24 May 16

Priorslee Lake: 07:15 – 09:55

Sunrise: 04:58 BST
8°C > 13°C Clear and fine. Very light wind, becoming E. Good visibility

(83rd visit of the year)

- the Swans have lost one of the cygnets
- quite a build-up of post-breeding Mallard – 15 here is a good number
- when I arrived I logged two pairs of Tufted Ducks: later I could only find 2 drakes and a duck ...
- 4 Buzzards were circling high overhead and calling. These seemed to be in addition to the two local birds that I flush from time to time. Not sure I have had 4 overhead before
- a male Kestrel hunting over the SW grass; then over Ricoh lawns; and last seen perching in the SW copse
- 2 broods of Coots: brood #1 = 2; brood #3 = 1; no sign of other broods
- a party of at least 14 Long-tailed Tits included juveniles
- at least one juvenile Blackcap seen today
- a / the Lesser Whitethroat gave two brief bursts of song as I arrived but then shut up. This is typical behaviour of a busy breeding bird
- after days of singing over a wide area the Common Whitethroat seems to have given up and left
- could not locate yesterday’s Sedge Warbler – just passing?
- Small White, Orange-tip and Speckled Wood butterflies
- Red-eyed Damselflies

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 2 Canada Geese
- 2 Cormorants
- 4 Buzzards
- 7 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull
- 1 Stock Dove
- 6 Wood Pigeons
- 17 Jackdaws
- 38 Rooks

Hirundine etc. approximate maxima
- c.20 Common Swifts

Warblers seen / heard around the lake: numbers in brackets are singing birds
- 1 (1) Cetti’s Warbler
- 8 (8) Chiffchaffs
- 17 (12) Blackcaps
- 1 (1) Lesser Whitethroat
- 6 (5) Reed Warblers again

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 15 (12) + 2 (1 brood) Mallard
- 4 (2♂) Tufted Ducks (see notes)
- 1 Cormorant
- 4 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 Moorhens
- 21 + 3 juveniles (2 broods) Coots

The strange angles birds get to when hunting: here a male Kestrel almost turns upside down to look backwards for prey.

Here we see how much energy can be involved in a full hover – depends upon the strength of the wind of course: this was in almost calm conditions when the bird had to generate all its own lift. Wings up ...

... and wings down.

one of the 4 circling Buzzards.

this rather scruffy one was doing most of the calling.

this one was in very distinctive wing moult

and with a different breast pattern this seems to be #4?

A rather better view of a Rook than I produced yesterday: on this individual the wing moult is barely evident.

A male Blackbird with a beakful destined for the nest. The left wing is hanging at a strange angle but he flew away apparently without a problem. Perhaps just scruffy as he may well be on third brood by now.

Did not realise this until I looked at the photo: this is a juvenile Song Thrush with yellow on the gape. I hope it is just the angle of the light but the left eye looks rather odd.

This species was new for me at the lake last year: a male Red-eyed Damselfly.

Based on the marks on the thorax this seems to be female Red-eyed Damselfly even though (from this angle? ) it does not seem to have red eyes. Whatever: it is a stunning creature.

This hoverfly seems to be one of the Parhelophilus species, none of which I have recorded before and all are difficult to separate. If confirmed it is likely Parhelophilus frutetorum on habitat.

This is a male Small White butterfly: the female had two black spots in the forewing.

... like this, though not easy to see from the underside.

This is the flower of Common Sowthistle (Sonchus oleraceus). Also known as Smooth Sowthistle because although it looks spiky like a thistle these spikes do not prickle.

The Yellow Flag (Iris pseudacorus) is just starting to flower, none within easy camera reach at the moment.

(Ed Wilson)


Woodhouse Lane: [07:55 – 08:40]

Another visit to the fields and lane
- 2 Stock Doves flushed from the fields was unusual
- the Garden Warbler remains near the sluice exit

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

Nothing special: just a glorious late-Spring morning.

(Ed Wilson)

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

Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake

(Ed Wilson)