19 Oct 17

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

9.5°C > 11.0°C: Low cloud and mist. Light / moderate SE breeze. Moderate / poor visibility

Sunrise: 07:40 BST

Priorslee Lake: 06:50 – 09:10

(123rd visit of the year)

Notes from today:
- the cygnets did their usual figure-of-eight flight. Later the whole family went for a short flight together
- yesterday’s Eurasian Wigeon gone
- now 4 drake and 3 duck Gadwall
- a Song Thrushes had a quiet sing the morning
- just 2 examples of the November Moth group on the lamps

Another flowering plant I missed from Sunday’s ‘mid-month’ hunt
- Wild Angelica (Angelica sylvestris)

On with today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake: (all totals affected by low cloud / restricted visibility)
- 35 Canada Geese (3 groups outbound)
- 16 Wood Pigeons
- c.620 Jackdaws
- 2 Rooks again
- 6 Pied Wagtails
- 1 Meadow Pipit
- 16 Redwings (3 groups)
- 1 Chaffinch
- 1 Greenfinch
- 17 Goldfinches (2 groups)
- 2 Linnets

Warblers seen or heard today

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans as usual
- 7 (4♂) Gadwall
- 16 (8♂) Mallard
- 31 (16♂) Tufted Ducks
- 5 + 3 Great Crested Grebes
- 8 Moorhens
- 136 Coots
- c.100 Black-headed Gulls
- 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Kingfisher

Not helpful conditions for photography this morning. This I identified as Wild Angelica (Angelica sylvestris). Usually a much more robust plant, no doubt this one is suffering by being very much ‘end of season’. Clues to it not being Common Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium) are the lack of larger petals on the outer-most flowers in each umbel; the spreading nature of the ‘head’; and the toothed leaflets. Lesser Water-parsnip (Berula erecta) is very similar but almost always grows with its feet in water at the edges of lakes and rivers. It also flowers in Spring and early Summer.

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 09:15 – 09:45

(90th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- almost all the geese must have still been out in the fields
- at least 10 Blackbirds in the hawthorns near The Priorslee pub

Bird noted flying over
- 2 Wood Pigeons

Warblers noted

The counts from the water
- 2 + 2 Mute Swans
- 2 Canada Geese only
- 1 white feral goose again
- 30 (21♂) Mallard
- 51 (21♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Great Crested Grebes again
- 5 Moorhens again
- 10 Coots again
- 14 Black-headed Gulls

(Ed Wilson)

On this day..........
Priorslee Lake
63 Mute Swan
7 Wigeon
14 Pochard
26 Tufted Duck
c.600 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
6 Herring Gull
1 Yellow Legged Gull
27 Redwings
3 Fieldfare
2 Willow Tits
(Mike Cooper / Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
>100 Tufted Duck
2 Water Rail
107 Redwings
176 Fieldfare 
19 Siskins
4 Sky Larks 
3 Meadow Pipits 
2 Redpolls
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
2 Shoveler
37 Redwing
1 Fieldfare
250+ Starlings in the roost
11 Pochard
48 Tufted Duck
202 Coot
5 Moorhen
(Ed Wilson)

18 Oct 17

Priorslee Lake: then Trench Lock Pool and Trench Middle Pool

6.5°C > 11.5°C: Clear start very soon gave way to lowering cloud from the S. Calm start with light SE breeze later. Good visibility

Sunrise: 07:40 BST

Priorslee Lake: 06:35 – 09:40

(122nd visit of the year)

Today’s frustration was what sounded like a falcon sp. calling at the W end c.07:00. Did not sound quite right for Kestrel (seen several times in the area recently); or for Peregrine. So ....? Pass

