1 Apr 17

Priorslee Lake, The Flash, Trench Lock Pool and Trench Middle Pool

8.0°C > 8.5°C: Cloudy with more or less continual light rain / drizzle. Mainly light wind, initially from the E, later from the W. Mainly good visibility but poor in drizzle and heavier rain.

Sunrise: 06:45 BST

The rain and low cloud made for a good day with migrants. At the lake the Sand Martin group also included my first Barn Swallow and House Martin. A Barn Swallow joined one of the groups of Sand Martins at Trench Pool. There were 6 singing Willow Warblers at The Flash as well as birds at Priorslee Lake and Trench Lock. At Priorslee Lake there was an increase in Blackcap numbers with several non-singing males – presumably birds passing through

Priorslee Lake: 05:50 – 07:10 // 08:00 – 09:39

(45th visit of the year)

So two new birds for my year-log at this site
- the Barn Swallow mentioned above becomes my 81st species
- the House Martin was therefore my 82nd species

Other notes from today:
- the hirundines turned up at about 09:15 as they so often do – why? Perhaps this is how long it takes them to get here from transit roosts somewhere to the S?
- a Pheasant heard for the first time this week – but a long way to the NE
- a lone Redwing seen in the trees: April records of this species are always worth noting
- Jackdaw passage rather confusing: bird(s) heard over as I arrived at 05:50 – too dark to see, especially with the new bright street-lights near the academy; then 2 birds seen at 06:02; the next 4 at 06:11; and the main passage not starting until 06:22
- several non-singing Chiffchaffs this morning suggests that females have started to arrive
- I have logged the Meadow Pipit as an overflight: I heard it calling for some time before I saw it in flight and it is possible that it came off of the dam-top
and
- a Brindled Pug moth on one of the lamps

Birds noted flying over the lake
- 6 Canada Geese (two groups)
- 2 Cormorants
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 3 Wood Pigeons only yet again
- 264 Jackdaws (number of groups not recorded)
- 7 Rooks (all singles)
- 1 Meadow Pipit

Hirundine counts
- >20 Sand Martins
- 1 Barn Swallow
- 1 House Martin

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 15 (11) Chiffchaffs
- 1 (1) Willow Warbler
- 9 (7) Blackcaps

The counts from the lake area
- 1 Mute Swan (other on nest?)
- 2 Canada Geese briefly
- 6 (6♂) Mallard
- 6 (3♂) Tufted Ducks
- 6 Great Crested Grebes again
- 8 Moorhens
- 28 Coots

My books tell me that Crow’s nests are made of sticks so I was surprised to see this bird taking some moss as padding. Must affect the aerodynamics somewhat.

I think this is a Brindled Pug moth: it is a rather worn specimen and not resting at the best angle to see the features. The wing-shape is subtly different from the only confusion pug species at this date – the Double-striped Pug.

(Ed Wilson)

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The Flash: 07:15 – 07:55

(34th visit of the year)

Other notes
- both the Gadwall and the pair of Shoveler seem to have gone
- Tufted Duck numbers holding up well here
- 6 Willow Warblers was a very good count. Likely most of these birds are passing: certainly in recent years breeding has been sporadic, probably as the woods have matured and the trees are rather too tall for this species which likes smaller trees and bushes

Birds noted flying over
- 1 Wood Pigeon
- 2 Rooks

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 5 (5) Chiffchaffs
- 6 (6) Willow Warblers
- 2 (2) Blackcaps again

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 1 Greylag Goose
- 29 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 12 (12♂) Mallard
- 30 (23♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 Great Crested Grebe again
- 6 Moorhens
- 18 Coots

These are Cowslips (Primula veris). I saw some along a roadside in Shropshire yesterday but am slightly unconvinced about these. The inside of the yellow flower shows a rather too-bright orange mark and these may well be garden escapes – there are many such escapes around The Flash. There used to be several plants at the end of Teece Drive on the approach to the lake but I fear these have been lost during the work on improving the road for the academy.

Between the lake and The Flash alongside the path
- 1 duck Mallard on the lower pool again
- single Moorhen on the upper pool
- an over-flying Siskin was my first in the area for some 10 days

(Ed Wilson)

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Trench Lock Pool: 09:51 – 10:20 // 10:50 – 11:00

(15th visit of the year)

Numbers perhaps affected both by the sheer number of anglers present this morning; and the use of the path along the W side for the Silkin Way Ultra (more than a mere marathon!) with a Check Point alongside the water

Notes from here
- the remaining cygnet still present: one of the anglers confirmed that it can fly – just does not ant to leave home!
- big move-out of Tufted Duck from here
- no juvenile Coot seen and adult numbers well down – some adults on nests and harder to find
- hard to know how many Sand Martins in total. Parties of up to 25 would appear and then move off. Was it these returning or more birds moving through?
- first and largest party of Sand Martins also had a Barn Swallow, not seen subsequently
- both Sand Martin and Barn Swallow were new for me at this site this year
- also both Willow Warbler and Blackcap were also new for me at this site this year
- 3 Starlings over the estate to the E were, surprisingly, the first I had seen from here this year
- a singing Reed Bunting: another new species for me at this site this year: indeed I have no records for this species here for at least 4 years. Surprising as the habitat looks suitable
and
- some Red Dead-nettles (Lamium purpureum)

