30 Jun 16

The Flash: 07:00 – 07:20

Sunrise: yet again 04:49 BST – the mornings getting darker now

11°C – 15°C. Started with medium overcast, this cleared away to the E later. Light / moderate SW wind. Very good visibility

(67th visit of the year)

- only 4 cygnets noted: one of these seems to think it is a goose and was amongst a large and tight group of Greylags: possible there were others lurking in the group
- a new-to-me brood of 2 Mallard ducklings: these reasonably well-grown and I would have thought out of danger of predation
- one of the Great Crested Grebes was sitting on a recently constructed nest
- neither of the broods of Coot were that new
- a single sequence of calls from a Willow Warbler at the top of squirrel alley

Birds noted flying over
- 6 Starlings

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

Warblers seen / heard around the water: numbers in brackets are singing birds
- 3 (2) Chiffchaffs
- 1 (0) Willow Warblers
- 3 (2) Blackcap

The counts from the water
- 2 + 4 Mute Swans (see notes)
- 113 Greylag Geese
- 126 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral-goose
- 23 (19?) + 2 (1 brood) Mallard
- 2 (1?) Tufted Duck
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 3 + 2 (1 brood) Moorhens
- 21 + 3 (2 broods) Coots

A record shot only of the two Mallard ducklings present this morning.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake: 07:25 – 09:25

(102nd visit of the year)

- any of the older Mallard duckling not really separable, but a new brood of 3 ducklings
- 3 pairs of Great Crested Grebes each with juveniles: 3 juveniles in the water and being only sporadically fed by adults in the NE area; 1 juvenile with a pair of adults in the middle of the N side; and at least 1 juvenile emerging every time one of the adults brought a fish to the NW area – may have been more than one juvenile involved here
- Sparrowhawk seen carrying prey off to the SE
- a new brood of one juvenile Coot this morning. All the other 4 Coot juveniles now well-grown
- first returning Common Sandpiper – likely a non- / failed breeder at this early a date
- first returning adult Black-headed Gull made sporadic appearances
- 2 Stock Doves on the academy playing field was rather unusual
- one of the two Long-tailed Tit parties noted contained at least 20 individuals: likely two or more families travelling together
- one of the two Common Whitethroats was a quite recently fledged juvenile – 2nd brood?
rather few insects, not helped by all the flowers having been strimmed from the dam-face
- a Mottled Beauty moth in the Priorslee Avenue tunnel
- Scoparia ambigualis (aka Common Grey), Light Emerald and Uncertain moths identified on the lamps
- a single Speckled Wood butterfly
- my first Ringlet butterflies of the year, and on a remarkably consistent date – over the last 3 years first noted by me here on 30th, 29th and now 30th June again
- usual Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies seen in small numbers
- only Volucella pellucens hoverflies noted today
- first flowers of Greater Willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum) noted

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 3 Wood Pigeon only
- 9 Jackdaws
- 14 Rooks
- 4 Goldfinches

Hirundines etc. seen here today
- 10 Swift again
- 2 Barn Swallows
- 4 House Martin

Warblers seen / heard around the lake: numbers in brackets are singing birds
- 4 (3) Chiffchaffs
- 8 (5) Blackcaps
- 2 (2) Common Whitethroats
- 7 (5) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 25 (??) + 3 new duckling Mallard
- 1 Grey Heron
- 6 + 5? (3 broods) Great Crested Grebes
- 3 + 1 Moorhens
- 37 + 5 juveniles (5 broods) Coots
- 1 Common Sandpiper
- 1 Black-headed Gull

Mrs. Mallard with her three charges.

The three juvenile Great Crested Grebes wait to be fed. Unusual to see these well away from the adult(s) for long periods like these were.

One of the parents has caught a fish ....

 ... the attention of the juveniles is immediate with one flailing its leg in an attempt to be first ...

 The fish is presented ....

... and first come first served.

One of the other juveniles hopes for morsels left on the bill.

The first returning Common Sandpiper.

A ‘grab-shot’ with no time to alter the exposure: a Sparrowhawk flies off with prey.

The two Stock Doves on the grass of the academy sports field. Although juvenile Wood Pigeons lack the white patch on the neck shown by adults they always show white on the bend of the wing so these birds are clearly not Wood Pigeons. Smaller and darker.

A male Blackbird of course, but here caught ‘sunning’ and exposing the preen gland. There seems to be no identified scientific reason for this behaviour – indeed to see the gland exposed like this is rather unusual.

A rather belligerent-looking Robin!

A less belligerent Robin!

I assumed this moth on the roof of the Priorslee Avenue tunnel was a Willow Beauty moth but upon checking, the absence of dark lines on the inner edge of the upper wings indicates it is not (the outer corner of the underwing would have clinched it but that is not available here). Few other ‘beauty’ moths have feathered antenna and thus this is a Mottled Beauty.

This moth is a Light Emerald with the unique reddish hooked tip to the forewing. My first here for several years though a common moth.

This is likely the micro moth Scoparia ambigualis (aka Common Grey) though there are several very similar species that are hard to separate without more detailed examination than is possible 15 feet up a lamp post.

A moth whose name says it all: Uncertain! Separation from Rustic, Mottled Rustic and Vine’s Rustic can be difficult when at rest and the underwing cannot be seen.

Rather safer ground with butterflies: my first Ringlet of the year.

A Speckled Wood in a rather unusual pose with wings half-open.

And these will not fly away – yet anyway: flowers of Greater Willowherb (Epilobium hirsutum) just opening.

Common Comfrey (Symphytum officinale) alongside Teece Drive 

(Ed Wilson)

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

Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
Common Sandpiper
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
1 drake Ruddy Duck
(Ed Wilson)