17 May 15

Priorslee Lake: 4:43am - 9:09am

Telford sunrise: 5:09am

6.0°C > 11.0°C. Fine clear start with some high cloud; broken medium-level cloud from NW after 08:00. Moderate W wind. Very good visibility.

Most unexpected find was a Reed Warbler singing from one of the oilseed rape fields alongside Woodhouse Lane.

The Model Boat Club held a Barbecue last night and some camped over ahead of a model power-boat regatta today so there was considerable disturbance in that area.

(57th visit of the year)

- two pairs of Tufted Ducks flew round but did not stop.
- no sign of the juvenile Coot today.
- seemed to be just 3 pairs of Great Crested Grebes today: one with 2 young still.
- Kestrel again several times: it is always the female – why?
- 1 Swallow again on the mast of yacht in the Sailing Club compound by 5:30am. Otherwise mainly Swifts with good number by 8:00am after which a few House Martins arrived as well.
- 2 adult Starlings brought at least 1 juvenile and parked it in one of the large trees around the Teece Drive gate while they went foraging on the Ricoh grass. Starlings are unusual at the lake with almost all records confined to roosting / fly-by winter flocks; or birds flying to & fro overhead from nest sites on the estate. May even be my first juveniles around the lake.
- 17 singing Blackcaps today: two fewer than yesterday but still a high count.

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 6 Greylag Geese (2 groups)
- 8 Canada Geese (4 groups)
- 3 (3♂) Mallard
- 4 (2♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 Black-headed Gulls
- 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Herring Gulls
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 4 Stock Doves
- 1 Collared Dove
- 170 Jackdaws
- 89 Rooks

Count of hirundines etc
- 24 Swifts
- 1 Sand Martin
- 3 Swallows
- 6 House Martins

Count of singing warblers
- 6 Chiffchaffs
- 1 Willow Warbler
- 17 Blackcaps
- 2 Common Whitethroats
- 6 Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 6 (5♂) Mallard
- 1 Cormorant
- 6 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 5 Moorhens
- 27 Coots

A tranquil scene at dawn. Just a few vapour trails of early overnight flights in to central Europe from USA to cloud the sky.

A male Goldfinch greets the early morning light. I read that you can tells males from females by the shape of the red face but I have always failed. This bird was singing which made life easy.

Breakfast for this stretch spider sp. I did wonder whether she was eating her mate – as some species of spider do – but whatever she has in her jaws seems to have wings.

And another view: its a wild world out there.

Rather handsome if rather evil-looking: this is a Yellow Dung Fly (Scathophaga stercoraria). It gets its name as the greener-looking female often lays her eggs in cow pats. Not much chance here.

The front view of the same fly. Another species that preys on smaller flies.

Not at all sure what this bug is. With apparently one set of wings and short antenna it ought to be a fly of some sort, but the legs are unusually long and it is also rare for the body to be longer than the folded wings.

And yet another insect that seems to be a fly sp. with striped thorax and red eyes but again I have been unable to come up with an identity.

This I thought was a different specimen of the same fly sp. from the rear but although it has a rather similar striped thorax it has, at least from this angle, black eyes.

At last: one I can identify! This is a male Scorpion Fly (probably Panorpa communis) – the genitalia of the males give this species its name (a photo of a female was attached to the report for 4th May). It does not sting and, as we see here, uses its snout to munch smaller prey.

The Telford Model Boat Club held a barbecue on the SW grass last night and some folk camped out ahead of the British Model Powerboat Racing Society (BMPRS) Regatta today. Lets hope the cygnets and juvenile Great Crested Grebes take cover.

(Ed Wilson)


Woodhouse Lane: 6:45am - 7:55am

(2nd recent visit)

- 4 Sky Larks in song today.
- 4 Chiffchaffs in song today.
- again only 1 Blackcap heard.
- did not hear the Garden Warbler (heard on my last visit on 08 May).
- at least 5 Common Whitethroats singing along the lane again.
- the very unexpected Reed Warbler singing from the oilseed rape.
- two pairs of Linnets and several fly-overs by other bird(s?).
- 2 Yellowhammers in song and 4 more calling, at least one of the latter a different male.
- 3 Reed Buntings, 2 males and a female, seen in the oilseed rape.

A morning vista along Woodhouse Lane, just over 100 yards from the lake if you know how. Noticeable is that all the trees are mature. When they, inevitably, die the well-flailed hedges lack smaller trees to replace them. Whether that actually matters here is a moot point if Telford & Wrekin Council grant permission for the 600+ houses in the area.

You cannot see much of her but enough to identify this female Reed Bunting in the flowering oilseed rape, properly Rapeseed (Brassica napus). She was one of a pair seen here and another male was at the other side of the same field. It is not unusual for this species to use this crop – less usual was the singing Reed Warbler only a few yards away.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2006, 2007 and 2012
Priorslee Lake - Map
Yellow Wagtail
Grasshopper Warbler
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake Map
Drake Ruddy Duck
(Malcolm Thompson/Ed Wilson)
Priorslee Lake Map
2 Ruddy Ducks

(Ed Wilson)