Birds noted flying over here
- 2 Canada Geese
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

Hirundine counts
- >30? Sand Martins (see notes)
- 1 Barn Swallow

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 4 (4) Chiffchaffs
- 2 (2) Willow Warblers
- 1 (1) Blackcap

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 2 Greylag Geese
- 4 Canada Geese
- 3 (3♂) Mallard again
- 8 (5♂) Tufted Ducks only
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 3 Moorhens
- 30 Coots

Here we see Red Dead-nettle (Lamium purpureum). The red leaves at the top of the stem under the flowers are characteristic. Last year this plant had been flowering at the lake for over a week by this date but I have failed to locate any flowers there as yet.

(Ed Wilson)

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Trench Middle Pool: 10:25 – 10:45

(12th visit of the year)

Notes
- much quieter than recently (if you discount the noise of amorous geese)
- 1 Great Crested Grebe on nest: could not its mate

Birds noted flying over here
- 1 Black-headed Gull

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 5 (5) Chiffchaffs

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 11 Greylag Geese
- 31 Canada Goose
- 9 (7♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Tufted Ducks only
- 1 Cormorant again
- 1 Great Crested Grebe on nest
- 6 Moorhens
- 11 Coots

The Cormorant here had emerged from its usual resting perch beneath overhanging vegetation and allowed itself to be photographed reasonably well in the poor light and rain.

A close-up of THAT eye and THAT bill.

Including all its long tail that it uses as a rudder underwater. Those back-feathers lightly glossed green and black-edged are amazing
(Ed Wilson)

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

2015
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
1 Sand Martin
4 Great Crested Grebes
9 Tufted Duck
2 Blackcaps
6 Chiffchaffs
127 Jackdaws
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
1 Sand Martin
2 Teal
45 Tufted Ducks
1 Blackcap
4 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

Woodhouse Lane
1 Chiffchaff
2 Linnets
4 Yellowhammer
(Ed Wilson)

2013
Priorslee Lake
1 Kittiwake
5 Gadwall
7 Wigeon
Kestrel
Sparrowhawk
Willow Tit
(John Isherwood, Jim Almond, Arthur Harper)

Horsehay Pool
2 Mandarin Ducks
(Jim Almond)

2009
Priorslee Lake
3 Great Crested Grebe
8 Tufted Duck
3 Chiffchaff
(Ed Wilson)

Trench
2 Great Crested Grebe
2 Cormorant
32 Tufted Duck
2 Chiffchaff
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Flash
33 Tufted Duck
2 Chiffchaff
1 Willow Warbler

2007
The Flash
1 Shoveler
(John Isherwood)

2006
Priorslee Lake
7 Great Crested Grebes
9 Tufted Ducks
1 Ruddy Duck
184 Wood Pigeons
2 Stock Doves
1 House Martin
5 Sand Martins
1 Curlew
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
1 Sky Lark
2 Meadow Pipits
25 Wrens
20 Robins
27 Blackbirds
1 Redwing
2 Willow Warblers
3 Chiffchaffs
1 Willow Tit
10 Greenfinches
2 Siskins
5 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

31 Mar 17

Priorslee Lake

4 males Blackcaps and 6 male Chiffchaffs singing.

(Martin Grant)

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

2015
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
4 Great Crested Grebes
3 Cormorants
1 Grey Heron
15 Tufted Duck
3 Blackcaps
7 Chiffchaffs
139 Jackdaws
5 Redwings
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
2 Great Crested Grebes
1 Cackling Goose
47 Tufted Ducks
1 Blackcap
4 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

The Wrekin
Mallard
Coot
Lesser Black-backed Gull
Green Woodpecker
Meadow Pipit
Blackcap
Chiffchaff
Goldcrest
Marsh Tit
Treecreeper
Greenfinch
Goldfinch
Linnet
Bullfinch.
(Ed Wilson)

2012
Nedge Hill
1 Wheatear
c.100 Fieldfare
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake
c.15 Sand Martin
1 House Martin
Green Woodpecker
2 Brambling
2 Linnets
2 Redpolls
3 Great Crested Grebes 
15 Tufted Duck
6 Blackcaps
12 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
2 Great Crested Grebes 
1 Heron 
6 Greylag Geese
48 Tufted Duck 
3 Blackcaps
1 Willow Warbler
8 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

2011
Priorslee Lake
8 Chiffchaffs
2 Willow Warbler
1 Blackcap
(Martin Grant) 

2008
Priorslee Lake
3 Blackcaps
5 Chiffchaffs
7 Redwing- 1 singing
33 Tufted Duck
7 Gadwall
(Ed Wilson)

2007
Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
16 Tufted Duck
1 Peregrine Falcon
7 Sand Martin
2 Swallow
7 Redwing
6 Chiffchaff
2 Willow Tit
2 Reed Bunting
(Martin Adlam)