Other notes from today:
- just a lone goose overhead: 1 Greylag
- a new Eurasian Wigeon: a duck this time
- a 3rd drake Gadwall. The duck was certainly making her feelings felt about which male she preferred
- two Cormorants over: the two birds that arrived did so much later
- the Water Rail was seen near the Wesley Brook bridge this morning
- rather few Wood Pigeons seen until I noticed a migrant group of 72 birds flying S far to the W. Did not see any more large groups here – but see notes from Trench Lock Pool
- two concurrent large parties of Jackdaws, each with at least 350 birds. Over 150 in smaller groups later
- 1 Chiffchaff heard in the calmer conditions today
- first large party of Starlings on the season with a groups of >120 flying S
- several Redwings were calling from the tree-tops as I arrived: first of the season in the trees
- the flying Pied Wagtails were headed in several different directions today: normally they go mainly S
- no fewer than 11 examples of the November Moth group on the lamps

On with today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake:
- 1 Greylag Goose (inbound)
- 2 Cormorants
- 2 Common Buzzards again
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 120 Wood Pigeons
- c.850 Jackdaws only
- 2 Rooks
- c.120 Starlings (1 group)
- 11 Pied Wagtails
- 3 Meadow Pipits
- 30 Redwings (4 groups)
- 4 Greenfinches
- 21 Goldfinches (1 group)
- 2 Siskins


Warblers seen or heard today
- 1 (0) Chiffchaff

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 1 (0♂) Eurasian Wigeon
- 4 (3♂) Gadwall
- 26 > 11 (6♂) Mallard
- 31 (15♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Cormorants
- 2 Grey Herons
- 6 + 3 Great Crested Grebes again
- 1 Water Rail seen
- 6 Moorhens
- 120 Coots
- >150 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 1 Kingfisher

The new duck Eurasian Wigeon kept its distance so a ‘record shot’ of it dribbling is all I could manage.

Hmm: there seems to be a reason why it was dribbling as it appears to have something in its bill – fishing line? I hope not.

The Black-headed Gulls like to sit on the lamp brackets. Can’t be to warm their feet as not only are the lights off, but all the heads have been replaced with new LED arrays which run ‘cold’.

I won’t bore you with all 11 November Moth-types that were at the lake this morning (with another 6 at Trench Lock). Here are two in close company.
(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 09:50 – 10:25 // 11:00 – 11:10

(27th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- lower numbers of Mallard both here and at Middle Pool this week
- last week’s sad-looking Lesser Black-backed Gull had succumbed: a floating dead body
- party of at least 280 Wood Pigeons flew W with parties of 26 and 23 chasing: my largest-ever count here
- 1 Grey Wagtail again
- 3 Redwings over (with one of the Wood Pigeon parties) were my first of the year here
- the 2 Meadow Pipits over were also my first of the year here
- 6 November Moth-types on the walls of the Blue Pig pub

Birds noted flying over here [apart from the local Wood Pigeons and Jackdaws coming and going]
- >330 Wood Pigeons
- 3 Redwings
- 2 Meadow Pipits

Hirundines or warblers logged

The counts from the water
- 1 + 7 Mute Swans again
- 2 Canada Geese
- 11 (6♂) Mallards
- 1 (1♂) ‘feralMallard again
- 18 (5♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 juvenile Great Crested Grebe only
- 5 Moorhens
- 116 Coots again
- 22 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 dead Lesser Black-backed Gull

This pair of Tufted Duck went for a fly-around: the drake in front with the cleaner white flanks.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Middle Pool: 10:30 – 10:55

(23rd visit of the year)

- neither of the recent juvenile Great Crested Grebes noted
- 1 Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus)
- 1 Bank Vole (Clethrionomys glareolus): seen briefly but fairly certain it was this species: my first here

Birds noted flying over here
- 1 Sparrowhawk
- 2 Jackdaws
- 2 Goldfinches

Warblers noted

The counts from the water
- 2 + 5 Mute Swans
- 53 Canada Geese
- 17 (11♂) Mallard
- [no ‘feral’ Mallards]
- 6 (2♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 Cormorant
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 13 Moorhens
- 34 Coots
- 36 Black-headed Gulls

