31 May 16

The Flash: 07:00 – 07:20

Sunrise: 04:51 BST

8°C > 12°C Only thin high cloud patches. Fresh N wind. Excellent visibility

Perhaps it was the rather strong wind; perhaps just the progress of the breeding season: whatever was very quiet this morning.

A few sheltered spots allowed some insects to be logged

(53rd visit of the year)

- both Great Crested Grebes asleep this morning
- Mallard mainly elsewhere – or hiding

Birds noted flying over.

Hirundines etc. seen here today
- 4 Swifts
- 2 House Martins

Warblers seen / heard around the water: numbers in brackets are singing birds
Only warbler was a singing Chiffchaff and that was not near the bird logged on the previous few visits
- 1 (1) Chiffchaff

The counts from the water
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 + 6 Mute Swans
- 6 Greylag Geese- 42 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral-goose
- 9 (7♂) Mallard
- 17 Coots

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake: 07:25 – 09:25

(88th visit of the year)

- the Swans have lost another cygnet
- first log of Black-headed Gull since 11 May
- low number of corvids passing (by recent standards): likely they were hedge-hopping below my site-line to stay out of the wind
- the Cetti’s Warbler possibly absent: I heard what might have been one distant burst of song but as it was well to the E of Castle Farm Way I dismissed it at the time. When I was in its usual location I heard nothing
- what seems likely to have been a Lesser Whitethroat calling from the Ricoh hedge – right location, but I am not overly-familiar with the calls of this species to be 100% sure it was not a Blackcap giving an unusual alarm call
- Speckled Wood butterfly
- a Silver-ground Carpet moth flushed from the grass (the same date as my first last year)
- Common Blue, Azure and Blue-tailed Damselflies
- several hoverflies, one of which was new for me (see pix)

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 1 Black-headed Gull
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 2 Herring Gulls
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 1 Stock Dove
- 3 Wood Pigeons
- 5 Jackdaws
- 9 Rooks

Hirundine etc. approximate maxima
- >10 Common Swifts
- 2 Barn Swallow
- 2 House Martins

Warblers seen / heard around the lake: numbers in brackets are singing birds
- 5 (4) Chiffchaffs
- 8 (7) Blackcaps
- 1 (0) Lesser Whitethroat? (see notes)
- 7 (6) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 2 Mute Swans
- 13 (10♂) + 2 (1 brood) Mallard
- 4 Great Crested Grebes again
- 1 Moorhen
- 22 + 0 juvenile Coots

This is the hoverfly Myathropa florea which breeds in wet rot-holes in tree-trunks. Feeds mainly on umbellifers and one of a number of species that hover, benignly, at head-height in sunny glades.

This hoverfly is of the genus Pipiza, likely P. noctiluca. It remains unclear how many species there in are in this genus and whether there are reliable identification characteristics. The confusion arises from historical records (mis)using an array of different names. Notwithstanding this record represents a new species for me at the lake.

This is a Common Blue Damselfly showing the markings on segment 2. In the very similar Azure Damselfly the mark is U-shaped; here it is ‘ace of spades’ shaped.

Here is an Azure Damselfly showing the U-shaped mark.

The ‘U’ in close-up.

A different specimen.

And to complete the trio of damselflies for the day, this is a Blue-tailed Damselfly. Noticeably smaller and a weaker flyer than the other two species and, in the male, with blue more or less confined to segment 8 when viewed from above.

My annual photo of an evil-looking red-eyed fly, probably Phaonia viarum (a Muscid fly).

(Ed Wilson)

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

Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake

Today's Sightings Here


2 Buzzard
1 Kestrel
Green Woodpecker
Great Spotted Woodpecker
3 Swallow
2 House Martin
3 Tree Pipit
2 Garden Warbler
1 Common Whitethroat
Willow Warbler
4 Chiffchaff
2 Wood Warbler
1 Pied Flycatcher
2 Spotted Flycatcher
1 Bullfinch
2 Linnet
(Martin Adlam)