Priorslee Flash
Shoveler
4 Snipe
(John Isherwood)

2006
Priorslee Lake
2 Little Grebes
6 Great Crested Grebes
10 Tufted Ducks
1 Ruddy Duck
183 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
19 Sand Martins
1 Kestrel
3 Buzzards
4 Jays
2 Stock Doves
270 Wood Pigeons
1 Sky Lark
3 Meadow Pipits
3 Grey Wagtails
15 Robins
20 Blackbirds
5 Fieldfare
13 Redwings
2 Willow Warblers
7 Chiffchaffs
2 Willow Tits
8 Greenfinches
5 Siskins
4 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

30 Mar 17

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

11.0°C > 12.0°C: Mainly cloudy; clearer to W to start; light drizzle from 07:40 and then rain between 08:50 and 09:15. Moderate S wind. Mainly good visibility

Sunrise: 06:49 BST

Priorslee Lake: 05:54 – 07:00 // 07:50 – 09:39

(44th visit of the year)

Notes from today:
- with the onset of rain a party of 7 Lesser Black-backed Gulls flew low over closely followed by a group of 6 Herring Gulls. Almost all these birds appeared to be full adults
- then a few minutes later two Sand Martins arrived and numbers gradually built until least 25 present. As soon as the rain stopped birds started to leave and withing five minutes had all gone. I assume these were all birds passing over high and unseen brought down by the rain. How ever many others pass?
- no idea why relatively few Jackdaws: it may be the rather brisk wing encouraged them to hedge-hop and pass out of my sight the other side of Castle Farm Way
and
- still no moths on the lamps

Birds noted flying over the lake
- 2 Greylag Geese (pair)
- 4 Canada Geese (pair and two singles)
- 8 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 7 Herring Gulls
- 2 Stock Doves (singles)
- 3 Wood Pigeons only
- 249 Jackdaws (c.30 groups)
- 8 Rooks (6 singles / pairs)
- 2 Starlings
- 1 Goldfinch again

Hirundine counts
- c.25 Sand Martins

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 10 (8) Chiffchaffs
- 2 (2) Blackcaps

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 9 (7♂) Mallard
- 10 (5♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Cormorants
- 1 Grey Heron
- 6 Great Crested Grebes
- 4 Moorhens
- 27 Coots

A male Reed Bunting: very little song heard from around the lake so far.

The first few flowers of a Wild Cherry (Prunus avium).

(Ed Wilson)

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The Flash 07:05 – 07:45
(33rd visit of the year)

Two new birds for my year-log at this site
- a Willow Warbler was singing along the W side and my 56th species
- a pair of Shoveler by the island was therefore my 57th species

Other notes
- drake Gadwall still present
- did find duck Mallards today: one was with its mate in one of the gardens in Derwent Drive
- increased numbers of Tufted Duck: possibly more as birds seen in flight and perhaps arriving. But as likely birds just restless and feeling the need to move on to breeding grounds. A few might stay and try and breed
- Coot seen apparently catching and eating a freshwater mussel – really?

Birds noted flying over
- 3 Jackdaws
- 1 Starling

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 4 (4) Chiffchaffs
- 1 (1) Willow Warbler
- 2 (2) Blackcaps

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 2 Greylag Geese
- 34 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 1 (1♂) Gadwall
- 15 (13♂) Mallard
- 2 (1♂) Shoveler
- 36 (22♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 Great Crested Grebe
- 8 Moorhens
- 16 Coots yet again

This really is an awful photo in poor light and drizzle but interesting because this Coot seems to be eating what looked like a freshwater mussel before it managed to extract the fibrous inside you can see. A real mystery as I am not aware of freshwater mussels away from rivers in Shropshire – where they re endangered anyway. Nor am I really convinced this is what this is. Any ideas?
I told you it was awful light: a record shot of the pair of Shoveler here.  

Between the lake and The Flash alongside the path
- 1 duck Mallard on the lower pool
- single Moorhen on the lower pool and two Moorhens on the upper pool
- singing Chiffchaff at the lower pool

(Ed Wilson)

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

2014
Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
4 Great Crested Grebes
3 Cormorants
1 Grey Heron
19 Tufted Duck
4 Meadow Pipits
1 Redwing
1 Blackcap
7 Chiffchaffs
197 Jackdaws
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
2 Great Crested Grebes
1 Cackling Goose
2 Common Teal
42 Tufted Ducks
3 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

2013
Horsehay Pool
Mandarin Ducks
(JW Reeves)

2012
Priorslee Lake
4 Great Crested Grebes
15 Tufted Duck
1 Peregrine Falcon
3 Blackcaps
12 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson, John Isherwood )

The Flash 
46 Tufted Duck 
3 Blackcaps
4 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
Raven
(John Isherwood)

