5 Sep 14

Priorslee Lake: 5:41am – 7:05am // 8:10am – 9:27am

14.0°C > 17.0°C:  mainly cloudy: a bit brighter at Trench. Calm / very light SSE wind. Moderate visibility.

Best this morning was the party of at least 16 Meadow Pipits flying S over the lake. Otherwise no migrants were noted.

All the House Martins seem to have gone from around The Flash and Trench (though some are still present in Newport).

(96th visit of the year)

Other notes
1 of the recent juvenile Great Crested Grebes not seen – the stripy-faced bird: this was not the ‘extra’ bird seen at both The Flash and Trench.
4 Mallard only.
Tufted Duck numbers confusing: after 6 (5 drakes) seen pre-dawn 4 birds seen flying off W. Then 4 birds flew over also going W. Later 6 (3 drakes) seen on the water. Later still 8 present. So how many? At least 12?
1 Reed Warbler seen.
Minimal corvid passage.
Where are all the Reed Buntings: this species is rather unobtrusive but I have seen / heard none since 16 July when the males were still singing.
1 Southern Hawker dragonfly.
A frog jumped away in to the grass before I could check its specific identity.
The Large Yellow Underwing moth still in the Priorslee Avenue foot-tunnel.

3 + 3 Great Crested Grebes
1 Grey Heron
2 Swans
34 Greylag Geese (all outbound)
61 Canada Geese (53 of these outbound)
4 (?) Mallard
>12 Tufted Duck (see notes)
5 + 5 (3 broods)  Moorhen
66 Coots
c.400 Black-headed Gulls
47 large gulls (24 of these over)
1 (0) Reed Warblers
1 (0) Blackcaps
8 (1) Chiffchaffs
Corvid roost dispersal: just 7 Jackdaws and 6 Rooks logged.

This is Water Mint (Mentha aquatica). Currently abundant around the lake margins, its flowers have taken over from those of Bistort in the wet margins without my noticing.

A Southern Hawker dragonfly on patrol. They spend most of their time on the wing but often, like here, make short hovers allowing photography – if you are quick. They are rather inquisitive and will often come and have a look at you. They also frequently, unlike other hawker dragonflies, dip and curl their tails down. But the two broad humeral stripes (on the side of the body) will confirm the identity.

A tail-on view: not quite sure why the upper pair of wings seem to be still while the lower pair beat furiously. It was rather poor light and may be a trick of timing because ...

... in this view it is the lower pair of wings that seem to be moving more slowly. The detail of the segments at the tail end can be seen more clearly here and confirm this as a female – the male would show more extensive blue.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 7:15am – 7:55am

(83rd visit of the year)

Another juvenile Great Crested Grebes today: seemed to be a fledged bird so probably from elsewhere.
Counts suggest an unusually high proportion of female Mallard, but some of these are likely to be full-grown juveniles from late broods that still cannot be easily sexed.

2 + 2 Great Crested Grebes
2 Swans
6 + 1 Canada Geese
The all-white feral goose
40 (25) Mallard
The all-white feral duck
30 (17) Tufted Ducks
2 + 3 (2 broods) Moorhen
22 Coots
2 Black-headed Gulls
1 (0) Blackcap
4 (2) Chiffchaff

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 9:37am – 10:16am

(36th visit of the year)

Another juvenile Great Crested Grebes today here as well: also seemed to be a fledged bird so probably from elsewhere.
Wednesday’s sole remaining Canada Geese now gone.
Pair of Sparrowhawks over.
Kingfisher again.
Several Southern Hawkers again.
A Red Admiral butterfly: these seem to have been very scarce this year, my only previous Shropshire record being one here on 18 July.
A Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus).

The counts
4 + 3 (2 broods) Great Crested Grebes
1 Grey Heron
2 Swans
4 (0) Mallard
4 (1) Tufted Ducks
5 + 6 (4 broods) Moorhens
117 Coots
12 Black-headed Gulls
3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
2 (1) Chiffchaff

Red Admiral of course, here with tongue rolled up.

Another picture of a Syrphus hoverfly sp. at Trench Lock. Here a male feeds off the pollen on the anthers deep in a flower of, probably, Larger Bindweed (Calystegia sepium). Only female Syrphus ribesii can be separated in the field from Syrphus vitripennis.

(Ed Wilson)