3 Apr 17

Priorslee Lake: 05:46 – 08:58

2.5°C > 8.0°C: Fine, clear and frosty start with some mist over the lake again. Few thin high clouds. Very light wind. Very good visibility away from the low-level mist over the lake.

Sunrise: 06:40 BST

(47th visit of the year)

Rather quiet this morning not helped by the atmospherics making the road noise more intrusive than usual

Notes from today:
- it can depend when you take the counts with some species. My first attempt at Coots logged just 18 but I knew that was too low. When I tried again from the same spot a few minutes later – 27 easily visible
- Willow Tit still circling the lake calling away: 3rd year without a mate?
- single Hebrew Character moth on one of the lamps
- several ‘stretch’ spiders also on the lamps
- single Bee-Fly (Bombylius major) noted

Birds noted flying over the lake
- 2 Canada Geese (pair)
- 3 (2♂) Mallard
- 17 Wood Pigeons
- 364 Jackdaws (number of groups not recorded)
- 3 Rooks (singles)
- 2 Pied Wagtails again

Hirundine counts
- none

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 10 (10) Chiffchaffs
- 3 (3) Willow Warblers
- 5 (5) Blackcaps

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 2 (2♂) Mallard
- 8 (6♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Grey Herons again
- 6 Great Crested Grebes
- 8 Moorhens
- 27 Coots

Here is what the sunrise looked like at 06:00 this morning.

8 minutes later and the mist had started to rise in places.

A different view.

More mist rising now: almost all the ‘clouds’ are various aged vapour trails from the eastbound arrivals from North America.

A decaying vapour trail illustrates the turbulence in the upper atmosphere.

More mist and more arrivals. Thankfully for the passengers the reflection not a tree representation of the real thing.

Mist all cleared and a fine morning now.

A misty Great Crested Grebe in CLOSE UP.

A pair of silhouetted Great Crested Grebes.

Oh! The skill. The reflection bisecting the birds (OK – luck then).

A Sparrowhawk overhead. The barring on the throat tells us this is an adult – immatures are streaked. And the lack of rufous tones tells us this is the larger female. To complete the ID we can eliminate the (very unlikely) Goshawk as that species has more bars in the undertail.

These past two years singing Song Thrushes have been very reluctant to sing most dawn and provide a ‘wide-open’ photo. So we will have to make do with this close bird.

Anything a Song Thrush can do a Blackbird can do.

A Blue Tit in full cry.

“Are you pointing that at me?”

Another shot of a Chiffchaff in song. In this area there are currently three males singing where there is normally only one territory and they are all singing continually. However none of them is keeping still whilst doing so and all take time out for the occasional chase.

I thought these bright green leaves just opening would make a good subject. Looking at them now I cannot work out what species they are – Hawthorn? I was not prepared to find abundant wildlife!

Did I say “abundant wildlife”? This spider has lined up his victims.

Tucked up on the underside of one of the lamps was this Hebrew Character moth. This is an abundant moth which occurs across most of |Europe. I last recorded it here on 29 March 2014. The ‘Hebrew character’ part is pretty obvious, the mark resembling the Hebrew letter ‘nun’.

One of the ‘stretch’ spiders on the lamps, almost certainly a Common stretch-spider (Tetragnatha extensa).

This was supposed to be titled ‘hanging by a thread’ but for some reason the thread has not come out in the photo. I have got nowhere with ID-ing this spider not least because what I think we are looking at here is the underside and most guides are obviously focussed to the top-side.

Looks nasty but this Bee-Fly (Bombylius major) is harmless, the probe used solely to gather nectar. At least 4 years since I last recorded this early Spring flying insect.

A different angle. I well recall first seeing this species visiting Forget-me-not flowers in my then partner’s garden in Plymouth. She was wearing a dress with blue flowers printed on it and the Bee-fly seemed quite perplexed to be unable to get any nectar from it.
(Ed Wilson)

On this day in ...........
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
4 Great Crested Grebes
3 Cormorants
1 Grey Heron
2 Greylag Geese
9 Tufted Duck
c.30 Sand Martins
1 Swallow
4 Blackcaps
5 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
2 Great Crested Grebes
3 Greylag Geese
2 Common Teal
53 Tufted Ducks
2 Blackcap
4 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock Pool
4 Great Crested Grebes
23 Tufted Ducks
c.25 Sand Martins
2 Swallows
1 Blackcap
2 Chiffchaffs
1 Willow Warbler
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe 
4 Great Crested Grebe 
2 Gadwall 
32 Tufted Ducks 
75 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
41 Herring Gulls on the water.
(Ed Wilson)

Horsehay Pool
Hybrid Ring-billed x Lesser Black-backed Gull
(Martin Ryder)

Priorslee Lake
4 Great Crested Grebes 
2 Tufted Duck: both drakes this morning 
7 Blackcaps
14 Chiffchaffs
1 Willow Warbler
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Flash
4 Great Crested Grebes 
40 Tufted Duck 
7 Blackcaps
4 Chiffchaffs
2 Willow Warblers
1 Reed Bunting
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Pool
5 Tufted Duck 
2 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
3 Wheatear
(John Isherwood)

6 Tree Sparrow
(John Isherwood)

Nedge Hill
Male Common Redstart
4 Wheatear
(Martin and Ian Grant)

Priorslee Lake
1 Little Grebe
5 Great Crested Grebes
12 Tufted Ducks
2 Ruddy Ducks
2 Stock Doves
178 Wood Pigeons
1 Great Spotted Woodpecker
2 Sky Larks
3 Meadow Pipits
168 Sand Martins
1 House Martin
28 Wrens
29 Blackbirds
3 Blackcap
4 Willow Warblers
6 Chiffchaffs
2 Willow Tits
8 Greenfinches
4 Siskins
5 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson, Martin Grant)