26 May 16

Priorslee Lake: 07:15 – 09:10

Sunrise: 04:56 BST

9°C > 11°C Low overcast lifting somewhat and occasionally threatening to break. Almost calm. Moderate visibility becoming good

A milder feel to the morning than yesterday, in part because of the lack of wind

(85th visit of the year)

- the duck Mallard and her ducklings not located this morning
- the Kestrel was around again for the 3rd day
- where do all the Moorhen go? It seems only a few weeks since I was logging 20+ and now I struggle to reach 2!
- a / the Sedge Warbler was singing from a different location this morning
- one of the juvenile Pied Wagtails on the dam has been puzzling me for several days. It looks and sounds like a Pied Wagtail but seems to have a longer tail which it pumps enthusiastically in the manner of a Grey Wagtail. Sadly none of my bird-books illustrate a juvenile Grey Wagtail. In the absence of any hint of yellow, with no adults having been seen for weeks and with the calls sounding like a Pied I will have to assume that is what it is. Perhaps it has an unusually long tail and that is causing the exaggerated movement.

- some newly ‘hatched’ and about-to-hatch damselflies
- a small toad or frog – vanished in to long grass before I could ID it
- several other insects: see pix

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 2 Canada Geese
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 1 Herring Gull
- 25 Jackdaws
- 21 Rooks
- 1 Starling

Hirundine etc. approximate maxima
- >20 Common Swifts
- 6 Barn Swallows
- 8 House Martins

Warblers seen / heard around the lake: numbers in brackets are singing birds
- 1 (1) Cetti’s Warbler
- 8 (4) Chiffchaffs
- 15 (14) Blackcaps
- 1 (1) Sedge Warbler
- 9 (7) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 14 (12) Mallard
- 3 (2♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Cormorant yet again
- 1 Grey Heron
- 6 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 Moorhens yet again
- 22 + 1 juvenile Coots

Not easy to get all the small flowers of this plant in focus: it is Common Forget-me-not (Myosotis arvensis), also known as Field Scorpion-grass because the flower stems (not shown here) emerge coiled like a scorpion’s tail.

A plumed midge sp. Only males have the plumes and they don’t bite – indeed in most species of our midges females don’t either.

This insect was abundant this morning. All were on vegetation overhanging the water and in shade. We cannot see the red eye but the patterned back and the long antennae identify this species of caddis fly as Mystacides longicornis. It appears to have no vernacular name.

This appears to be a damselfly larva in its final stage and hauled out of the water about to exuviate in to a winged creature. I cannot find any web sites that would help further to species level.

Here is a freshly emerged female Common Blue Damselfly. We can see other damselflies and exuvia in the background.

The ‘business end’ of the same female Common Blue Damselfly.

I thought this was going to be an ichneumon-type insect but the ‘wasp-waist’ is not waspish enough and the antennae rather too short. So I am leaving it as ‘fly sp.’ at the moment. A handsome creature.

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 09:15 – 09:35

(50th visit of the year)

- a build up of (failed breeding?) geese
- the 3 Tufted Ducks were flying around very low and may have been leaving; or perhaps the birds from the lake deciding not to stop off here at all
- only 1 Great Crested Grebe seen, but did not walk all the way around

Birds noted flying over

Hirundines etc. seen here today
- 4 Common Swifts
- 6 House Martins

Warblers seen / heard around the water: numbers in brackets are singing birds
- 1 (1) Willow Warbler as usual
- 1 (1) Blackcap again

The counts from the water
- 2 + 6 Mute Swans
- 12 Greylag Geese
- 75 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral-goose
- 21 (16♂) Mallard
- 3 (2♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Great Crested Grebe
- 14 Coots

(Ed Wilson)

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

Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
Common Sandpiper
2 Common Terns
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Common Tern
(Ed Wilson)