19 Jul 18

No sightings in today.

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On this day..........
2014
Priorslee Lake
Today's Report Here

2011
Priorslee Lake
4 Common Sandpiper
Female Ruddy Duck
(John Isherwood)

2006
Priorslee Lake
A male Cockatiel
1 drake Ruddy Duck
(Ed Wilson)

18 Jul 18

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

Priorslee Lake: 05:25 – 06:25 // 07:20 – 09:25
The Flash: 06:30 – 07:15

14°C > 18°C: Mostly cloudy with the odd light rain shower. Light SSW breeze. Very good visibility
Sunrise: 05:07 BST

Priorslee Lake: 05:25 – 06:25 // 07:20 – 09:25

(88th visit of the year)

Bird notes from today:
- a sub-adult Mute Swan was in the reeds near where the current pair nested. Despite the residents visiting the area the stranger was allowed to stay
- yet another brood of newly hatched juvenile Coots
- the Lapwing was seen again today (as was the same(?) Common Sandpiper)
- at least some of the Common Swifts were around more or less all the while
- one of the calling (‘scolding’ actually) Reed Warblers was along the S side where I have not seen / heard them for many weeks

Today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over or flying near the lake:
- 1 Canada Goose
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 88 Wood Pigeons
- 3 Jackdaws
- 1 Rook

Hirundines etc. seen today
- 10 Common Swifts
- 1 Barn Swallow
- 5 House Martins

Warblers noted: figure in brackets is singing birds
- 5 (1) Chiffchaffs
- 11 (7) Blackcaps
- no (Common) Whitethroats
- 8 (3) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 3 + 3 (1) Mute Swans
- 22 (20♂) + 7 (1 brood) Mallard
- 2 Grey Herons
- 6 + 3 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes again
- 6 + 6 (4 broods) Moorhens
- 44 + 36 (? broods) Coots
- 1 Lapwing
- 1 Common Sandpiper still
- 9 (1 juvenile) Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

And: interesting insects, at least partly identified
NB: the cloudy weather again resulted in fewer insects
- butterflies seen
- 2 Green-veined Whites
- no moths on the lamps
- moths flushed from the vegetation
- many Agriphila straminella (Straw Grass-veneer)
- at least 1 Agriphila tristella (Common Grass-veneer) [grass moths]
- 1 Pleuroptya ruralis (Mother of Pearl)
- 2 Shaded Broad-bars
- no damselflies / dragonflies
- hoverflies
- many Episyrphus balteatus (Marmalade Hoverfly)
- >1 Syrphus ribesii
- several fly sps. etc. seen but none specifically identified
- several bee sps. not identified
- beetles and bugs
- a few Rhagonycha fulva (Hogweed Bonking-beetle / Common Red Soldier Beetle)
- a ground beetle sp., perhaps Paradromius linearis
- 2 apparently different myrid bugs
- no spiders or snails noted
- no new species of flowering plant

This Grey Heron seems rather optimistic: it is standing on one of the boat piers from where it seems unlikely it would be able to spear any fish it saw.

The Lapwing – with a juvenile Pied Wagtail for scale.

And on its own.

I mentioned a rather grey-looking juvenile Carrion Crow: here it is strutting its stuff.

We see the white blotches in the plumage.

And in flight the extensive white wing bar from above ...

... and from below.

A better photo of a Agriphila straminella (Straw Grass-veneer) grass moth.

They are confusing but I think the way the white streak forks towards the wing tip means this is a different grass moth – an Agriphila tristella (Common Grass-veneer).

Lurking here is this Pleuroptya ruralis (Mother of Pearl) moth. Not all cooperative if flew off and away as I repositioned for a better angle. So-named as when the light is right the wings glisten just like mother of pearl.

A better specimen of a Shaded Broad-bar moth.

This beetle holding its antenna and right angles seemed likely to be easy. But ..

... this different specimen seems to be the same species holding its antenna more conventionally. It could be the ground beetle Paradromius linearis.

One of a number of Mirid bugs I found today.

This is superficially similar but the colouration is not quite the same.

A number of flies have brown bases to the wings but I cannot recall seeing one with a thorax with this lined pattern before. Of course there are a few thousand fly species to choose from!

I suppose flies (and other insects) just keel over and die. This small fly seems to have done just that.

For scale here it is on my thumb nail!