Through the binoculars I was not entirely positive that these two Great Crested Grebes were adults – was the slight mark on the cheeks: shadow or remnant juvenile stripes? The photo shows they are both adults, now without the breeding season head-plumes.
They even had a few thoughts of displaying: but didn’t.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day..........
Priorslee Lake
992 Redwings
203 Fieldfare
6 Pochard
c.150 Tufted Duck
Water Rail
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
18 Pochard
98 Tufted Ducks
1 duck Goldeneye
1 drake Ruddy Duck
1 Kingfisher
20 Pied Wagtails
18 Wrens
46 Robin
20 Blackbirds
6 Song Thrushes
42 Redwings
1 Chiffchaff
12 Starlings
52 Greenfinches
9 Goldfinches
2 Siskins
(Ed Wilson)

17 Oct 17

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

11.0°C > 12.5°C: Areas of cloud with good clear spells. A very light shower. Fresh SW wind fell away somewhat for a while. Very good visibility to start then rather hazy

Sunrise: 07:38 BST

Priorslee Lake: 07:05 – 09:30

(121st visit of the year)

I had hoped the gales might have blown something in:, instead it seemed to have blown them out – no Wigeon; fewer Mallard; no Pochard; and a reduced number of Coots

The winds had broken a few small branches: no real damage

A good variety of fly-overs but no real sign of movement apart from two parties of c.50 Wood Pigeons that seemed to be setting off S from trees to the N of the lake (the other Wood Pigeon fly-overs were the usual singles, small groups mainly heading E or W)

Other notes from today:
- an adult Mute Swan dropped in at 07:30: by 08:00 it took the hint. The cygnets seemed to enjoy the sport of helping their parents chase it away and did a lot of flying about
- two recounts failed to improve on the lower Coot numbers
- the only Grey Heron seen today was a fly-by
- the Water Rail was heard from the NW area today – which was where I was sheltering from the wind
- no Chiffchaffs seen or heard today
- Blackbirds and especially Song Thrushes were gorging on Dogwood berries this morning
- of course having noted yesterday that no Pied Wagtails had been on the ‘football field’ recently there were two this morning
- one of the Meadow Pipits logged as flying over was so low it seemed it must have come from the ground close to where I was. As there was no suitable habitat in the area it is presumed it came low looking for somewhere to land and then decided to carry on
- a lone Siskin and then a party of 6
- a Reed Bunting leaving a roost at the W end reeds this morning
- one of the November Moth group on a lamp
- the same(?) Earwig sp. (likely Forficula auricularia) in the same place on the same lamp as yesterday

On with today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake:
- 2 Greylag Geese (outbound)
- 62 Canada Geese (8 outbound; 54 inbound)
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 Sparrowhawks
- 2 Common Buzzards
- 1 (Common) Kestrel
- 9 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 180 Wood Pigeons
- c.600 Jackdaws only
- 3 Rooks
- 2 Ravens yet again
- 3 Skylarks (singles)
- 8 Starlings (3 groups)
- 6 Pied Wagtails
- 2 Meadow Pipits
- 19 Redwings (4 groups)
- 3 Chaffinches
- 2 Greenfinches
- 23 Goldfinches (3 groups)
- 7 Siskins
- 2 Lesser Redpolls (singles)


Warblers seen or heard today

The counts from the lake area
- 3 + 3 Mute Swans
- 3 (2♂) Gadwall remain
- 14 (7♂) Mallard
- 26 (11♂) Tufted Ducks
- 6 + 3 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Water Rail heard
- 4 Moorhens
- 124 Coots
- c.175 Black-headed Gulls
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

The sunrise this morning after yesterday’s gales. We’ve lost the red sun caused by the smoke from the fires in Portugal and / or the dust from the Sahara and a rather fresh morning.

The ‘extra’ Mute Swan on a flight to escape the attentions of the residents. The right leg at least seems to be unringed.

A not-very-elegant landing as one of the cygnets joins the chase.

THIS is how it should be done: the ‘extra’ bird tries to settle again.

