1 Sep 16

The Flash: 07:00 – 07:25

Sunrise: 06:20 BST
11°C > 15°C: Just some high cloud taking the edge off the sun. Light SW wind. Very good visibility

(90th visit of the year)

More work on the trees – at least they are not felling them all. One has a severe pruning since yesterday

- Mallards mainly tucked up under the W side vegetation and very hard to sex – so I didn’t
- Stock Doves most unusual here: only my second record this year
- not entirely sure what the Jackdaws logged were up to: this morning many more than usual seemed to be gathering in the trees around St. Georges church as I walked past: it may have been some of these that I saw fly away
- 2 Grey Wagtails flying around: seemed to be an adult and a juvenile but did not get the best of views

Birds noted flying over
- 2 Stock Doves
- 2 Wood Pigeon
- c.25 Jackdaws

Hirundines etc. seen here today
- 7 House Martins

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

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 2 Canada Geese only
- 1 all white feral goose
- 24 (?♂) Mallard
- 23 (?♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron again
- 1 + 1 Great Crested Grebes once more
- 4 + 2 (2 broods) Moorhens
- 14 + 4 (3 broods) Coots
- 12 Black-headed Gull (9 juveniles)
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

The latest on the willows here: this one gets a severe pruning. Not sure why – the Health & Safety Police again. And as a PS to yesterday’s two felled trees – all trees reach the end of their life sometime. In these enlightened days where are their replacements being planted?

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake

Evening Update: 4:30pm

Probable juvenile Caspian Gull. Via BirdGuides here

Morning Report: 07:30 – 09:55

(125th visit of the year)

Best today was probably the two (perhaps three) Little Grebes. First noted while I was doing my sweep-count of the Coots I originally thought there were three birds. When I went back to check these out I could find only 1 adult and 1 juvenile – quite a well-grown juvenile that had lost all trace of head-stripes. One or more adults were present here throughout the Spring. I last heard a bird on 14 June. It seems unlikely that this often secretive species had been here all that while and only just shown itself. I would suspect that the juvenile was fledged and that they were new arrivals

Other notes from today
- the Canada Goose with the broken wing not seen today
- the Tufted Duck here were all obligingly close and easy to sex for a change
- two Common Whitethroats at the W end were my first here since 22 July and seem likely to have been a migrant passing (to add credence to this I heard another Common Whitethroat scolding as I waited for my bus at the Priorslee O-about: there have been none here for several weeks either)
- 4 of the Reed Warblers were together in the main N-side reed bed. The 5th was, unusually, in bushes at the S end of the dam some way from any nest site
- no moths on the lamps this morning
- at least 4 Speckled Wood butterflies
- more Common Darter dragonflies
- a Brown Hawker dragonfly: strangely my first confirmed sighting here this year
- three species of hoverfly: nothing unusual
- a new-to-me plant: Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) – I think

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 11 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 3 Stock Doves (1 group)
- 9 Wood Pigeons only
- 1 Rook yet again
- 1 Raven
- 1 Pied Wagtail

Hirundines etc. seen here today
- 1 House Martin only

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

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 10 (?♂) Mallard
- 9 (2♂) Tufted Ducks again
- 1 + 1 juvenile Little Grebe
- 6 + 6 (3 broods) Great Crested Grebes
- 4 + 5 (4 broods) Moorhens
- 55 + 10 juvenile Coots
- 20 Black-headed Gulls
- 6 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

A bit over-exposed, deliberately, to show the progress of the moult to white plumage in the cygnet here. The white feathers provoke the cob to make sure that his offspring is moved on. As yet this bird shows no inclination to fly.

Here we see an adult Little Grebe with the rufous neck with the yellow spot at the base of the bill: and a juvenile in the water – no real colour but the distinctive ‘powder-puff’ tail.

Coal Tit is not an easy species to photograph – usually hyperactive. The best chance is normally in Spring when they sing from exposed perches. But this was a cooperative bird today.

And Long-tailed Tits are hard too. There are usually a whole gang – which should I choose? And they too are hyperactive and even more acrobatic.

This a more typical result.

A record shot only here: the brown in the wing and the grey head identify this warbler as a Common Whitethroat. My first here for a while and likely a migrant on its way south to winter the other side of the Sahara – amazing.

This seems to be a different Common Whitethroat with much less obvious brown on the wings.

This an instructive, if poor shot, of a warbler working its was through the vegetation. At the time I thought it was a Reed Warbler and I still believe it is – just look at the sloping head and the long pale bill. But the back? Reed Warblers are ‘warm brown’ but this seems rather dark brown and the dark edges of the tertials are a puzzle. Only a Common Whitethroat would show this but the head-shape is all wrong.

A female Blackbird combines preening an sunning – a female rather than a juvenile because of the yellow bill.

Are you photographing me?

A juvenile Goldfinch. The adult red face may not be acquired before November.

A front view of the same bird. The wings are partly open as it was begging to be fed – this must be a late brood as I saw juveniles here at least three weeks ago.

This angle shows why Eristalis pertinax is called the Tapered Drone-fly.

When feeding – here on the stigma of a convolvulus flower – it is easy to see the marks of the Episyrphus balteatus (aka Marmalade hoverfly. But ....

When resting the wings cover the marks and make separation from other similar species difficult. Here at a slight angle we can in fact see the marks.

I have been struggling to identify this flower for some days now: I think it is Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris). If you know differently please tell! These are the small flowers.

Here is the straggling plant. I have never knowingly seen this plant before but it is not rare so I have obviously overlooked it.

(Ed Wilson)

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

Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake

Today's Sightings Here

Nedge Hill
1 Hobby
1 Wheatear
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake

Tawny Owl
5 Swifts
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake

Common Tern
2 Swifts
(Ed Wilson)