25 Apr 19

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

Priorslee Lake:  04:50 – 06:15 // 07:05 – 09:00
The Flash:  06:20 – 07:00

7.0°C > 11.0°C:  Mostly cloudy; some mostly light rain. Moderate E wind. Good visibility

Sunrise: 05:50 BST

Priorslee Lake:  04:50 – 06:15 // 07:05 – 09:00

(110 visit of the year)

Bird notes from today
- probably many more hirundines than noted as they kept appearing and then disappearing with variable numbers each time. I have used my highest instantaneous count
- an ‘extra’ Willow Warbler was singing first thing in the SW copse but not later
- cannot decide whether there were two or three singing Common Whitethroats. One of them may have a large territory and seem to be two birds
- try and I might I could not convince myself there was a fourth Reed Warbler today

Bird totals

Birds noted flying over or flying near the lake
- 1 Greylag Goose (inbound)
- 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Feral Pigeons
- 6 Wood Pigeons
- 1 Jackdaw
- 1 Rook

Hirundines noted
- >40 Sand Martins
- >6 Barn Swallows
- >3 House Martins

Warblers noted (singing birds)
- 8 (5) Chiffchaffs
- 2 (2) Willow Warbler
- 23 (18) Blackcaps
- 2 (2) Garden Warblers still
- 2? (2?) (Common) Whitethroats (see notes)
- 3 (3) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area:
- 2 Mute Swans
- 2 Greylag Geese (came and went)
- 6 (6♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 Grey Heron again
- 1 Little Grebes heard only
- 3 Great Crested Grebes again
- 2 Moorhens again
- 17 Coots only

Nothing on the lamp poles pre-dawn

Later
- a cranefly, Tipula vittata
- a snail, probably a Smooth Grass Snail (Vallonia pulchella)
- a species of unidentified fungus

Between the pulses of rain a red sky in the morning to remind us of the Shepherds’ warning.

Looked slightly better later with scudding clouds but not enough blue for a pair of Sailor’s trousers (look it up if you don’t know).

Whilst it is true that craneflies (daddy long-legs) are most abundant in Autumn they do occur from Spring onwards as this shows. This is Tipula vittata (no vernacular name) with a diagnostic stripe along the side of the body and well-patterned wings. Apparently my first-ever.

First rains and out come the slugs and, here, snails. I was surprised to read there are over 100 species of snail found in the UK.

Perhaps easier to identify from this angle. I think a Smooth Grass Snail (Vallonia pulchella).

I found a rather more accessible Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) bush in flower this morning. Here are some of the first flowers. Remember Blackthorn flowers before the leaves are open, Hawthorn after the leaves open. Another vernacular name is May – suggesting the usual time of flowering. This date to be treated with caution as there are many sub-species (and cultivars). These flower at different times. On moorland it is often June before the flowers open.

Why do none of my fungus pictures match anything I can find in my books or on the web sites I use ....

(Ed Wilson)
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The Flash:  06:20 – 07:00

(103rd visit of the year)

A Common Sandpiper, this time on the island. Could have been one lingering from yesterday though

Other notes from here:
- single brood of 10 Mallard ducklings
- Tree Creeper singing at the S end: my first for a while here and song is not often heard

Birds noted flying over / near The Flash
- 1 Jackdaw
- 1 Starling

Hirundines noted
None

Warblers noted (singing birds)
- 2 (2) Chiffchaffs remain
- 1 (1) Willow Warbler
- 7 (5) Blackcaps

The counts from the water:
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 5 Greylag Geese
- 19 Canada Geese
- 18 (14♂) + 10 (1 brood) Mallard
- 9 (5♂) Tufted Ducks still
- 2 Great Crested Grebes still
- 1 Moorhen only
- 21 Coots
- 1 Common Sandpiper

Another smug-looking duck Mallard with her brood of 10.

(Ed Wilson)

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Between the lake and The Flash

At or around the lower pool (singing birds)
- 1 drake Mallard
- 1 Song Thrush
- 1 Coal Tit

At or around the upper pool (singing birds)
- 1 Moorhen
- 1 (1) Goldcrest
- 1 (1) Chiffchaff
- 1 (1) Blackcap

(Ed Wilson)

Note: A few photos from Belvide on Tuesday. Click Here

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On this day..........
2018
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2016
Local Area
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
1 Reed Warbler
1 Sedge Warbler
(John Isherwood)

Nedge Hill
1 Lesser Whitethroat
5 Wheatear
(John Isherwood)

2013
Priorslee Lake
Tawny Owl
4 Great Crested Grebes 
2 Cormorants
2 Lapwings 
2 Common Sandpiper 
3 Reed Warblers
14 Blackcaps 
8 Chiffchaffs 
2 Willow Warblers 
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
2 Great Crested Grebe 
1 Greylag Goose 
1 Richardson's / Cackling-type Canada Goose 
12 Tufted Duck 
5 Song Thrushes 
3 Blackcaps 
3 Chiffchaffs 
3 Willow Warblers
(Ed Wilson)

Woodhouse Lane
3 Common Whitethroats
2 Linnets.
7 Yellowhammers
Blackcaps
Chiffchaffs 
Willow Warbler.
(Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
4 Meadow Pipits
4 Sky Lark
20 Wheatear
2 Fieldfare
1 Lesser Whitethroat.
2 Common Whitethroats.
3 Blackcaps.
2 Chiffchaffs.
1 Linnet.
2 Yellowhammer
(Ed Wilson, John Isherwood)

