19 May 16

Priorslee Lake: 07:15 – 09:25

Sunrise: 05:05 BST

9°C > 14°C Mostly clear start with the beginnings of high cloud ahead of forecast rain moving in from W. Light and variable wind, becoming S. Very good visibility

(79th visit of the year)

- the juvenile Coot were from brood 1: nothing seen of brood 2 today. At this age the juveniles are often still being brooded in hidden nests and / or themselves hiding in the vegetation
- Kingfisher seen carrying food: to where?
- I remain slightly confused by the Garden Warblers this morning: singing males were heard at locations 2 & 3 with the bird at location 2 also seen. Then I heard what sounded like a scolding Whitethroat near location 1. Since I had not heard Whitethroat at that location and it did not seem typical habitat I followed it up only for a Garden Warbler to appear out of the hedge. I was none too familiar with scolding or alarm calls of Garden Warbler so I went on to the xeno-canto web site to check. That confirmed that what I heard was Whitethroat – but what I saw was Garden Warbler!
- Green-veined White butterfly again
- what seems to be a new moth for me here – Cauchas rufimitrella (Meadow Long-horn)
- new flowers for the year here included Ox-eye Daisy, Common Bird's-foot Trefoil, Common Hogweed and what I have provisionally recorded as Few-leaved Hawkweed and also Goldilocks

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 1 Stock Dove
- 1 Wood Pigeon only
- 2 Jackdaws
- 21 Rooks
- 1 Starling

Hirundine etc. approximate maxima
- 6 Common Swift
- 2 Barn Swallows

Warblers seen / heard around the lake: numbers in brackets are singing birds
- 1 (1) Cetti’s Warbler
- 9 (8) Chiffchaffs
- 14 (12) Blackcaps
- 3 (2) Garden Warbler
- 2 (2) Common Whitethroat
- 7 (5) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 4 Mute Swans
- 7 (5♂) + 3 (1 brood) Mallard
- 2 (1♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Little Grebe heard again
- 6 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Moorhen only
- 25 + 2 juveniles (1 brood) Coots

One of the four cygnets

And another: seems to have a wet head so perhaps has been feeding itself a bit. Amazingly ‘furry’ back.

A rather bizarre shape against the light and with crest erect and neck-feathers extended: a Great Crested Grebe.
One of the local Buzzards gets a helping away from the area by one of the local Crows.

Acrobatic Blue Tit collecting insects.

Goldfinches can be surprisingly hard to photograph, rarely allowing close approach. In theory the extent of the red on the ‘face’ is supposed to denote the sex, but I have never been able to use this even from photos.

My first Ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) here this year.

Also new for me here this year was, still covered in dew, Common Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)

And another: this is a hawkweed and likely Few-leaved Hawkweed (Phyllopod sp.). In the same genus as Dandelion and a confusing and large group. It might have helped had the photo included the leaves: then again ...

close-up of one of the flowers

Hawthorn / May (Crataegus sp.) flowers are now showing in some dense clusters, as here.

do we often look in close-up at individual flowers?

The tight clusters of flowers with the outer flowers having the petals larger indicates this umbellifer is Common Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium).

This a member of the buttercup family (Ranunculus). It does not look quite right for Meadow Buttercup and may (or may not) be Goldilocks (Ranunculus auricomus). The literature says that this species often shows misshapen or malformed flowers that I do not recall on this plant.

The first Melanostoma scalare hoverfly I have recorded here this year.

Its that time of year: these beetles full of the joys of Spring.

A nice foxy-coloured bee sp. likely Bombus pascuorum. Only yesterday a friend was proudly showing me his new field-guide to all 267 species of bee identified to date in the UK ....

There are a number of day-flying ‘long-horn’ moths: this seems to be Cauchas rufimitrella (Meadow Long-horn) – a new species for me.

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 09:35 – 09:55

(48th visit of the year)

A very quiet morning with little of note

- one of the Great Crested Grebes was lunging at and apparently catching flies from just above the surface of the water – I had assumed these only ate fish. This pair shows little interest in nesting
- Tufted Duck apparently gone: they could be tucked up on the island somewhere
- a Small White butterfly was seen along ‘squirrel alley’: my first at this site this year

Birds noted flying over

Hirundines etc. seen here today

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

The counts from the water
- 2 + 6 Mute Swans
- 28 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral-goose
- 17 (14♂) Mallard
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Moorhen
- 12 Coots

The Mute Swans here have 6 cygnets.

This rather poor photo illustrates this Great Crested Grebe catching flies just above the surface of the water – something I do not recall having seen before.

... and again. Just look at all those flies

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in ...........
Priorslee Lake

Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake

Grasshopper Warbler
(Ed Wilson)

5 Tree Pipits
2 Common Redstart
2 Spotted Flycatchers
5 Pied Flycatcher
5 Wood Warblers
Tawny Owl
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake

Grasshopper Warbler
(Ed Wilson)

21 Crossbill
4 Wood Warbler
Pied Flycatcher
Common Redstart
Tree Pipit
(Glenn Bishton)

Priorslee Lake

2 Ruddy Ducks
(Ed Wilson)