28 May 17

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

14.0°C > 16.0°C: Broken mid-level cloud cleared away before puffy clouds increased. Light / moderate WNW wind. Very good visibility.

Sunrise: 04:55 BST

Priorslee Lake: 05:12 – 06:35 // 07:35 – 09:15

(67th visit of the year)

A male House Sparrow straying from the estate on to my recording area became my 93rd species at the lake this year
Juvenile Wren, Robin and Great Tits all seen this morning

Other notes from today:
- one of the drake Mallards is starting to acquire its dull ‘eclipse’ plumage
- at last some juvenile Coots. No idea why this has, so far, been a very poor year whereas last year produced a bumper number of juveniles fledging. Many of the adults this year seem to be more interested in fighting than nesting
- no sign of the Sedge Warbler today but yesterday it only sang briefly once then so perhaps busy breeding?
- had a good scout around for the Reed Warblers today and think 10 singing birds – hard to be sure exactly how many there are in some of the larger reed patches as the song source appears to move as birds turn their heads. Whatever the precise number it is higher than it was last year
- nothing on the lamps again
- >10 Silver-ground Carpet moths flushed from vegetation
- >20 Timothy Tortrix (Aphelia paleana) moths in the vegetation
- a Blood-vein moth found in the vegetation
- Common Blue, Azure and Blue-tailed Damselflies were new for me this year
- Black Snipe Fly (Chrysopilus cristatus) and another snipe fly Rhagio scolopaceus
- lurking Common stretch-spiders (Tetragnatha extensa)
- more new(ly identified) flowers noted this morning included
.... Early Marsh Orchid (Dactylorhiza incarnata)
.... Common Poppy (Papaver rhoeas)
.... White Dead-Nettle (Lamium album)
.... Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor)
.... Goat's-beard or Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon (Tragopogon sp.)
.... Woody Nightshade or Bittersweet (Solanum dulcamara)
.... Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus aggregate) flowers
.... Dogwood (Cornus sanguinea) flowers
.... Hedge Woundwort (Stachys sylvatica) [not quite in flower yet]
.... Spear Thistle (Cirsium vulgare) [also not quite in flower yet]
.... Smooth Sow-thistle or Milk Thistle (Sonchus oleraceus)
.... White Clover (Trifolium repens) [now found on the dam]

On with the bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake:
- 8 Canada Geese (1 group)
- 1 Cormorant
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls (1 group)
- 3 Wood Pigeons
- 2 Jackdaws
- 1 Raven

Hirundine etc. counts:
- 12 Swifts
- 2 Barn Swallows

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 8 (8) Chiffchaffs
- 1 (1) Willow Warblers again
- 14 (14) Blackcaps again
- 2 (2) Garden Warblers
- 2 (0) Common Whitethroats again
- 10 (10) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 5 Mute Swans
- 7 (4♂) + 4 (1 brood) Mallard
- 2 (1♂) Tufted Ducks
- 5 + 2 (1 brood?) Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Moorhens
- 24 + 3 (2 broods) Coots


The Flash: 06:45 – 07:30

(49th visit of the year)

A Reed Warbler singing at the W end was new for my 2017 site list: number 65 and my first here for two years. In 2015 a bird was heard on one day only so it will be interesting to see whether this one stays. They seem to use here only if the lake is ‘full’ and with at least 10 songsters there it may well be

Other notes from here
- the 7 cygnets seemed to be doing well: no-one I spoke to had seen more than this number when they first hatched
- 10 of the Canada Geese were wandering in the roadway to the W of the water
- there were apparently 3 Canada Goose goslings for a while with the cob Mute Swan noted chasing the parents. None remains
- no idea why so few Mallard
- with two pairs of Tufted Ducks still around it is possible that breeding may be attempted (there were also more lone drakes)
- possible juvenile Great Crested Grebe(s) on the back of one of the adults
- just 1 House Martin with a sizeable group of 14 Swifts
- Tree Creeper(s) heard again
- juvenile Great Tits heard

Birds noted flying over

Hirundine etc. counts
- 14 Swifts
- 1 House Martin only

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 2 (2) Chiffchaffs
- 3 (2) Blackcaps

The counts from the water
- 2 + 7 Mute Swans
- 36 Canada Geese
- the white feral goose has reappeared]
- 6 (6♂) Mallard only
- 8 (6♂) Tufted Duck
- 2 + ? Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Moorhen
- 18 + 4 (2 broods) Coots

Between the lake and The Flash alongside the path
- 2 drake Mallard on the lower pool
- a singing Blackcap, much nearer The Flash than usual

(Ed Wilson)

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

Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
2 Ruddy Ducks
(Martin Adlam)

Priorslee Lake
(Martin Adlam)