31 Dec 17

No sightings in today.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On this day..........
2016
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2013
Priorslee Lake
Two 1st-winter female Scaup
(Ian Grant)

2012
Priorslee Lake
Drake Scaup
(Jim Almond and Paul Spear)

2010
Priorslee Lake
c.1500 Black-headed Gulls
1 Common Gull
1 Great Black-backed Gull
Water Rail
(Ed Wilson)

2005
Priorslee lake
11 Great Crested Grebes
31 Pochard
48 Tufted Duck
237 Coot
Golden Plover
1 Water Rail
700 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
c.1250 Black-headed Gulls
300 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
1 Yellow-legged Gull
37 Herring Gulls
6 Great Black-backed Gull
374 Jackdaws
178 Rooks
1 Kingfisher
1 Willow Tit
2 Redpolls.
2 Redwings
14 Robins
19 Blackbirds
13 Greenfinches
5 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

30 Dec 17

No sightings in today.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On this day..........
2016
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2013
Priorslee Lake
2 female Scaup
1 Yellow-legged Gull
3 Great Black-backed Gulls
7 Gadwall
(John Isherwood/Dawn Balmer)

The Flash
5 Goosander
(John Isherwood)

Little Wenlock, Candles Landfill Site
Yellow-legged Gull
(Dawn Balmer)

Horsehay Pool
12 Goosander
(Dawn Balmer)

2012
Priorslee Lake
4 Yellow-legged Gulls
(Jim Almond/Chris Ballance)

2011
Priorslee Lake
1 adult Yellow-legged Gull
9 Great Black-backed Gulls
Water Rail
(John Isherwood)

2010
Priorslee Lake
Yellow-legged Gull
Redpoll
(Ed Wilson)

2009
Priorslee Lake
Caspian Gull
(Jason)

2006
Priorslee lake
2 Great Crested Grebes
19 Pochard
34 Tufted Ducks
>300 Black-headed Gulls
>298 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
12 Herring Gull
33 Robins
13 Blackbirds
10 Fieldfares
45 Redwings
3 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

2005
Priorslee lake
2 Little Grebes 
11 Great Crested Grebes 
1 Cormorant 
2 Mute Swans 
35 Pochard
84 Tufted Duck
243 Coot
c.250 Black-headed Gulls 
c.700 Lesser Black-backed Gulls 
1 Yellow-legged Gull 
32 Herring Gulls
(Ed Wilson)

29 Dec 17

No sightings in today.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On this day..........
2012
Priorslee Lake
Drake Scaup
2 Yellow-legged Gulls
3 Great Black-backed Gulls
(Martin Grant)

2011
Priorslee Lake
4 Yellow legged Gull
22 Great Black-backed Gulls
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Flash
Tundra Bean Goose
(John Isherwood)

Holmer Lake
9 Goosander
(John Isherwood)

2009
Priorslee Lake
1 Black-necked Grebe
4 Gadwall
2 Water Rail
2 Caspian Gull
Yellow-legged Gull
Ring-billed Gull
(John Isherwood/Richard Vernon/Dawn Balmer/Peter Wilson)

2007
Priorslee Lake
1 Cormorant 
3 Wigeon
30 Tufted Duck
4 Pochard
180+ Coot
3 Yellow-legged Gulls
4000+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls
65 Herring Gulls
1000+ Black-headed Gulls
(Martin Adlam)

2006
Priorslee lake
1 Little Grebe
3 Pochard
10 Tufted Ducks
1 Lapwing
>550 Black-headed Gulls
>108 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
1 Great Black-backed Gull
c.40 Redwings
(Ed Wilson)

2005
Priorslee lake
c.3200 Lesser black-backed Gulls
c.1700 Black-headed Gulls
c100 Herring Gulls
8 Great Black-backed Gulls
4 Yellow-legged Gull
(Martin Adlam/Ed Wilson/John Isherwood)

28 Dec 17

No sightings in today.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On this day..........
2016
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2015
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
Today's sightings Here

2013
Priorslee Lake
7 Gadwall
10 Pochard
64 Tufted Ducks
1 Scaup
1 Goosander
218 Coots
28 Redwings
386 Jackdaws
209 Rooks
(Ed Wilson)

2012
Priorslee Lake
1 drake Scaup
4 Gadwall
19 Pochard
1 Peregrine
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Flash
4 Goosander
1 Pochard
(John Isherwood)

Little Wenlock, Candles Landfill Site
1 Caspian Gull
2 Yellow-legged Gulls
15+ Great Black-backed Gulls
(Dawn Balmer & Pete Wilson)

Horsehay Pool
1 Yellow-legged Gull
(Kriss Webb)

2011
Priorslee Lake
1 Caspian Gull 
9 Yellow-legged Gulls
(Dawn Balmer/Peter Wilson/David Fairhurst)

2009
Priorslee Lake
Black necked Grebe
4 Gadwall
1 Water Rail
(John Isherwood)

2008
Priorslee Lake
1 Peregrine
 2 Wigeon
(John Isherwood)

Trench Pool
1 Yellow-legged Gul1
1 Great Black-backed Gull 
1 Gadwall
(John Isherwood)

