4 Nov 16

Priorslee Lake: 07:20 – 10:00

Sunrise: 07:13 GMT

6°C > 9°C: The Telford ‘hat’ of low cloud to start; breaks soon developed; cleared from W after 08:30. Light W wind. Very good visibility

Passage even lighter this morning

Highlight was the Chiffchaff calling and seen at the lake

(140th visit of the year)

Notes from today
- the first group of Canada Geese overhead and apparently inbound to The Flash were 4 at 07:20
- drake Shoveler was new in
- just one Little Grebe today and that took a lot of searching for
- Coot numbers remain low: some years we get a build up to >200 but apparently not this year
- all the Wood Pigeon parties much smaller: all passed to the W of the lake, probably because that was where the clear sky was
- 2 Kingfishers around the Wesley Brook footbridge were very noisy and chasing around: one even briefly perched on the bridge as I stood on it
- as highlighted the Chiffchaff was a surprise: I am sure they are in the area all winter but they typically stop calling around mid-October and are then hard to find. Today the bird was calling persistently enabling me to confirm its ID
- after yesterday’s small passage of Starlings there were just 4 today
- the rather mild start perhaps was responsible for the Mistle Thrush quietly singing
- 2 November Moth agg. moths again: one on a different lamp today
- the same female Feathered Thorn apparently in exactly the same place on one of the lamps as yesterday
- a crane-fly sp., probably Limonia nubeculosa again

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 1 Greylag x Canada Goose
- 40 Canada Geese (2 groups)
- 2 Black-headed Gulls
- 49 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Herring Gulls again
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 234 Wood Pigeons (16 groups again)
- 35 Jackdaws
- 21 Rooks
- 2 Ravens
- 2 Skylarks (singles)
- 4 Starlings (2 groups)
- 7 Fieldfare (2 groups)
- 1 Redwing
- 2 Pied Wagtails
- 2 Meadow Pipit (singles)
- 1 Chaffinch
- 4 Greenfinches
- 6 Goldfinches
- 17 Siskins

Count of birds seen leaving roosts around the lake
*** all gone before I arrived ***

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 4 (2♂) Gadwall again
- 20 (12♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Shoveler
- 68 (38♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 Grey Heron
- 1 Little Grebe
- 6 Great Crested Grebes
- 12 Moorhens
- 59 Coots
- >225 Black-headed Gulls
- 13 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

A 1st winter Black-headed Gull passes by.

Another view of the same bird, again showing the wing pattern at this age.

I know I have photographed Gadwall many times before, but always worth a shot when they are lit like this.

The drake Shoveler new in this morning (a duck Tufted Duck behind).

 One of the local Buzzards flies over, plumage well highlighted by the low sun.

... and the upperwing.

Here is a different bird.

The immature (white belly) Cormorant did not stay long: here it is leaving.

Every year I see these and forget what they are and have to look it up! They are the vivid pink fruits and orange seeds of the Spindle-tree (Euonymus europaeus). The fruits (and the leaves) are toxic to humans but harmless to many things that eat them – aphids like the leaves; and Blackbirds the fruits. The tree is named because the wood was used to make spindles.

Many leaves now gone; some colour lingers on.

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 10:05 – 10:35

(103rd visit of the year)

- the number of Great Crested Grebes logged seems to depend on what they are doing: if they are fishing they are typically elusive; if loafing then all three – two adults and their immature – are off the E side of the island
- is it the same adult Lesser Black-backed that seems to be always here?
- late Red Admiral again
- again a few wasp sp. around the ivy
- also several Eristalis tenax hoverflies; with these was at least one wasp-mimic hoverfly Eupeodes corollae

Birds noted flying over
- 9 Feral Pigeons

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 1 Greylag x Canada Goose
- 36 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 29 (21♂) Mallard
- 14 (5♂) Tufted Ducks
- 11 (0♂) Goosanders
- 1 Great Crested Grebe
- 3 Moorhens
- 12 Coots
- 35 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

A complement to the first winter Black-headed Gull at the lake: at closer quarters. Unusually this bird shows an incomplete tail band.

Bright sun and white birds ... hard to get the exposure right. A fluke here on this adult winter Black-headed Gull.

Not often you get a chance to photograph Nuthatches – they are usually running up and down trunks and branches too fast. A grab shot here.

I thought wasp sp. then “hang on: wasps do not have red eyes!”. This is the hoverfly Eupeodes corollae, a wasp mimic. My first record of this species for The Flash (it was new for me in July at the lake).

A couple of flies also enjoying the ivy nectar.

(Ed Wilson)

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


Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

Nedge Hill
50 Golden Plover
(Arthur Harper)


Priorslee Lake
Yellow legged Gull
(John Isherwood)


Priorslee Lake
16 Pochard
43 Tufted Duck
Yellow-legged Gull
400+ Jackdaws
17 Fieldfare
7 Redwings
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash

24 Pochard
81 Tufted Ducks
c.180 large gulls
5 Redwings here
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock Pool

Yellow-legged Gull
(Martin Grant)


Priorslee Lake
17 Pochard
4 Wigeon
8 Tufted
42 Mute Swan
400+ Lesser Black-backed Gull
Yellow Legged Gull
(Mike Cooper)


2 Brambling
(Dave Barrow / Andy Latham)


Priorslee Lake
23 Pochard
48 Tufted Ducks
1 Ruddy Duck
650+ Black-headed Gulls
1 Common Gull
134 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
450 Wood Pigeons
15 Pied Wagtails
18 Wrens
13 Dunnocks
25 Robins
18 Blackbirds
155 Fieldfares
5 Song Thrushes
85 Redwings
1 Mistle Thrush
14 Greenfinches
2 Siskins
4 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)