11 Jun 16

The Flash: 07:00 – 07:20

Sunrise: 04:45 BST yet again

15°C > 17°C Very low cloud and dull; lifted and broke somewhat below high overcast. Light mainly E wind. Moderate visibility, even poor to start

(60th visit of the year)

- the geese were all around the island and difficult to keep track of: likely under-recorded. Seem to be gathering for their annual moult
- amongst these was the hybrid Greylag x Canada Goose that last year turned up on 01 July for its annual moult
- the Great Crested Grebes that left yesterday have not returned

Birds noted flying over

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

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

The counts from the water
- 2 + 6 Mute Swans
- 22 Greylag Geese
- 126 Canada Geese
- [the all white feral-goose not noted]
- 9 (9♂) Mallard
- 2 (1♂) Tufted Duck again
- 1 Moorhens
- 14 Coots

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake: 07:25 – 09:25

(95th visit of the year)

Yesterday afternoon’s deluge obviously caused a torrent down the Wesley Brook and elsewhere the tall grass and nettles had been beaten over and was all across the paths making chest waders the ideal clothing

- the geese were again completely ignored by the Mute Swans – but only for so long: after I had been present some 90 minutes the cob suddenly went on the warpath and chased them away
- I think there is a brood of Great Crested Grebes with probably 2 juveniles on the back of one of the distant adults. Later all seven of the birds were noted diving – which did not seem a good idea with juveniles on their back
- one of the juvenile Coots was from a new-to-me but not apparently very recent brood
- the presumed same 1st year Black-headed Gull looked rather more chirpy today and was paddling about grabbing flies from the surface
- single Swift, Swallow and House Martins was disappointing
- Brimstone moth on a different lamps
- at least 3 Silver-ground Carpet moths
- my first Straw Dot moth of the year
- at least 5 Aphelia paleana (aka Timothy Tortrix) moths
- another Celypha lacunana (aka Common Marble) moth
- many Nemophora degeerella (aka Yellow-barred Longhorn) moths were ‘dancing’ along the N side so perhaps the long antenna they seemed to be waving form part of their display
- a probably Metzneria metzneriella (aka Meadow Neb) moth on one of the lamps
- the usual Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies
- another Pyrochroa serraticornis (aka Common or Red-headed Cardinal Beetle)
- 2 dead fish this morning: both Mirror Carp

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Wood Pigeon
- 2 Jackdaws
- 9 Rooks
- 1 Starling

Hirundines etc. approximate maxima
- 1 Swift
- 1 Barn Swallow
- 1 House Martin

Warblers seen / heard around the lake: numbers in brackets are singing birds
- 5 (4) Chiffchaffs
- 13 (10) Blackcaps
- 2 (2) Garden Warbler again
- 2 (1) Common Whitethroats
- 5 (4) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 2 Mute Swans
- 1 Greylag Goose
- 3 Canada Geese
- 9 (7♂) + 2 duckling Mallard
- 6 (3♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 Grey Heron
- 7 + ? Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Moorhen
- 29 + 2 juveniles (2 broods) Coots
- 1 Black-headed Gull

The grass and vegetation flattened to almost cover the footpath.

The flattened vegetation along the Wesley Brook.

And here upstream from the footbridge.

Both surviving cygnets are growing fast now: one is noticeably larger than the other.

Spot the odd man out! The Greylag Goose seemed to be paired with the Canada Goose closest too it.

Here the Greylag and mate Canada Goose take flight at the approach of the Mute Swan.

Note how the Canada Goose is starting its wing moult and is struggling to get airborne

Contrast in upperwing patterns

One of the other Canada Geese departing: this bird shows no sign of wing moult.

Looking rather scruffy but reasonably alert the 1st year Black-headed Gull was paddling after flies this morning.

Once again one of the Garden Warblers more or less came out in to the open to sing.

This seemed to a provoke a nearby Blackcap to do the same!

Not content, the Garden Warbler then flew in to the bottom of the same bush and sang back.

This small moth might be Metzneria metzneriella (aka Meadow Neb): or not. A rather better examination than the photo of one 15’ up a lamp post is needed to separate this species from several less common members of the genus.

Another view of an Aphelia paleana (aka Timothy Tortrix) moth.

A Straw Dot moth – not all specimens have the obvious dot as a ‘double spot’.

This morning’s spider with breakfast.

With a snout like this clearly a weevil: possibly Sitona hispidulus which seems to match the rather beefy thighs on this species.

As previously seen but a splendid specimen of Pyrochroa serraticornis (Common or Red-headed Cardinal Beetle).

Many of the orchids around the lake are now very obvious. I was reminded the other day that orchids freely hybridize and that will certainly not help me as I struggle to ID them.

The remains of a Mirror Carp. Hard to be sure what happened here. Could have been killed and eaten by an otter. But could have just died and then been eaten by a mink. Both Otter and Mink have been seen around the lake, though I have only seen the former.

Another dead Mirror Carp. This happens every year when some fish seem to die from the exhaustion of spawning.

(Ed Wilson)

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

Today's Sightings Here

Candles Landfill Site
4 Yellow-legged Gulls
c500 Lesser Black-backs
6 Herring Gulls
(Tom Lowe)

Priorslee Lake
Common Tern
(Martin Adlam)

Priorslee Lake
2 Ruddy Duck
(Ed Wilson)