28 Jul 17

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

12.5°C > 15.0°C: Variable cloud with passing light rain showers. Light / moderate SW wind. Very good visibility

Sunrise: 05:22 BST

Priorslee Lake: 04:30 – 06:05 // 06:55 – 08:25

(85th visit of the year)

Notes from today:
- the two Grey Herons were, unusually, happy with each other’s company
- another adult Great Crested Grebes today. One of the two well-grown juveniles was seen flying today and these two spent only a limited time together
- now 2 Common Sandpipers
- no sign of the Common Terns today
- the Sand Martin seemed to fly out of the NW reed bed – had it been roosting here?
- party of c.26 House Martins high over estate to NW of lake
- Kingfisher seen several times and on at least one occasion carrying food
- juvenile Grey Wagtail seen again
- 4 pipistrelle-type bats seen
- a Leiobunum rotundum (a harvestman) on the lamps
- a few Pearl Veneer (Agriphila straminella) grass moths flushed
- possible ID for a dagger fly as Empis nigritarsis
- Episyrphus balteatus (Marmalade hoverfly) the only hoverfly logged
- Water Mint (Mentha aquatica) flowers seen for first time this morning – the smell of the plant has been obvious for some days

On with the bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake:
- 45 Greylag Geese (1 group) outbound
- 57 Canada Geese (5 groups) all outbound
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 29 Wood Pigeons

Hirundine etc. seen
- 1 Sand Martin (see notes)
- 3 Barn Swallows
- c.26 House Martins

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 6 (1) Chiffchaffs
- 3 (1) Blackcaps
- 4 (0) Common Whitethroats
- 4 (0) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 1 Canada Goose
- 25 (?♂) Mallard
- 4 (0♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Grey Herons
- 7 + 6 (2 broods) Great Crested Grebes (see notes)
- 7 + 2 (2 broods) Moorhens
- 39 + 9 (7 broods) Coots
- 2 Common Sandpipers
- >100 (>7 juvenile) Black-headed Gulls

The sunrise today: looked a bit threatening as well it might with showers on the way ahead of rain in the evening.

Another view complete with many black dots – these are all Black-headed Gulls arriving.

This Grey Heron – standing behind one of the boating platforms – has just had a good shake and it now about to rearrange its feathers.

The Great Crested Grebe family growing up.

One of the Common Sandpipers present: this is an adult – a juvenile would show more extensive pale fringes to its feathers.

A Black-headed Gull showing extensive wing-moult. As gulls moult from the first (inner primary) we see that only the outer primaries remain to be replaced, all the other primaries are regrowing. The secondaries moult the ‘other’ way – from the outer to the inner – hence the ‘gap’ mid-wing.

A juvenile Common Whitethroat – note the white on the mantle. Otherwise juveniles and immatures are hard to separate from females (and many males!).

Another view: most males would show a more distinct eye-ring and a reddish iris.

After several at The Flash yesterday here is a Leiobunum rotundum (a harvestman) at the lake – at least I think it is: the palps look rather longer than any image I can find on the web.

This is a Tetragnatha spider: the exact species requires detailed examination under a microscope: likely Tetragnatha montana.

This seems to be the dagger fly Empis nigritarsis. I am somewhat perplexed though that the body looks ‘waisted’ like a wasp sp. so this must be regarded as a provisional ID.

This is Greater (or Large) Bird's-foot-trefoil (Lotus pedunculatus). My first record of this plant here.

Another view of the same plant.

These are the flowers of Water Mint (Mentha aquatica)

Between the lake and The Flash alongside the path
- adult and juvenile Moorhens alongside the upper pool
- no warblers heard here today

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 06:10 – 06:45

(66th visit of the year)

The water seemed much higher than recent days here

Notes from here
- cob Swan and cygnets not seen today
- Mallard ducklings not seen today again

Birds noted flying over
- 3 Feral Pigeons
- 5 Wood Pigeons
- 2 Goldfinches

Hirundine etc. noted

Warblers noted
- 1 Chiffchaff

The counts from the water
- 1 Mute Swan
- 9 Greylag Geese
- 63 Canada Geese
- 1 white feral goose
- 15 (12♂) Mallard
- 4 (1♂?) Tufted Duck
- 2 + 3 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes again
- 1 Grey Heron again
- 2 + 1 (1 brood) Moorhens
- 10 + 4 (2 broods) Coots only

(Ed Wilson)

On this day..........
Priorslee Lake
Grasshopper Warbler
(John Isherwood)

Nedge Hill
17 Mistle Thrush including several juveniles 
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake
2 Common Terns
(Ed Wilson)