Long Lane, Wellington
1 Whimbrel
2 Curlew
6 Dunlin
2 Ringed Plover
(JW Reeves)

2012
Priorslee Lake
35 Swallows
2 House Martins
Grey Wagtail
Blackcap
Chiffchaff
2 Swift
1 Grasshopper Warbler
(John Isherwood, J W Reeves, Martin Grant)

Nedge Hill
1 Wheatear
(John Isherwood)

2011
Priorslee Lake
1 Yellow Wagtail
Common Sandpiper
(John Isherwood)

Nedge Hill
9 Wheatear
(John Isherwood)

2010
Priorslee Lake
3 Common Sandpiper
(Andy Latham)

Nedge Hill
Swift
12 Wheatear
1 Whinchat
Lesser Whitethroat
2 Whitethroat
Blackcap
(Andy Latham)

2009
Priorslee Lake
1 Wheatear
(John Isherwood)

Nedge Hill
19 Wheatear
1 Lesser Whitethroat
2 Turtle Doves
(John Isherwood)

2008
Priorslee Lake
4 Great Crested Grebes
Sand Martins
Swallows
1 Tufted Duck
1 Sedge Warbler
4 Reed Warblers
1 Lesser Whitethroat
1 Common Whitethroat
3 Blackcaps 
6 Chiffchaffs 
1 Willow Warbler
(Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
2 Wheatear
1 Common Whitethroat
(Ed Wilson)

2007
Priorslee
3 Great Crested Grebes
1 Tufted Duck
1 Wheatear
1 Chiffchaff
1 Willow Tit
1 Willow Warbler
(Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
5 Wheatears
1 Whinchat
1 Sedge Warbler
Common Whitethroat
4 Linnets
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Flash
Swallows
1 Grey Wagtail
6 Blackcaps
6 Willow Warbler
(Ed Wilson)

2006
Priorslee Lake
7 Great Crested Grebes
4 Herons
4 Greylag Geese
4 Tufted Ducks
2 Ruddy Duck
2 Kestrels
2 Common Sandpipers
1 Sky Lark
23 Sand Martins
12 Swallows
29 Wrens
2 Sedge Warblers
2 Reed Warblers
11 Blackcaps
8 Chiffchaffs
2 Willow Warblers
2 Jays
7 Greenfinches
21 Redpolls
5 Reed Buntings.

Lanes
3 Whitethroats
2 Sky Larks
3 Whitethroats
2 Blackcaps
1 Chiffchaff
4 Linnets
6 Yellowhammers
(Ed Wilson)

24 Apr 19

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

Priorslee Lake:  04:50 – 06:40 // 07:35 – 09:00
The Flash:  06:45 – 07:30

7.0°C > 9.0°C:  Mostly a low overcast below scattered high level cloud. Light SE wind. Moderate visibility and hazy again

Sunrise: 05:52 BST

Priorslee Lake:  04:50 – 06:40 // 07:35 – 09:00

(109th visit of the year)

Bird notes from today
- the Tufted Duck seemed not to be present early or late. I saw them take off at c.07:50 and fly around and land at least once more. Thereafter I could not find them
- numbers of Coot are well down. I am sure half of them are sitting on nests hidden in reeds but even so ...
- another Linnet over-flight on an unusual date

Bird totals

Birds noted flying over or flying near the lake
- 2 Canada Geese (pair inbound)
- 1 Herring Gull yet again
- 2 Wood Pigeons only
- 2 Collared Doves
- 2 Jackdaws
- 1 Rook
- 1 Linnet

Hirundines noted
- >20 Sand Martins
- >4 Barn Swallows

Warblers noted (singing birds)
- 8 (6) Chiffchaffs
- 1 (1) Willow Warbler
- 26 (18) Blackcaps
- 2 (2) Garden Warblers again
- 1 (1) (Common) Whitethroat
- 4 (4) Reed Warblers still

The counts from the lake area:
- 2 Mute Swans
- 10 (7♂) Mallard
- 4 (2♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 Little Grebes heard only
- 3 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 Moorhens
- 10 Coots only

On the lamp poles pre-dawn
- a wasp caught in a spider web
- a caddis fly, seemingly Ophion obscuratus

Later 
- at least two large (Noctule?) bats flying over the S side until they flew off E at 05:35
- at least two Pipistrelle-type bats along the N side at 05:05
- the first Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) bush in flower. Rather strange in that it is tucked away in the shade along the Wesley Brook. Perhaps it was sheltered from the cold weather and that has enabled it to flower earlier. Perhaps its just a different early-flowering (sub-) species

This seems to be the caddis fly Ophion obscuratus. the Naturespot website says it “is identified the pale stripes on the thorax and by pale corners of the 'stigma' (the dark mark on the leading edge of the forewing)”. That seems to sum it up even though the thorax is not that clear from the only angle available.

A wasp sp. with no visible means of support. I wonder if spiders actually tackle wasps directly and hill them or whether they leave them to die in the web and then eat them?

From this side we see how hairy wasps are (and also note a plumed midge in the same web).

I cannot identify this tiny (less than one inch) caterpillar – I have no reference material to give me a clue where to start looking, I do know that it is likely from a geometer moth and one of the so-called looper caterpillars from its locomotion with just claspers and two sets of legs at the rear.

