29 May 14

Priorslee Lake: 4:30am – 6:10am// 7:05am – 8:15am

9.5°C > 11.0°C. Low overcast with mainly light rain / drizzle; calm start but light N / NNE wind later; moderate visibility.

(59th visit of the year)

A pair of Tufted Ducks when I arrived but these flew off (to The Flash?): later 3 drakes came from the E, did one circuit and left to the E.
Just one brood of Coots ventured out this damp morning though juveniles were also head begging from the reeds elsewhere.
Small number of gulls visited with a near-adult Lesser Black-backed Gull making passes at both Coot and Moorhen before a more serious attempt to snatch a juvenile Great Crested Grebe: luckily they are old enough to be able to dive out of the way.
No early Swifts this morning but very high parties of 15 and c.50 located at various times. on each occasion with 4 /5 House Martins. After 7:45am hirundines arrived at low level with at least 8 Swallows joining in.
Certainly 5 Reed Warblers singing today.
One family group of Common Whitethroats: another male was again continually display-flighting and calling.
A Goldcrest singing alongside Teece Drive was my first here since 17 April.
1 Silver-ground Carpet moth flushed from the grass.
The same Poplar Hawk-moth in the Priorslee Avenue tunnel now seem to be dead and hanging by one leg that is trapped by the peeling paintwork on the roof.
A sound like a distant Grasshopper Warbler on Valium turned out to be either a pump or generator running on the site of the new multi-faith school.

4 +5 (2 broods) Great Crested Grebes
1 Cormorant over
2 Grey Herons (one over)
2 + 2  Swans
Canada Geese heard only
4 (2) + 8 (1 brood) Mallard
5 (4) Tufted Ducks
3 Moorhens
23 + >3 (2 broods) Coots
3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
1 Herring Gull
>70 Common Swifts
8 Barn Swallows
>15 House Martins
9 (9) Song Thrushes
5 (5) Reed Warbler
5 (2) Common Whitethroat
1 (1) Garden Warbler
11 (11) Blackcaps
5 (5) Chiffchaffs
The now typical small corvid roost dispersal: 19 Jackdaws and 5 Rooks.
2 (2) Reed Buntings

This sub-adult Lesser Black-back Gull is just emerging from the water after a plunge at a juvenile Great Crested Grebe that dived safely out of its way. Note shed inner primaries as this bird starts to moult. Note also the black in the tail confirming its immature status – the paler parts of the wings is therefore also immature plumage rather than bleaching / wear on an adult.

A rather damp and scruffy-looking Common Whitethroat.

This is a closer view – rather too magnified because I was having trouble operating the camera under the plastic bag I was using to try and keep the camera dry. This clearly shows that some of the scruffy appearance is because it is a juvenile – note the very thin and broken eye-ring as well as the dark (bare?) chin. Also the brown greater coverts are short – not yet full-grown; and rather more broadly pale-edged.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 6:20am – 7:00am

(52nd visit of the year)

1 pair of Tufted Ducks.
4 broods of Coot calling but mostly staying hidden.
A Bullfinch heard and seen singing: the song is given infrequently and usually only in late Winter / early Spring.

2 Great Crested Grebes
1 + 1 Swans
2 Greylag Geese
1 Cackling Goose
72 Canada Geese
The all-white feral goose
8 (7) Mallard
Again just the all-white feral Mallard-type ducks seen
2 (1) Tufted Ducks
No Moorhens
5 + >8 (4 broods) Coots
1 (1) Blackcap
3 (3) Chiffchaffs

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 8:25am – 8:50am

(24th visit of the year)

Only 2 juvenile Great Crested Grebes noted today: one adult from the other pair is still sitting on the nest.
The pen Swan is also still on the nest.
The 5 Canada Geese goslings present again ...
As were the single brood of 3 Mallard ducklings.
A pair of Tufted Ducks today.
4 broods of Coots seen including a new brood with 6 juveniles – unusually high number. 3 more birds are still sitting on nests. Also more adults on the open water – non- and failed breeders.
The Lesser Black-backed Gull with a damaged wing remains on the buoys.
No Swifts or hirundines.
Juvenile Chiffchaff seen.
Family party of Goldfinches.

The counts
4 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
2 Swans
7 + 5 (1 brood) Canada Geese
4 (3) + 3 (1 brood) Mallard
2 feral Mallard-type ducks
2 (1) Tufted Duck
No Moorhen
33 + 16 (4 broods) Coots
1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
1 (1) Blackcap
3 (2) Chiffchaffs

A family party with 6 juvenile Coots. Broods of 4 or 5 are much more usual.

(Ed Wilson)