13 May 16

Priorslee Lake: 07:15 – 09:25

Sunrise: 05:14 BST

9°C > 12°C Mainly clear start with only scattered cloud; low cloud spread in from E after 08:15. Wind light and variable, mainly N. Moderate visibility

One record from today is ‘pended’ – a rather heavy-looking Accipiter that is probably ‘just’ a large female Sparrowhawk: but I am having a few pix I tool checked out to eliminate any possibility of a Goshawk slipping through the net

(75th visit of the year)

- the Swans have 4 cygnets: as I did not visit yesterday not sure when they hatched and if, as is often the case, one or more might have been lost already
- lots of flying about by Mallard today, but seemed to be just 3 drakes involved
- Little Grebes were seen as well as heard this morning, sitting just inside the reeds along the N side
- Great Spotted Woodpecker heard in three different and widely separated locations this morning
- 2 Sky Larks seen over the old Celestica site: the only singing bird heard was, as usual, one over the fields to the E
- Lesser Whitethroat again heard from Ricoh hedge. I am tempted to suggest they are breeding here. Typically males arrive and as soon as they are paired more or less stop singing and get on with the business of nest-building and raising a family. They will probably start singing again between broods in about a month
- I think only 1 Common Whitethroat at the moment: what seems to be the same bird is ranging over quite a wide area
- two of the Reed Warblers were singing away from the reeds
- a Nuthatch was seen near the Teece Drive gate: this is my first around the lake for some while, all recent sightings and calls have been from the far end of Teece Drive
- fewer Starlings overhead. In Newport many of the nestlings fledged yesterday and the adults are no longer ferrying food back to the nests
- Mistle Thrush has not been singing during my last two visits: I suspect it is also too busy with nesting duties
- noted my first Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) of the year in flower this morning

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 3 Herring Gulls
- 2 Feral Pigeons
- 6 Wood Pigeons
- 4 Jackdaws
- 3 Starlings

Hirundine etc. approximate maxima
- >25 Common Swift
- 2 Barn Swallows
- 8 House Martins

Warblers seen / heard around the lake: numbers in brackets are singing birds
- 1 (1) Cetti’s Warbler
- 6 (5) Chiffchaffs again
- 13 (10) Blackcaps
- 1 (1) Garden Warbler
- 1 (1) Lesser Whitethroat
- 1 (1) Common Whitethroat
- 7 (6) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 4 Mute Swans
- 3 (3♂) Mallard
- 6 (3♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Little Grebes
- 6 Great Crested Grebes
- 5 Moorhens
- 25 Coots

Another view of Garden Warbler. You do not see this species in the open quite like this too often.

Carrying as large a beakful as it can manage! A Long-tailed Tit ferrying food to the nest

A nice juicy green caterpillar as well as a midge.

Talking of juicy green caterpillars ... here is one hanging by a silk thread. With claspers like this it is the caterpillar of a Geometer moth. Sometimes know as looper caterpillars because of their locomotion, measuring their length across the ground – and how the name ‘geometer’ came to be applied to the moth family to which they belong.

Oone of the Little Grebes lurking by the reeds this morning.

Say ah! The Swan with their new brood.


(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 09:35 – 10:00

(46th visit of the year)

Not seen by me today but was sent a photo of a brood of 2 Coots taken yesterday (12th)

- I think we can assume the all-white feral Mallard-type duck is no more. As far as I know it could not fly – I never saw it even attempt to do so: and I have not seen it for some weeks. I have asked various locals and none of them has seen it recently or knows what happened
- the immature Cormorant again
- Wednesday’s Garden Warbler not heard today

Birds noted flying over
- 17 Feral Pigeons over houses to N
- 5 Goldfinches

Hirundines etc. seen here today
- 4 Swifts again
- 1 Barn Swallow

Warblers seen / heard around the water: numbers in brackets are singing birds
- 1 (1) Chiffchaff
- 1 (1) Willow Warbler again
- 3 (3) Blackcaps

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 21 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral-goose
- 12 (10♂) Mallard
- 4 (3♂)Tufted Ducks
- 1 Cormorant
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 12 Coots

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in ...........
Priorslee Lake
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake
2 Ruddy Ducks
(Ed Wilson)