2007
The Flash
11 Goosander
(Martin Adlam)

Priorslee Village
9 Siskins
7 Redwing
(Martin Adlam)

2006
Priorslee lake
1 Great Crested Grebe
1 Pochard
15 Tufted Ducks
13 Lapwings
c.100 Black-headed Gulls
c.1100 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
26 Herring Gulls
2 Yellow-legged Gulls
1 Great Black-backed Gull
12 Pied Wagtails
6 Redwing
1 Fieldfare
160 Jackdaws
97 Rooks
20 Chaffinches
5 Reed Buntings
(Martin Adlam)

2005
Priorslee lake
30 Pochard 30
32 Tufted Duck
6 Great Crested Grebe
200+ Coot
1 Water Rail
c.3000 Black-headed Gulls
c.2000 Lesser Black-backs
4 Herring Gulls
21 Pied Wagtails
247 Rooks
172 Jackdaw
5 Redwing
5 Fieldfare
46 Siskin
19 Reed Bunting
(Martin Adlam)

27 Dec 17

Priorslee Lake: then Trench Lock Pool and Trench Middle Pool

1.0°C > 2.5°C: Mostly cloudy with a few light sleet showers: clearer to W. Fresh and very chilly N wind. Good visibility

Sunrise: 08:22 GMT

The very chill wind prevented me being so assiduous in making the counts this morning. That said, the birds seemed to be keeping hidden

Best today (unless you are a fish) was the group of 21 Cormorants that spent a short while on the lake between 08:40 and 08:45. Groups of a similar size have been seen in the distance recently. It is many years since I have seen this number in the lake – I recall sometime in the 1990s when a party of >50 birds arrived and did synchronised diving to drive a shoal of fish in to the shallows where they fed frantically for a few minutes and then left. With them on occasions – large groups dropped in regularly for some weeks – was a Shag, a bird normally restricted to salt water or brackish estuaries

Priorslee Lake: 07:00 – 09:15

(172nd visit of the year)

Notes from today:
- no sign of yesterday’s unringed Mute Swan cygnet
- exact number of Canada Geese not confirmed: the largest of the groups left at 07:30 when still rather dark
- single brownhead Goosander seen leaving at 08:20: the same / another flew high E at 09:00
- Black-headed Gull numbers were building nicely when a Buzzard flew over and they mostly scattered and very few returned
- the Lesser Black-backed Gull on the lake was a very dark-backed bird with a very clean head – likely a Scandinavian race bird – ssp. fuscus
- a Green Woodpecker heard again
- no Starlings seen today
and
- nothing on the lamps again

Today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over / near the lake:
- 1 (0♂) Goosanders
- 1 Buzzard
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 2 Stock Doves
- 5 Wood Pigeons
- c.125 Jackdaws
- 2 Pied Wagtails
- 2 Goldfinches
- 1 Siskin
- 1 Lesser Redpoll

Birds noted leaving roosts around the lake:
- >20 Magpies
- 1 Redwing only
- 1 Reed Bunting

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- c.28 Canada Geese
- 11 (6♂) Gadwall: back to normal
- 7 (5♂) Mallard
- 3 (2♂) Pochard
- 54 (27♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 (0♂) Goosanders
- 22 Cormorants
- 3 Little Grebes
- 3 Great Crested Grebes
- 8 Moorhens
- [Coots not counted]
- c.110 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

This gull looks superficially like a Great Black-backed Gull with a very dark back, an almost unmarked white head and a brutish-looking bill. Not so: it is too small and the back is not quite so concolorous with the wing-tips as it would be on a Great Black-backed Gull. It is a Lesser Black-backed Gull, almost certainly a fuscus race from Scandinavia; and almost certainly a male which averages larger with a bigger bill. Most Great Black-backed Gulls would show larger white spots in the folded primaries, though we cannot be sure here as the wings are not folded too neatly.
(Ed Wilson)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trench Lock Pool: 09:25 – 09:50

(42nd visit of the year)

Notes from here
- Shoveler seem to have moved on
- rather fewer diving ducks than on my last visit

Birds noted flying over here [apart from the local Wood Pigeons and Jackdaws coming and going]
- c.30 Starlings

The counts from the water
- 1 + 6 Mute Swans remain
- 21 Canada Geese
- 10 (6♂) Mallards
- 1 (1♂) ‘feralMallard again
- 3 (3♂) Pochard
- 47 (27♂) Tufted Ducks
- 5 (3♂) Goosanders
- 2 Cormorants
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- [Moorhen and Coots not counted]
- 33 Black-headed Gulls
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Herring Gulls

