14 May 15

Priorslee Lake: 4:46am - 8:23am

Telford sunrise: 5:14am

7.0°C > 8.0°C. Mainly cloudy with a few early breaks giving a red sky: spots of rain after 8:45am; moderate, increasing fresh SE wind; very good visibility.

Highlight for me were the calling Red-legged Partridges heard distantly, apparently from the old Celestica ground. I have heard and seen birds around Woodhouse Lane but as far as I can tell these are the first I have heard from around the lake.

(54th visit of the year)

Other notes
- the Swans have now lost another of their cygnets – just 1 remains
- another adult Swan flew in but had hardly touched down before it saw the approaching cob and decided to fly on
- Mallard were doing a lot of flying about and in and out: exact number hard to determine
- pair of Tufted Duck flew in and stayed about 30 minutes
- 3 Black-headed Gulls flew in and each spent some while on the water / buoys. 2 were 1st summer birds; the third I only saw perched but seemed to be a full adult
- neither of Tuesday’s Garden Warblers heard or seen today
- my first Yellowhammer this year at this site was a bird heard singing from the fields to the E

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 2 Greylag Geese
- 11 Canada Geese (5 groups)
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Stock Dove
- 9 Feral Pigeons
- 145 Jackdaws
- 86 Rooks

Count of hirundines etc
- 10 Swifts
- 1 Sand Martin
- 11 Swallows
- c.20 House Martins

Count of singing warblers
- 7 Chiffchaffs
- 2 Willow Warblers
- 14 Blackcaps
- 3 Common Whitethroats
- 7 Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 3 + 1 Mute Swans
- 13 (7♂) Mallard
- 1 Cormorant
- 8 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Oystercatcher
- 4 Moorhens
- 31 Coots

Yes: shepherd’s warning – wind and rain to follow.

The female Kestrel was about again this morning: why does she only ever appear when there is no light?

... this shows her with everything, including the alula, spread wide in the hover. This provides the maximum lift possible.

... And here in the hover that allows the eyes remains stationary to easily detect any slight movement on the ground below. I recall reading a letter many years ago in BB (British Birds) written by a surveyor who had put the cross-hairs of a theodolite on the eye of a Kestrel that was hovering in a near-gale. He confirmed that despite dramatic twists and turns of the body the bird was able to maintain its eye in the centre of the cross-hairs.

The young Great Crested Grebes are now old-enough to be out and about without direct supervision from one of the parents.

... but not old-enough to eschew a lift if one is available. Here we see one juvenile on each of the parents’ back: I am not sure I have ever seen this before and have probably assumed they always ride on their mother’s back. Not so.

Two for the price of one, though I only realised when I put the photo on the PC screen. Here we see what I think is a White-lipped Banded Snail and a small weevil sp. The greenish sheen on the weevil suggests this is probably Apion pomonae, a species which feeds on vetches.

Possibly an upgrade on my flying Swallow pictures. Of course it was another dull day making fast shutter speeds impossible.

And an upgrade to the flying House Martin picture: no mistaking the large white rump-patch.

Here holding its tail in a way which accentuates what usually appears to be a shallow fork.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 8:28am - 9:23am

(43rd visit of the year)

- still no sign of cygnets here: the cob was sitting quietly off the island
- the Mallard ducklings still doing well but all of a heap as they rested and impossible to confirm all 8 still present
- certainly 3 pairs of Tufted Ducks: as I was about to leave a pair seemed to fly out of the island and this might have been a 4th pair
- more broods of Coot this morning but juveniles mainly being brooded and only ‘bits sticking out’ seen
- the onset of the rain brought down a good number of both Swallows and House Martins - for here anyway

Birds noted flying over

Count of hirundines etc
- 2 Swifts
- 8 Swallows
- c.25 House Martins

Count of singing warblers
- 1 Chiffchaff
- 3 Blackcap

The counts from the water
- 2? Mute Swans: pen on nest?
- 1 Greylag Goose
- 22 Canada Geese
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 11 (9♂) + 8? (1 brood) Mallard
- 1 white feral duck
- 6 (3♂)? Tufted Ducks
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 5 Moorhens
- 18 + 3? (>1 brood) Coots

Swallows were also low over The Flash this morning: here is one passing-by and preparing to make turn ...

...and here making that sharp turn with everything spread.

The angle of the light catching this House Martin shows how the mantle is quite a different tone to the wings and tail. Normally they all look black, but the crown and mantle is in fact very deep glossy blue-black. I am still surprised that the wings look quite so pale and wonder whether this is a 1st summer bird.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2013
Priorslee Lake Map
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake Map
Black-tailed Godwit
3 Whimbrel
(Ed Wilson)
Priorslee Lake Map
Common Tern
5 Common Sandpiper
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake Map
Pair of Ruddy Ducks
(Ed Wilson)