest hint of white in the folded primaries.

Here we see the same bird with a 2nd winter gull, also I think a Yellow-legged Gull. The structure of these birds is remarkably similar and the head of the 2nd winter is similarly whiter and less marked than a typical Herring Gull would be. But why is not a Caspian Gull? That I think would likely show more extensive pale at the base of the bill (a whole range of adult winter Lesser Black-backed Gull behind).

Here these two gulls have swapped places.

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 12:20 – 12:40

(115th visit of the year)

Rather a quick canter past this lunchtime on order to catch my bus

- at last: a few geese!
- a drake Pochard new in – probably one of the missing birds from the lake
- I failed to see any Goosanders even though John Isherwood visited some 20 minutes before me and told me he had seen 8 birds at 12:30
- the sun was out so I checked the ivy: just two flies of un-ID species seen

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 30 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 20 (13♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Pochard
- 32 (23♂) Tufted Ducks
- no Goosander (see notes)
- 1 Grey Heron
- 3 Great Crested Grebes
- 3 Moorhens
- 13 Coots
- 22 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull again

(Ed Wilson)


Holmer Lake: 13:45

6 Goosander

(John Isherwood)

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

Local Area
Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
6 Gadwall 
2 Teal 
3 Pochard 
114 Tufted Duck
228 Coots
1 Snipe 
Tawny Owl
157 Fieldfare
63 Redwings 
208 Jackdaws
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
31 Tufted Ducks 
3 Goosander
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
35 Greylag Geese
3 Gadwall 
9 Pochard
19 Tufted Ducks 
157 Coots
1 Yellow-legged Gull
1 Great Black-backed Gull.
18 Redwings
16 Fieldfares 
4 Siskins
3 Redpoll
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
6 Yellow-legged Gulls
700 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
1 Great Black-backed Gull
(John Isherwood / Tom Lowe)

Priorslee Lake
A male Stonechat
1 Gadwall
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Flash
Great Black-backed Gull
5 Goosander
(John Isherwood)

East of Priorslee
60 Golden Plover
(John Isherwood)