I have quite deliberately over-enlarged these two gulls to demonstrate just how variable winter gulls can be. Ostensibly these are both adult Herring Gulls. The bird in the foreground has a mainly black lower mandible which would suggest a sub-adult – 3rd / 4th winter – though there is no other plumage to suggest it is anything other than a full adult. The head shows remarkably little head streaking. The back gull is a much more typical adult winter Herring Gull with only red on the lower mandible and significant streaking on the head and neck.
(Ed Wilson)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trench Middle Pool: 09:55 – 10:30

(36th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- my largest count of Moorhens this year
also
- several new clumps of fungus found

Birds noted flying over here
- 1 Buzzard
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 1 Siskin

The counts from the water
- 2 + 5 Mute Swans remain
- 15 Canada Geese
- 15 (11♂) Mallard
- 1 (0♂) ‘feralMallard
- 19 (13♂) Tufted Duck
- 14 (4♂) Goosander
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 Grey Heron yet again
- 1 Great Crested Grebe yet again
- 16 Moorhens
- 51 Coots
- 56 Black-headed Gulls

A lot of fungus in the leaf-litter this morning not noted on my last visit (23 December). Many of the fruiting bodies were damaged. I did wonder whether this was from the weight of snow and I had overlooked them on previous visit. I suspect it as likely that the damage was done by some of the many dogs that are walked around here.
These seem to be of a different species pushing up through the leaves. The leaves were stuck fast and thoughts of ‘gardening’ were dashed. I would certainly have damaged them.
Another species?

And what about this one?

(Ed Wilson)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On this day..........
2016
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
Today's sightings Here

2013
Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
7 Gadwall
7 Pochard
101 Tufted Ducks
1 Scaup
210 Coots
1 Great Black-backed Gull
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
1 Little Grebe
69 Tufted Ducks
(Ed Wilson)

2012
Little Wenlock, Candles Landfill Site
1 Caspian Gull
1 Yellow-legged Gull.
(Dawn Balmer & Pete Wilson)

2011
The Wrekin
Flock of Crossbills near summit
(Maurice Baker)

2010
Priorslee Lake
2nd-winter Mediterranean Gull
(Observer Unknown)

2009
Priorslee Lake
Black-necked Grebe
4 Great Crested Grebes
18 Mute Swans
59 Canada Geese
4 Gadwall
29 Pochard 
92 Tufted Ducks 
2 Water Rails
327 Coots
2 Redwings
16 Goldfinches
13 Siskins
(Ed Wilson)

2006
Priorslee lake
2 Great Crested Grebe
22 Tufted Ducks
86 Coots
2 Great Black-backed Gulls
3 Buzzards
20 Pied Wagtails
c.200 Redwing
4 Mistle Thrush
c.500 Fieldfare
1 Willow Tit
3 Brambling
14 Chaffinches
13 Greenfinches
2 Redpoll
1 Siskin
3 Reed Buntings
(Martin Adlam)

26 Dec 17

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

2.0°C > 3.0°C: Clear and frosty with only a little high cloud to the SW. Moderate WSW wind. Very good visibility. Very fresh feel after the last few days

Sunrise: 08:21 GMT yet again

Priorslee Lake: 06:55 – 09:25

(171st visit of the year)

Notes from today:
- the resident Mute Swans awoke to find some visitors: the adult was seen off and left to the E while it was still rather dark at 07:30, having scattered the Canada Geese in the process. An unringed cygnet was on the boat ramp and stayed there unable to reach the water. This bird looked less well-developed than the resident cygnets but must have flown here
- the extra drake Gadwall not noted today
- pair of Goosander circled and landed at 08:00 staying less then five minutes
- a party of 22 Cormorants flew S to the E at 08:20 – to Bayliss Pools?
- a few Starlings in the NW reeds roost: another small party flew over
- another Skylark record: I am tempted to suggest this bird is using the brownfield site to the north and I am hearing / seeing it fly in or out
- 4 different Reed Buntings around the lake: none of these flew off suggesting these were residents rather than roosting birds
and
- nothing on the lamps after overnight rain and then the clear, frosty conditions

Today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over / near the lake:
- 3 (2♂) Mallard
- 22 Cormorants
- 17 Black-headed Gulls
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 16 Wood Pigeons
- c.160 Jackdaws
- 19 Starlings
- 1 Skylark
- 8 Redwings (1 group)
- 2 Greenfinches
- 5 Siskins

Birds noted leaving roosts around the lake:
- [Magpie roost not counted]
- 5 Starlings
- 6 Redwings
- ? Reed Buntings (see notes)

The counts from the lake area
- 3 + 4 Mute Swans (see notes)
- 29 Canada Geese
- 10 (5♂) Gadwall
- 15 (10♂) Mallard
- 2 (1♂) Pochard
- 45 (23♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 (1♂) Goosanders
- 3 Little Grebes
- 4 Great Crested Grebes
- 10 Moorhens yet again
- 184 Coots
- c.150 Black-headed Gulls

Overnight rain cleared away and a clear sunrise with a few clouds to add colour.

And the long view again.

Just a record shot of the pair of Goosander that spent less than five minutes here at c.08:00.