(Ed Wilson)

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The Flash: 06:30 – 07:15

(71st visit of the year)

Notes from today
- the pen Mute Swan was with just three cygnets so one has been lost. Meanwhile the cob was sprawled out on the island – is it alright?
- the original group of Mallard ducklings are likely included with the main count today
- Great Crested Grebes only partly visible under / behind the vegetation: likely all present

Birds noted flying over or flying near The Flash
- 2 Wood Pigeons

Hirundines etc. seen today
- 4 Common Swifts
- 2 House Martins

Warblers noted: (singing birds in brackets)
- 2 (0) Chiffchaffs
- 1 (1) Blackcap

The counts from the water
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 92 Greylag Geese
- 116 Canada Geese
- 25 (16♂) + 8 (1 brood) Mallard
- 16 (?♂) + 8 (1 brood) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron again
- 1 + 1 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes: incomplete?
- 6 + 1 (1 brood) Moorhens
- 19 + 12 (6? broods) Coots
- 22 (no juveniles) Black-headed Gulls again

No wonder some of the ducklings disappear from here when there is this monster Mirror Carp to feed.
Of interest between the lake and The Flash
- two moths in the tunnel: another Grey Pug on one wall; and an Olive moth on the roof.

This Grey Pug was on the wall of the tunnel under Priorslee Avenue.

Whilst this moth was on the roof of the tunnel: it is an Olive – a new species for me and not at all a common moth.
(Ed Wilson)

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

2015
Priorslee Lake
Today's Report Here

2014
Priorslee Lake
Today's Report Here

17 Jul 18

No sightings in today.

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On this day..........
2014
Priorslee Lake
Today's Report Here

16 Jul 18

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

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

15°C > 21°C: Layer of barely broken medium/high cloud had spread almost all the way from the W late in the night and eventually covered all the sky. Light and variable wind. Very good visibility.

Sunrise: 05:04 BST

Priorslee Lake: 05:15 – 06:10 // 07:15 – 09:20

(87th visit of the year)

Bird notes from today:
- the 2 Tufted Ducks flushed soon after I arrived: unable to sex them against the light
- my first Sparrowhawk record here since 27 May
- many fewer juvenile Coots for no obvious reason
- many more Wood Pigeons overhead today
- the Common Swifts sped W far to the N
- Green Woodpecker seen on the ground in the SE corner
- Jays seem to have a very successful breeding season with at least 7 individuals seen and possibly more heard
- Carrion Crows have nested successfully at both end of the lake. Several of the juveniles at the E end have very white / pale wings. It is not unknown for crows (never Rooks) to have white wing bars that usually wear off quickly (white feathers wear faster than black). But such extensive white / pale areas shown by these birds is unusual
- at least one of Barn Swallows was a juvenile

Today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over or flying near the lake:
- 1 Sparrowhawk
- 2 Stock Doves
- 82 Wood Pigeons
- 3 Rooks

Hirundines etc. seen today
- 6 Common Swifts
- 3 Barn Swallows
- >18 House Martins

Warblers noted: figure in brackets is singing birds
- 4 (1) Chiffchaffs
- 12 (8) Blackcaps
- 3 (2) (Common) Whitethroat
- 5 (3) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 (1) Mute Swans
- 25 (22♂) + 7 (1 brood) Mallard
- 2 (?♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron
- 6 + 3 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 5 + 2 (1 brood) Moorhens
- 49 + 21 (? broods) Coots
- 1 Common Sandpiper yet again
- 7 Black-headed Gulls
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull

And: interesting insects, at least partly identified
NB: the dull weather and making the circuit anti-clockwise both resulted in fewer insects
- butterflies seen
- 1 Large Whites
- 3 Green-veined Whites
- 1 Speckled Wood
- 2 Gatekeepers
- moths on the lamps
- 1 female Ghost Moth
- moths flushed from the vegetation
- many Agriphila straminella (Straw Grass-veneer) [grass moths]
- 3 Pale Straw Pearl (Udea lutealis)
- damselflies / dragonflies
- 5 Common Blue damselflies (again no other ‘blues’ noted)
- 1 hawker sp. dragonfly
- hoverflies
- 100s of Episyrphus balteatus (Marmalade Hoverfly)
- a few Eristalis sp. (Drone flies), at least 1 a Eristalis pertinax (Tapered Drone-fly) again
- the only fly etc. specifically identified today
- 1 crane fly Nephrotoma flavipalpis
- several bee sps. not identified but
- beetles and bugs
- 3 Rhagonycha fulva (Hogweed Bonking-beetle / Common Red Soldier Beetle)
- 1 black-and-white legged bug sp
- no spiders noted
- snails etc
- empty shell of Smooth Glass Snail (Aegopinella nitidula)
- a Grey Squirrel along the N side and then heard cracking Hazel nuts