2006
Priorslee Lake
7 Chiffchaff
1 Willow Warbler
1 Swallow
14 Tufted Duck
2 Ruddy Duck
1 Sparrowhawk
5 Great Crested Grebe
1 Dabchick.
1 Grey Heron
20 Redwing
4 Siskins
2 Linnet
9 Greenfinch
4 Reed Bunting
10 Meadow Pipit
1 Willow Tit
(Martin R Adlam)

29 Mar 17

Priorslee Lake, The Flash and Trench Lock Pool

9.5°C > 11.0°C: Mainly cloudy; a few breaks after rain between 06:00 and 06:30. Light SSW wind. Mainly good visibility except in heaviest rain

Sunrise: 06:52 BST

Priorslee Lake: 05:54 – 08:55 // 09:45 – 10:09

(43rd visit of the year)

A singing Willow Warbler in the Ricoh hedge became my 80th confirmed bird species logged from around the lake this year

Other notes from today:
- the pen Mute Swan made sporadic appearances away from the nest site
- the same number of Canada Geese logged overhead for 4 days – 8 birds. But each day the formation of the groups has been different
- the reduced number of Tufted Ducks were all in pairs today
- 3 Grey Herons doing a lot of sparring and flying about – a pair with a 3rd bird trying to get in on the act?
- 10 of the 36 Wood Pigeons logged overhead were in a single party flying very high N – migrants?
- getting rather late for Redwings: two birds seen overhead; earlier a single bird in tree-tops
- 3 singing Blackcaps again; also 2 males seen chasing at another location
and
- still no moths on the lamps
- located several clumps of Wood Anemones (Anemone nemorosa)

Birds noted flying over the lake
- 8 Canada Geese (4 groups)
- 2 Cormorants
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 2 Herring Gulls
- 2 Stock Doves
- 36 Wood Pigeons
- 449 Jackdaws (68 groups)
- 20 Rooks (16 singles / pairs)
- 2 Redwings
- 1 Meadow Pipit
- 1 Goldfinch

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 9 (9) Chiffchaffs
- 1 (1) Willow Warbler
- 5 (3) Blackcaps

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 1 Greylag Goose
- 4 Canada Geese (2 pairs)
- 6 (5♂) Mallard yet again
- 8 (4♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Cormorant
- 3 Grey Herons
- 7 Great Crested Grebes
- 6 Moorhens
- 29 Coots

Some spectacular sunrises recently: this is what it normally looks like.

The Mistle Thrush chose a dull morning to sit on a branch unobstructed by twigs. Getting the exposure right was trial and, mainly, error. A bit too dark here.

Here we see the pale edging to the wing and tail feathers.

Well I did say trial and error! Here a bit too light but we see more detail.

One of three clumps Wood Anemones (Anemone nemorosa). I kept a sharp look-out for these yesterday as I had seen some elsewhere and thought there ought to be some around the lake. I failed. But this morning as large as life and easy to spot.

(Ed Wilson)

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The Flash: 09:05 – 09:35

(32nd visit of the year)

Notes
- drake Gadwall seen again: perhaps hiding yesterday
- no idea where the duck Mallard are – I suppose sitting on eggs somewhere. Two days with only drakes recorded
- 3 Great Crested Grebes seen: none of these was anywhere near where I thought there might be a nest; a pair of Coots seemed to have taken over that site
- a Sparrowhawk flew across the water
- all the over-flying gulls only noticed because the Black-headed Gulls were being characteristically noisy
and
- a March Tubic (Diurnea fagella) moth on the lamps
- a single flower of a Wood Anemone (Anemone nemorosa) seen
- the first few umbels of Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) [aka Wild Chervil, Wild Beaked Parsley, Keck, or Queen Anne's Lace] are just breaking

Birds noted flying over
- 3 Black-headed Gulls
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 3 Feral Pigeons

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 4 (4) Chiffchaffs

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 21 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 1 (1♂) Gadwall
- 13 (13♂) Mallard
- 24 (14♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 Cormorant again
- 3 Great Crested Grebes
- 4 Moorhens
- 16 Coots again

This is a March Tubic (Diurnea fagella) moth on the lamp by the doctors’ surgery. My first here since 04 April 2014.

This is a head of Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) [aka Wild Chervil, Wild Beaked Parsley, Keck, or Queen Anne's Lace] just breaking – the most ‘open’ I could find. Will be very different in about a week when this wild flower will turn the hedgerows white.