(Ed Wilson)
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The Flash:  06:45 – 07:30

(102nd visit of the year)

Best was the three Common Sandpipers flushed from the top NE corner at c.06:50. Did not see where they flew to and only heard them in flight later. The first year I have had sightings on more than one day (this is the third, counting the sighting from one of the fishermen). Also my first multi-bird log from here. Perhaps here because fishermen at the lake were occupying the birds' usual area?

Other notes from here:
- did I see two broods of 8 Mallard ducklings or the same brood twice?
- the Grey Heron flew in: my first here since 17 February (I noted one flying over on 31 March)
- an ‘extra’ Willow Warbler singing from the island today
- still many, many Blackcaps here as well as at the lake

Birds noted flying over / near The Flash
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Wood Pigeon

Hirundines noted
None

Warblers noted (singing birds)
- 2 (2) Chiffchaffs again
- 2 (2) Willow Warbler
- 9 (5) Blackcaps

The counts from the water:
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 17 Canada Geese
- 1 Grey Heron
- 20 (16♂) + 8 (1 brood) Mallard (see notes)
- 9 (5♂) Tufted Ducks again
- 2 Great Crested Grebes again
- 2 Moorhens
- 22 Coots again
- 3 Common Sandpipers

Eight Mallard ducklings all in a group. Easier to see in the reflection, the right-most duckling needs a handkerchief.

(Ed Wilson)

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Between the lake and The Flash

There were two Chiffchaffs chasing and singing between the upper pool the limit of my recording area for The Flash – the footpath down squirrel alley and out to Priorslee Avenue. I suspect these were birds I normally hear at the W end of squirrel, neither of which was singing at this time. Otherwise ....

At or around the lower pool (singing birds)

- 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
- 1 Coal Tit

At or around the upper pool (singing birds)
- 2 Moorhens (adults)
- 1 (1) Blackcap

(Ed Wilson)

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On this day..........
2018
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2017
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2016
Local Area
Today's Sightings Here

2014
Nedge Hill
2 Redstart
7 Wheatear
Whitethroat
Willow Warbler
(Ian Grant)

2013
Priorslee Lake
4 Great Crested Grebes
5 Greylag Geese
5 Common Sandpipers
2 Reed Warblers
6 Blackcaps
9 Chiffchaffs
2 Willow Warblers
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
1 Richardson's / Cackling-type Canada Goose
20 Tufted Duck
2 Chiffchaffs
5 Willow Warblers
(Ed Wilson)

Long Lane, Wellington
1 Little Ringed Plover
3 Ringed Plover
2 Dunlin
Lesser Whitethroat
(JW Reeves)

2012
Priorslee Lake
8 Great Crested Grebes
11 Greylag
1 Tufted Duck
1 Grasshopper Warbler
1 Sedge Warbler
14 Blackcaps
4 Willow Warblers
11 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Flash
4 Great Crested Grebes
5 Greylag Geese
17 Tufted Duck
5 Blackcaps
3 Willow Warblers
4 Chiffchaffs
1 Reed Bunting
(Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
1 Wheatear
1 Common Whitethroat
2 Lapwings
1 Green Woodpecker
6 Skylarks
4 Blackcaps
1 Willow Warbler
3 Chiffchaffs
9 Linnets
(Ed Wilson)

2010
Priorslee Lake
4 Common Sandpiper
(John Isherwood)

Nedge Hill
8 Wheatear
28 Fieldfare
2 Whitethroat
(John Isherwood)

2008
Priorslee Lake
Reed Warblers
3 Common Sandpipers
1 Sedge Warbler
1 Common Whitethroat
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
2 Common Sandpipers
1 Tufted Duck
Blackcap
Chiffchaff
Willow Warbler
(Ed Wilson)

Trench
8 Tufted Duck
8 Swallows
3 House Martin
(Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
2 Wheatear
1 Common Whitethroat
2 Linnet
(Ed Wilson)

2007
Priorslee Flash
4 Great Crested Grebe
1 Ruddy Duck
4 Common Sandpiper
3 Swift
32 House Martin
3 Swallow
3 Reed Warbler
2 Sedge Warbler
1 Garden Warbler
6 Blackcap
1 Lesser Whitethroat
5 Chiffchaff
4 Reed Bunting
(Martin Adlam)

2006
Priorslee Lake
5 Great Crested Grebes
14 Tufted Ducks
2 Ruddy Ducks
7 Sand Martins
14 Swallows
1 House Martin
3 Stock Doves
3 Grey Wagtails
30 Wrens
2 Sedge Warblers
1 Reed Warbler
1 Common Whitethroat
9 Blackcaps
7 Chiffchaffs
2 Willow Warblers
1 Willow Tit
8 Greenfinches
1 Linnet
1 Redpoll
5 Reed Buntings.(Ed Wilson)

Lanes to the East of Priorslee lake
6 Stock Doves
2 Sky Larks
2 Whitethroats
3 Blackcaps
3 Chiffchaffs
4 Linnets
1 Reed Bunting
7 Yellowhammers
(Ed Wilson)

23 Apr 19

Priorslee Lake [with Woodhouse Lane], The Flash, Trench Lock Pool and Trench Middle Pool