Two new species of flowering plant
- Gypsywort (Lycopus europaeus)
- Water Mint (Mentha aquatica)

At this time of year the sun rises well N of E and it is not easy to get a shot with the sunrise reflected in the water.

This morning the early view was almost better ‘the other way’ from the dam looking W.

Vestigial wings on the Mallard ducklings are just about visible. Mum gets some sleep.

Here we see one of the moulting drake Mallards and see just how ‘short’ the wings are. All the flight-feathers are dropped at the same time leaving the bird flightless – hence the rather drab plumage (the so-called eclipse plumage) at this time of year.

These two Tufted Ducks soon departed.

Moorhens do not often bring their young out on to open water.

‘Eyes left’ for the Lesser Black-backed Gulls! An adult and a worn probably 3rd summer bird.

Little and large #1: The Lesser Black-backed Gulls is perhaps thinking the Common Sandpiper might make a nice snack?

Here is that Common Sandpiper. The pale fringes to the back and coverts suggest this is a juvenile bird, hatched this summer somewhere north of us.

Still rather fluffy this juvenile Pied Wagtail.

One of those pesky grass moths: always a challenge – firstly to see them as they lurk in the grass; and then to separate several very similar species. The absence of any real markings suggests this is an Agriphila straminella (Straw Grass-veneer).

Another pesky grass moth. And I believe another Agriphila straminella (Straw Grass-veneer).

A rather better shot of a female Ghost Moth at rest on one of the lamps.

This bee sp. – perhaps ‘just’ a Honey Bee (Apis sp.) – was caught in a spider web. I did the decent thing and prevented the spider getting stung by releasing the bee.

The dark stigma in the wings separates this crane fly Nephrotoma flavipalpis from the otherwise similar Tiger Cranefly (Nephrotoma flavescens).

On the face of it this bug ought to be easy to identify: almost all black body; long antenna which it waved around as it ran around the vegetation; and striped legs. On the face of it ... Despite searching the myriad of (and myrid) bugs Here, I am no nearer a conclusion.

Nobody at home but I think the shell of a Smooth Glass Snail (Aegopinella nitidula).

Another ‘new’ flower with a square stem and rings of flowers where the leaves meet the stems.

The flowers are attractive in close-up. This is Gypsywort (Lycopus europaeus).

And another plant new for the year. This is Water Mint (Mentha aquatica).

(Ed Wilson)

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The Flash: 06:15 – 07:10

(70th visit of the year)

A Green Woodpecker was heard calling from the copse next to the dentist surgery and became my 65th species here this year

Other notes from today
- the pen Mute Swan was with the cygnets on the island with the youngsters all huddled up asleep: certainly I could make out 3, but ...
- probably this will be the last time I can separate the original group of 7 Mallard ducklings – they are now so advanced that it is only because they are still keeping together with their mother that they can they be identified
- a Grey Heron seen: probably not the bird that left the lake: that flew off E
- the Little Grebe seems to have gone
- the party of 32 Feral Pigeons were in a tight group, probably Racing Pigeons, headed S
also
- a Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) running along the N end

Birds noted flying over or flying near The Flash
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 32 Feral Pigeons
- 8 Wood Pigeons

Hirundines etc. seen today
- 6 Common Swifts
- 12 House Martins

Warblers noted: (singing birds in brackets)
- 1 (0) Chiffchaff once more

The counts from the water
- 2 + 3? Mute Swans
- 65 Greylag Geese
- 1 Greylag x Canada Goose
- 110 Canada Geese
- 14 (11♂) + 14 (3 broods) Mallard
- 19 (?♂) + 8 (1 brood) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 + 3 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes still
- 3 Moorhens
- 17 + 13 (6? broods) Coots
- 22 (no juveniles) Black-headed Gulls

'Little and large’ #2: Wood Pigeon and Goldfinch share a TV antenna.

