23 Aug 16

The Flash: 07:00 – 07:20

Sunrise: 06:05 BST

15°C > 20°C: Low cloud and lifted mist reluctant to clear, eventually clear with patches of medium-level cloud only after 09:00. Light SSE wind. Good visibility, improving as low cloud cleared

Best today was Yellow Wagtail heard flying high S over The Flash. Amazingly what has to be another bird was seen flying low SE over Teece Drive some 10 minutes later. These represent my first Autumn records of this species in this area; and probably my first-ever at The Flash [later I heard at least one bird at Venus Pool]

(83rd visit of the year)

- low count of Tufted Duck today

Birds noted flying over
- 3 Feral Pigeon (in addition to resident the birds over St Georges to the N)
- 12 Wood Pigeons
- 11 Starlings
- 1 Yellow Wagtail
- 1 Pied Wagtail

Hirundines etc. seen here today
- 7 House Martins

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

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 9 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 27 (?♂) Mallard
- 13 (?♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron still
- 3 + 1 Great Crested Grebes again
- 0 + 1 Moorhen
- 14 + 5 (3? broods) Coots
- 14 Black-headed Gulls (2 juveniles)

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake

Early Morning Sightings: 06:15

Spotted Flycatcher near boat yard
1 Common Sandpiper
Grey Wagtail

(John Isherwood)

Morning Report: 07:25 – 09:25

(118th visit of the year)

Notes from today
- one of the pair of adult Great Crested Grebes this are not apparently nesting was missing today
- my first Cormorant logged in the water here since 13 June
- a party of 12 Feral Pigeons flew unusually high over the lake and, also unusually, they were flying E: most parties of Racing Pigeons are seen flying W or N
- at least 2 Reed Warblers in the main N side reeds
- two grass moths on the street lamps await identification
- one Common Marble (Celypha lacunana) moth flushed from the grass (to be confirmed)
- a Speckled Wood butterfly again
- a Common Darter dragonfly
- 3 different Grey Squirrels: a sure sign of approaching Autumn as they start to raid the hazel seeds

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 3 Black-headed Gulls
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 14 Feral Pigeons
- 24 Wood Pigeons
- 1 Rook
- 1 Yellow Wagtail
- 1 Pied Wagtail
- 2 Goldfinches

Hirundines etc. seen here today
- 1 Barn Swallow
- 7 House Martins

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

The counts from the lake area

- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 11 (?♂) Mallard again
- 7 (2?♂) Tufted Ducks
- 7 + 6 (3 broods) Great Crested Grebes
- 2 + 3 (3 broods) Moorhens
- 49 + 13 Coots
- 1 Cormorant
- 62 Black-headed Gulls (13 juveniles)
- 48 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

Today I spent a long while photographing the many immature (and mostly juvenile) Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Here is one calling loudly and just avoiding dipping its wing-tip in the lake.

Three birds here: an immature flies away while the other two look to be 2nd or 3rd year birds. The extensive dark on the tails suggests 2nd year though the left-hand bird has yellowish legs that suggests it might be a 3rd year bird.

Two juveniles in flight.

Two more juveniles in flight.

An extremely scruffy bird in mid-moult, almost certainly in to 2nd winter plumage.

A duck Tufted Duck touches down in front of an alert juvenile Great Crested Grebe and its sleeping parent. A Coot ignored the activity.

The photo reveals this grass moth as a Pearl Veneer (Agriphila straminella).

This is a parasitic wasp of the genus Ichneumon. It certainly closely resembles Ichneumon suspiciousus. Photos on the web show that species with a red front to the abdomen, though that could be sex-related – all the photos I could find are either females or undefined. I also don’t understand why the hind legs look, at least in part, so black if it is indeed that species.
From below showing the barred belly: it is waving its feelers wildly in response to my close presence.

Not at all sure about this: I am not very good at ID-ing eggs This was one of two such broken eggs at various places around the lake. Not entirely sure they were not from chickens!
(Ed Wilson)


Nedge Hill: 07:30

1 Wheatear
1 Lesser Whitethroat

(John Isherwood)

On this day in ...........
Nedge Hill

1 Redstart
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake

3 Common Terns
(Ed Wilson)