3 Jun 14

Priorslee Lake: 4:24am – 5:55am // 7:00am – 7:45am

11.5°C > 15.5°C. overcast with a few breaks after 07:00: wind WSW 1; moderate, later excellent visibility.

(64th visit of the year)

Only 1 juvenile Great Crested Grebe seen with one of the pairs today, but they all spent much time inside the reeds and the other juvenile may have been hiding.
5 drake Tufted Ducks, flying and chasing around: later 4 flew off together. One of these birds (and the drake at The Flash) are starting to loose the bright white flanks of breeding plumage and already entering eclipse-type plumage. Presumably non-breeders.
5 single Lesser Black-backed Gulls over.
Short visits by Swifts in 1's and 2's.
1 Swallow, presumably from Priorslee Village area briefly over the SW grassy area.
Song is starting to diminish in both volume and frequency.
The Song Thrush that can make Swift-like screams is now able to incorporate snatches of both Nightingale (the ‘lu-lu-lu’ crescendo in its song) and Tree Pipit (the ‘siii-siii-siii ending flourish). Strange as Song Thrush is not noted as a mimic but I have watched it make these sounds. None of the other Song Thrushes seems to have this ability.
Now 4 singing Reed Buntings.
3 Silver-ground Carpet moths again flushed.
2 different moths on the operational street lamp: a White Ermine and a male Ghost Moth.
5 spikes of Common Spotted Orchids seem to be new since yesterday.
One adult Moorhen on the lower pool between the lake and The Flash had walked across Priorslee Avenue and was feeding on the well-manicured short turf alongside the Ricoh approach drive rather than the unkempt long grass alongside the pool.

4 +3? (2 broods) Great Crested Grebes
2 Grey Herons
2 + 2 Swans
20 Canada Geese: 16 of these over
6 (4) + 8 (1 brood) Mallard
5 (5) Tufted Ducks
4 Moorhens
19 + 7 (2 broods) Coots
5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
7 Common Swifts
1 Swallow
7 (7) Song Thrushes
3 (2) Reed Warbler
3 (3) Common Whitethroat
1 (1) Garden Warbler
11 (10) Blackcaps
6 (6) Chiffchaffs
Corvid roost dispersal not logged
5 (4) Reed Buntings

A White Ermine at the lake, with black-spotting scattered about the wings in no apparent pattern.

A male Ghost Moth

New this year: a Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii)

And the reason for the name – the heavily spotted leaves. 

And a close-up of one of the open flowers.

A male Reed Bunting: this is the partner of the female I photographed three days ago and confines himself to singing rather than the tedious business of collecting food for the youngsters.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 6:00am – 6:50am

(55th visit of the year)

An additional Great Crested Grebe seen lurking in the overhanging vegetation in the NW area: could there be another pair lurking here?
3 Cormorants in a group flew over here today: and going the ‘other way’ to those seen recently at the lake.
Again only the white feral Mallard: could the dark one be sitting on a nest somewhere? I have always thought both these are drakes – both have curly tail-feathers. But I have seen them trying(?) to mate, so perhaps ...
One of the adult Coots was still brooding her young so the count is incomplete.
Another Common Marbled Carpet moth on the lamps, today with my first Buff Ermine moth of the year.
Also a Clouded Silver moth on the glass of The Priorslee pub: this was my first in the Priorslee area.

3 Great Crested Grebes
3 Cormorants
1 + 1 Swans
1 Cackling Goose
74 Canada Geese
The all-white feral goose
11 (10) Mallard
Only the white feral Mallard-type ducks seen
2 (1) Tufted Ducks
3 Moorhen
5 +>5 (3 broods) Coots
1 Common Swift
1 House Martin
1 (1) Song Thrush
3 (3) Blackcaps
4 (3) Chiffchaffs

A Common Marbled Carpet and Buff Ermine together on a street-lamp at The Flash. Compare the regular line of black dots on the Buff Ermine with ...

A drake Tufted Duck already losing the white flanks as it moults in to eclipse-type plumage. A non-breeding bird I assume, though it is still with a duck.

A Clouded Silver moth: this was on one of the large panes of glass of The Priorslee pub and hard to ‘flash’ and avoid a reflection. The ghosting is due to the double-glazing.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 8:10am – 8:35am

(26th visit of the year)

Not much change since yesterday

Tufted Ducks gone.
7 broods of Coots with some uncounted juveniles still being brooded.

The counts
4 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
1 Cormorant
1 Grey Heron
2 Swans
2 + 5 (1 brood) Canada Geese
4 (3) Mallard
3 Moorhens
33 + >21 (7 broods) Coots
1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
4 Swifts
2 House Martins
2 (2) Blackcaps

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Middle Pool: 8:40am – 9:25am

(13th visit of the year)

Other notes
Some of the Great Crested Grebe juveniles now have head-tufts.
4 Swans now. 3 adults (00C, 7FTX and an unringed bird) and 1 1st year (unringed): no sign of any pairing / breeding.
More Greylag Geese broods but small decrease in number of goslings.
Many more Canada Geese (with other unseen birds calling from the side-pool): now 2 small parties of goslings.
Tufted Duck all gone.
2 broods of Coots again, each still with just a single parent.
Grey Wagtails not seen today.

The counts
2 + 3 Great Crested Grebes
4 Swans
18 + 19 (6 broods) Greylag Geese
>96 + 10 (2 broods) Canada Geese
13 (10) + 3 (1 brood) Mallard
4 feral Mallard-type ducks
3 Moorhen
6 + 4 (2 broods) Coots
1 (1) Song Thrush
3 (3) Blackcaps
1 (1) Chiffchaff

 ‘just like Daddy’: the Greylag Goose goslings look for food!

Note how, comparatively, yellow the Canada Goose goslings are.

The 3 juvenile Great Crested Grebes with one of the parents: the back bird is starting to get some of the adult plumes even though it is still very stripe-headed.

(Ed Wilson)