15 Aug 16

The Flash: 07:00 – 07:25

Sunrise: 05:52 BST

8°C > 17°C: A few wisps of thin high cloud otherwise fine with a hint of Autumn in the air early. Calm start with light SE breeze later. Good visibility

(77th visit of the year)

- the Swans and the sole remaining cygnet located today
- could not find the juvenile Tufted Ducks: likely they were around the other side of the island
- full-house of juvenile Coots seen today from all 5 broods: one adult still sitting
- a Willow Warbler in song was a surprise: one of the Chiffchaffs also sang briefly

Birds noted flying over

Hirundines etc. seen here today
- 11 House Martins

Warblers seen / heard around the water: numbers in brackets are singing birds, though song very sporadic now
- 4 (1) Chiffchaff
- 1 (1) Willow Warbler

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans]
- 10 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 41 (?♂) Mallard
- 12 (2?♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Grey Herons
- 2 + 1 Great Crested Grebes again
- 3 + 3 (2 broods) Moorhens
- 17 + 8 (5 broods) Coots
- 24 Black-headed Gulls (2 juveniles)

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake: 07:30 – 09:25

(112th visit of the year)

Notes from today
- the newest brood of Great Crested Grebes contains 3 juveniles; also there are still 2 juveniles from the pair in the N(E) area, not one as I thought Saturday. An additional pair of adults along the S side – I assume it was one of these that went for a fly-about
- a juvenile Buzzard was begging from the Ricoh copse; another bird sitting on the Teece Drive lamps had a dark eye and a yellow cere and was likely an adult leaving the juvenile to begin to feed for itself
- another new-to-me brood of Coots seen this morning – unusually along the S side
- a juvenile Jay seen in flight
- a probable Common Pug moth and a Common Grass-veneer (Agriphila tristella) on the lamps this morning
- Green-veined White and Speckled Wood butterflies seen
- rather few insects despite the fine and warm weather
- a single Common Blue Damselfly
- a Common Darter dragonfly in flight
- a larger dragonfly, probably a hawker sp. seen briefly
- most of the other insects noted were several different bee sps. and Greenbottle flies
- a few small Melanostoma scalare hoverflies

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 10 Canada Geese
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Stock Doves
- 65 Wood Pigeons
- 7 Rooks
- 1 Pied Wagtail again

Hirundines etc. seen here today
- 2 Swallows
- 4 House Martins

Warblers seen / heard around the water: numbers in brackets are singing birds, though song very sporadic now
- 10 (2) Chiffchaffs
- 4 (0) Blackcaps
- 4 (0) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 16 (?♂) + 2 (1 brood) Mallard
- 5 (1♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron
- 8 + 6 (3 broods) Great Crested Grebes
- 7 + 2 (2 broods) Moorhens
- 44 + 13 (9 broods) Coots
- 68 Black-headed Gulls (6 juveniles)
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

(Ed Wilson)

An imperious look from this Buzzard. The dark eye and extensive yellow cere indicate an adult despite the rather blotchy and pale-edged feathers.

In this shot we see a rather ragged tail too.

This is the oldest juvenile Great Crested Grebe currently on the lake.

Life can be tiring: the same juvenile takes a break – note the foot sticking out of the water.

Getting company from one of its parents: sexing by plumage is not possible in this species.

In contrast here is one of the newest brood with its parent.

Another of the brood gets breakfast from the other parent.

One of the adults with no brood to feed. Note the angle of the line between the eye and the bill which I assume, like that on herons, is set at an angle that compensates for the refractive index of water – aim at the fish from the surface and you will hit it. Quite how this works when they are fishing underwater is unclear.

Here is the pair and one of them seems to be using the feature.

No ‘splash diving for this species – a smooth entry in to the water.

Once breeding has finished Black-headed gulls very quickly moult in to Winter plumage, losing the charcoal hood and gaining a black tip to the now dull-red bill.

Here is a juvenile Blackbird. The blotchy appearance of juveniles leads beginners to think these may be Song Thrushes. Juvenile Blackbird is mid / dark brown with pale shafts in the feathers giving it the spotted appearance – so white spots. In Song (and Mistle) Thrush the ground colour is always grey rather than brown and the spots are black.

This seems to be a juvenile Greenfinch – not much ‘green’ about it; and only the base of the bill showing a pinkish tone.

This moth on the lamp was at a difficult angle, otherwise obscured by vegetation. I am reasonably certain it is a Common Pug, my first here for several years.

The pale mark along the folded wing identifies this as a Common Grass-veneer (Agriphila tristella) – a very common 'grass moth': my first of this species this year.

Latest ‘wild’ life: this spider is busy quiescing its prey. A second later it took it to its ‘larder’ in the crook of the inspection platform on the dam.

This dragon/damsel-fly exuvia suggests there should be some around: I located just three this morning.

This Common Blue Damselfly was one of these three.

One of this morning’s more unusual bees. Seems to be of the genus Andrena even though these are mainly flying in Spring. This genus does not have pollen baskets, using its hairy body to gather pollen.

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

Priorslee Lake
1 Common Sandpiper
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Little Egret
Common Sandpiper
Common Gull
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Yellow Wagtail
(Ed Wilson)