The bent neck is presumably to try and get the centre of gravity back from a slight skew.

‘Do you want us to give chase again?’ seems to be the question the cygnets are asking.

Here’s dad at full-chat.

‘Clear off.’

‘I’m going’ .. no.

... ‘really’. No rings on either leg.

Better have a preen after all that flying about.

I have noted several times Jays ferrying acorns to bury them for winter. Here is proof. Jays have been shown to have very good spatial awareness and memory and they are able to remember where they buried them.

Another of the November Moth agg. group. Here with the underwing protruding at rest and the rather more rounded shoulders suggesting a female even if it usually males that are plainly marked like this.
(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 09:35 – 10:25

(89th visit of the year)

Notes from here
- many of the Greylag Geese had disappeared inside the island before I arrived: likely more than I could see were present
- an unusual group of 36 Jackdaws flying S, with some taking time-off to harass a Common Buzzard (2 singles later)
- 2 Red Admirals on the ivy
- the regular Tapered Drone Flies (Eristalis pertinax) as well
- a digger wasp sp., probably Ectemnius cephalotes also on the Ivy

Birds noted flying over
- 1 Common Buzzard
- 5 Wood Pigeons
- 38 Jackdaws
- 1 Pied Wagtail
- 2 Skylarks again
- 1 Goldfinch

Warblers noted

The counts from the water
- 2 + 2 Mute Swans
- >60 Greylag Geese
- 96 Canada Geese
- 1 white feral goose again
- 29 (20♂) Mallard
- 45 (24♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 5 Moorhens
- 10 Coots
- 31 Black-headed Gulls

Two Canada Geese with undercarriage down (or should that be floats down?) for the landing.

Three more still to lower their undercarriage. One unable to keep its mouth shut ....

... just like this one.

Here we see a party of 28 Jackdaws (and one stray) just as they broke away from harassing the Buzzard in the bottom left. Unusual behaviour and I do not often see sizeable groups of Jackdaws while I am at The Flash.

Something different on the Ivy today: this seems to be the digger wasp Ectemnius cephalotes – it has no vernacular name. Most digger wasps dig in sand, but the females of this species make a nest in soft dead wood in to which they bore holes. In each they places up to a dozen prey items. They have injected their eggs in to the prey beforehand. Several females may use the same nest.

A slightly different view of the typical wasp markings. A new species for me.

Rubbing its back legs together showing the pale tibia of the Tapered Drone Fly (Eristalis pertinax).

Such a dramatic shot I decided to include another Red Admiral butterfly, tongue right in the small Ivy flower to get at the nectar.

Anything you can do I can do ... a Tapered Drone Fly drinking the Ivy nectar.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day..........
Priorslee Lake
1 Shoveler
3 Wigeon
12 Pochard
1 Little Grebe
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake
182 Wood Pigeons
10 Sky Larks
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
16 Pochard
84 Tufted Ducks
1 Ruddy Duck
1 Kingfisher
21 Wrens
11 Dunnocks
38 Robins
22 Blackbirds
9 Song Thrushes
139 Redwings
30 Starlings
3 Redpolls
(Ed Wilson)

16 Oct 17

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

14.5°C > 16.0°C: Very low cloud to start yet again. Cleared to a rather hazy and angry-looking sun after c.07:30. Brisk SE wind fell away for a while before increasing SW wind ahead of the remnant of hurricane Ophelia. Poor to moderate visibility

Sunrise: 07:36 BST

Priorslee Lake: 06:40 – 09:30

(120th visit of the year)

Most frustrating were the 4 finch-type birds that flew W over the dam at 08:50. In the last few days there has been, in relative terms, and invasion of Hawfinches in our area so I had ‘mugged up’ on their flight calls from the xeno-canto web site. I last saw this species in Japan in February but have only ever seen one in he UK. The overhead calls sounded good but Hawfinch is a large finch – rather thick-set and short-tailed. Try as I might I cannot convince myself Hawfinches was what I saw. What they were though is hard to say

