9 May 14

Priorslee Lake: 4:30am – 6:10am // 7:05am – 8:00am // 11:45am – 11:50am

9.5°C > 11.5°C  variable, mainly broken cloud; fresh / strong WSW wind; good visibility.

Best today were
- a Lesser Whitethroat in more or less the usual place in the Ricoh hedge at the lake: only sub-singing as the hedge was buffeted by the strong wind, but good to record after its absence last year.

(53rd visit of the year)

All 12 Mallard ducklings present and correct.
The 3 Tufted Duck stayed only a few minutes and then headed off towards The Flash.
2 adult Black-headed Gulls in full summer plumage on buoys at 04:30: both flew off c.6:00am but 1 (or another) reappeared later.
The Swifts and hirundines in largest numbers when I stopped briefly on my way back from The Wrekin.
2 Reed Warblers in song today, one very intermittent though.
4 Common Whitethroats for sure today.
1 Pipistrelle pre-dawn.

2 Great Crested Grebes
1 Cormorant over
1 Grey Heron
2 Swans
10 Canada Geese over
7 (4) + 12 (2 broods) Mallard
3 (2) Tufted Duck
3 Moorhens
26 Coots
2 (3?) Black-headed Gulls
c.25 Common Swifts
4 Sand Martins
4 Barn Swallows
c.10 House Martin
12 (12) Song Thrushes again
1 (1) Sedge Warbler
2 (2) Reed Warbler
1 (1) Lesser Whitethroat
4 (4) Common Whitethroats
1 (1) Garden Warbler
10 (7) Blackcaps
7 (6) Chiffchaffs
140 Jackdaws and 10 Rooks in roost dispersal

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 6:20am – 6:55am

(47th visit of the year)

1 Great Crested Grebe only noted – the other on a nest at last?
No Coot juveniles seen: perhaps I was too early and they were still being brooded in their nests.

1 Great Crested Grebe
1 Heron
1 + 1 Swans
3 Greylag Geese over
45 Canada Geese
The all-white feral goose not seen
11 (11) Mallard
Both the all-white and mainly dark feral Mallard-type ducks seen
13 (8) Tufted Ducks
2 Moorhens
8 + 0 Coots
No gulls
6 (5) Blackcap
2 (2) Chiffchaffs

A fine flying Greylag Goose over The Flash 

(Ed Wilson)


The Wrekin: 8:15am – 11:40am

Best today were
- a successful visit to The Wrekin netted Wood Warbler for the year-list: at least 5 singing birds.

(5th visit of the year)

This was mainly to photograph Wood Warbler for the year but I completed my usual circuit over the top. Counts of singing warblers and other specialities are given below:

Other notes
At least 10 House Martins hawking insects along the lee side of the hill.
Both Green and Great Spotted Woodpeckers seen.
Apart from the abundant Blue and Great Tits only a single calling Marsh Tit was noted from the tit-families.
A family party of Treecreepers with at least 2 spotty juveniles.
1 Siskin heard singing near the summit and then seen flying off.
1 Redpoll flew over the summit.
1 White-pinion Spotted moth seen.
1 apparent Field Vole ran down the footpath toward me, but then thought better of it!

Counts of singing birds
6 Tree Pipits
3 Common Redstarts
7 Song Thrushes
1 Common Whitethroat
3 Garden Warblers
12 Blackcaps
5 Wood Warblers
6 Chiffchaffs
10 Willow Warblers
3 Goldcrests
7 Pied Flycatchers

A Wood Warbler in profile: note the strong face pattern, the pink bill, lemon-yellow on the throat, the clean white belly and the long wings.

and again from head-on.

and the obligatory mouth-open shot of a singing bird.

A ‘proper’ male Pied Flycatcher with twin ‘head-lights’ above the bill.

A Tree Pipit: not exactly the best shot but it does show that this species lacks the very long hind-claw that the Meadow Pipit uses to walk along the top of grass.

A female Great Spotted Woodpecker at work.

“are you shouting at me?”. A Tree Pipit in full song. Voice is by far the easiest was to separate this species from Meadow Pipit though that species would be unlikely to sing from the top of so large a tree. The width of the pale area running away from the underside of the gape is a clue. The whiter belly and buffier breast are other clues. This bird is in very fresh plumage with very bold white fringes to the greater and, especially, median coverts.

A wind-blown Chiffchaff struggles to hold on to rather a large wire in the strong wind.

(Ed Wilson)