Between the lake and The Flash alongside the path
- 1 (1♂) Mallard on the lower pool
- single Moorhen on the upper pool again
- singing Chiffchaffs around both pools

(Ed Wilson)

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Trench Lock Pool: 10:18 – 10:29

(14th visit of the year)

A short visit to check whether any hirundines had turned up – they hadn’t

Some disturbance this morning with contractors strimming and cutting some of the vegetation in the NW area

Notes from here
- the remaining cygnet left alone by the adults while a pair of Greylag Geese were allowed to inspect the traditional nest site unimpeded
- reduced number of Tufted Ducks here – as at the lake
- one of the Great Crested Grebes sitting on a nest: the other in close attendance
- only 1 juvenile Coot noted: any others might have been being brooded by the sitting adult. Rather few Coots counted this morning

Birds noted flying over here.
None

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 2 (2) Chiffchaffs

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 4 Greylag Geese
- 6 Canada Geese again
- 3 (3♂) Mallard again
- 17 (11♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Moorhen
- 33 + 1 Coots
- 1 Black-headed Gull


(Ed Wilson)

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On this day in ...........
2015
Local Area
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
2 Little Grebes
3 Great Crested Grebes
4 Cormorants
1 Grey Heron
31 Tufted Duck
3 Redwings
5 Sand Martins
7 Chiffchaffs
1 Willow Warbler
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
2 Great Crested Grebes
1 Cackling Goose
2 Common Teal
49 Tufted Ducks
3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers
4 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock Pool
3 Great Crested Grebes
17 Tufted Ducks
1 Blackcap
2 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Middle Pool
3 Tufted Duck
3 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

2013
Priorslee Lake
2 Gadwall
7 Wigeon
Iceland Gull
(John Isherwood and et al)

The Flash
1 Shoveler
2 Pochard
(John Isherwood)

Horsehay Pool
2 Mandarin Ducks
(Paul Spear)

2012
Priorslee Lake
3 Great Crested Grebes
16 Tufted Duck 
2 Blackcaps
12 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
4 Great Crested Grebes 
47 Tufted Duck
1 Blackcap
5 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
2 Red-legged Partridges
(Ed Wilson)

2008
Priorslee Lake
Oystercatcher
Blackcap
5 Chiffchaffs
Sand Martins
7 Gadwall
(Ed Wilson, John Isherwood)

Nedge Hill
2 Wheatear
6 Sky Larks
1 Fieldfare
3 Redwings
Lapwing
Green Woodpecker
14 Linnets.
(Ed Wilson) 

2006
Priorslee Lake
 Barn Owl
25 Sand Martins
3 Chiffchaffs
1 Willow Warbler
47 Redwings
4 Meadow Pipits
12 Tufted Duck
4 Jays
433 Wood Pigeons
(Ed Wilson)

28 Mar 17

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

5.0°C > 6.0°C: Low overcast and very misty again. Light SSE wind. Poor visibility

Sunrise: 06:54 BST

Priorslee Lake: 11:00

13 Sand Martins
A male Blackcap singing
5 male Chiffchaff singing

(Mart Grant)

Priorslee Lake: 06:06 – 07:00 // 07:45 – 09:18

(42nd visit of the year)

Notes from today:
- only 1 Mute swan seen: I assume the pen was on the nest hidden away somewhere
- 10 singing Chiffchaffs a good count: at least six of these seem to be holding a stable territory but whether they can all attract females and stay to breed is a bit premature to say
- now 3 singing Blackcaps
and
- still no moths on the lamps
- a 2nd clump of Primroses (Primula vulgaris) found
- first Violets of the year – Sweet Violets (Viola odorata)
- Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta) growing on the dam

Birds noted flying over the lake
*** sighting badly affected by the very misty conditions ****
- 8 Canada Geese (3 groups) yet again
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 1 Feral Pigeons
- c.164 Jackdaws

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 10 (10) Chiffchaffs
- 3 (3) Blackcaps

The counts from the lake area
- 1 Mute Swan
- 6 (5♂) Mallard again
- 14 (9♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 Grey Heron again
- 6 Great Crested Grebes
- 5 Moorhens again
- 32 Coots

Very much a ‘grab shot’ on a very dull morning: a male Blackcap amongst the Blackthorn blossom.

The flowers are not yet fully open but this seems to be Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta). Strangely it is the not dissimilar Wavy Bittercress (Cardamine flexuosa) that has hairy stems.

An upgrade on yesterday: I found another Primrose plant (Primula vulgaris) more in the open.

A Sweet Violet (Viola odorata) flower. ‘Odorata’ because this is the violet that gives its name to the aroma of the same name.

(Ed Wilson)

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The Flash 07:10 – 07:40

(31st visit of the year)

A singing Blackcap in S-side bushes became my 55th confirmed bird species logged from around the water this year

Notes
- drake Gadwall apparently gone
- no Great Crested Grebes seen – probably the mist
and
- a March Moth on one of the lamps – a lamp I very rarely check: my last record from here was 28 March 2014, both very late dates for this species

Birds noted flying over
None

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 4 (4) Chiffchaffs
- 1 (1) Blackcap

The counts from the water
- 1 Mute Swan
- 23 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 11 (11♂) Mallard
- 25 (15♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 Cormorant
- 2 Moorhens
- 16 Coots

Between the lake and The Flash alongside the path
- 2 (2) Mallard on the lower pool
- single Moorhen on the upper pool
- a singing Chiffchaff moving towards The Flash