Priorslee Lake:  04:50 – 06:35 // 07:20 – 09:15
[Woodhouse Lane:  08:25 – 08:55]
The Flash:  06:40 – 07:15
Trench Lock Pool:  09:25 – 09:35 // 10:25 – 10:55
Trench Middle Pool:  09:40 – 10:20

11.0°C > 15.0°C:  Fine with high cloud and some hazy sun. Light E wind. Moderate / good visibility

Sunrise: 05:55 BST

Priorslee Lake:  04:50 – 06:35 // 07:20 – 09:15

(108th visit of the year)

After yesterday’s large bat sp. today there were at least two presumed pipistrelle bats (this ‘species’ has now been split in to several species, only separable with a bat detector to record their calls). I also noted a small bat with a much more direct flight. My only thought about this was perhaps one of the pipistrelle bats off to roost as it got light

Bird notes from today
- three Oystercatchers flew over the football field, calling and descending in to the lake. I did not see them actually land and they were not visible when I returned to the lake-side a few minutes later
- a Sparrowhawk was seen leaving to the E across Castle Farm Way with prey in its talons
- a tight group of seven Stock Doves overhead was unusual
- some of the Jays were making even more of a noise than usual and I suspect they were terrorising the Tawny Owl at its roost
- a second Garden Warbler singing from the Ricoh hedge – stayed buried
- 11 Starlings (from the estate) were using the holiday silence around the academy to feed on the grass in the area

Bird totals

Birds noted flying over or flying near the lake
- 2 Greylag Geese (pair outbound)
- 6 Black-headed Gulls (5 adults)
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls ((near) adults)
- 1 Herring Gull (adult) again
- 2 Feral Pigeons
- 7 Stock Doves
- 7 Wood Pigeons again
- 8 Jackdaws

Hirundines noted
- 2 Sand Martins flew through

Warblers noted (singing birds)
- 9 (7) Chiffchaffs
- 1 (1) Willow Warbler again
- 25 (17) Blackcaps
- 2 (2) Garden Warblers
- 3 (3) (Common) Whitethroats
- 4 (4) Reed Warblers again

The counts from the lake area:
- 2 Mute Swans
- 2 Greylag Geese (1 stayed; 1 departed)
- 6 (6♂) Mallard
- 6 (3♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Little Grebe
- 4 Great Crested Grebes
- 3 Moorhens
- 13 Coots only
- 3 Oystercatchers
- 1 Common Sandpiper

On the lamp poles pre-dawn
- several orb-web spiders

Later 
- many, many midges
- the pipistrelle sp. and other bat(s) as noted above
- new flowers of Common Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium)
- the first Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris) umbels are now fully open

A noisy gang of Starlings rest on the academy fence. They are rather handsome when seen well. The closest bird is a female; the two furthest away with blue bill-bases are males. We cannot see the bill on the other.

On the face of it this would seem to be easy to identify. What are presumably male (smaller on the left) and female orb-web spiders on this lamp. The body of the female is very round and reminiscent of the common Zygiella x-notata (the Missing Sector Orb Weaver). However the thorax part is much shorter and rounder than that species so I am stumped.

On a different lamp another spider that looks to be the same species.

Was not expecting this – it is Common Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium), recognised by the outer flowers in the umbels having larger petals. Already on my 2019 list for here after a few late-flowering specimens survived until the New Year. Note too at the top left and bottom right the reddish unopened umbels.

This is the common umbellifer at this time of year and will soon be flowering in profusions - Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris). Much more ‘open’ in character.

(Ed Wilson)

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Notes from Woodhouse Lane (08:25 – 08:55)

(11th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- Stock Doves seem much more common everywhere this year
- one of the Skylarks was making some very realistic Barn Swallow notes in its song. Very few bird books note that Skylarks can include all manner of calls and songs of other birds. I recall that those on Bodmin Moor used to do good Curlew impressions long after Curlews ceased to nest on the moor
- the Willow Warbler was apparently ‘new in’ – after most have passed through
- second singing Common Whitethroat

Totals of ‘interesting’ species (singing birds)
- 1 (1) Pheasant
- 1 Stock Dove
- 3 (3) Skylarks
- 1 party of Long-tailed Tits
- 2 (1) Chiffchaffs
- 1 (1) Willow Warbler
- 2 (2) Blackcap again
- 2 (2) (Common) Whitethroats
- 1 (1) Song Thrush again
- 4 (3) Chaffinches
- 8 Goldfinch
- 2 (0) Linnets
- 8 (1) Yellowhammers

Cannot get any closer to the Common Whitethroats here than at the lake. This bird seems to have less grey head than the one I photographed at the lake. This is a variable feature on males – this has to be a male as it was singing.

Always attractive this male Yellowhammer is in a super setting to show it off.

(Ed Wilson)

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The Flash:  06:40 – 07:15

(101st visit of the year)

Notes from here:
- broods of 11 and 9 Mallard ducklings. No idea how these relate to earlier sightings. All very confusing

Birds noted flying over / near The Flash
- 2 Cormorants
- 1 Herring Gull (3rd summer bird)
- 3 Stock Doves

Hirundines noted
None

Warblers noted (singing birds)
- 2 (2) Chiffchaffs
- 1 (1) Willow Warbler – the usual
- 3 (3) Blackcaps

The counts from the water:
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 20 Canada Geese again
- 21 (16♂) + 20 (2 broods) Mallard
- 9 (5♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 4 Moorhens
- 22 Coots

(Ed Wilson)

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Between the lake and The Flash

At or around the lower pool (singing birds)
- 1 Moorhen

At or around the upper pool (singing birds)
- 2 (2) Blackcap
and on lamp poles
- 1 Syrphus sp. hoverfly
- 1 apparent mosquito sp

This Syrphus sp. hoverfly was unusually resting on a lamp pole and giving a good view. Probably Syrphus ribesii.