A Coot against the sunrise-highlighted water.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake: 13:30

At Priorslee Lake today I saw 2 Water Rails in the stream by the side of lake. There was also the Kingfisher which shot by.

Water Rail

Water Rail

Water Rail

(Mark Williams)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Flash: 09:30 – 10:20

(116th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- even more Pochard: tempted to suggest they are refugees from the lake
- 4 male Bullfinches seen together near The Priorslee eating the Hawthorn buds
and
- nothing on the lamps here either

Birds noted flying over
- 1 (1♂) Goosander
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 (1♂) Sparrowhawk again
- 2 Wood Pigeons
- 27 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Herring Gulls

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans: resident adults
- 2 Canada Geese still
- 1 white feral goose as usual
- 31 (19♂) Mallard
- 8 (7♂) Pochard
- 28 (15♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 (2♂) Goosanders
- 2 Great Crested Grebes remain
- 5 Moorhens again
- 14 Coots
- 47 Black-headed Gulls

Another compare and contrast: drake Goosander in the foreground and a Great Crested Grebe swim in parallel.

A male Bullfinch bends down to eat one of the Hawthorn buds.

And gives it a good chew.

(Ed Wilson)

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On this day..........
2013
Priorslee Lake
Two 1st-winter female Scaup
(Unknown)

2012
Priorslee Lake
A drake Scaup
4 Gadwall
10 Great Black-backed Gull
(Kriss Webb)

2009
Priorslee Lake
1 Black-necked Grebe
5 Great Crested Grebes
4 Gadwall
26 Pochard
97 Tufted Ducks
3 Goosander
327 Coots
5 Redwings
4 Fieldfare
10 Goldfinches 
14 Siskins
(Ed Wilson)

25 Dec 17

****************************************************
******** HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL OUR READERS *********
****************************************************

Priorslee Lake only

8.0°C > 8.5°C: Overcast with a few mainly light showers with a few brighter bits. Fresh SSW wind.
Good visibility

Sunrise: 08:21 GMT again

Priorslee Lake: 07:00 – 09:40

(170th visit of the year)

Notes from today:
- the Canada Geese on the water at 07:05 left at three different times – the last was a single bird. I heard Greylag Geese but could find none on the water or in flight – it was still quite dark
- all 11 Gadwall noted today
- Little Grebes again only seen early on
- no Black-headed Gulls roosted: c.50 arrived at 07:35 with more arriving from the W until >300 by 08:00 when they all started to leave and only 3 remained at 08:10. More than 60 flew in from the W later, presumed returning birds rather than new arrivals
- for some two weeks now a single Black-headed Gull has been feeding on the grass of the former football field. Why its continues to do so, yet has not been joined by any others is a mystery
- having trouble counting the Magpie roost at the moment with birds apparently leaving the back of the roost when it is still too dark to see them properly. Seem to be many fewer than in previous years
- 3 Song Thrushes at least in song this morning. Song from a 4th location was, I think, one of these birds re-positioning
and
- 2 Mottled Umber moths: one of these on a different lamp
- a single small flowering head of Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) that has survived the snow and frost

Today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over / near the lake:
- 3 Canada Geese (1 group)
- 2 Buzzards again
- 4 Cormorants
- 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull
- 3 Feral Pigeons (1 group)
- 1 Stock Dove again
- 4 Wood Pigeons only
- 73 Jackdaws
- 21 Redwings (1 group)
- 1 Greenfinch
- 3 Siskins
- 1 Lesser Redpoll again

Birds noted leaving roosts around the lake:
- [Magpie roost not counted]
- 2 Redwings

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 37 Canada Geese
- 11 (6♂) Gadwall
- 15 (11♂) Mallard
- 4 (4♂) Pochard
- 55 (28♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 Little Grebes again
- 5 Great Crested Grebe remain
- 10 Moorhens
- 195 Coots
- >300 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull
- 1 Kingfisher again

Found lying down, no doubt flattened by the snow, was this still-flowering Yarrow (Achillea millefolium). The feathered leaves as well as the tight cluster of small white flowers identify. Only thing of vague interest this morning.

(Ed Wilson)

Also at the lake today a Grey Squirrel.

Grey Squirrel

Grey Squirrel

Grey Squirrel

(Mark Williams)


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On this day..........
2013
Priorslee Lake
5 Gadwall 
2 Teal 
6 Pochard 
78 Tufted Ducks 
1 female Greater Scaup
222 Coots counted
Caspian Gull
2 Fieldfare
17 Redwings 
429 Jackdaws
173 Rooks
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
1 Pochard 
110 Tufted Ducks 
17 Goosanders
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock Pool
11 Swans 
1 Shoveler 
c.115 Tufted Duck 
7 Goosander
129 Coots 
41 Black-headed Gulls
51 Lesser Black-backed Gull
1 Yellow-legged Gull
21 Herring Gulls
(Ed Wilson)