Other notes from today:
- in addition to the geese logged as outbound and inbound 23 Canada Geese dropped in for 30 minutes at 07:00 on their way out; and then 2 Canada Geese dropped in on their way back
- the extra drake Gadwall still here
- 4 Wigeon today with one very smart drake and three ducks: the recent long-staying drake was not located
- no fewer than 26 Mallard flew off, slightly later than usual and with sufficient light to enable me to check that 11 more were still on the water. Later what were likely some of the early departing birds returned
- a pair of Pochard were new in and my first of the winter
- no Grey Herons seen today
- the Water Rail was heard from the S side yet again
- a tight party of 33 Wood Pigeons headed off high S and seemed likely migrants
- the Great Spotted Woodpecker flew N at great height and I doubt was one of the local birds
- no big group of Jackdaws was noted this morning: perhaps unseen in the rather poor visibility?
- three different Chiffchaffs calling today
- a Reed Bunting calling pre-dawn from the S side reeds was my first for several weeks
- just an Earwig sp. (likely Forficula auricularia) on the lamps
- now several clusters of probable Honey Fungus (Armillaria mellea) on a dead stump
As a comment I have seen very few Crane Flies (Daddy Longlegs) so far this Autumn

One flowering plant I missed from yesterday’s ‘mid-month’ hunt
- Dandelion sp. (probably Taraxacum officinale)

On with today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake:
- 55 Canada Geese (4 outbound; 51 inbound)
- 1 Sparrowhawk
- 1 Common Buzzard
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Stock Dove
- 71 Wood Pigeons
- 1 Great Spotted Woodpecker (see notes)
- 174 Jackdaws only
- 7 Rooks
- 2 Ravens again
- 7 Starlings (1 group)
- 15 Pied Wagtails
- 3 Meadow Pipits
- 17 Redwings (3 groups)
- 3 Greenfinches
- 19 Goldfinches
- 4 Lesser Redpolls


Warblers seen or heard today
- 3 (0) Chiffchaff again

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 3 (2♂) Gadwall again
- 4 (1♂) Eurasian Wigeon (see notes)
- 37 > 11 (5♂) Mallard
- 2 (1♂) Pochard
- 24 (12♂) Tufted Ducks
- 6 + 4 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Water Rail heard
- 6 Moorhens
- 151 Coots
- c.220 Black-headed Gulls
- 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull
- 1 Kingfisher

The rather angry-looking sky after the low cloud had cleared.

And another view later.

Three of the four Wigeon today: the only male, in the middle here, looks much smarter than the bird that has been on the lake for the last two weeks (but was not seen today).

The drake Pochard this morning.

And here is the duck: she can be separated from a first-winter male because a narrow white line extends back behind the eye. Pochard are typically rather shy and difficult to approach, especially when they first arrive.

Another ‘compare and contrast’: a 3rd winter Lesser Black-backed Gull (rather blotchy upper wings with just a hint of black in the tail tip) and a 2nd winter Lesser Black-backed Gull (a black tail tip but an unspotted rump).

And here is a 3rd winter Lesser Black-backed Gull (the hint of black in the tail but not a solid band).

The 2nd winter Lesser Black-backed Gull at rest: some uniform grey feathers on the back tell us the age of a bird in this position and we cannot see the rump and tail pattern.

Rather more light this morning and the Honey Fungus in more natural light.

... and it was also possible to see the stems as well.

This shows the difference between ‘natural’ light and ....

... ‘flash’ light.

Another clump of fungus that I did not notice yesterday.

