18 Jan 17

Priorslee Lake: 07:25 – 08:45

6°C > 7°C: Low overcast and very misty with some drizzle, especially at Priorslee. Calm / very light SE wind. Very poor visibility at Priorslee: somewhat better at Trench, but still poor.

Sunrise: 08:10 GMT

(14th visit of the year)

1 new species for my 2017 Priorslee Lake list

#62 Nuthatch: bird calling from the wood between the academy and Ricoh

Notes from today:
an even quieter morning in the mist
- lower numbers of Pochard and Tufted duck seemed to be a real decline as most of the lake could be seen from somewhere and there were fewer birds in all their normal locations
- Willow Tit heard in song yet again
- 7 singing Song Thrushes this morning
other species heard in ‘song’ included Wood Pigeon, Great Tit and Greenfinch
- a different male Mottled Umber moth on the same lamp as that used by yesterday’s specimen

Birds noted flying over the lake
**badly affected by the mist and fog**
- 8 Black-headed Gulls
- 4 Jackdaws
- 1 Pied Wagtail
- 1 Siskin again

Roost counts
- none seen

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 4 (3♂) Mallard
- 5 (4♂) Pochard
- 10 (4♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Grey Herons
- 6 Great Crested Grebes again
- 15 Moorhens
- 40 Coots
- 137 Black-headed Gulls

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 08:55 – 09:20

(11th visit of the year)

No new species for my 2017 Flash list

Notes from today:
- no Heron, Great Crested Grebe or Pochard this morning: could have been the poor visibility
- some of the Canada Geese took off while I was present: a few returned. Departure presumably delayed by the mist. A good check failed to find and hybrid or small geese amongst the groups
- three Song Thrushes singing here this morning

Birds flying over here
- 2 Jackdaws

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 203 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 25 (19♂) Mallard
- 32 (19♂) Tufted Duck
- 2 Moorhens
- 11 Coots
- 3 Black-headed Gulls only

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 09:55 – 10:25

(4th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- a drake Pochard was my first of the year at this site
- another low count of gulls
other birds new for me at this site in 2017 were Kingfisher, Great Spotted Woodpecker and Wren
- also new was a Grey Squirrel

Birds noted flying over here
- 1 (1♂) Goosander

The counts from the water
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 4 Canada Geese
- 13 (8♂) Mallard
- 7 (5♂) Shoveler
- 1 (1♂) Pochard
- 30 (14♂) Tufted Ducks
- 8 (6♂) Goosander
- 7 Moorhens again
- 46 Coots
- 43 Black-headed Gulls
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull

Not enough light to get the detail in the head of this drake Goosander: a very smart-looking bird as it reaches full breeding plumage.

Not many large gulls anywhere: a couple at Trench were, typically, atypical. This Lesser Black-backed Gull looks very ‘clean’ having already lost any winter head streaks. It is also rather darker than many with the mantle colour almost matching the folded wing-tips. The relatively weak bill rules out any thoughts of a small female Great Black-backed Gull.

Another ‘smart-looking’ gull – here a Herring Gull, also having lost any head streaking, with just some smudging around the eye. Note also the rather more extensive white on the folded tertials and, on what otherwise seems to be a full adult, the dark band on the bill with no obvious red spot. Neither of these oddities suggests it might be anything other than a Herring Gull though. Incidentally if you thought the drake Goosander above was ‘white’ it does not very white when compared with the gull.
(Ed Wilson)


Trench Middle Pool: 10:30 – 11:00

(4th visit of the year)

- yet another high count of Goosander
- 2 Cormorants: my first of the year here
- and another high count of Coots
- Song Thrush in song here as well: also my first of the year here

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 24 Canada Goose
- 14 (10♂) Mallard again
- 1 (0♂) feral-type Mallard again
- 13 (6♂) Tufted Ducks
- 34 (10♂) Goosander
- 2 Cormorants
- 9 Moorhens
- 27 Coots
- 12 Black-headed Gulls only

Another duck Tufted Duck with extensive white around the base of the bill. The head shape with the vestigial tuft prevents any thought of it being a duck Scaup.

Well it was very dull in the overhang of the island here: at one-twentieth of a second and high zoom it is amazing anything came out. An immature Cormorant of course: even at this age they have the blue iris.

(Ed Wilson)


Chetwynd Pool

My third trip to peer over the wall alongside the old A41 north out of Newport – the only view possible of this private lake – to catch up with this duck Long-tailed Duck. This sea-duck has been unusually abundant this winter and this is my fifth individual in Shropshire.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in ...........
Priorslee Lake
1 female Velvet Scoter
3 Scaup
2 Yellow Legged Gulls
4 Great Black-backed Gulls
(Ed Wilson, John Isherwood)


Priorslee Lake
1 Yellow-legged Gull
3 Great Black-backed Gulls
(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake
Glaucous Gull
Yellow-legged Gull
Probable "intermedius" Lesser Black-backed Gull.
At least 1 Ring-billed Gull look-alike
(Andy Latham / Ian Grant)


Priorslee Lake
2 Wigeon
5 Gadwall
25 Pochard
100 Tufted Duck 
3 Water Rails
1000 Black-headed Gulls
1 Great Black-backed Gull
c.400 Wood Pigeons
1000 Starlings
30 Siskin
(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake
14 Pochard
55 Tufted Duck
1 Great Black-backed Gull
(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
11 Great Crested Grebes
6 Pochard
26 Tufted Duck
208 Coot
c.900 Black-headed Gulls
c.450 Lesser Black-backed Gull
2 Great Black-backed Gull
13 Herring Gull
2 Yellow-legged Gull
1 Kingfisher
53 Siskins
3 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson. Martin Adlam)