1 Sep 14

Priorslee Lake: 5:33am – 7:00am // 8:15am – 9:16am

13.5°C > 14.5°C: spots of light rain from medium-high overcast; cleared somewhat c.07:00 with some sun before low cloud and drizzle after 08:00; almost calm; moderate / good visibility, but poor after drizzle started.

The first day of September and there was some visible migration to introduce autumn.
- 2 parties of Swallows high over the lake totalling c.20 birds with at least 6 more over The Flash.
- 8 House Martins high over The Flash heading S seemed to be in addition to the local birds still with young calling: also 3 high over the lake.
- party of 21 Goldfinches flying E seemed to be in addition to the regulars.
- small influx of Goldcrests with at least 2 at the lake; 2 between the lake and The Flash and another at The Flash.

(92nd visit of the year)

Other notes
Rather few geese and all outbound this morning.
Many fewer Mallard and most of these left before light-enough to sex.
Few Black-headed Gulls again but it is a Monday when gull numbers are lowest.
Very small passage of large gulls early with c.30 heading mainly SE this morning. Later 31 on the lake, all of these immatures and almost all juveniles. No Herring Gulls were noted again.
The Green Woodpecker still along the N side: again called early, probably as it left its roost.
2 Song Thrushes but no song heard.
No Reed Warblers seen or heard: probably gone to Africa.
Still plenty of Chiffchaffs around.
Slightly better corvid passage.
Many orb-webs highlighted by rain drops this morning – sure sign of Autumn.
Several crane flies also around
No moths around the lake but 3 in the Priorslee Avenue foot-tunnel: 2 of these were Large Yellow Underwings – a very common moth of late summer that comes easily to light. The other moth was too worn to allow positive identification.

2 + 2 Great Crested Grebes
1 Cormorant over
1 Grey Herons
2 Swans
38 Greylag Geese (all outbound)
21 Canada Geese (all outbound)
9 (?) Mallard
3 + 4 (2 broods) Moorhen
66 Coots
49 Black-headed Gulls
c.65 large gulls: no Herring Gulls identified among them.
>20 Barn Swallows
3 House Martins
2 (0) Song Thrush
3 (0) Blackcaps
13 (3) Chiffchaffs
Corvid roost dispersal: 36 Jackdaws and 16 Rooks

The pattern of Autumn: an orb-web holds the droplets from the drizzle – complete with spider holding one of the lines allowing it to detect movement.

The complete web is shown here.

One of the Large Yellow Underwing moths in the Priorslee Avenue tunnel this morning.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 7:10am – 8:05am

(79th visit of the year)

A Greylag x ? Goose for a while: it flew off.

2 + 1 Great Crested Grebes
1 Grey Heron
2 Swans
1 Greylag x ? Goose
6 + 1 Canada Geese
The all-white feral goose
22 (?) Mallard
1 all-white feral Mallard
23 (19) Tufted Ducks
5 + 2 (2 broods) Moorhen
16 Coots
3 Black-headed Gulls
2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls over
>15 House Martins
>6 Swallows
4 (0) Chiffchaffs

The ‘mixed’ goose at The Flash. The pale overall tone and the pink bill suggest mainly Greylag Goose genes; the white cheek pattern suggests some Canada Goose input; while the dark tip to the bill and white around the base of the bill suggest White-fronted Goose input.

Here in flight the upper-wing pattern also most closely resembles a Greylag Goose, though a pure Greylag would show a darker area on the rear of the inner wing and across the saddle.

The only Canada Goose gosling to be raised at the lake – the Council treat the eggs on the island to prevent numbers getting out of control. This is now only distinguishable from an adult by the white above the tail – the wing feathers have yet to reach full-length and cover this area of the body.

Here is a full adult in similar pose. Note also the rather darker legs and less obvious eye-ring.

(Ed Wilson)