27 Aug 16

The Flash: 07:00 – 07:25

Sunrise: 06:12 BST
8°C > 13°C: Fine start with broken high cloud: soon clouded from SE and looked threatening by 09:30 (and indeed soon rain). Calm. Very good visibility

(87th visit of the year)

- today it was the turn of most of the Tufted Duck to do a disappearing act
- large number of Black-headed Gulls for the date: perhaps refugees from the lake – see those notes

Birds noted flying over (in poor conditions)
- 11 Black-headed Gulls
- 4 Wood Pigeons
- 1 Pied Wagtail

Hirundines etc. seen here today
- 9 House Martins

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

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 7 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 33 (23♂) Mallard
- 7 (4?♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Grey Herons
- 2 + 1 Great Crested Grebes
- 5 + 2 (1 brood) Moorhens
- 15 + 3 (2 broods) Coots
- 111 Black-headed Gull only

One of the semi-resident Grey Herons allowed even closer approach than usual.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake: 07:30 – 09:20

(122nd visit of the year)

There seems to be an ‘event’ of some sort this weekend with the caravan having returned to the SW grass. In complete contravention of the agreement with Severn-Trent (the owners) one of the folk in the caravan was on the water in a power-boat before 07:30: boats are not permitted on the water before 10:00. As a result some birds were chased away before I was able to get any counts.

Notes from today
- 4 of the Greylag Geese were noted descending in to the fields to the E
- not all the geese were transiting to or from The Flash this morning, several groups headed towards the Town Park
- the Tufted Ducks were all seen flying off as I arrived and in response to the power-boat on the water
- the Black-headed Gulls did not spend much time on the water with some seen in the Ricoh grounds and others flying through
- the 2 Barn Swallows flew high E and seemed not to be local birds
- at least 6 Reed Warblers along the N side. A fisherman who had spent the night in the area said there “stacks of birds” in the reeds and sedges. At least 2 were begging juveniles
- 2 Ravens flew over – perhaps the same birds as noted yesterday
- a dead Pike in the water
- several different species of bee were about all noteworthy
- And a Rhingia campestris aka the Heineken Fly or Common Snout-hoverfly

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 15 Greylag Geese (3 groups)
- 18 Canada Geese (4 groups)
- >60 Black-headed Gulls
- 7 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 18 Feral Pigeons (3 groups)
- 44 Wood Pigeons
- 8 Jackdaws
- 2 Rooks
- 2 Ravens again
- 1 Pied Wagtail again
- 1 Goldfinch

Hirundines etc. seen here today again
- 2 Barn Swallows
- 5 House Martins

Warblers seen / heard around the water: numbers in brackets are singing birds: song very sporadic now
- 8 (0) Chiffchaffs
- 1 (0) Willow Warbler
- 5 (0) Blackcaps
- 6 (0) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 13 (?♂) Mallard
- 6 (?♂) Tufted Ducks
- 8 + 6 (3 broods) Great Crested Grebes again
- 3 + 1 Moorhens
- 54 + 12 juvenile Coots
- 88 Black-headed Gulls
- 7 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

As a PS to yesterday’s moulting Black-headed Gull shots here is the one I was after!

A Chiffchaff peering out. An admixture of brownish, greyish, yellowish and buffy olive tones quite different from their Spring plumage. A juvenile would be yellowier than this and I judge this to be an adult. Note that there is really only a hint of a supercilium.

Perhaps a moulted feathers from a Swan casting a reflection: just denting the surface tension of the water.

This looks like a hoverfly of the genus Rhingia and most likely Rhingia campestris – a new species for me.

The recent rain has encouraged the snails to emerge: here is one.

 ... and another.

... and a 3rd – a rather hairy one too.

A fish dead in the water: seems to be a Pike (Esox lucius).

A nice foxy-coloured bee: probably Bombus pascuorum (aka Common Carder Bee) which is known for looking scruffy. I worry a bit about the striping on the abdomen and is more typical of Bombus humilis (aka Brown-banded Carder Bumblebee): that is a Southern species of chalk lands so I conclude it is a variant of Bombus pascuorum.

Another sign of Autumn – at least it is not frost (as yet).

(Ed Wilson)

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

Green Sandpiper
3 eclipse Teal
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake

(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake

Black Swan flew over
233 Canada Geese over
11 Greylag Geese over
123 Jackdaws
234 Rooks
143 Greenfinches
1 Willow Warbler
2 Blackcaps
Cormorant flew over
(Ed Wilson)