Also on a lamp pole was this. Its angle at rest suggested mosquito to me. Perhaps Culex pipiens a species unlikely to bite – certainly this one won’t as the shape of the tip of the abdomen suggests a male and only females bite anyway.

(Ed Wilson)

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Trench Lock Pool:  09:25 – 09:35 // 10:25 – 10:55

(22nd visit of the year)

Species added to my 2019 bird log from here
49      Common Sandpiper
Most unexpected and only my third record of this species here – the most recent was in October 2018 while the pool was partially drained and there was exposed mud. I had walked all the way around without any hint of their presence and then heard the calls just as I was getting in to my car

Other notes from here
- the Greylag Goose circled and flared to drop in, then less than a foot above the water decided otherwise and flew off
- one Canada Goose sitting on eggs
- no gulls on the water or flying over
also
- 2 Orange-tip butterflies
- first spathes of Cuckoo Pint aka Lords-and-Ladies (Arum maculatum)
- Ribwort Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) flowers
- what is perhaps Prickly Sow-thistle aka Spiny Milk-thistle (Sonchus asper)

Birds noted flying over / near here [other than local Wood Pigeons and Jackdaws]
- 1 Greylag Goose
- 4 Canada Geese

Hirundines noted
None

Warblers noted (singing birds)
- 2 (2) Chiffchaffs
- 5 (3) Blackcaps

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans as ever
- 10 Canada Geese: 5 departed
- 5 (4♂) Mallard
- 1 feral Mallard
- 2 Great Crested Grebes again
- 4 Moorhens
- 14 Coots only
- 2 Common Sandpipers

A spat of Cuckoo Pint aka Lords-and-Ladies (Arum maculatum). This will turn in to the familiar cluster of bright red berries.

This is the flower head of the very common Ribwort Plantain (Plantago lanceolata).

This is a sow-thistle and there are several species that are not easy to separate. On the basis of the dark green colour of the unopened flowers I am inclined to go for Prickly Sow-thistle aka Spiny Milk-thistle (Sonchus asper).

(Ed Wilson)
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Trench Middle Pool:  09:40 – 10:20

(22nd visit of the year)

Other notes from here
- almost none of the birds were around the usual ‘feeding area’ but were scattered all around, the island making it difficult to make accurate counts
- very confused about the gosling situation. I first noted eight goslings in a group of Greylag Geese. Then I noted just four with Greylags but also four with Canada Geese. Had some of the originals gone behind the island for me? When I next looked there seemed to be only three goslings with the Canada Geese. Were they not their off-spring and had they attacked the missing one? Unresolved
- an unusual date to find Teal here and unusual to find more ducks than drakes
- Tufted Duck all gone
- the Cormorant arrived: an unusual date? While they do fish here more often they are just sitting around
- I managed to see the ‘other’ Great Crested Grebe on the nest
also
- either Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana) or Early Dog-violet (V. reichenbachiana): separation  is not easy

Birds noted flying over / near here
- 1 Jackdaw again

Hirundines noted
None

Warblers noted (singing birds)
- 1 (1) Chiffchaff
- 1 (1) Willow Warbler
- 2 (2) Blackcaps

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 26 + ? Greylag Geese (see notes)
- 39 + ? Canada Geese (see notes)
- 3 (1) Teal
- 11 (9♂) + 6 (1 brood) Mallard
- 1 Cormorant
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 6 Moorhens again
- 12 Coots

Here we see a Greylag Goose with six goslings.

Here the goose is with two goslings. Note the rather grey appearance of the goslings.

A quartet of goslings with a trio of adults.

These rather yellow goslings are from Canada Geese.

Two Canada Goose goslings already having a scrap with the parents ignoring them.

More or less a record shot. Two of the three Teal, rather distant.

A Mallard duckling. Not sure I had realised how disproportionately large the bill is at this age.

This is a dog-violet. I think from the very slight notch and curl at the tip it is Common Dog-violet (Viola riviniana) but separation from Early Dog-violet (V. reichenbachiana) is not easy.

Safer ground here with a cluster of Bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta). The white form is not uncommon. Not sure I have seen so many together before.

