20 May 16

Priorslee Lake

Late Morning: 11:20

1 Arctic Tern late morning then flew southwest. Via BirdGuides Here

Early Morning: 07:15 – 09:55

Sunrise: 05:03 BST

12°C > 14°C High cloud to E and lower-level cloud from west. Moderate SW wind. Good visibility

Highlight today was a Hobby high overhead being mobbed by a screaming party of Swifts

Running that close was a female Kestrel that appeared over head; then hovering over the SW grass; and later over the fields alongside Woodhouse Lane. My only previous log of this species here this year was as long ago as 13 February

The wind direction and strength made for much road-noise, making hearing birds hard work this morning. The reconstruction of the M54 seems to have made the road-noise worse not better: the supposedly quieter road surface seems to be more than off-set by the concrete barriers reflecting the sound more effectively

(80th visit of the year)

Other notes
- Mallard ducklings not seen but duck tucked up almost out of sight may well have had her brood with her
- Tufted Duck all seem to have gone
- larger numbers of Jackdaws and Rooks these days probably because birds ferrying food to the nest sites
- no Garden Warblers seen or heard here this morning
- the Reed Warbler in the S side brambles was not heard today; one was singing from the NE area – a new location for this year; someone has walked through the main N-side reed bed and only a single bird was singing there this morning
- 3 House Sparrows visited my recording area this morning: 2nd time this year birds have strayed from the estate area

- a Lime-speck Pug on one of the lamps
- my first damselfly of the year here – a Blue-tailed Damselfly
- a 7-spot Ladybird
- a Nettle Weevil

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 2 Canada Geese
- 1 Cormorant
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull
- 8 Feral Pigeons (1 party and 2 singles)
- 5 Wood Pigeons
- 16 Jackdaws
- 23 Rooks

Hirundine etc. approximate maxima
- >40 Common Swifts
- >7 Sand Martins
- 2 Barn Swallows
- >8 House Martins

Warblers seen / heard around the lake: numbers in brackets are singing birds
- 1 (1) Cetti’s Warbler
- 8 (7) Chiffchaffs
- 13 (10) Blackcaps
- 2 (1) Common Whitethroats
- 5 (5) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 4 Mute Swans
- 10 (7♂) + ? (1 brood) Mallard
- 1 Little Grebe heard yet again
- 5 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 Moorhens
- 24 + 0 juveniles Coots

Soaring high overhead this was a bit of a puzzle. When I first saw it I assumed it was going to be a Hobby falcon and certainly the Swifts seemed to act as if it was, all leaving the lake and swirling around high over the falcon. With this soaring attitude however I began to have doubts and the usual dashing long-winged silhouette is not apparent and so “why is it not a male Peregrine – the smaller of the pair?”. After looking at all the literature I now think my original thought was correct and the wings are too narrow for a Peregrine and the body too slim. So Hobby falcon it is.

I think this is known as biting off more than you can chew as this Great Crested Grebe seems determined to have this Tench.

The fish does indeed look rather wide as well as rather fat.

“if only I could get a better grip”

Look: a grebe with wings on its bill!

Perhaps if I throw it in the air that will help ....

I do not think it is going to fit.

At this point having dropped it in the water numerous times and picked it up at a different angle it eventually gave up.

At last: I managed to ‘nail’ a House Martin flying by.

Not the easiest of angles to see the features on this moth. Luckily it is one of the easiest pug moths to identify – a Lime-speck Pug.

With a snout like that it has to be a weevil. Likely Phyllobius pomaceus, described as ‘abundant on nettles’ and this is indeed the plant it is on.

A 7-spot Ladybird at rest.

A Blue-tailed Damselfly ...

... it may be a freshly-emerged ‘teneral’ specimen which has yet to develop the colour on the thorax but to me it seems more likely to be of the less common ‘rufecens’ form – an form that I cannot recall seeing before.

(Ed Wilson)


Woodhouse Lane: [07:55 – 08:40]

Another visit to the fields and lane

- the Garden Warbler still near the sluice exit – the only one heard today
- a Reed Bunting singing from the oilseed rape crop. Quite a good place to nest as the plants are left for many weeks for the seeds to fully develop and long before harvesting the birds will have flown

Some numbers (numbers in brackets are singing birds)
- 6 (4) Sky Larks
- 3 (3) Chiffchaffs yet again
- 3 (3) Blackcaps again
- 1 (1) Garden Warbler
- 3 (2) Common Whitethroats
- 4 (4) Song Thrushes
- 1 (0) Mistle Thrush
- no Linnets again
- 3 (2) Yellowhammers
- 1 (1) Reed Bunting

A different vista of the oilseed rape fields alongside Woodhouse Lane.


(Ed Wilson)

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

Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake

Black Tern
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
2 Ruddy Ducks
(Ed Wilson)