Of interest between the lake and The Flash
- juvenile Moorhen seen on the upper pool
- in addition to all the Jays seen at the lake there were two more on roofs of houses in the estate alongside the path
- two Blackcaps heard calling around the pools
- no fewer than three moths on the roof of the tunnel: a Grey Pug; a Willow Beauty and a Riband Wave

In the estate alongside the path between the lake and The Flash I noted this Jay on a house roof. Not something you see every day. There were very many Jays flying around today.

This is the Willow Beauty moth on the roof of the Priorslee Avenue tunnel.

I could not get too much detail from this small moth but I am almost certain it is a Grey Pug.

Safer ground here: this is a Riband Wave moth. It is a rather unusual specimen in that the middle wing band is rather indistinct, especially on the left wing. Normally the band is either present or not – more often not in Midlands populations.

(Ed Wilson)

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

2014
Priorslee Lake
Today's Report Here

2013
Priorslee Flash
Oystercatcher
(Ed Wilson)

2011
Priorslee Lake
Ruddy Duck
(Ed Wilson)

2006
Priorslee Lake
2 drake Ruddy Duck
(Ed Wilson)

15 Jul 18

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

Priorslee Lake: 05:40 – 06:30 // 07:25 – 09:20
The Flash: 06:35 – 07:20

13°C > 22°C: Fine and clear start: some puffy clouds later. Light SW wind. Very good visibility.

Sunrise: 05:03 BST

Priorslee Lake: 05:40 – 06:30 // 07:25 – 09:20

(86th visit of the year)

A (final?) postscript to last weeks’ Cuckoo. A local who lives backing on to Castle Farm Way reported hearing a Cuckoo ‘several times’ earlier this year. Good to know they are still in the area

And an update on the fate of the long-term resident pen Mute Swan and the four cygnets. I was told, second or third hand, that the Cuan Wildlife Rescue had been asked to collect them from where they were being fed by locals near the Co-op shop in Priorslee. I hope that happened

Bird notes from today:
- two very recent broods of Coots to swell the already larger-than-usual number of juveniles
- the Common Swifts all made brief visits: several were very high and only visible through binoculars
- the Feral Pigeons were no doubt Racing Pigeons. A big party of c.45 was followed by a party of 21, all headed N
- a Linnet flying over was unusual at this date: some time later two birds seen flying S over fields to E of Castle Farm Way

Today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over or flying near the lake:
- 6 Greylag Geese
- c.66 Feral Pigeons
- 22 Wood Pigeons
- 3 Linnets

Hirundines etc. seen today
- 5 Common Swifts
- 1 Barn Swallow again
- 7 House Martins

Warblers noted: figure in brackets is singing birds
- 2 (2) Chiffchaffs
- 12 (7) Blackcaps
- 1 (1) (Common) Whitethroat
- 3 (3) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 (1) Mute Swans
- 24 (23♂) + 7 (1 brood) Mallard
- 1 Grey Heron
- 8 + 3 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 4 + 2 (1 brood) Moorhens
- 46 + 37 (? broods) Coots
- 1 Common Sandpiper again
- 17 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

And: interesting insects, at least partly identified
- butterflies seen
- a few Large Whites
- a few Small Whites
- many Green-veined Whites
- 3 Red Admirals
- 1 Painted Lady
- 1 Peacock
- 2 Speckled Woods
- >5 Gatekeepers
- >5 Meadow Browns
- moths on the lamps
- 1 probable Emmelina monodactyla (Common Plume)
- 1 Large Emerald – new for me here 2 years ago
- moths flushed from the vegetation
- a few Agriphila straminella (Straw Grass-veneer) [grass moths]
- 1 Brown China-mark – my first for several years
- damselflies / dragonflies
- many Common Blue damselflies (but no other ‘blues’ noted)
- 2 Emperor Dragonflies
- 1 Black-tailed Skimmer
- hoverflies
- very many Episyrphus balteatus (Marmalade Hoverfly)
- a few Eristalis sp. (Drone flies), at least 1 a Eristalis pertinax (Tapered Drone-fly)
- 1 Eristalis intricarius
- 1 Syrphus ribesii or Syrphus vitripennis
- 1 Helophilus pendulus (The Footballer)
- no flies etc. specifically identified today
- several bee sps. not identified but
- 1 wasp sp. – my first of the year here
- beetles and bugs
- very many Rhagonycha fulva (Hogweed Bonking-beetle / Common Red Soldier Beetle)
- 1 small black and brown beetle on Yarrow
- spiders noted
1 Leiobunum rotundum harvestmen in vegetation

1 new species of flowering plant
- Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

A view from across Castle Farm Way across to South Shropshire. It is depressing to think that the fields in the foreground are ear-marked for housing. I know people have to live somewhere but where will it all end?