(Ed Wilson)

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On this day..........
2018
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2016
Local Area
Today's Sightings Here

2015
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2013
Priorslee Lake
2 Great Crested Grebes 
3 Greylag Geese
1 Grasshopper Warbler 
2 Reed Warblers 
8 Blackcaps 
9 Chiffchaffs 
4 Willow Warblers
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
1 Richardson's-type Canada Goose 
8 Tufted Duck 
1 Blackcap 
2 Chiffchaffs 
6 Willow Warblers
(Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
6 Swallows
8 Meadow Pipits
1 Fieldfare
3 Blackcaps 
3 Willow Warbler 
4 Chiffchaffs
1 Whinchat
1 Lesser Whitethroat
29 Wheatear
1 Lapwing
(John Isherwood, Ed Wilson)

2012
Priorslee Lake
Green Woodpecker
5 Great Crested Grebes
4 Tufted Duck
12 Blackcaps
2 Willow Warblers
14 Chiffchaffs
1 Sedge Warbler
(Ed Wilson, John Isherwood)

In the lane / fields to the E
5 Skylarks
2 Whitethroats
2 Blackcaps
3 Chiffchaffs
9 Linnets 
5 Yellowhammers
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Flash
5 Great Crested Grebes
23 Tufted Duck 
1 Common Sandpiper
5 Blackcaps
1 Willow Warblers
4 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson / John Isherwood)

Nedge Hill
1 Raven
(John Isherwood)

2011
Priorslee Lake
1 Common Sandpiper
2 Lesser Whitethroat
(John Isherwood)

Nedge Hill
3 Yellow Wagtail
6 Wheatear
(John Isherwood)

2008
Priorslee Lake
2 Sedge Warblers
2 Lesser Whitethroats
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
Common Sandpiper
(Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
2 Common Whitethroat
3 Wheatears
(Ed Wilson)

The Wrekin
1 Pied Flycatcher
(Mike)

Ercall Woods
3 Pied Flycatcher
Buzzards
2 Ravens
(Mike)

2007
Priorslee Flash
2 Common Sandpipers
Garden Warbler
(Ed Wilson)

2006
Priorslee Lake
6 Great Crested Grebes
6 Tufted Ducks
2 Ruddy Duck
5 Common Sandpipers
100+ Sand Martin
5 Swallow
1 House Martin
23 Wrens
19 Robins
19 Blackbirds
1 Sedge Warbler
1 Reed Warbler
1 Lesser Whitethroat
2 Garden Warblers
7 Blackcaps
5 Chiffchaffs
3 Willow Warblers
1 Willow Tit
3 Greenfinches
2 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

22 Apr 19

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

Priorslee Lake:  05:10 – 06:35 // 07:20 – 09:05
The Flash:  06:40 – 07:15

7.0°C > 13.0°C:  Fine and sunny. Almost calm. Good visibility, still with haze

Sunrise: 05:57 BST

A very unexciting day. Lots of bird song but nothing much moving and / or new

Priorslee Lake:  05:10 – 06:35 // 07:20 – 09:05

(107th visit of the year)

Always the same: boys with toys. Give a man a mower and he mows everything in sight. Much of the vegetation along the N-side footpath is now devoid of nettles and other plants that are home to whole communities of insects. Never mind: people can now walk two abreast all the way along: so that must be a ‘good thing’. Not

Best sighting today was the large bat sp., presumed Noctule, seen flying around the dam area at 05:25. I used to see up to five of these flying around to the N and E of the lake area on fine summer mornings. Recently they have been very intermittent and I saw none last year

Other bird notes from today
- every time I looked there seemed to be one or two Greylag Geese and they were not always in the same part of the water. Singles seen flying in and out, but were they the same birds? No idea. Two at least
- the Willow Warbler had abandoned its tree-top singing and was now lower down in bushier vegetation. Does this mean he has found a mate or is fed up with all the people walking underneath him?

Bird totals

Birds noted flying over or flying near the lake
- 2 Greylag Geese (singles inbound)
- 4 Canada Geese (single inbound; trio outbound)
- 1 Herring Gull
- 3 Feral Pigeons
- 2 Stock Doves
- 7 Wood Pigeons
- 1 Jackdaw

Hirundines noted
None

Warblers noted (singing birds)
- 10 (8) Chiffchaffs
- 1 (1) Willow Warbler
- 18 (13) Blackcaps
- 1 (1) Garden Warbler again
- 2 (2) (Common) Whitethroats
- 4 (4) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area:
- 2 Mute Swans
- 2+ Greylag Geese (coming and going)
- 2 Canada Geese (departed)
- 4 (4♂) Mallard
- 4 (3♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron
- Little Grebe(s) heard only
- 5 Great Crested Grebes
- 7 Moorhens
- 18 Coots again

On the lamp poles pre-dawn
Nothing

Later 
- 1 Speckled Wood butterfly
- the current Eristalis, Syrphus and Melanostoma hoverflies in good numbers
- 1 stretch spider, probably the Common stretch-spider (Tetragnatha extensa), on a lamp pole later
- a green fly that might, or might not, be Gymnocheta viridis
- the presumed Noctule bat as noted above
- 1 Grey Squirrel

Little change from yesterday. Saharan dust blown in on the SE winds tinged the sky orange and a wisp of mist over the lake.

Trying to play ‘hide-and-seek’. This is a Garden Warbler and it was taking cover from the fighting Blackcaps that were a few feet away from it, both sides.

Nevertheless that was not going to stop it adding to the cacophony – difficult to extract its song from everything going on about it. As for recognition features it is notable in having none. A rather plain and nondescript warbler, chunkier than most but essentially brown-toned.

Had the light been better we might have been able to see the greyer tones around the back of the neck – not easy to see at the best of times. In case you are wondering about a ‘furry’ back these are willow catkins behind it.

I think we can safely say this is an Eristalis pertinax (Tapered Drone-fly). Not only does it look ‘tapered’ but the hind tibia are yellow.

