9 Jul 14

Priorslee Lake: 4:23am – 6:00am // 7:00am – 8:43am

12.5°C > 15.0°C. low stratus with a few breaks to the S: later cloud lifted somewhat. Moderate N wind. Good visibility.

(73rd visit of the year)

1 Cormorant fishing in the water: another flew over.
Certainly 3 Grey Herons this morning: as usual none stayed after c.7:00am.
No Black-headed Gulls present when I arrived; c.60, apparently all adults arrived (from ?) soon after, but these mostly flew straight through and eventually all to Ricoh area; much later 27 more (?) on the water, including at least 1 juvenile.
Small number of large gulls over: three single adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls stopped for a while.
First Swift arrived at 4:39am with 18 by 5:00am; all gone before 6:00am; later a single flew through.
Kingfisher again very noisy.
Another small corvid passage this morning: seems they skirted the low cloud over Telford, with some see VERY far to the E.
At least 2 of the 7 Bullfinches logged were my first confirmed juveniles this year.
At least 8 large bats this morning.
An Elophila nymphaeata (Brown China-mark) moth was flushed from the grass: it is my first Shropshire record of this species.
Various other moths flushed from the grass included Shaded Broad-bar, a Straw Dot as well as the usual grass moths. Rather odd was finding one forewing from a Brimstone Moth – where was the rest?
Despite the mainly overcast weather both Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies were about in some numbers
Elephant Hawk-moth still in the foot-tunnel under Priorslee Avenue but seems to be moribund: joined today by a Swallow-tailed Moth and two Eudonia sp's.,

Probably moth Eudonia mercurella (Small Grey)

4 + 3 (2 broods) Great Crested Grebes
2 Cormorants
3 Grey Herons
2 + 1 Swans
21 (17) Mallard
2 + 2 (2  broods) Moorhens
30 + 24 (9 broods) Coots
c.85 Black-headed Gulls
9 Lesser Black-backed Gull
18 Common Swifts
4 (4) Song Thrushes
5 (4) Reed Warblers
1 (1) Common Whitethroat
15 (10) Blackcaps
5 (4) Chiffchaffs
Corvid roost dispersal: just 72 Jackdaws and only 9 Rooks.

The best of a mainly cloudy morning.

A Swallow-tailed Moth outlined against one of the lights in the Priorslee tunnel.

These two moths, also outlined against the same light in the Priorslee tunnel, are probably both Eudonia lacustrata (sometimes Little Grey). Certainly the left-hand moth looks like this species: there are several very similar confusing species and the right-hand moth looks a bit like Eudonia mercurella (Small Grey). But it would seem more likely they are both the same species.

Lurking here is a Straw Dot moth.

We all get an itch at times: this adult Black-headed Gull has a good scratch.

This adult Black-headed Gull is beginning to lose the breeding hood: it always surprises me how quickly this happens – a matter of a couple of weeks, though of course not all birds will moult at exactly the same time so there will be an admixture well in to August.

Whose buoy is it anyway? A slight dispute among the Black-headed Gulls.

Where is the rest? this is clearly a forewing of a Brimstone Moth, but ...

This small moth is Elophila nymphaeata (Brown China-mark). My first in Shropshire.

 The business end of another long-horned beetle sp.

Here it the whole thing. It appears to rejoice in the name of Agapanthea villosoviridescens: blimey, it is nearly as long as its horns!

Another confusing Tortrix moth: may be Celypha lacunana (Common Marble).

The eyes of grass moths always look as if they are surprised – but then if you see something 100s times your size you are probably entitled to look shocked. This is the very common species Chrysoteuchia culmella (or Garden Grass-veneer).

I suppose I have to include the other grass moth that is very common at the moment. This is Crambus pascuella or, simply, Grass-veneer. One reason to include it was because it is shown here resting on the door of my car as I returned to drive home.

A slug tucks in to a tasty petal of an Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare). I read that there is a new field guide to the slugs and snails of Britain and Ireland. The review describes it as ‘exciting’, noting that it covers all 43 slug species including notes on dissection to identify the more difficult species as well as illustrations of all the ‘bewildering variations’ of many species. I think I’ll pass. Slug sp. will do. At least I can identify the plant.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 6:10am – 6:50am

(61st visit of the year)

Few Greylag Geese today: numbers of this species seem to be more variable and perhaps not all are flightless at the moment (or are they hiding inside the island?).
Just the white feral ‘large’ Mallard: now some weeks since I last saw its mostly black long-term companion.
Another increase in number of Tufted Ducks.

2 + 1 Great Crested Grebes
2 Swans
92 Greylag Geese
1 Cackling Goose
254 + 1 Canada Geese
The all-white feral goose
13 (12) Mallard
1 feral Mallard
18 (16) Tufted Ducks
1 + 2 (2 broods) Moorhen
9 + 9 (? broods) Coots
5 House Martin
1 (1) Song Thrush
1 (1) Blackcap
2 (2) Chiffchaffs

(Ed Wilson)