2009
Priorslee Lake
Black-necked Grebe
26 Mute Swans today
4 Great Crested Grebes
>17 Greylag Geese
4 Gadwall
26 Pochard
97 Tufted Ducks
Common Gull
309 Coot
5 Goldfinches
c.20 Siskins
(Ed Wilson)

2006
Priorslee lake
1 Great Crested Grebe
31 Pochard
33 Tufted Ducks
58 Coots
c.500 Black-headed Gulls
c.3200 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
12 Herring Gulls
2 Great Black-backed Gulls
15 Pied Wagtails
1 Redpoll
3 Reed Buntings
(Martin Adlam)

24 Dec 17

****************************************************
******** HAPPY HOLIDAYS TO ALL OUR READERS *********
****************************************************

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

8.5°C > 10.5°C: Broken cloud to start; a few light showers and more cloud later. Moderate, occasionally fresh, SW wind. Mainly very good visibility

Sunrise: 08:21 GMT

Priorslee Lake: 06:55 – 09:55

(169th visit of the year)

Notes from today:
- two visiting adult Mute Swans were soon woken from their slumber and shown the door
- 2 drake Goosanders flew low W at 08:08 – could they have come off the water? 2 more / the same drakes flew low W and headed SW 08:15
- Little Grebes only seen early on: presumed went and hid in the reeds
- a Green Woodpecker seen again: in the trees in the NE area today
- perhaps I missed the main party of Jackdaws this morning – though it seems rather unlikely because they are usually very noisy
- a single Starling seen coming out of the NW reeds
and, all on the lamps
- 4 Winter Moths
- 2 Mottled Umber moths in the same places
- a different spider sp., perhaps a Daddy Long-legs Spider (Pholcus phalangioides)

Today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over / near the lake:
- 1 Greylag Goose
- 5 Canada Geese (2 groups)
- 2 (1♂) Mallard
- 2 or 4 (all ♂) Goosanders (see notes)
- 2 Buzzards
- 14 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 3 Herring Gulls
- 1 Stock Dove
- 21 Wood Pigeons
- 53 Jackdaws
- 2 Rooks
- 1 Raven
- 4 Fieldfare (2 groups)
- 6 Redwings (2 groups)
- 2 Goldfinches
- 6 Siskins
- 1 Lesser Redpoll

Birds noted leaving roosts around the lake:
- [Magpie roost not counted]
- 1 Starling (see notes)
- 5 Redwings
- 1 Reed Bunting

The counts from the lake area
- 4 + 3 Mute Swans
- 39 Canada Geese
- 9 (5♂) Gadwall
- 17 (11♂) Mallard
- 6 (5♂) Pochard
- 47 (23♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron again
- 2 Little Grebes
- 5 Great Crested Grebe again
- 6 Moorhens
- 194 Coots
- >130 Black-headed Gulls
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Kingfisher

The forecast, like yesterday, was for a grey day. It did not turn out as sunny as yesterday even if it did start with some winter colour.
The long view.

Ever belligerent, two pairs of Coots in a stand-off. With close on 200 birds around the lake it can get noisy.

A most difficult subject between twigs and against the light. We can just about make out the red in the moustache area telling us this is a male Green Woodpecker. Attempts to further enhance the photo resulted it is all ‘falling apart’.

A slightly better view though the moustache area is in shade making the red hard to discern. First time I have been able to photograph this bird – it normally bounds across and disappears.

This is the different spider I noted this morning. It seems to be carrying something in its mouth. There is a species known as Daddy Long-legs Spider (Pholcus phalangioides) the female of which carries its eggs this way as well as prey. That species has a long cylindrical body that this seems to lack, though the angle makes it difficult to be certain.

(Ed Wilson)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Flash: 10:00 – 10:35

(115th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- the 2 Canada Geese that seem to be omni-present were seen in flight today – chasing after the Xmas pudding, or whatever they were being fed? Was previously unsure these birds could fly. I have still never seen the all-white feral goose fly
- now 5 drake Pochard
- the Starlings over head were no doubt responding to the Sparrowhawk
and
- 2 Mottled Umber moths on the lamps – 4th day for these two in the same position
- a harvestman perhaps Oligolophus tridens, on a lamp

Birds noted flying over
- 1 (1♂) Sparrowhawk
- 5 Jackdaws
- 22 Starlings
- 1 Siskin again

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans: resident adults
- 2 Greylag Geese – flew off
- 2 Canada Geese again
- 1 white feral goose as usual
- 29 (20♂) Mallard
- 5 (5♂) Pochard
- 26 (15♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron – flew off
- 2 Great Crested Grebes again
- 5 Moorhens
- 11 Coots
- 63 Black-headed Gulls

This looks to be the same species of harvestman that I photographed at the lake on Friday. If so it might be Oligolophus tridens.

