13 Jun 16

The Flash: 07:00 – 07:20

Sunrise: 04:44 BST

14°C Overcast, initially clearer to E, but then lowering with light rain later. Light NW / W wind. Moderate visibility

(61st visit of the year)

- one Great Crested Grebes returned: no activity around the nest site
- Nuthatch calling in both NW and E areas (and then later alongside the footpath to the lake)

Birds noted flying over

Hirundines etc. seen here (or at the lake) today

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

The counts from the water
- 2 + 6 Mute Swans
- 13 Greylag Geese
- 124 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral-goose
- 13 (11♂) Mallard
- 2 (1♂) Tufted Duck remain
- 1 Great Crested Grebe
- 1 Moorhen
- 20 Coots

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake: 07:25 – 09:25

(96th visit of the year)

Best today was the Common Tern that spent less than a minute at (the other end) of the lake

- still unable to positively the confirm the presence of a brood of Great Crested Grebes
- the remains of the presumed same 1st year Black-headed Gull was disappointing
- a Cormorant present early seemed to have left; one then seen landing may have been the same bird repositioning
- a Lesser Whitethroat singing and even seen on its song perch in the Ricoh hedge. From this I deduce that the first brood has flown and that he is courting the female to start a 2nd brood
- juvenile Goldfinches seen as part of noisy groups this morning
- possible Siskin heard over with very noisy juvenile Goldfinches, and therefore unconfirmed. Would be an usual date
- at least 2 Silver-ground Carpet moths
- the usual Blue-tailed Damselflies in small numbers in the damp, overcast and cool weather
- an Azure Damselfly was the only larger damselfly seen

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 5 Greylag Geese
- 6 Feral Pigeons (2 groups)
- 5 Wood Pigeons
- 11 Jackdaws
- 32 Rooks
- 3 Greenfinches

Hirundines etc. seen here today

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

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 2 Mute Swans
- 5 (4♂) + 2 duckling Mallard
- 8 (5♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 or 2 Cormorants
- 6 + ? Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Moorhen again
- 36 + 2 juveniles (2 broods) Coots
- 1 Common Tern
- 1 dead Black-headed Gull

This drake Tufted Duck is showing signs of losing its white flanks: within a month or so I will be struggling to sex these birds.

The Common Tern arrived at the far end of the lake and was present for less than a minute. I managed a couple of record shots (at the wrong exposure!). Just about identifiable.

The sad end to the possibly unwell Black-headed Gull that was present at the end of last week.

Now does that fluffed up back hide some juvenile Great Crested Grebes? Time will no doubt tell.

The Coots have done very badly this breeding season: there have been very few broods and those I have seen have been small broods. Here is one of just two juveniles I saw this morning. As both juveniles are from different broods and well-grown – as shown here – I assume these are the only survivors. There is still time for replacement broods.

A most unusual sight: a Lesser Whitethroat singing in the open. Not easy to identify from this view, but we can just about make out the darker ear-coverts. The wing-edge is not so dark as it would be on Common Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat lacks any dark-edged brown feathers on the back.

A juvenile Great Tit: it takes a few weeks for them to lose the yellow tones and acquire the blue back of the adult. The yellow at the gape will take but a few days to grow out.

Another view.

And another.

I had not expected this: I was trying to find a singing Garden Warbler when this Wren popped out and sang in the open for long-enough for me to grab a few shots.

They are LOUD!!

And here we see the tongue as well


And a close-up of this orchid: I am pretty certain this is Common Spotted Orchid (Orchis (Dactylorhiza) fuchsii).

Orchid_2: a much darker orchid growing but a few feet from the previous specimen. I now think it is Marsh Orchid (Orchis strictifolia), a conclusion I reached because of the bracts growing immediately under the lowest flowers.

A guard of honour for a dead dragonfly?

As a reminder: these insects with the banded wings and long and banded antenna are the caddis flies Mystacides longicornis and not the Yellow-barred Longhorn moths (Nemophora degeerella). The caddis flies hover over the waterside vegetation where spiders spin webs to catch them. The moths dance under the trees.

In the cool conditions this damselfly had its wings partly open and allowed me to see clearly the inverted ‘U’ on segment 2 and thus identify this as an Azure Damselfly – apparently much less common than the Common Blue Damselfly.

A red-eyed and red-thighed fly sp.

This is a Blood-vein Moth, a species that is often disturbed from grassy areas. Several seen this morning, my first for several years here.

A smart little moth: it rejoices in the name Ancylis badiana (aka Common Roller). My second of the year here, the previous specimen not being photogenic.

Something likes this wet weather and also seems impervious to the hairs of nettles: a slug sp.

A flower that is very hard to see: this is Cleavers, or clivers, goosegrass, catchweed, stickyweed, robin-run-the-hedge, sticky willy, sticky willow, sticky geordies, velcro weed, and grip grass, (Galium aparine) and the flowers are very small and insignificant as we see here.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in ...........
Priorslee Flash

1 Greylag x Canada Goose
(Ed Wilson)