2 Jun 14

Priorslee Lake: 4:25am – 5:50am // 6:40am – 7:50am

12.0°C > 14.5°C. broken medium-level cloud: wind W 0 -> 2; moderate, later good visibility.

Most unexpected today was a Willow Warbler that gave 2 songs at the W end of the lake and was not seen or heard again. My first here since the end of Spring passage on 16 April.

(63rd visit of the year)

Party of 3 Cormorants overhead again.
The cob Swan still chasing the Canada Geese: he seems to single out one particular bird to chase and ignores the other five: why? All eventually departed.
The duck Mallard and her 8 ducklings present again today.
Tufted Ducks initially: 4 flew off with just 1 pair remaining.
One new brood of Moorhens.
Two broods of Coots again this morning.
1 first-summer Black-headed Gull dropped in and out a few minutes later.
3 single Lesser Black-backed Gulls over.
Again two short visits by parties of Swifts: c.25 birds in total.
Swallow and 5 House Martins very briefly: scanned the sky but still no sign of House Martins over the estate.
Mistle Thrushes flew W together suggesting successful breeding in the area. Later a bird was singing very strongly from the Ricoh copse and another was scolding in the same area. The same birds?
The Lesser Whitethroat again heard from the Castle Farm Interchange O-about.
Goldcrest singing around the Wesley Brook bridge for the 2nd day: no sign of their being a family.
3 family parties of Long-tailed Tits with juveniles.
Also a family party of Greenfinches.
Silver-ground Carpet moths flushed.
moths on the only operational street lamp along the Teece Drive extension and the footpath alongside the Ricoh hedge: a Common Marbled Carpet and a Green Pug: this latter species was new for me in Shropshire.
Field Short-tailed Voles heard fighting in the grass.
8 spikes of Early Marsh Orchid noted.
Moorhens have successfully bred at both pools between the lake and The Flash.
Another Common Marbled Carpet moth in the tunnel under Priorslee Avenue.

4 +4 (2 broods) Great Crested Grebes
Grey Heron
2 + 2 Swans
15 Canada Geese: 6 of these over
9 (5) + 8 (1 brood) Mallard
6 (4) Tufted Ducks
4 + 2 (1 brood) Moorhens
20 + 7 (2 broods) Coots
Black-headed Gull
Lesser Black-backed Gulls
c.25 Common Swifts
House Martins
6 (6) Song Thrushes
6 (6) Reed Warbler
1 (1) Lesser Whitethroat
6 (4) Common Whitethroat
1 (1) Garden Warbler
12 (10) Blackcaps
8 (8) Chiffchaffs
1 (1) Willow Warbler
Corvid roost dispersal: 78 Jackdaws and 75 Rooks
5 (3) Reed Buntings

Two for the price of one: two moths on the same street lamp. The lower is another Common Marbled Carpet: the upper a Green Pug. Just a feint green tinge – other than the emerald moths the green colours always fade very quickly on moths.

A Wood Pigeon constructing its nest: usually just a few twigs – enough to stop the eggs rolling away.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 6:00am – 6:35am

(54th visit of the year)

Of the 120 Canada Geese 44 flew off while I was present which give a lie to the idea that they congregate here while they are flightless during the wing moult. Also present was one dead bird – body looked undamaged by fox / dog / whatever.
1 pair of Tufted Ducks still present.
3 confirmed broods of Coot but some staying hidden.
No Blackcaps heard or seen today.
Common Marbled Carpet moth on the lamps here as well.

Great Crested Grebes
1 + 1 Swans
3 Greylag Geese
1 Cackling Goose
120 Canada Geese
The all-white feral goose
14 (12) Mallard
Only the white feral Mallard-type duck seen
2 (1) Tufted Ducks
8 +3 (2 broods) Coots
10 Common Swifts
House Martins
4 (4) Chiffchaffs

Although this looks very different from the specimen at Priorslee Lake above this too seems to be a Common Marbled Carpet moth.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 8:15am – 9:05am

(25th visit of the year)

One adult Great Crested Grebe still sitting on the nest.
1 Cormorant my first here since 20 January.
1 Grey Heron my first here since 23 January (and only my 2nd this year here).
The pen Swan is still on the nest.
The 5 Canada Geese goslings present again.
No Mallard ducklings seen: neither were the 2 resident feral Mallard.
A pair of Tufted Ducks again.
7 broods of Coots. 2 adults still sitting on nests.
A male Peregrine flew over: my 3rd record of this species here this year.
The Lesser Black-backed Gull with a damaged wing remains on the buoys but is starting its natural wing-moult and seems well able to fly.
Swifts and House Martins over the estate: on pair of Swifts seen mating on the wing.
2 Great Spotted Woodpeckers: my first of the year at this site. The long-time nest-site by the Blue Pig car park was lost when the tree blew down three winters ago. Looks like they have found a new site as one seen carrying food and calling.
Spotty juvenile Robins noted.
Also family party of Blackcaps.

The counts
4 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
1 Cormorant
1 Grey Heron
2 Swans
7 + 5 (1 brood) Canada Geese: 4 of these over
6 (6) Mallard
2 (1) Tufted Duck
2 Moorhens
36 + 21 (7 broods) Coots
2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
5 (2) Blackcaps
2 (2) Chiffchaffs

A Grey Heron surveys the scene. Still plenty of breeding plumes – aigrettes – visible.

... can do it on one leg if needed.

This is the long-term immature Lesser Black-backed Gull at Trench. Here the damaged left wing seems just to be missing some primaries and the outer secondaries seem to be new feathers with pale edges (or are they new inner primaries).

But note here how it is holding the wing as it flies – it looks bent at the carpal joint.

Here we can see that there are new feathers in the right wing also. Here they certainly look like inner primaries that are still growing as the secondaries look complete. There are obviously many more missing primaries on the left wing.

Here again we see the left wing being held at a slightly strange angle. This is presumably the reason the bird is staying here and reluctant to fly any distance.
(Ed Wilson)