(Ed Wilson)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On this day..........
2016
Priorslee Lake
Today's sightings Here

2015
Priorslee Lake
Today's sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
Today's sightings Here

2013
Priorslee Lake
5 Gadwall 
7 Pochard 
34 Tufted Ducks 
204 Coots counted 
123 Black-headed Gulls
16 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
22 Herring Gulls
3 Great Black-backed Gulls
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
2 Grey Herons
126 Canada Geese
110 Tufted Ducks 
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock Pool
3 Great Crested Grebes 
2 Shoveler 
71 Tufted Duck 
1 Goosander 
125 Coots
>40 Redwings
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Middle Pool
1 Tufted Duck 
19 Goosander 
(Ed Wilson)

2012
Priorslee Lake
2 Gadwall
13 Pochard
35 Tufted Ducks
178 Coots
Peregrine
14 Redwings
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
1 Pochard
38 Tufted Duck
5 Goosanders
(Ed Wilson)

Little Wenlock, Candles Landfill Site
4 Yellow-legged Gulls
(Dawn Balmer & Pete Wilson)

2009
Priorslee Lake
Black-necked Grebe
4 Great Crested Grebes 
10 Swans
28 Pochard 
77 Tufted Ducks
3 Yellow-legged Gulls
1000 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
60 Herring Gulls
1 Water Rail heard 
299 Coots counted 
4 Redwings 
2 Willow Tits again 
c.5 Goldfinches
c.10 Siskins
(Ed Wilson/Dawn Balmer/ Peter Wilson)

2006
Priorslee lake
2 Great Crested Grebe
1 Little Grebe
41 Pochard
38 Tufted Ducks
8 Redwing
2 Fieldfare
1 Redpoll
4 Reed Buntings
(Martin Adlam)

23 Dec 17

Priorslee Lake: then Trench Lock Pool and Trench Middle Pool

6.0°C > 10.0°C: Areas of mist, fog low and low cloud gave way to increasing clear skies. Light and variable wind, becoming SW and occasionally moderate. Poor visibility, becoming very good

Sunrise: 08:20 GMT again

Priorslee Lake: 07:00 – 09:55

(168th visit of the year)

The mist and fog failed to clear making counting hard work. Done in sections which gives rise to possible over- or under-laps

No ice remaining

Notes from today:
- the Greylag x Canada Goose arrived with a Canada Goose and stayed only about 5 minutes
- unsure about Gadwall numbers: may be just two pairs that paddled the length the lake
- 9 Mallard off the dam at 07:15 and some (of these?) seen in flight. None noted on the lake later
- 3 Sparrowhawks seen to the E together with one bird displaying – lazy and deep wing-beats with towering and diving flight. A pair flew in to (or beyond) the copse to the E of Castle Farm Way – lost track of the 3rd bird – a male?
- 1 Cormorant came from the W and circled before leaving to the W; another came from the E and landed, immediately taking up position on one of the boating piers; the third came in from the E and did some fishing
- a Green Woodpecker flew in from the E
- very few Redwings in the roost area: there are usually 3 / 4 Blackbirds and the occasional Song Thrush in with them. Today just 4 Redwings
- two parties of Starlings concurrently seemed to be leaving somewhere on / close to the S side. Later a big party of >120 birds flew N; two more small parties flew after them; then 22 flew W
- Yellowhammer over was unusual
and, all on the lamps
- 2 Winter Moths
- 1 Scarce Umber moth in a different place
- 2 Mottled Umber moths
- small toadstool-shaped fungus found growing on a tree-trunk
also
- two species of flower reacting to the mid weather
- Common Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris formerly Senecio jacobaea)
- A fungi, unidentified as yet!

Today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over / near the lake:
- 15 Greylag Geese
- 3 (2?) Sparrowhawks
- 1 Cormorant
- 24 Black-headed Gulls
- 2 Feral Pigeons (singles)
- 57 Wood Pigeons
- 178 Jackdaws
- c.153 Starlings
- 15 Fieldfare (1 party)
- 36 Redwings (4 parties)
- 2 Pied Wagtails
- 1 Greenfinch
- 4 Siskins
- 1 Yellowhammer

Birds noted leaving roosts around the lake:
- [Magpie roost not counted]
- 38 Starlings (see notes)
- 4 Redwings
- 2 Reed Buntings

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans again (peace)
- 1 Greylag x Canada Goose
- 33 Canada Geese
- 8 (4♂) Gadwall
- 9 (?♂) Mallard
- 4 (4♂) Pochard
- 52 (29♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Cormorants
- 1 Grey Heron
- 5 Great Crested Grebe
- 1 Water Rail heard again
- 8 Moorhens
- 206 Coots
- >125 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull

One of the clear spells with the fog ready to roll back.

This plant seems to have survived the snow and frost, though the leaves look a bit battered. I do not recall seeing in the last few days and I think these must be new flowers. It is Common Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris formerly Senecio jacobaea).

Identifying this has defeated me: I’ll try again when the flowers are open. Meanwhile anyone know?

A small fungus – unidentified so far.

