19 May 15

Priorslee Lake: 4:35am - 8:34am

Telford sunrise: 5:06am

6.0°C > 8.0°C. Mostly fine but with clouds from remnant and, later, fresh showers. Moderate, sometimes gusting fresh, WSW wind. Very good visibility.

Credit where credit is due: The Model Boat Club cleaned up after the power-boat regatta on Sunday and left behind not a trace of their presence.

Most interesting records this morning were at the lake.
- at 5:00am a party of 42 hirundines, apparently all Swallows, accompanied by a few Swifts came from the E and passed overhead. Then 5 minutes later a party of 21 more, certainly all Swallows and again accompanied by a few Swifts, did likewise. Thereafter a few more small groups passed over, with at least 1 Sand Martin. It was after c.7:00am that the usual mix of Swifts and hirundines started feeding over the water. Accurate numbers, especially of the latter with some birds perhaps still passing and only pausing to feed, were difficult to ascertain. The figures given are minima. I assume the early-passing Swallows had been roosting nearby and were still migrating through.
- twice I saw the unmistakable silhouette of a Kingfisher shooting E over the dam at some height. This species does not breed here as it requires muddy banks to burrow its nest cavity. Normally birds are absent from March until late July so this record is most unusual. Perhaps there is a site along the Wesley Brook on the way towards Shifnal?

Overall the amount of birdsong was significantly reduced this morning. Perhaps the chilly and windy weather: perhaps they are too busy with nestlings – little evidence of fledged young as yet.

(58th visit of the year)

- the 2 Greylag Geese flew from the W and landed at the far end of the Ricoh ground somewhere.
- 3 Tufted Ducks (2♂♂) when I arrived: these flew around several times and later flew away. Later still another(?) ♂ flew in and stayed.
- the same juvenile Coot today. It seems rather strange that I have seen no juveniles from other nesting pairs.
- 8 adult Great Crested Grebes again today: one pair with 2 young still; another obvious pair with a nest in the reeds; the other 4 were sometimes behaving as pairs and sometimes not, and without any obvious sign of any other nesting sites.
- the ‘original’ Willow Warbler was back singing this morning.
- Reed Warblers were very quiet with none heard in the large reed bed on the N side where up to three birds have been singing recently.
- against the general trend there were more Song Thrushes heard this morning: 8 singing birds could be heard from around the lake.
- 1 Grey Wagtail seen flying off: my first record here since 12 March and I had assumed they has left to breed elsewhere.

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 2 Greylag Geese (1 group))
- 6 Canada Geese (3 groups)
- 3 (2♂) Mallard
- 1 Cormorant
- 10 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 4 Herring Gulls
- 5 Feral Pigeons
- 1 Stock Dove
- 4 Collared Doves
- 228 Jackdaws
- 104 Rooks

Count of hirundines etc
- c.40 Swifts
- 3 Sand Martins
- >80 Swallows
- c.10 House Martins

Count of singing warblers
- 5 Chiffchaffs
- 2 Willow Warblers
- 13 Blackcaps
- 2 Common Whitethroats
- 3 Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 7 (4♂) Mallard
- 4 (3♂) Tufted Ducks
- 8 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 4 Moorhens
- 25 + 1 (1 brood) Coots

Not a bad start to the day. About the best there was!

and soon looking rather broody.

Great Crested Grebe family group: dad(?) powers past at the back looking rather slitty-eyed. One juvenile on mum’s(?) back; the other in the water.

The one on mum’s back seems determined to look-about. I wonder what the purpose of the pink / bare skin in front of the eye is?

Balancing on a buoy while preening is easy if you have feet as big as a Coots.

Fresh Spring leaves of a fern sp. before any sign of the spores that will form neat rows on the underside of the leaves when the plant matures.

(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Flash: 8:40am - 9:14am

(45th visit of the year)

- I saw but one cygnet while the parents were the other side of the water: they then returned to the nest on the island. The locals reported, variously, 4 or 5 cygnets as present. They were first noted on Saturday 16th. While this may seem a low number it is the pen’s first year here and she is but 3 years old.
- Tufted Ducks were clearly as 3 pairs: no real sign of any breeding action here.
- as usual some Coots appeared to be brooding young so probably more in total.

Birds noted flying over
- 2 Greylag Geese

Count of hirundines etc
- 8 Swifts
- 2 Swallows
- 8 House Martins

Count of singing warblers
- 1 Chiffchaff
- 1 Blackcap

The counts from the water
- 2 + ? Mute Swans
- 28 Canada Geese
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 15 (11♂) Mallard
- 1 white feral duck
- 6 (3♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- no Moorhens
- 14 + 4 (2 broods) Coots

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2006,  2012 and 2013
Priorslee Lake - Map
Grasshopper Warbler
(Ed Wilson)

Wrekin Map
5 Tree Pipits.
2 Common Redstart
2 Spotted Flycatchers
5 Pied Flycatcher
5 Wood Warblers
Tawny Owl
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake - Map
Grasshopper Warbler
(Ed Wilson)

Wrekin Map
21 Crossbill
4 Wood Warbler
Pied Flycatcher
Common Redstart
Tree Pipit
(Glenn Bishton)
Priorslee Lake Map
2 Ruddy Ducks
(Ed Wilson)