(Ed Wilson)

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On this day in ...........
2015
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
2 Little Grebes
4 Great Crested Grebes
9+ Cormorants
1 Grey Heron
2 Swans
2 Shoveler
30 Tufted Duck
10 Chiffchaffs
 5 Siskins
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
2 Great Crested Grebes
1 Cackling Goose
51 Tufted Ducks
3 Chiffchaffs
1 Meadow Pipit
2 Fieldfare
(Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
7 Meadow Pipits
c.150 Fieldfare
c.30 Starlings
1 Chiffchaff
(Ed Wilson)

2013
Priorslee Lake
7 Wigeon
22 Tufted Duck
1 Glaucous Gull
1 Yellow-legged Gull
1 hybrid Ring-billed x Lesser Black-backed Gull
1 Mediterranean Gull
c.400 Black-headed Gulls
63 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
4 Herring Gulls.
(Tom Lowe, Martin Grant)

Nedge Hill
2 Lapwing
(Martin Grant)

Little Wenlock, Candles Landfill Site
1 Glaucous Gull
Iceland Gull
1 Yellow-legged Gull.
(Tom Lowe)

2012
Priorslee Lake
10 Chiffchaffs singing
4 Blackcaps singing
1 Sky Lark
1 Willow Tit
1 Raven flew over
3 Great Crested Grebes
11 Tufted Duck 
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Flash
2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers
38 Tufted Duck
5 Chiffchaffs singing
(Ed Wilson)

2008
Priorslee Lake
4 Great Crested Grebes 
6 Gadwall
c.15 Tufted Duck
1 Fieldfare
11 Linnets
5 Chiffchaffs
c.40 Sand Martins
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash 
4 Great Crested Grebes
30 Tufted Ducks
Siskins
2 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
10 Meadow Pipits
Linnets
Sky Larks
(Ed Wilson)

2006
Priorslee Lake
7 Great Crested Grebes
2 Cormorants
14 Tufted Ducks
3 Ruddy Ducks
1 Kittiwake
242 Wood Pigeons
4 Stock Doves
2 Buzzards
1 Kestrel
3 Meadow Pipits
3 Grey Wagtails
9 Pied Wagtails
26 Wrens
3 Fieldfare
94 Redwings
2 Swallow
13 Sand Martins
1 Blackcap
1 Willow Warbler
7 Chiffchaffs
18 Magpies
4 Jays
127 Jackdaws
13 Greenfinches
7 Siskins
7 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson, Martin Adlam)

27 Mar 17

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

3.0°C > 4.0°C: Low overcast and misty. Moderate ESE wind. Moderate visibility.

Sunrise: 06:56 BST

Priorslee Lake: 05:54 – 09:00

(41st visit of the year)

Well I did want a cloudy morning: not quite like this though. Very misty

A singing Blackcap in S-side bushes became my 79th confirmed bird species logged from around the lake this year

Notes from today:
- a pair of Shoveler dropped in between 06:30 and 06:40
- perhaps many of the Jackdaws were too far away to see in the murky conditions: certainly they were passing both E & W of my location which, unless you are Janus, is a bit of a problem when visibility is not good
- Goldcrests were up and about early this morning: the first (of three singing birds) started at 06:15
- Reed Buntings do not seem to be singing around the lake as they usually do. I hear calls and see birds well away from the reeds. The only song within the last 10 days or so has come from the fields to the E of Castle Farm Way
and
- still no moths on the lamps
- a clump of Primroses (Primula vulgaris) found lurking deep in cover
- signs the flowering Wild Cherry (Prunus avium) is just opening

Birds noted flying over the lake
- 8 Canada Geese (3 groups) again
- 2 (2♂) Mallard
- 1 Cormorant
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Stock Dove
- 13 Wood Pigeons
- 136 Jackdaws (17 groups)
- 11 Rooks (10 singles / pairs)
- 2 Meadow Pipits
- 1 Goldfinch
- 1 Lesser Redpoll again

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 8 (7) Chiffchaffs
- 1 (1) Blackcap

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 6 (5♂) Mallard
- 2 (1♂) Shoveler
- 13 (8♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Cormorants
- 1 Grey Heron
- 8 Great Crested Grebes
- 5 Moorhens
- 35 Coots

Best I could do with the (un)available light – the clump of Primroses (Primula vulgaris) found lurking deep in cover at the lake.

(Ed Wilson)

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The Flash 09:05 – 09:35

(30th visit of the year)

Notes
- drake Gadwall still present
- only 1 Great Crested Grebe seen but the bird took a fish to a hidden location behind overhanging bushes – partner on nest here?

Birds noted flying over
None

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 3 (3) Chiffchaffs

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 32 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 1 (1♂) Gadwall again
- 11 (9♂) Mallard
- 30 (20♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 Great Crested Grebe (see notes)
- 7 Moorhens again
- 14 Coots
- 1 Black-headed Gull

Between the lake and The Flash alongside the path
- single Moorhens on both the upper and the lower pools
- a singing Chiffchaff around the lower pool again
and
- the first Kingcups or marsh-marigolds (Caltha palustris) are flowering around the upper pool.