Less sure about this fly. I do not think it is ‘metallic-enough’ to be a Greenbottle. At this date it is probably the Diptera fly Gymnocheta viridis (no vernacular name}. Separation from other species requires counting the ‘rows of dorso-central bristles’. I am not sure I know where to look for these much less whether the camera had adequately resolved the bristles.

This tree absolutely laden with blossom.

Just part of the blossom in more detail. I assume a flowering cherry (Prunus sp.). Likely a planted cultivar.

One of the stretch spiders, probably the Common stretch-spider (Tetragnatha extensa). Not seen here since the start of the year when it was unusually regular on the lamp poles – as here.

(Ed Wilson)

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

The Flash:  06:40 – 07:15

(100th visit of the year)

Notes from here:
- just one broods of Mallard ducklings located
- only 1 Great Crested Grebe for certain

Birds noted flying over / near The Flash
- 4 Feral Pigeons
- 1 Jackdaw

Hirundines noted
None

Warblers noted (singing birds)
- 1 (1) Chiffchaffs only
- 1 (1) Willow Warbler
- 6 (3) Blackcaps

The counts from the water:
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 20 Canada Geese
- 19 (15♂) + 8 (1 brood) Mallard
- 6 (3♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Great Crested Grebe
- 5 Moorhens again
- 25 Coots

(Ed Wilson)

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

Between the lake and The Flash

At or around the lower pool (singing birds)
- 1 (0) Chiffchaff
- 1 (0) Blackcap

At or around the upper pool (singing birds)
- 1 Moorhen
- 1 (1) Blackcap

(Ed Wilson)

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On this day..........
2018
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

2016
Local Area
Today's Sightings Here

2013
Nedge Hill
1 Whinchat
20 Wheatear
1 Blackcap
Willow Warbler
(Ian Grant)

2012
Priorslee Lake
6 Great Crested Grebes
1 Heron
5 Tufted Duck
12 Blackcaps
4 Willow Warblers
12 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Flash
6 Great Crested Grebes 
5 Greylag Geese
31 Tufted Duck 
1 Heron
1 Buzzard
6 Blackcaps
4 Willow Warblers
4 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
5 Lapwings
1 Green Woodpecker
3 Skylarks
1 Blackcap
1 Willow Warbler
3 Chiffchaffs
6 Linnets
(Ed Wilson)

2011
Priorslee Lake
1 Yellow Wagtail
5 Common Sandpiper
1 Lesser Whitethroat
1 Sedge Warbler
(John Isherwood)

Nedge Hill
1 Yellow Wagtail
10 Wheatear
(John Isherwood)

2008
Priorslee Lake
3 Great Crested Grebes
2 Gadwall
1 Common Sandpiper
Swallows
Sand Martins
Common Whitethroat
(Ed Wilson, Martin Adlam)

The Nedge
Blackcap
Willow Warbler
Chiffchaff
(Martin Adlam)

2007
Priorslee Lake
2 Sedge Warblers 
Reed Warbler
Common Sandpipers
(Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill 
1 Wheatear
1 Cuckoo
(Ed Wilson)

2006
Priorslee Lake
6 Great Crested Grebes
5 Greylag Geese
12 Tufted Ducks
2 Ruddy Duck
27 Sand Martins
11 Swallows
5 House Martins
1 Sedge Warbler
8 Blackcaps
7 Chiffchaffs
4 Willow Warblers
25 Wrens
23 Blackbirds
5 Greenfinches
1 Siskin
1 Redpoll
3 Reed Buntings.

Lanes to the east of Priorslee Lake
6 Pheasants
8 Sky Larks
2 Whitethroats
4 Blackcaps
2 Chiffchaffs
1 Greenfinch
6 Yellowhammers
(Ed Wilson)

21 Apr 19

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

Priorslee Lake:  05:15 – 06:40 // 07:30 – 09:00
The Flash:  06:45 – 07:25

8.0°C > 13.0°C:  Fine and sunny. Almost calm. Moderate / good visibility: less haze

Sunrise: 05:59 BST

Priorslee Lake:  05:15 – 06:40 // 07:30 – 09:00

(106th visit of the year)

A question to start: what day of the year would you not expect the Severn-Trent contractors to choose to cut the grass at the lake? Yes: they were out with their mowers cutting all the grass by soon after 07:00 on Easter Sunday!

Species added to my 2019 bird log from here
84      Garden Warbler
More or less annual in the larger bushes along the S side. One day earlier than last year

Other bird notes from today
- each of the four Black-headed Gulls arrived individually and flew low up and down for a while before moving on W. Two adults and two first-year birds
- there seems to be three Jay territories around the lake and in the Ricoh wood area this year
- two House Martins high over the W end suggests that birds are back around the estate area
- the Willow Warbler includes the odd ‘chiff-chaff’ phrase. Instances of Willow Warblers singing completely the wrong song are not unknown but very rare
- slightly fewer Blackcaps – a less unreasonable number?

