14 Jul 16

The Flash: 06:55 – 07:20

Sunrise: 05:03 BST

10°C – 13°C. Started clear but cloud soon bubbled up. Moderate W wind. Very good visibility

(70th visit of the year)

- no cygnets remain: very sad. Did not see any of the locals to enquire what might have been the cause of the loss this year
- possibly many more Canada Geese than I counted: these were mainly around / inside the island where accurate counts are very difficult
- even more Tufted Ducks, and again all but one seemed to be drakes
- my first returning Black-headed Gull for here
- warblers very quiet here this morning – a short burst from one of the Chiffchaffs

Birds noted flying over

Hirundines etc. seen here today
- 7 Swifts
- 1 House Martin

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

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans (see notes)
- 73 Greylag Geese
- 64 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral-goose
- 17 (15?) Mallard
- 36 (35??) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 + 1 Moorhens again
- 18 + 4 (2 broods) Coots
- 1 Black-headed Gull

In rather poor early light this returning adult Black-headed Gull has already started its moult and is losing its black hood. Because the feathers at the base of the bill are moulted it gives the bird a rather ‘snouty’ look and invites misidentification for the rare Slender-billed Gull – that would start a major twitch.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake: 07:25 – 09:55

(105th visit of the year)

Highlight was undoubtedly the singing Sedge Warbler. I see this species on Spring passage every year. It is also not uncommon ‘between broods’ when I have assumed that a failed breeder might be change location for a better chance. It has bred at least twice. It seems rather late to be ‘starting again’. That said it was doing display flights and giving long bursts of song

Other notes from today
- all three pairs of Great Crested Grebes with juveniles – actually one of the adults was ‘missing’ and suspect it may be sitting again
- all the juvenile Coots seemed to out and about on the water with 2 of them now joining the post-breeding group of adults. 1 very new brood of just 2 birds
- few Black-headed Gulls this morning: a local lady of Asian origin does her early morning exercises on the concrete ramp. This morning she arrived ahead of me and most gulls would likely have been flushed
- Chiffchaffs included what was presumably a family party of 5 birds together alongside the yacht club hut
- the 3 Common Whitethroats were another family group, these in the Ricoh hedge
- no moths this morning: too clear, chilly and breezy?
- a few Speckled Wood butterflies
- just 2 damselflies seen, at least one the expected Common Blue Damselfly
- at least 3 species of hoverfly, none unusual
- first Bistort (Persicaria bistorta) and Common (or Black) Knapweed (Centaurea nigra) flowers of the year noted
- White Campion (Silene latifolia [formerly Melandrium album]) seen

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 13 Wood Pigeons
- 4 Jackdaws
- 9 Rooks

Hirundines etc. seen here today
- 2 Swifts again
- 6 House Martins

Warblers seen / heard around the lake: numbers in brackets are singing birds
- 11 (5) Chiffchaffs
- 4 (4) Blackcaps
- 3 (0) Common Whitethroat
- 1 (1) Sedge Warbler
- 4 (2) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 32 (28?) Mallard
- 2 (1?) Tufted Duck
- 1 juvenile Grey Heron
- 5 + 4 (3 broods) Great Crested Grebes
- 7 + 4 (3 broods) Moorhens
- 41 + 11 (8 broods) Coots
- 3 Black-headed Gulls (no juveniles)

One of the families of Great Crested Grebes: the adult came back without any food and it was not clear whether the youngster was chasing it to try and get fed or whether it wanted to climb aboard – rather large for that I would have thought.

The remains of another Black-headed Gull on top of the dam – just the wings. No idea what might have taken this bird. I suppose it is just possible it was the same bird that I photographed on 13 June when at least some of the body remained. But I think that rather unlikely – where has it been meantime?

Another shot of a Common Whitethroat.

Very much a record shot – this morning’s Sedge Warbler put in a brief appearance at the top of the rather dense stand of reeds. You can at least see the white eye-brow and the darker crown stripe. It refused to show again.

One of the hoverflies noted today: this is Eristalis pertinax (aka Tapered Drone-fly).

The flower of Bistort (Persicaria bistorta). Now very common especially along the S side of the lake.

Superficially a thistle but this plant lacks any spikes and is Common (or Black) Knapweed (Centaurea nigra).

This is White Campion (Silene latifolia formerly Melandrium album). I seem to have overlooked this in the past as I have no previous logs. However there was just one plant on a small piece of verge disturbed by the construction of the academy and not in the mowing regime so perhaps it is genuinely a new arrival.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in ...........
Priorslee Lake
Today's Report Here

Priorslee Lake

Today's report Here

Priorslee Lake

Common Tern
Possible Otter
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
A female Ruddy Duck
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
A drake Ruddy Duck
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Common/Arctic Tern
(Martin Adlam)