Another not exactly stunning shot: the Kingcups or marsh-marigolds (Caltha palustris) flowering around the upper pool between the lake and The Flash.

(Ed Wilson)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On this day in ...........
2015
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
6 Great Crested Grebes
5+ Cormorants
31 Tufted Duck
1 Kittiwake
7 Fieldfare
6 Chiffchaffs
c.230 Jackdaws
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
1 Cackling Goose
2 Teal
49 Tufted Ducks
3 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

2013
Priorslee Lake
2 Little Grebes
7 Great Crested Grebes
7 Wigeon 
2 Gadwall 
1 Pochard 
34 Tufted Ducks 
c.500 Black-headed Gulls
7 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
31 Herring Gulls
1 Common Gull
1 Yellow-legged Gull
1 Great Black-backed Gull 
5 Redwings
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash 
3 Great Crested Grebes 
1 Pochard 
62 Tufted Duck 
Steppe Gull?
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock Pool
2 Great Crested Grebes 
1 Cormorant 
26 Tufted Duck 
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Middle Pool
3 Cormorants
2 Goosander 
(Ed Wilson)

2011
Priorslee Lake
1 Dunlin
1 Raven
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Flash
2 Shoveler
1 Willow Warbler
(John Isherwood)

Nedge Hill
4 Wheatear
(John Isherwood)

2010
Priorslee Lake
16 Fieldfares
1 Willow Warbler
4 Great Crested Grebe 
4 Herons 
4 Gadwall
29 Tufted Duck
c.215 Jackdaws
(Ed Wilson)

2007
Priorslee Lake
2 Pochard
27 Tufted Ducks
16 Meadow Pipits
36 Robins
28 Blackbirds
5 Chiffchaffs
1 Redpoll
7 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

2006
Priorslee Lake
5 Great Crested Grebes
1 Pochard
24 Tufted Ducks
2 Ruddy Duck
1 Water Rail
127 Wood Pigeon
21 Wrens
3 Fieldfare
3 Redwing
3 Chiffchaff
2 Willow Warblers
8 Sand Martins
22 Siskin
6 Linnets
4 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson, Martin Adlam, Martin Grant)

26 Mar 17

Priorslee Lake, Trench Lock Pool and Trench Middle Pool

***START OF BRITISH SUMMERTIME***

1.5°C > 6.0°C: Fine. clear and frosty again with rather more high cloud. Light / moderate E wind. Very good visibility.

Sunrise: 06:59 BST

Priorslee Lake: 06:03 – 09:01

(40th visit of the year)

Clear weather again so rather few fly-overs

Notes from today:
- 1 Water Rail heard calling: it is rather late in the season for this species here, though there is really no reason why it should not breed
- 21 Fieldfares flew out of the trees in SW area. Outside the breeding season this species is usually an open country bird and rarely seen in the trees around the lake
- 2 Redwings seen leaving their roosts
and
- still no moths on the lamps

Birds noted flying over the lake
- 2 Greylag Geese (pair)
- 8 Canada Geese (3 groups)
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 21 Wood Pigeons
- 377 Jackdaws (87 groups)
- 20 Rooks (15 singles / pairs)
- 3 Greenfinches
- 4 Goldfinches
- 1 Lesser Redpoll

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 7 (6) Chiffchaffs again

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 8 (7♂) Mallard
- 20 (13♂) Tufted Ducks again
- 3 Cormorants
- 2 Grey Herons
- 7 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Water Rail heard
- 6 Moorhens
- 26 Coots

The earliest I could get any sort of photo of the sunrise.

Nicely colouring up.

At the actual sunrise high cloud masked the sun.

Much later.

I know these are ‘only’ a pair of Mallard but because of that I rarely photograph them – indeed it is not that often that you see them flying.

Around for another lap.

The drake comes in to ‘land’.

About to touch down feet-first.

So graceful – NOT.

One of the Cormorants has a big fish to try and deal with.

Seems to have gone down in one gulp.

The single Mistle Thrush is being very difficult this year. Its chosen song perch is blocked by twigs from what ever angle I try. This is about the best I can do. Note the spots are rather more isolated than on the smaller Song Thrush. We can also just make out the pale edges to the wing coverts.

The party of Fieldfare rather caught me by surprise and this was the best of a poor bunch. Note the pale ‘arm-pits’ shared with Mistle Thrush. The flight action of Fieldfare is not quite so leisurely. On this shot we can see the grey head and the relative lack of spotting on a warm-toned breast.

So what will become of the land – the old Celestica site that has been more or less fallow for at least 10 years.

