1 Jun 14

Priorslee Lake: 4:25am – 4:45am// 5:30am – 7:00am

8.5°C > 11.0°C. fine and clear with a few wisps of high cloud: calm with mist over water, then light S wind; good visibility.

(62nd visit of the year)

The Great Crested Grebe pair that had 3 juveniles seems to have lost one.
The cob Swan was again chasing the Canada Geese and all but one of the present when I arrived eventually left.
The duck Mallard and her 8 ducklings not seen today.
1 pair of Tufted Ducks initially: another pair flew in: and then both pairs left.
Two broods of Coots seen this morning.
In good weather just two brief visits by Swifts: 7 birds in total.
No hirundines noted again.
The Lesser Whitethroat was heard again today: initially and finally from the Castle Farm Interchange O-about, but in between it sang as it moved down and up the hedge on the E side of Castle Farm Way.
A Nuthatch is visible every day in the wooded area between Teece Drive and Ricoh and must be nesting in the area as it did last year.
At least 2 Jays this morning: I have not seen these for some weeks and had assumed that the work on the new school site had impact their nesting and they had fled. Not so it seems. These birds are quiet and secretive when breeding if extremely noisy at other times.
A ‘proper’ corvid passage this morning with most birds seen outbound in a single mixed party and many fewer singles later.
2 Silver-ground Carpet moths flushed.

4 +4 (2 broods) Great Crested Grebes
1 Grey Heron
2 + 2 Swans
4 Greylag Geese over
7 Canada Geese: 2 of these over
5 (3) Mallard
4 (3) Tufted Ducks
3 Moorhens
19 + 5 (2 broods) Coots
4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
7 Common Swifts
7 (7) Song Thrushes
4 (4) Reed Warbler
1 (1) Lesser Whitethroat
4 (3) Common Whitethroat
1 (1) Garden Warbler
13 (11) Blackcaps
8 (8) Chiffchaffs
Corvid roost dispersal: 125 Jackdaws and 59 Rooks
3 (2) Reed Buntings

Look! A fine start to the day. Must be flaming June. 

The sunrise from Woodhouse Lane

The Garden Warbler usually skulks and once the leaves are on the bushes can be hard to see. This morning it was singing from the top of its preferred bush, perhaps indicating it is preparing for a 2nd brood. Here he is: rather devoid of features and song is by far the easiest way to confirm its identity. All the literature drones on about similarity with Blackcap song, but in reality the timbre of the voice and the pace of the song is very distinct. A Blackcap has some similarity in tone to Blackbird while the Garden Warbler has more similarity in tone with Song Thrush to my ears.

and here he is again. 

A classic ‘brown job’. The Garden Warbler’s bill is rather stubby for a warbler – being insectivorous they usually have longer, narrower bills.

Another of the few umbellifers that I can confidently identify. This Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) is already c.10 feet tall.

This snail dresses on the left: I wonder if they all do? 

With wings spread it can be seen that this Rook has started its post-breeding moult and lost the inner primary and / or outer secondary. Many of the birds over the lake are more advanced with really scruffy-looking wings.

When viewed from above their is a distinct ‘step’ between the secondaries and the primaries.

(Ed Wilson)


Woodhouse Lane: 4:45am – 5:30am

(7th visit of year)

Went only as far as the top of the lane and did not check the copse below the sluice

No Pheasants seen or heard.
Single mobile Common Whitethroat.
No Linnets again.

Counts not meaningful for the abbreviated visit.

(Ed Wilson)