20 Jul 14

Priorslee Lake: 4:33am – 6:15am // 7:20am – 9:02am

15.5°C..> 17.0°C.  Low overcast with moderate visibility: lifted and brightened for a while after 08:30. Light / moderate NW wind

Best this morning (and for some while) was the duck Common Scoter found amongst the gaggle of immature and post-breeding adults gathered in the middle of the lake. This species is by far the most common ‘sea duck’ to turn up inland on passage – Belvide Reservoir, just 12 miles E, has already logged several groups of post-breeding birds passage this year. But it is some years since I last recorded one in Shropshire.

A female Scoter (Ed Wilson)

(79th visit of the year)

Other notes
2 of the outbound Canada Geese stopped off at the lake but the cob Swan soon saw to that.
1 drake Tufted Duck amongst the Mallard as they emerged from their roost: it soon flew off.
Probable successful breeding by the Sparrowhawks again: it some while since I have seen any adults but two unseen birds of prey were begging in the usual breeding location of this species. They did not sound right for Buzzards; and I doubt two juvenile Buzzards would be so close together: I would expect the local Crows to have something to say about juvenile Buzzards on their patch but Crows have more respect for the agile and sharp-clawed Sparrowhawk and would probably leave them alone.
10 Swifts passed rapidly over early: later 2 more flew N.
A single House Martin was noteworthy only because they have been so scarce since the migrants passed through.
After weeks of almost no Pied Wagtails there were 9 over the lake this morning including a group of four (and there were 6 more over The Flash): just like winter!
The number of Song Thrushes I log seems to depend upon on how quickly I walk around first-thing: the birds sing only briefly and mostly pre-dawn at the moment.
Reed Warblers have successfully bred with several birds seen flying around in the reeds and also in the adjacent trees where adults are sometimes singing.
The corvids were some 40 minutes later than usual this morning and I may have missed some as I had given them up until a noisy group caught my attention an unseasonal fly-over Linnet.
1 Pipistrelle and 5 larger bats this morning.
Usual collection of insects once the sun started to break through with my first Large White of the year at this site.

3 + 3 (2 broods) Great Crested Grebes
1 Grey Heron
2 + 1 Swans
9 Greylag Geese outbound
6 Canada Geese outbound
21 (?) Mallard
1 (1) Tufted Duck flew off
1 (0) Common Scoter
2 + 3 (2 broods) Moorhens
50 Coots (see notes)
22 Black-headed Gulls arrived briefly
1 Lesser Black-backed and 2 Herring Gulls over
12 Common Swifts
1 House Martin
7 (7) Song Thrushes
10 (4) Reed Warblers
12 (9) Blackcaps
3 (2) Chiffchaff
Corvid roost dispersal: 116 Jackdaws and 42 Rooks

Another shot of the Common Scoter in amongst Common Coots – note that the plumage is superficially similar to the immature coot behind it, though the shape of the bird is very different.

I have no idea what this is: best guess is that it is a froghopper or leafhopper sp. with a damaged wing. When I tried to inspect it more closely it crawled away, but with a damaged wing it would not be able to hop.

Another of those confusing grass moths: this is rather easier as the very pale ground colour and minimal markings suggests either Agriphila straminella (Pearl Veneer) or Crambus perlella (Yellow Satin Veneer). I think the latter.
A fine Green-veined White posing for me.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 6:25am – 7:05am

(67th visit of the year)

I think we must assume the all-white feral Mallard has lost its mate – the large dark one not seen for some weeks now.
Reduction in number of Tufted Ducks.
Coots continue to confuse: of the two most recent broods there seems to be just 1 extant juvenile: yet around the island the gathering of post-breeding adults and immatures is producing more juveniles than ever.
Excellent count of House Martins (for this year anyway) with party of 11 over W side and then 8, apparently a different group, over the E side.
1 Common Footman moth on one of the street-lights was new for me this year.

2 + 1 Great Crested Grebes
1 Grey Heron
2 Swans
62 Greylag Geese
161 + 1 Canada Geese
The all-white feral goose
23 (20) + 5 (1 brood) Mallard
1 all-white feral Mallard
7 (6) Tufted Ducks
2 + 2 (2 broods) Moorhens
13 + 13 (? broods) Coots
19 House Martins
1 (1) Song Thrush
1 (1) Chiffchaff

This is a Common Footman moth.

(Ed Wilson)