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 09:35 – 10:30

(88th visit of the year)

A good morning for fly-overs here

Notes from here
- in addition to the fly-over Jackdaws one was, unusually, also seen on the roof of one of the houses
- yet another sighting of Kingfisher here
- as an added comment on the Red Admiral flying strongly S across the water I note that I was at Aqualate Mere yesterday, just across the border in Staffordshire, and a steady stream of butterflies was seen heading S. It is now known that while many Red Admirals find warm places to hibernate, many more ‘reverse migrate’ and return S to the Mediterranean basin

Bird noted flying over
- 36 Wood Pigeons
- 6 Jackdaws
- 2 Skylarks
- 2 Redwings
- 3 Chaffinches
- 2 Goldfinches
- 3 Siskins
- 1 Lesser Redpoll

Also noted flying over
- 1 Red Admiral

Warblers noted

The counts from the water
- 2 + 2 Mute Swans
- 109 Greylag Geese
- 59 Canada Geese
- 1 white feral goose
- 28 (18♂) Mallard
- 32 (16♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Great Crested Grebes still
- 7 Moorhens
- 8 Coots
- 32 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Kingfisher

We think of Carrion Crows as being black. This is basically true but some birds show some white flecking as we see here. It is usually most noticeable when the bird flies. Several birds around The Flash show flecking similar to this: it does seem to be genetic.
(Ed Wilson)

On this day..........
Priorslee Lake
150+ Tufted Duck
5 Pochard
(Mike Cooper)

Priorslee Lake
10 Cormorants
15 Pochard
87 Tufted Ducks
34 Robins
8 Song Thrushes
9 Redwings
3 Redpolls
(Ed Wilson)

15 Oct 17

Priorslee Lake only

13.5°C > 15.0°C: Low cloud again: some breaks appeared later, not amounting to much. Light / moderate SW wind. Moderate visibility. Less mild.

Sunrise: 07:35 BST

Priorslee Lake: 06:40 – 09:50

(119th visit of the year)

Another rather quiet day

Notes from today:
- the cygnet test-flight was two laps this morning and they proved adept at both left- and right-hand turns
- an extra drake Gadwall (back again?)
- the Water Rail was heard from the S side again so I assume there are two different birds
- there had been very few Wood Pigeons overhead until I was about to leave when 36 birds flew W together. These were not migrants as many pitched in to the trees around the Priorslee estate
- a huge swirling group of Jackdaws contained at least 500 birds. It followed the first group of just 48 birds that came from a very different direction – to the WNW rather than the N. No idea what that was all about
- today’s Chiffchaff was rather more sedentary and vocal than yesterday’s fast-moving bird
- I heard many more Pied Wagtails than I logged flying over: I eventually concluded that they were calling from the ground in the Ricoh area. There has been none on the ‘football field’ for several days
- nothing on the lamps
- a hawker-type dragonfly was late in the season: likely a Migrant Hawker
- a Scorpion Fly (Panorpa communis) was on the roof of my car when I returned to it
- just 1 Grey Squirrel today
- a cluster of fungus on a dead stump that I think is Honey Fungus (Armillaria mellea)

With little flying over and as it is now mid-month I decided to check the plants still in flower. To say that most were past their prime would be an understatement but at least 29 is a really astonishing number for this date, a reflection of there having been no real frost to date. I should issue a caveat that I am new to plant identification and there are many pitfalls and misidentifications possible. If you have any thoughts please pass them back to me
- White Clover (Trifolium repens)
- Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
- Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus agg.) – flowers as well as fruit
- two species of hawkweed including Hieraceum brittanicum
- Common Hogweed (Heracleum sphondylium)
- Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
- Common Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris)
- Oxford Ragwort (Senecio squalidus)
- Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca)
- Convolvulus sp. probably Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)
- Daisy (Bellis perennis)
- Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum)
- Red Valerian (Valeriana officinalis)
- Scentless Mayweed (Tripleurospermum inodorum)
- Meadowsweet / Mead Wort (Filipendula ulmaria)
- Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus acris)
- Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens)
- Wood Avens (Geum urbanum)
- Dwarf Thistle (Cirsium acaule)
- Perennial Sow-thistle (Sonchus arvensis)
- Red Deadnettle (Lamium purpureum)
- Creeping Thistle (Cirsium arvense)
- Water Forget-me-not (Myositis palustris)
- Broad-leaved Willow-herb (Epilobium montanum)
- Red Campion (Silene dioica or Melandrium rubrum)
- Hemp-agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum)
- Shaggy Soldier (Galinsoga quadriradiata)
- Black Horehound (Ballota nigra)
- Common Groundsel (Senecio vulgaris)
- also around the yacht club dump / bonfire site was the garden escapes
- Montbretia (Crocosmia sp.) – a native of southern Africa
- I did not generally log non-flowering plants but worthy of note
- Sun Spurge (Euphorbia helioscopa)
- the following plants were noted as in fruit
- Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)
- Crab Apple (Malus sylvestris)
- Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus agg.) [even a few edible fruits]
- Snowberry (Symphoricarpos sp. probably S. albus)
- Blackthorn [Sloe] (Prunus spinosa)
- Guelder Rose (Viburnum opulus)
- dogwood sp. likely Red-osier Dogwood (Cornus sericea)
- Wall Cotoneaster (Cotoneaster horizontalis)
- Spindle-tree (Euonymus europaea)