(Ed Wilson)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trench Lock Pool: 10:05 – 10:15 // 11:25 – 11:50

(41st visit of the year)

Notes from here
- something seemed to spook all the birds on the water as the Pochard, Tufted Duck and Goosanders all suddenly surfaced and gathered together (some Goosanders flew off). This made counting easier and more accurate
- VERY few gulls – Black-headed Gulls probably gone for the bread option at Middle Pool. No large gulls at all
- Coal Tit singing here
- Treecreeper seen

Birds noted flying over here [apart from the local Wood Pigeons and Jackdaws coming and going]
None

The counts from the water
- 1 + 6 Mute Swans again
- 8 Canada Geese
- 9 (5♂) Mallards
- 1 (1♂) ‘feralMallard again
- 2 (1♂) Shoveler
- 6 (5♂) Pochard
- 65 (33♂) Tufted Ducks
- 9 (6) Goosanders
- 3 Cormorants
- 1 Little Grebe
- 3 Great Crested Grebes again
- 3 Moorhens
- 128 Coots
- 4 Black-headed Gulls only
- no large gulls

A gathering of Tufted Ducks (with two Coots getting a look in!).

40 Tufted Ducks and 4 Coots here.

A drake Goosander flies off.

And a quick fly-by before he leaves.

(Ed Wilson)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trench Middle Pool: 10:20 – 11:20

(35th visit of the year)

No ice remains

Notes from here
- my largest count of Tufted Ducks here this year
- my largest count of Goosanders here this winter
- fewer Coot counted: I suspect because some are always ‘behind the island’ now the ice has gone
- apart from roost counts also my largest number of Black-headed Gulls here this year
- my first Collared Dove here for at least 4 years
- my first Kingfisher since 08 July 2014 here
- my first-ever Skylark over here

Birds noted flying over here
- 1 Stock Dove again
- 1 Collared Dove
- 1 Skylark

The counts from the water
- 2 + 5 Mute Swans
- 30 Canada Geese (17 flew in)
- 31 (22♂) Mallard
- 2 (0♂) ‘feralMallard
- 31 (17♂) Tufted Duck
- 21 (8♂) Goosander
- 1 Grey Heron again
- 1 Great Crested Grebe again
- 9 Moorhens
- 48 Coots
- 151 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull again
- 1 Kingfisher

This duck Goosander appears to have weed wrapped around the bill. Black-headed Gulls more likely to be looking for food than offering to help!

(Ed Wilson)

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On this day..........
2016
Priorslee Lake
Today's sightings Here

2015
Priorslee Lake
Today's sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
Today's sightings Here

2013
Priorslee Lake
1st-winter female Great Scaup

Horsehay Pool
Kittiwake

2012
Priorslee Lake
4 Gadwall
14 Pochard
29 Tufted Ducks
3 Goosanders
178 Coots
2 Redwings
4 Siskin
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
3 Pochard
44 Tufted Duck
28 Goosanders
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock Pool
30 Mute Swans
40 Tufted Duck
1 Goosander
161 Coots
1 Great Black-backed Gull
(Ed Wilson)

2009
Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
1 Black-necked Grebe
18 Swans
4 Gadwall
41 Pochard
75 Tufted Ducks
2 Water Rails
311 Coots
600 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
2 Yellow-legged Gulls
12 Goldfinches
10 Siskins
(Ed Wilson/Dawn Balmer/Peter Wilson)

2006
Priorslee lake
2 Great Crested Grebe
3 Cormorants
32 Pochard
24 Tufted Ducks
1 Water Rail
64 Coots
c.100 Black-headed Gulls
23 Redwing
(Martin Adlam)

2005
Priorslee lake
10 Pochard
15 Tufted Duck
c.400 Black-headed Gulls
c.100 Lesser Black-backs
1 Water Rail
20 Pied Wagtails
365 Rooks
325 Jackdaw
1 Kingfisher
51 Siskin
7 Redpoll
13 Greenfinch 13
12 Reed Bunting
(Martin Adlam)

22 Dec 17

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

6.5°C > 8.0°C: Mist and fog low over the water making observation difficult. Light and variable wind. Poor / bad visibility, and only moderate above the mist

Sunrise: 08:20 GMT

Priorslee Lake: 06:55 – 09:35

(167th visit of the year)

The mist and fog failed to clear making counting hard work. Done in sections which gives rise to possible over- or under-laps

No ice remaining

Notes from today:
- no visiting Mute Swans remain
- 31 of the 32 Canada Geese left in 5 groups. Again one stayed behind mingling with the Mute Swans
- Gadwall lost in mist?
- 1 drake Goosander flew high W at 08:20: presumed same flew E a few moments later
- could not see whether any of the Black-headed Gulls had roosted
- my first log of a Grey Wagtail since the freeze
and, all on the lamps
- 4 Winter Moths
- 1 Scarce Umber moth
- 4 Mottled Umber moths
- 2 Mirid-type bugs
- 1 spider sp., probably a Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis)
- 1 harvestman sp., possibly Oligolophus tridens

