6 Sep 16

The Flash: 07:05 – 07:30

Sunrise: 06:29 BST

19°C > 21°C: Broken cloud largely cleared away to E and sunny for a while. Calm / light S wind. Excellent visibility. Humid

(93rd visit of the year)

- part-way through my logging somebody arrived and started feeding the ducks the other side of the island making it difficult to be certain about the numbers!
- the 3rd adult Great Crested Grebe present this morning: still only one adult feeding the juvenile
- all the Black-headed Gulls flew straight over towards the lake without stopping
- party of 16 House Martins very high overhead moving S when I arrived: none seen or heard later around the houses

Very few birds noted flying over under the low cloud
- 8 Black-headed Gulls
- 3 Feral Pigeons
- 1 Wood Pigeon again

Hirundines etc. seen here today
- 16 House Martins

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

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 1 Greylag Goose
- 6 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 32 (24♂) Mallard
- 28 (?♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron
- 3 + 1 Great Crested Grebes
- 3 + 2 (2 broods) Moorhens
- 15 + 3 (2 broods) Coots

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake: 07:35 – 09:55

(128th visit of the year)

Notes from today
- the 2 Canada Geese remain
- 3 of the Tufted Ducks flew off, perhaps to The Flash
- 6 Buzzards overhead together was unusual
- again the large gulls mostly dropped in to drink and bathe. Some perhaps straight over though they mostly seemed to then circle back and drop in. Significant proportion of Herring Gulls this morning. Single adults of both species, vast majority being juveniles moulting in to 1st winter plumage
- looking at some photos I took this morning I am reasonably confident there were perhaps two juvenile / 1st winter Yellow-legged Gulls present
- rather few Wood Pigeons around at the moment with very few over flying
- three parties of Barn Swallows over
- apart from Chiffchaffs a single call from a Blackcap was the only warbler noted today
- a Reed Bunting seen and also heard: my first record since 21 July when the last song was heard
- 5 Speckled Wood and 1 Green-veined White butterflies
- surprised not to find any Common Darter dragonflies in apparently suitable conditions
- very many Crane Flies / Daddy Long-legs (Tipula sp.)
- usual wasps about the blackberries attracted to the sugar now that nectar is getting harder to find

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 3 Feral Pigeon (1 group)
- 6 Wood Pigeons only
- 1 Jackdaw
- 2 Rooks
- 4 Ravens
- 1 Pied Wagtail

Hirundines etc. seen here today
- 11 Barn Swallows (3 groups)

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

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 2 Canada Geese again
- 9 (5♂) Mallard
- 8 (4♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron
- 6 + 6 (3 broods) Great Crested Grebes again
- 7 + 1 juvenile Moorhens
- 58 + 6 juvenile Coots
- c.100 Black-headed Gulls
- >80 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- >35 Herring Gulls
- 2 Yellow-legged Gulls (see notes)

At one stage there were no fewer than 6 Buzzards together over the W end of the lake. Here is one of them.

And in dramatic pose. Glad I am not potential prey.

Pulling away and calling.

And getting ready to power away.

A slightly less scruffy bird.

Bit of an altercation here: a juvenile Herring Gull lands on top of another while a third shouts encouragement.

Seemed to be a lot of quarrelling going on this morning. Most of the lake was empty but they all wanted the same spots.

Compare and contrast time: a 1st winter Lesser Black-backed Gull.

While this is a 1st winter Black-headed Gull.

And an adult from below.

Need to concentrate hard on where you are landing when many of your feathers are a mess. This adult Black-headed Gull does just that.

This seems a good candidate for a 1st year Yellow-legged Gull. Darker than any Herring Gull but the greater coverts much paler than the secondary tips and with quite a prominent ‘window’ made by the paler inner primaries. Many, but not all, immatures of this species would show a whiter head than is typical immature Lesser Black-backed or Herring Gulls.

The same bird showing typically coarsely-marked flanks, though ....

... that effect is rather light-dependent.

The upperwing of a typical same-age Lesser Black-backed Gull. On the better lit left wing we see the dark greater coverts and the lack of ‘window’.

This is a different bird and I would like to have seen it in flight. The very coarse markings and the prominent pale edging is unusual. The large all-black bill shows a very obvious gonydeal angle (on the underside of the lower mandible). And here we can see straight through the nostril! My vote would again be Yellow-legged Gull, a juvenile yet to moult to 1st winter.

The nearest we got to an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull this morning. Note the dark in the tail, black on the bill and slight contrast between the inner wing and the mantle. None of these would feature in a full adult.

As a ‘now for something completely different’: just a Speckled Wood butterfly.

More work on the school grounds: here the ‘open’ playing field used for football, cricket and a running track by the Academy. Open for the public use to exercise dogs as well outside school use. Not sure what this is all about – draining the water has always been a problem here and during the building work they had to redo the drainage. Time will tell.

(Ed Wilson)

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

Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake

Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake

Common Sandpiper
(John Isherwood)

Nedge Hill
2 Yellow Wagtails
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake

Spotted Flycatcher
(Ed Wilson)