11 Sep 14

Priorslee Lake: 5:38am – 7:05am // 8:20am – 10:00am

8.5°C > 14.5°C:  mainly clear and less hazy than yesterday. Calm > light N wind. Moderate / good visibility.

As a footnote to yesterday’s hoverfly at Trench Lock my contact tells me it is a female Sphaerophoria sp. Even experts cannot specifically identify females of the different species in this genus, so what hope for mere mortals.

Most notable sighting today was the huge number of geese at The Flash – at least 375, most of which arrived just after 8:00am. I assume this means that they had been using the clear nights and full moon to feed in the fields all night and were returning to loaf during the day. One of the residents remarked to me a few days ago that numbers were the highest she could recall.

Migrants noted today
- 9 Barn Swallows over the lake and 12 more over The Flash
- 2 Meadow Pipits over the lake and 2 more over The Flash

(102nd visit of the year)

Other notes
Precise number of Mallard again difficult to ascertain: only 1 drake present pre-dawn with 3 flying in. Then 10 seen in flight low over the lake. Later still just 1 drake again.
No Tufted Duck seen pre-dawn: 1 seen apparently flying off towards The Flash later: by 9:30am 1 duck on the water.
After several weeks I even managed to see the Green Woodpecker this morning: it was in quite a different area from where what I heard the calls which I assumed were being given as it was leaving its roost.
A reduction in warbler counts: perhaps with the later rising of the waning moon birds are able to navigate.
A Reed Bunting seen flying off at dawn from the W end: unusually I heard no calls before or as it left. My first since 16 July when 2 males were still singing.
Green-veined White and Speckled Wood butterflies seen
A Square-spot Rustic moth on the roof of the Priorslee Avenue foot-tunnel: a new species for my year-list.

2 + 3 Great Crested Grebes
1 Grey Heron
2 Swans
>10 (?) Mallard
2? Tufted Duck
6 + 9 (5 broods) Moorhen
91 Coots
52 Black-headed Gulls
25 large gulls: 19 of these over
9+ Barn Swallows
1 (0) Blackcap
5 (1) Chiffchaffs
Corvid roost dispersal: 62 Jackdaws and 86 Rooks logged

This morning’s misty start: the sun is just visible behind the first distant tree on the left.

A male Great Spotted Woodpecker peers around at the new day.

And now for something completely different: this is what the old football field and the W end of the old Celestica site now look like. The basic frame of the new multi-faith school is now complete. Not sure the sunrise makes it any more attractive.

Here is a splendidly fresh-looking Green-veined White butterfly.

The best I could do with the Square-spot Rustic moth. The name refers, I think, to the rather square kidney-mark which has an unusually pale outline.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 7:20am - 8:10am

(86th visit of the year)

Other notes
Almost all the geese arrived in one huge stream just as I arrived: the Canada Geese dispersed around the lake and were easier to count: the Greylags soon started to move inside the island and the number is probably under-recorded. There were 2 different hybrid Greylag x Canada x ? geese and the Cackling-type small Canada Goose was with the main party.
The 12 Barn Swallows flew low S in three small groups.
One or more House Martins heard: searching located just a lone individual.
In the last two days a large cluster of fruits of a fungus growing a large dead tree branch lying on the ground.

2 + 1 Great Crested Grebes
2 Swans
>121 Greylag Geese
2 Greylag x ? Goose
252 + 1 Canada Geese
1 Cackling-type Goose
The all-white feral goose
28 (17) Mallard
The all-white feral duck
48 (27) Tufted Ducks
2 + 2 (2 broods) Moorhen
18 Coots
18 Black-headed Gulls
24 Lesser Black-backed Gulls over
12 Barn Swallows
1+ House Martin
2 (1) Chiffchaff

The large number of fruiting bodies of an unidentified fungus.

And in close-up: note how they grow in ‘clumps’ from several different places.

(Ed Wilson)