17 Jul 14

Priorslee Lake: 4:29am – 6:00am // 7:25am – 8:55am

11.0°C > 15.0°C. fine and clear with a few wispy bits. Calm / very light NW wind. Good visibility

As noted at Trench yesterday some of the geese have finished their wing-moult (when all the flight feathers are dropped simultaneously) and some birds are flying again.

(77th visit of the year)

Other notes
Party of 3 Cormorants over.
Single small parties of both Greylag and Canada Geese over.
Good counts of gulls ex-Ricoh roost / from W very early.
Good count of gulls passing SW over as well: most of the large gulls not specifically identified.
No Whitethroats again – gone?
Even fewer corvids.
7 bats this morning.
A Mother of Pearl moth (Pleuroptya ruralis) was flushed from the grass and new for the year: otherwise insects much as yesterday with Common Darter and Emperor Dragonfly additional species noted.
The dead Elephant Hawk-moth still hanging in the foot-tunnel: today joined by a Riband Wave, a Single-dotted Wave and a Swallow-tailed Moth.

2 + 1 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
3 Cormorants over
1 Grey Heron
2 + 1 Swans
5 Greylag Geese outbound
4 Canada Geese outbound
18 (?) Mallard
6 + 5 (2 broods) Moorhens
36 + 20 (>7 broods) Coots
c.105 Black-headed Gulls and c.60 large gulls from the Ricoh area.
12 Black-headed Gulls and 182 large gulls over.
c.20 Common Swifts
6 (6) Song Thrushes
3 (2) Reed Warblers
12 (8) Blackcaps
4 (4) Chiffchaffs
Corvid roost dispersal: only 34 Jackdaws and just 15 Rooks.

The sunrise looked good the ‘other way’ this morning.

And also from the more traditional viewpoint.

Another species where the juvenile can be a puzzle: this is a Bullfinch, yet to acquire the adult black cap. Best clue is the dark wings with a white bar and the ‘bull-neck’. At close-range the short, stout bill: and of course in flight the white rump.

A Blue Tit of course – surprisingly hard to photograph as they are always active and often hidden amongst the leaves. Here a bird moulting out of juvenile plumage, the new feathers rather fuzzy.

Small Tortoiseshell again. These are abundant this year and I read that there has been a huge influx of Scarce Tortoiseshell butterflies in to Holland with some already recorded in East Anglia. So be prepared. In the reports there were links to pictures and descriptions of that species but nowhere did it explain what the differences were. It seems that any tortoiseshell with reduced blue in the wing-edges is worth another look and if it has 4 (rather than 3) dark marks in the centre part of the forewing you could be on to a rarity. Its former name – Yellow-legged Tortoiseshell does not seem much help.

This unhelpfully positioned moth is Pleuroptya ruralis (Mother of Pearl) and it is easy to see why the sheen on the wings gave it the vernacular name.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 6:15am – 7:15am

(65th visit of the year)

3 Cormorants in party over here as well as the lake.
No Canada Geese goslings this morning: otherwise numbers of geese remarkably similar to yesterday even though some birds were seen flying.
No moths again.
A dead Field Vole or Short-tailed Vole (Microtus agrestis) found apparently uninjured on the path around the lake: this is the 4th small mammal found dead in the same general area this year.

2 + 1 Great Crested Grebes
3 Cormorants over
1 Heron
2 Swans
93 Greylag Geese
197 Canada Geese
The all-white feral goose
15 (?) Mallard
1 all-white feral Mallard
25 (?) Tufted Ducks
1 + 1 (1 brood) Moorhens
10 + 11 (? broods) Coots
2 Black-headed Gulls
11 Swifts
4 House Martins
2 (1) Chiffchaffs

Very smart: a fine Goldfinch on the wire. The bill colour – ivory-white – is very unusual in birds but with such a distinctive plumage it is hardly a recognition feature, especially as juveniles, which lack the prominent red face, have a grey bill.

Thought I would photo this moth to see whether it was identifiable and was amazed to see such a distinctive spider sp. lurking. A search on the web has failed to identify the spider and there is not enough left of the moth.

Dead Field Vole or Short-tailed Vole (Microtus agrestis) found apparently uninjured on the path.

(Ed Wilson)


And some Wildlife Photos from an Undisclosed Pool near Telford courtesy of Ed Wilson

A female Emperor Dragonfly ovipositing: if you look carefully you see how battered the trailing edges of the wings are.

Another ‘are you pointing that thing at me’ shot: a male Reed Bunting checks me out.

A better ‘portrait’ shot.

This is a female Brown Hawker also ovipositing: a difficult angle.

Even wasps need to drink when it is hot.

Which way is the wind blowing? seems these two male Common Blue Damselflies agree.

Here is why Commas are so-named: the white mark on the underwing.