Today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over / near the lake:
- 1 (1♂) Goosander
- 3 Stock Doves
- 12 Wood Pigeons
- 148 Jackdaws

Birds noted leaving roosts around the lake:
- [Magpie roost not counted]
- 5 Redwings

The counts from the lake area
** all best-effort in the poor visibility)
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans again (peace)
- 32 Canada Geese
- 5 (3♂) Gadwall
- 4 (3♂) Mallard
- 3 (3♂) Pochard
- 48 (28♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Little Grebe
- 4 Great Crested Grebe
- 1 Water Rail heard
- 7 Moorhens
- [Coots not counted]
- c.125 Black-headed Gulls

Was very misty this morning: apart from insects on the lamps there was nothing to photo. Here, dusted with mist, is a Scarce Umber. Separation from the highly variable Mottled Umber is by the two parallel cross-lines at the base of the forewing. The absence of a spot by the loop on the outer cross-line is also a pointer, though on a few Mottled Umbers this feature can be very indistinct.

This seems to be another Nursery Web Spider (Pisaura mirabilis) – the way the front pairs of legs are held together pointing forward seems to be the ID feature here. This specimen seems rather dark though the literature suggests it can be very variable in markings and colouration. My main concern is that it is mainly recorded in mid-Summer. It is seen in to Autumn, though I cannot find evidence of December records on the web.
This harvestman may be Oligolophus tridens – the shorter 1st and 3rd pairs of legs point to this species. The photos on the web do not show all harvestman compete with legs extended so I am not 100% sure.
These are the same dead umbellifer heads that I showed covered in snow and then in rime frost. A few mild nights and the spiders have been busy.
(Ed Wilson)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Flash: 09:40 – 10:10

(114th visit of the year)

Less misty here

Notes from here
- 4 drake Pochard still here
- just a single brownhead Goosander
and
- 3 Mottled Umber moths on the lamps: all in same place as yesterday

Birds noted flying over
- 1 Siskin

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans: resident adults
- 2 Canada Geese
- 1 white feral goose
- 34 (22♂) Mallard
- 4 (4) Pochard again
- 25 (17♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 (0♂) Goosander
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 7 Moorhens
- 14 Coots
- 41 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

(Ed Wilson)

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On this day..........
2016
Priorslee Lake
Today's sightings Here

2015
Priorslee Lake
Today's sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
Today's sightings Here

2013
Priorslee Lake
5 Gadwall 
2 Teal 
6 Pochard 
78 Tufted Ducks 
1 female Greater Scaup
222 Coots counted
Caspian Gull
2 Fieldfare
17 Redwings 
429 Jackdaws
173 Rooks
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
1 Pochard 
110 Tufted Ducks 
17 Goosanders
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock Pool
11 Swans 
1 Shoveler 
c.115 Tufted Duck 
7 Goosander
129 Coots 
41 Black-headed Gulls
51 Lesser Black-backed Gull
1 Yellow-legged Gull
21 Herring Gulls
(Ed Wilson)

2012
Priorslee Lake
4 Gadwall
12 Pochard
26 Tufted Ducks
181 Coots
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
3 Pochard
40 Tufted Duck
16 Goosanders
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock Pool
32 Swans
114 Canada Geese
39 Tufted Duck
1 Goldeneye
166 Coots counted
(Ed Wilson)

Little Wenlock, Candles Landfill Site
3rd-winter American Herring Gull
Caspian Gull
2 Yellow-legged Gulls
5 Yellow-legged Gulls
(Tom Lowe/Kriss Webb)

2011
Priorslee Lake
c.6000 Herring Gulls and Lesser Black-backed Gulls
7 Yellow-legged Gulls
6 Great Black-backed Gulls
Sparrowhawk
(Martin Adlam and Ian Grant)

2009
Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe 
1 Black-necked Grebe 
5 Great Crested Grebes 
42 Swans
2 Gadwall
51 Pochard
132 Tufted Ducks
2 Water Rails
296 Coots
c.2000 Black-headed and Lesser Black-backed Gulls
30 Lapwings
50 Golden Plover
7 Redwings
8 Fieldfares
15 Goldfinches
11 Siskins
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake Icebound - 2009 (Martin Adlam)

2006
Priorslee lake
1 Great Crested Grebe
31 Pochard
33 Tufted Ducks
58 Coots
c.500 Black-headed Gulls
c.3200 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
12 Herring Gulls
2 Great Black-backed Gulls
15 Pied Wagtails
1 Redpoll
3 Reed Buntings
(Martin Adlam)

2005
Priorslee lake
c.600 Black-headed Gulls
c.100 Lesser Black-backs
11 Herring Gull
7 Pochard
14 Tufted Duck
1 Cormorant on the Lake.
200 Coot
1 Water Rail
18 Pied Wagtails
231 Rooks
323 Jackdaw
3 Redwing
c.50 Siskin
7 Redpoll
8 Reed Bunting
1 Willow Tit
(Martin Adlam)