(Ed Wilson)

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

Trench Lock Pool: 09:10 – 09:25 // 10:15 – 10:24

(13th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- the remaining cygnet being chased strongly today: would not even fly much less leave
- a duck Goosander again (but see note under Middle Pool)
- Coot seen with brood of 2 very small young: seems very early to have young
- no gulls at all (here or at Middle Pool)
- the Stock Dove fly-over may have been one of the birds from Middle Pool area
- noisy party of Jays (at least 3) seen here after those seen at Middle Pool: same?
- 1 singing Chiffchaff again

Birds noted flying over here
- 1 Stock Dove

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 1 (1) Chiffchaff again

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 6 Canada Geese
- 3 (3♂) Mallard
- 28 (21♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 (0♂) Goosander
- 1 Great Crested Grebes
- 4 Moorhens
- 41 + 2 Coots

(Ed Wilson)

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

Trench Middle Pool 09:30 – 10:10

(11th visit of the year)

Notes
- two interloping adult Mute Swans soon seen off
- duck Goosander here as well but as it flew off while I was present perhaps the same bird as at Trench Lock Pool
- two Stock Dove seen flying away from the island: perhaps planning to nest here?
- two (or more) Jays making a lot of noise
- three singing Chiffchaffs today
- pair of Grey Wagtails
and
- a dead Rat on the path around the water: seemed to have had most of its tail severed – before or after death?

Birds noted flying over here
- 1 Buzzard

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 3 (3) Chiffchaffs

The counts from the water
- 4 Mute Swans
- 23 Greylag Geese
- 36 Canada Goose
- 12 (10♂) Mallard
- 8 (4♂) Tufted Ducks again
- 1 (0♂) Goosander
- 1 Cormorant in same place
- 2 Great Crested Grebes again
- 7 Moorhens again
- 15 Coots

Two interloping Mute Swans at Trench Middle Pool caused a lot of commotion. My position and the lighting gave some opportunity for some classic shots. Inbound to land and ....

... touchdown.

Another flight view.

And another.

And banking away.

... right away.

Not wanted here: better leave.

The ‘other one’ gets airborne

Does not look an easy process.

Not to be outdone by the swans a Canada Goose gives me a fly-by.

“But I am still the best”.

Another take-off.

Greylag Geese in full ‘honk’. Well it is that time of the year!

Handsome birds. This one has just stretched its left wing and not yet fully retracted it, hence we can see the white on the forewing that is so obvious in flight.

Really handsome.

And the Greylags get in to the flight action.

Even a Jay gets in on the action.

And a pair of Grey Wagtails were happy to have their photos taken. Here is what I think is a 1st year male as there seems to be a hint of black in the bib and there is some mottling on the back (adult males have a jet-black bib in breeding season). And ‘grey’ not ‘yellow’ – it is the back colour that gives wagtails their vernacular name.

This a much ‘smarter’ bird and is a female with a white throat: it almost seems to be frownings.

(Ed Wilson)

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

2015
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
3 Great Crested Grebes
13 Cormorants
4 Greylag Geese
22 Tufted Duck
5 Sand Martins
6 Redwings
8 Chiffchaffs
>500 Jackdaws
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
50 Tufted Ducks
4 Chiffchaffs
4 Siskins
(Ed Wilson)

2013
Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
6 Great Crested Grebes
1 Cormorant
7 Wigeon 
2 Gadwall 
1 Pochard 
42 Tufted Ducks 
1 Great Black-backed Gull
Mediterranean Gull.
Ring-billed x Lesser Black-backed Gull.
>1500 Black-headed Gulls
2 Redwings
65 Magpies
25 Siskins
2 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
2 Great Crested Grebes 
6 Swans
2 Pochard 
85 Tufted Duck 
(Ed Wilson)

2010
Priorslee Lake
3 Buzzards
1 Little Grebe 
5 Great Crested Grebe
4 Gadwall
36 Tufted Duck
c.160 Jackdaws
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
4 Great Crested Grebe 
3 Greylag Geese 
32 Tufted Duck

Trench
1 Cormorant
43 Tufted Ducks
(Ed Wilson)

2007
Priorslee Lake
Little Ringed Plover
1 Cormorant
1 Mallard x Pintail
18 Tufted Duck
1 Ruddy Duck
1 Little Ringed Plover
1 Kittiwake
33 Wren
29 Robin
24 Blackbird
3 Chiffchaff
39 Magpie
3 Greenfinch
6 Reed Bunting
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
8 Great Crested Grebe
2 Pochard
27 Tufted Duck
1 Snipe
3 Chiffchaff
2 Reed Bunting
(Ed Wilson)

2006
Priorslee Lake
1 Barn Owl
1 Little Grebe
5 Great Crested Grebes
1 Shoveler
30 Tufted Ducks
2 Water Rails
321 Wood Pigeons
2 Sky Larks
5 Meadow Pipits
33 Wrens
21 Robins
21 Blackbirds
1 Fieldfare
3 Redwings
1 Chiffchaff
1 Willow Tit
18 Greenfinches
8 Siskins
1 Linnet
6 Reed Buntings
1 Yellowhammer.
(Ed Wilson)