30 May 14

Priorslee Lake: 4:30am – 6:05am// 7:10am – 8:25am

9.0°C > 10.0°C. Low overcast lifted to medium overcast; light SE wind later; moderate visibility.

Best today was my 2nd record this year of Lesser Whitethroat at the lake. A bird sang continually between 8:00am and 8:10am as it moved E through the shrubs that divide the lake from the M54. It then started back, moved to the small scrubby patch on the SW shore and then shut up or flew off.

(60th visit of the year)

The cob Swan was feeling more benign today, allowing the Great Crested Grebes, Mallard and Coot and their juveniles to mingle with the cygnets: it even failed to react to the 2 Canada Geese that flew in and settled to browse the grass.
3 pairs of Tufted Ducks throughout.
Three broods of Coots seen this morning.
No early Swifts again until 5:30am when c.35 appeared high to the S. These left by 6:00am and no more until after 7:30am when c.15 were low over the W end.
2 single House Martins: one high to the W over the estate at 6:00am; and another in with the Swifts much later.
Just 3 Reed Warblers singing today, all doing so very intermittently.
Common Whitethroats continue to confuse: with young fledged birds seemed to be everywhere at the W end with many sightings accompanied by song. But how many different birds.
Much larger corvid passage this morning with many apparent family parties. Many of these were far to the E and I probably miss many more. Even more Rooks were seen later flying in the opposite direction.

4 +5 (2 broods) Great Crested Grebes
Cormorant over again
Grey Herons
2 + 2 Swans
Canada Geese
5 (1) + 8 (1 brood) Mallard
6 (3) Tufted Ducks
18 + >8 (3 broods) Coots
Lesser Black-backed Gulls
c.50 Common Swifts
House Martins
8 (8) Song Thrushes
3 (3) Reed Warbler
1 (1) Lesser Whitethroat
5? (4?) Common Whitethroat
1 (1) Garden Warbler
9 (9) Blackcaps
8 (8) Chiffchaffs
Corvid roost dispersal: 103 Jackdaws and 21 Rooks
3 (2) Reed Buntings

The 2 cygnets at the lake hitch a ride with Mum. What has caused the red staining on the wing-tips of the adult? Perhaps I don’t wish to know.

As the RSPB Magazine puts it: the ‘aaah’ factor. Not sure I realised how disproportionately large the cygnets bills are.

 “the family that eats together ...”

The youngsters are now able to forage for themselves. Note how water-proof the juvenile ‘fur’ is, with droplets standing on the surface of apparently dry feathers.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 6:15am – 7:00am

(53rd visit of the year)

1 pair of Tufted Ducks again.
3 confirmed broods of Coot but some staying hidden.

Great Crested Grebes
1 + 1 Swans
Greylag Geese
Cackling Goose
68 Canada Geese
The all-white feral goose
10 (8) Mallard
Neither feral Mallard-type ducks seen
2 (1) Tufted Ducks
9 + >7 (3 broods) Coots
Common Swifts
House Martins
1 (1) Song Thrush
3 (2) Blackcaps
3 (3) Chiffchaffs

3 juvenile Coots revealed for the first time at this nest at The Flash this morning.

(Ed Wilson)