7 Jun 16

The Flash: 07:00 – 07:20

Sunrise: 04:46 BST

15°C > 19°C High overcast thinning somewhat. Light mainly E wind. Good visibility if somewhat hazy

(56th visit of the year)

- my first brood of Mallard ducklings: have been told of several other recent broods that have lasted but a few days – let’s hope this one is more successful
- one of the Great Crested Grebes may be sitting on eggs – but it doesn’t look much of a nest
- a brood of 2 Moorhens seen on the island – perhaps more juveniles hidden
- a new brood of Coot – earlier broods seem to have vanished

Birds noted flying over

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

Warblers seen / heard around the water: numbers in brackets are singing birds
- 1 (1) Chiffchaff still – not always the same bird though
- 1 (1) Blackcap

The counts from the water
- 2 + 6 Mute Swans
- 2 Greylag Geese
- 54 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral-goose
- 16 (13♂) + 6 ducklings (1 brood) Mallard
- 2 Great Crested Grebes again
- 3 + 2 (1 brood) Moorhens
- 15 + 2 (1 brood) Coots

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake: 07:25 – 09:30

(91st visit of the year)

- Mallard ducklings not located
- rather unusual date for a Pochard to turn up – and more Tufted Duck as well. Not sure I have ever had a June record of Pochard here
- no sign of any brood of Coot this morning
- the Black-headed Gull was a 1st year bird and reluctant to fly very far. My first on the water since 11 May
- Swifts even more erratic than usual: there nearly always seemed to be a few about when I looked: sometimes low; sometimes high; sometimes at W end; sometime to the N; sometimes elsewhere. Maximum seen together was 6
- a Green Woodpecker flew out of the old Celestica grounds
- a Grey Wagtail flew high SW over: only my second here since 03 March
- Large White butterfly: my first here this year
- at least 4 Silver-ground Carpet moths
- Common Blue, Azure and Blue-tailed Damselflies
- probable Harlequin Ladybirds
- both Red-headed Cardinal Beetle and Dock Green Beetle photographed
- a Spotted Cranefly
- and a second species of Orchid, though I remain confused over their identity

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 5 Wood Pigeons again
- 1 Grey Wagtail
- 6 Jackdaws
- 13 Rooks
- 5 Starlings

Hirundine etc. approximate maxima
- 6 Common Swifts
- 2 Barn Swallows
- 3 House Martins

Warblers seen / heard around the lake: numbers in brackets are singing birds
- 9 (7) Chiffchaffs
- 15 (11) Blackcaps
- 1 (1) Garden Warbler
- 3 (1) Common Whitethroats
- 5 (5) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 2 Mute Swans
- 12 (9♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Pochard
- 11 (8♂) Tufted Ducks
- 5 Great Crested Grebes
- 4 Moorhens
- 26 + 0 juvenile Coots
- 1 Black-headed Gull

(Ed Wilson)

The Mute Swan family at ease. The parents are well into their post-breeding moult as we can see from the many feathers scattered about.

A record shot of the drake Pochard – an unusual date for this species here (a duck Tufted Duck in the background – there were more of these than usual as well).

Here we see a Pyrochroa serraticornis (Common or Red-headed Cardinal Beetle): this appears to be a new species for me here, with my previous logs of ‘cardinal beetles’ only referring to Pyrochroa coccinea which has a black head.

This appears to be Gastrophysa viridula (Dock Green Beetle), though here not in Dock (Rumex sp.).

Here are two ladybird sp. mating: but which species? Although many have vernacular names that include the number of spots species other than the 2- and 7- spot ladybirds do not have a consistent number of spots. The arrangement here mirrors most closely the invasive Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis). While there seems to be too little white on the head for that species and many Harlequins are more orange than this specimen I think they must be that species.

And no mistaking what they are up to.

Always happy to improve the photos – a better shot of a Silver-ground Carpet moth. This moth easily disturbed from any grassy area at this time of year but usually flies away to settle underneath a leaf out of sight.

Another update: this is the underside of the Common stretch-spider (Tetragnatha extensa).

... and a different specimen devouring breakfast.

A whole array of damselfly exuvia. It is not clear to me whether these all fell prey to what is presumable a very fat spider or whether the cases were blown here along with the fluff (which is likely from the Greater Reedmace (Typha latifolia).

A crane fly sp. – and a golden-toned one at that. Almost certainly Spotted Cranefly (Nephrotoma appendiculata).

Here we see its ‘beak’ and tongue feeding in the Cow Parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris).

Still trying to get to grips with the orchids: this is, I think, Common Spotted Orchid (Orchis fuchsii).

Here in close-up.

Whereas this looks more like Early Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula).

(Ed Wilson)

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

Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
15 House Martins
15 Swifts
2 Chiffchaffs
Willow Warbler
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
1 Tufted Duck 
(Ed Wilson)