On with today’s bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake:
- 57 Canada Geese (8 outbound; 49 inbound)
- 2 Common Buzzards again
- 1 Cormorant
- 23 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 64 Wood Pigeons
- >650 Jackdaws
- 2 Ravens
- 7 Starlings (2 groups)
- 3 Skylarks
- 11 Pied Wagtails
- 2 Chaffinches
- 2 Greenfinches
- 4 Goldfinches


Warblers seen or heard today
- 1 (0) Chiffchaff again

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 3 (2♂) Gadwall
- 1 (1♂) Eurasian Wigeon (15th day)
- 21 (12♂) Mallard
- 37 (14 ♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Grey Herons
- 5 + 5 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Water Rail heard yet again
- 5 Moorhens
- 159 Coots (see notes)
- >230 Black-headed Gulls

Not a great shot but here we see that in display BOTH Ravens are upside down (and the Black-headed Gull is the right way up!).

My plant hunt this morning found this. It looked sufficiently different from the fast-fading Common Ragwort (Jacobaea vulgaris) that I took its photo to allow ID. It is Oxford Ragwort (Senecio squalidus). This flowers later than Common Ragwort and can be identified by the black tips to flower bracts. Native to Sicily it escaped from the Oxford Botanic Gardens and is now widespread in the UK.

This flowers is completely new to me. It seems to be Shaggy Soldier (Galinsoga quadriradiata).

This was a surprise when it started flowering last week: all the other Broad-leaved Willow-herb (Epilobium montanum) plants are long-finished.

This is Hemp-agrimony (Eupatorium cannabinum) – apart from the dead leaf that is. Growing along the bank of the Wesley Brook I was unable to reach in a remove the offending leaf.

There are a number of similar species but this seems to be Scentless Mayweed (Tripleurospermum inodorum) growing at the edge of the ‘football field’.

After much research I now think this is Black Horehound (Ballota nigra). It is growing in an area where I have logged both Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) and Red Dead-nettle (Lamium purpureum). I now retire confused!

Not in flower but worth recording on this late date is Sun Spurge (Euphorbia helioscopa).

Not a species I had expected to see this late in the year. On the roof of my car when I returned was this Scorpion Fly (Panorpa communis).

These toadstools are, I think, Honey Fungus (Armillaria mellea). While recalling yesterday’s Sulphur Tuft (Hypholoma fasciculare) toadstools at The Flash these were much greyer in tone – it does not show well here as I had to use flash to get this photo and that has washed the colour out somewhat.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day..........
Priorslee lake
Today's Sightings Here

Nedge Hill 
2 Fieldfare
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake
2 Common Gulls
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
12 Pochard
87 Tufted Ducks
1 Kingfisher
23 Pied Wagtails
32 Robins
12 Blackbirds
8 Song Thrushes
11 Redwings
c.130 Starlings
(Ed Wilson)