Bathed in early morning light this Grey Heron did not stay long after the dog-walkers appeared.

I was just making a note about the early appearance of the first Green-veined White butterfly at 06:20 when this Painted Lady appeared. The fine weather is suiting the butterflies.

Another butterfly I did not see yesterday – a Red Admiral.

This is a female Small White. The male does not always show any dark spots on the upper wing. The restricted area of black around the wing tip is another clue to this species.

This seems to be a male Small White with one distinct and one very indistinct dark spot on the upper wing.

This is the upper view of a Green-veined White. Note the rather irregular dark area around the wing tip and also the ‘print through’ of the veins that are always more obvious from below.

This is a plume moth – a difficult group as the divided wings of all these species are held tightly rolled up, hiding many of the wing markings. This seems to be an Emmelina monodactyla (or Common Plume). New for me at this site, though a common-enough moth.

The other moth on the lamps this morning was this Large Emerald.

This Brown China-mark (Elophila nymphaeata) moth was flushed from vegetation. Only my second-ever record here.

 I am still learning hoverflies (just hoverflies I hear you shout!). I think this is Eristalis intricarius.

This hoverfly is either Syrphus ribesii or Syrphus vitripennis. Only females can easily be separated by the colour of the hind femur. Otherwise presence or absence of hairs on the scales at the base of the wings .... requires a better camera and / or photographer.

This hoverfly is easier: it is Helophilus pendulus (The Footballer).

Most of the original Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) plants have long-finished flowering. This seems to be a new plant.

This is Scentless Mayweed (Tripleurospermum inodorum). Soon after opening all the petals (rays) are held down turned in a very characteristic manner. Scented Mayweed (Matricaria chamomilla) is similar but smells if pinched and is much less frequent.

This tight cluster of white flowers indicates Yarrow (Achillea millefolium). Surprisingly it is not an umbellifer but more closely related to mayweeds.

I thought I would include a shot of the characteristic feathery leaves and was then surprised to find this beetle lurking. I’ve been through all 12 pages of photos of beetles on the excellent Naturespot web site without finding anything that matches.

Don’t know much about grasses and don’t intend to start (yet?) but was attracted by the ‘flowering’ of this specimen.

(Ed Wilson)

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The Flash: 06:35 – 07:20

(69th visit of the year)

Notes from today
- the pen Mute Swan took the cygnets inside the island before I could do a proper count – certainly 3
- goose count likely incomplete as many birds only partly visible inside the island
- why so few Mallard – perhaps they too were inside the island?
- confirmed only 8 Tufted Ducklings remain
- the Little Grebe may have been a refugee from the lake during the weekend disturbance there. Surprisingly it my first record here this year and becomes my 64th species in this year’s log for The Flash
- the party of Starlings overhead was unusual

Birds noted flying over or flying near The Flash
- 2 Jackdaws
- 14 Starlings

Hirundines etc. seen today
- 2 Common Swifts
- 2 House Martins again

Warblers noted: (singing birds in brackets)
- 1 (0) Chiffchaff yet again
- 2 (1) Blackcap

The counts from the water
- 2 + ? Mute Swans
- 70 Greylag Geese
- 81 Canada Geese
- 10 (7♂) + 18 (3 broods) Mallard
- 23 (?♂) + 8 (1 brood) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Little Grebe
- 2 + 3 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes again
- 2 Moorhens
- 16 + 11 (6? broods) Coots
- 21 (no juveniles) Black-headed Gulls

A nice plump Wood Pigeon ready to attract any passing Peregrine!

Of interest between the lake and The Flash
- Moorhens heard at the lower pool again: some of the disturbance as I approach the pool is from a large shoal of fish fry scattering!
- a Snout moth on the wall of the tunnel

On the wall of the tunnel under Priorslee Avenue I found this resting moth that goes under the rather obvious name of The Snout.

(Ed Wilson)

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

2015
Priorslee Lake
Today's Report Here