Bird totals

Birds noted flying over or flying near the lake
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 11 Wood Pigeons
- 1 Collared Dove
- 5 Jackdaws

Hirundines noted
- 1 Barn Swallow
- 2 House Martins

Warblers noted (singing birds)
- 9 (7) Chiffchaffs
- 1 (1) Willow Warbler still
- 21 (14) Blackcaps
- 1 (1) Garden Warbler
- 3 (2) (Common) Whitethroats
- 3 (3) Reed Warblers again

The counts from the lake area:
- 2 Mute Swans
- 5 Greylag Geese (single and two different pairs arrived and departed)
- 6 (5♂) Mallard
- 2 (1♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron again
- 2 Little Grebes seen: other(s) heard
- 3 Great Crested Grebes
- 5 Moorhens
- 18 Coots
- 4 Black-headed Gulls

On the lamp poles pre-dawn
- 1 Common Plume moth. Same lamp as yesterday, different position
- 1 Common Green Lacewing

Later 
- >6 Orange-tip butterflies
- 1 Speckled Wood butterfly
- 1 Small Tortoiseshell butterfly
- first flowers of Ramsons (Allium ursinum)

The great weather continues. Tried to capture the sunrise from some different angles.

Sun just peeping over the horizon (need to have a word with the council about the poorly placed lamp post).

The Jays are unusually obvious at the moment – I guess busy nesting. Here is one from one of the pairs.

This Jay from a different pair caught by the early morning light ... 

... And looking quizzically at me.

Interesting behaviour from this Long-tailed Tit. It was fly-catching from this barbed-wire fence. Against the light it was hard to tweak the photo to enable the prey – a small green caterpillar – to be seen. Could not have caught this by fly-catching so I guess it is working hard to feed a brood.

Another Chiffchaff. Dark legs, obvious eye ring.

This might cause confusion. It is the same Chiffchaff with a shadow from the branch making it look as if it ought to be a Blackcap. Blackcap is more robust and the basic plumage is grey not brownish. With the light at this angle the supercilium almost disappears.

Still need to work on the Common Whitethroats. Here we see the main feature of a male – the grey head, though not all males are this obvious. All adults show the brown in the wings.

Not unreasonably the camera focused on the twig in the foreground though the Common Whitethroat is reasonably well seen with its obvious white throat and almost ‘staring’ eye-ring.

A Plumed Midge (Chironomus plumosus) with no visible means of support. I assume it is caught up in a web.

My first flower of Ramsons (Allium ursinum) this year. The pervading smell of garlic will soon greet us here as more and more flowers open.

(Ed Wilson)
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The Flash:  06:45 – 07:25

(99th visit of the year)

Notes from here:
- two broods of Mallard ducklings again. One, of 8 counted clearly: the other seemed to be also of 8 ducklings, although the birds were tight against the opposite bank and hard to be certain
also
- >3 Orange-tip butterflies
- a spider sp. with possibly a plumed midge in its jaws
- many other plumed midges

Birds noted flying over / near The Flash
- 1 Cormorant
- 2 Feral Pigeons
- 1 Stock Dove
- 5 Wood Pigeons
- 1 Starling
- 1 Linnet

Hirundines noted
None

Warblers noted (singing birds)
- 4 (4) Chiffchaffs
- 1 (1) Willow Warbler: the same
- 4 (3) Blackcaps

The counts from the water:
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 16 Canada Geese
- 19 (16♂) + 16? (2 broods) Mallard
- 13 (8♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Great Crested Grebes remain
- 5 Moorhens
- 26 Coots

Another “fifteen feet up a lamp pole” special. Seems to be a spider on the left with its jaws holding a Plumed Midge (Chironomus plumosus). It is a vicious world out there.

(Ed Wilson)

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

Between the lake and The Flash

At or around the lower pool (singing birds)
- 1 Moorhen
- 1 Stock Dove calling - unusual
- 1 (1) Chiffchaff
- 1 (1) Blackcap

At or around the upper pool (singing birds)
- 1 Moorhen
- 1 (1) Willow Warbler

This is the Willow Warbler at the upper pool. Note the weak eye-ring and the rather obvious supercilium above the dark eye-line.

Here we see the pale legs and get a hint of the longer wings than would be shown by Chiffchaff. Note too the thin bill.

(Ed Wilson)

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On this day..........
2016
Local Area
Today's Sightings Here

2015
Out of Area
Today's Sightings Here

2012
The Wrekin 
1 Wood Warbler
(Sandy Hill)

2011
Wrekin
1 Ring Ouzel
(Observer Unknown)

2010
Priorslee Lake
6 Common Sandpiper
6 Swallow
4 Sand Martin
3 Blackcap
6+ Chiffchaff
1 Willow Warbler
2 Stock Dove
2 Greylag Geese
(Mike Cooper)

2008
Priorslee Lake
1 Swallow
(Martin Adlam)

2007
Priorslee Lake
3 Great Crested Grebe
1 Pintail x Mallard
2 Tufted Duck
1 Ruddy Duck
1 Buzzard
2 Common Sandpiper
3 House Martin
2 Swallow
1 Skylark
5 Blackcap
1 Lesser Whitethroat
1 Reed Warbler
5 Chiffchaff
4 Reed Bunting
(Martin Adlam, Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
1 Redstart
(Ed Wilson)

2006
Priorslee Lake
4 Great Crested Grebes
6 Greylag Geese
5 Tufted Ducks
2 Ruddy Ducks
2 Sand Martins
3 Swallows
1 Sedge Warbler
6 Blackcaps
6 Chiffchaffs
6 Willow Warblers.
2 Sky Larks
28 Robins
29 Blackbirds
5 Greenfinches
2 Reed Buntings



(Ed Wilson)
1 Common Sandpiper
(Ed Wilson)