16 Apr 17

Priorslee Lake

5.0°C > 9.0°C: Mostly clear to start with clouds building later. Moderate W wind. Very good visibility.

Sunrise: 06:10 BST

John Isherwood: 06:20
1 Little Ringed Plover on the dam wall
4 Common Sandpiper

Ed Wilson: 06:56 – 09:27

Still awash with Willow Warblers – 11 today. Still nothing much else new in: just 1 Common Sandpiper early; a few Barn Swallows passing; and a small party of Sand Martins again

(56th visit of the year)

Notes from today:
- low Coot numbers likely due to brooding birds hidden away in reeds
- 1 Common Sandpiper present when I arrived: not seen subsequently
- arrived long after the Jackdaws had passed over so very low totals as a result
- smaller gang of Sand Martins than recently. Up to 10 Barn Swallows seemed to be passing through rather than joining the ever-present Sand Martin group
- the fly-over Starling suggests bird(s) back nesting in the estate
- a Brindled Pug moth was on one of the lamps
- the bittercress here seems to be all Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta)
- Red Campion (Silene dioica or Melandrium rubrum) sprung into flower since yesterday
- first Herb Robert flowers
- first yellow tips of Marsh Marigold [aka Kingcup] (Caltha palustris) here – been at the sunny spots in the area over 10 days now
- Crab apple (Malus sylvestris) about to start flowering
- Bird Cherry (Prunus padus) identified in flower

Birds noted flying over the lake
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 3 Wood Pigeons only again
- 3 Jackdaws
- 1 Starling

Hirundine counts
- c.15 Sand Martins
- c.10 Barn Swallows

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 13 (10) Chiffchaffs
- 11 (11) Willow Warbler
- 12 (9) Blackcaps

The counts from the lake area
- 1 Mute Swan (other presumed on nest)
- 5 (4♂) Mallard
- 16 (10♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron
- 7 Great Crested Grebes again
- 4 Moorhens
- 15 Coots only
- 1 Common Sandpiper

It must be because this species is nesting that it is less ‘hyper’ – yesterday at The Flash and now at the lake a Long-tailed Tit has allowed itself to be photographed.

It even turned around for me.

Just occasionally Blackcaps will oblige and sit still and in the open long-enough to get a photo – at least until the leaves appear. A male with the black cap – brown-capped females seem to be already in to nest-building and calling from low-down in dense cover

Another Wren going for it!

Not to be outdone this one sang in the sunshine. This time of year is about the best for photographing Wrens as they will often use a perch for 5 or 6 bursts of song before diving off somewhere else – time-enough to get a few shots.


A very fine and fresh specimen of a male Orange-tip butterfly. It was tucked up out of the wind and sunning itself. Probably newly emerged. The females look like ‘whites’ – they are indeed in the same family – but at rest show a complex black and green pattern on the underside of the hindwing. Note the dew on the grass.

Not much to go on here with a rather washed-out specimen of a moth from the confusing ‘pug’ group. The mark in the centre of the forewing is about the only clue. I am fairly sure this is a Brindled Pug – a common-enough ‘early’ pug.

Yesterday this was the merest hint of a pink bud: today a proper Red Campion (Silene dioica or Melandrium rubrum) flower.

A different flower viewed head-on.

I said I would follow-up these flowers. Note the serrations on the leaf edge just visible. They are certainly not on any sort of rose ....

... this is the dense foliage of the shrub with rather pointed leaves. I think this is a Bird Cherry (Prunus padus). Cherry trees have a long history of cultivation and the origin of this as a shrub in the hedge between the footpath and Ricoh may well mean it is a cultivar.

Another trees / shrub about to flower – a Crab apple (Malus sylvestris)? Could also be a cultivar; a wild ‘cross’ with a local garden variety; or a throw-back growing from a long-discarded apple core.

I also followed up the Hairy / Wavy Bittercress photo from yesterday. Despite fairly extensive ‘gardening’ to expose as much as possible of the rosette of leaves at the base I am still not 100% confident but it seems likely to be Hairy Bittercress (Cardamine hirsuta).

Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum) is abundant around the lake: today I saw my first flower – a rather washed-out specimen in deep shade.

(Ed Wilson)


Nedge Hill: 07:10

16 Wheatear - horsefields, Naird Lane, Shaw Farm and Wyke

(John Isherwood)

On this day in ...........
Local Area
Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
3 Great Crested Grebes
1 Cormorant
2 Grey Herons
10 Tufted Duck
2 Common Sandpipers
6 Sand Martin
2 Swallow
11 Song Thrushes
11 Blackcaps
6 Chiffchaffs
2 Willow Warbler
112 Jackdaws
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
2 Great Crested Grebes
2 Cormorants
1 Grey Heron
4 Greylag Geese
25 Tufted Ducks
2 Blackcap
2 Chiffchaffs
2 Willow Warbler
(Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
6 Sky Lark
3 Meadow Pipit
5 Blackcap
3 Chiffchaffs
2 Linnets
1 Yellowhammer
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
1 Wheatear
2 Common Sandpiper
(John Isherwood)

East Priorslee
5 Wheatear
(John Isherwood)

Nedge Hill
3 Yellow Wagtails
Common Whitethroat
62 Wheatear
1 Fieldfare
3 Common Redstart 
Willow Warbler
2 Swallows
(Martin Grant, Ian Grant, John Isherwood)

Long Lane, Wellington
1 Little Ringed Plover
1 Ringed Plover
12 Lapwing
2 Stock Dove
4+ Skylark
5 Teal
(Martin Grant)

Nedge Hill
1 White Wagtail
1 Redstart
2 Wheatear
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake
1 Yellow Wagtail
(John Isherwood/ Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
1 Lesser Whitethroat
1 Whitethroat
15 Wheatear
2 Linnets
(John Isherwood, Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
2 Great Crested Grebes
9 Tufted Duck
1 Buzzard
25 Sand Martins
6 Swallows
3 Skylarks
2 Blackcaps
3 Chiffchaffs
3 Willow Warblers
1 Willow Tit
2 Jays
4 Linnets
1 Siskin
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
Common Sandpiper
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
4 Chiffchaff
5 Blackcap
1 Willow Warbler
1 Reed Bunting
8 Tufted Duck
(Martin Grant)

Priorslee Lake
4 Great Crested Grebes
1 Dabchick
2 Heron
4 Tufted Ducks
2 Ruddy Duck
7 Common Sandpiper
4 Swallow
3 Sand Martin
1 Kestrel1 Raven
2 Sky Lark
2 Grey Wagtail
2 Meadow Pipit
1 Wheatear
9 Chiffchaff
4 Willow Warbler
5 Blackcaps
1 Sedge Warbler.
5 Greenfinch
2 Siskin
1 Linnet
5 Reed Bunting.
(Martin Adlam, John Isherwood)