21 Aug 14

Priorslee Lake: 4:59am – 6:45am // 7:45am – 8:15am // 9:05am – 9:52am

6.5°C > 12.5°C  mainly with another remnant light shower, but clearer to S & E; light SW wind; good visibility.

Best this morning was the two groups of Ravens totalling 17 birds that flew S over the lake.

(91st visit of the year)

Other notes
My confusion over whether there are 2 + 3 or 3 + 2 Great Crested Grebes ended: there are 3 + 3!
All outbound geese were later than usual this morning and many groups well to the N and hard to see between the trees: nevertheless a large count. Inbound there were multiple concurrent groups at tree-top height and numbers ‘best effort’.
20 Mallard when I arrived: 13 left but 3 returned.
1 drake Tufted Duck early on but seemed to have gone later.
Water Rail heard briefly: normally I would have dismissed this as ‘too early’ but as this species successfully bred at Belvide this year their presence here would not be so improbable.
Few Black-headed Gulls again: vehicles were active in the Ricoh factory by 5:00am and had probably moved them on earlier.
Smaller passage of large gulls heading mainly N again, but flying further to the E this morning with only c.150 of the c.250 birds paused to wash in the lake. Much later two small parties totalling c.110 birds flew over and another c.15 visited: again almost all were immatures and most juvenile / 1st winter birds. No Herring Gulls were noted again.
The same family party of 5 Swallows.
The Green Woodpecker yet again.
1 Song Thrush only in song again this morning.
Just 2 Reed Warblers this morning and had to work hard to find these: likely they have mostly left.
2 Common Whitethroats at the W end: both seemed to be adults today.
Still dire corvid passage: just 3 Rooks.
1 Linnet fly-over: unusual here apart from on Autumn passage and in Winter.
4 Agriphila tristella grass moths noted.

3 + 3 Great Crested Grebes
2 Grey Herons
2 Swans
60 Greylag Geese (33 out: 27 in)
>280 Canada Geese (179 out: >100 in)
20 (?) Mallard
1 (1) Tufted Duck
1 Water Rail heard
2 + 6 (3 broods)  Moorhen
56 Coots
57 Black-headed Gulls
c.375 large gulls: no Herring Gulls identified among them
5 Barn Swallows
2 House Martins
1 (1) Song Thrush
2 (0) Reed Warblers
2 (0) Common Whitethroats
2 (0) Blackcaps
11 (2) Chiffchaff
Corvid roost dispersal: just 3 Rooks

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 6:55am – 7:35am

(78th visit of the year)

Where have all the Mallard gone since yesterday: 17 today and 41 yesterday!
2 of the 5 Black-headed Gulls looked like very recently fledged birds and seemed reluctant to fly.
A single Swallow the only noteworthy bird. In many years this species has seemed to nest in an out-building of the small-holding the other side of whatever the old A5 Watling Street is called these days. Then the adults and, later, their juveniles hunt regularly over the water, but this year Swallows have been largely absent after Spring passage and this is only my 3rd sighting since early May.

2 + 1 Great Crested Grebes
2 Swans
6 + 1 Canada Geese
The all-white feral goose
17 (10) Mallard
1 all-white feral Mallard
13 (6) Tufted Ducks
2 + 3 (3 broods) Moorhen
19 Coots
5 Black-headed Gulls
1 Lesser Black-backed Gull over
House Martin(s) heard only
1 Swallow
3 (0) Chiffchaffs

(Ed Wilson)


Woodhouse Lane:  8:15am – 9:05am

(8th visit of year)

Have not been very diligent about visits here this year and was not sure what I should be looking for.

Mainly very quiet with no Pheasants, Sky Larks or Linnets noted.
Single Common Whitethroat scolding the only warbler along the lane itself.
No Yellowhammer song – this species is one of the last to stop singing with song sometimes lasting in to the first few days of September, though this must depend upon breeding success and the number of broods being attempted.

1 (0) Common Whitethroat
2 (0) Chiffchaffs
5 (0) Yellowhammers

(Ed Wilson)