25 May 15

Priorslee Lake: 4:25am - 9:24am

Telford sunrise: 4:58am

8.0°C > 12.0°C. Mainly cloudy with a few breaks early. Light W wind. Good visibility.

Best today were.
- Sedge Warbler singing again near NW reeds.
- Hare in Woodhouse Lane area.

(64th visit of the year)

- 3 Canada Geese flew in and landed at the other end of the water from the Swans. The cob was minded to arch his feathers in threat and then got some 20 yards down the lake before he decided he couldn't be bothered.
- the 4 Tufted Duck flew in as a party and almost immediately flew out again. I assume it was the same party of 3 drakes and a duck that were present later.
- with more breeze and ruffled water even harder to keep track of the Great Crested Grebes: at least 7 adults, probably more, almost certainly not so many as logged yesterday.
- female Kestrel seen again: it was presumably the same female I saw later over Woodhouse Lane.
- 2 very new juvenile Coots seen: nothing seen of the single older juvenile for five days now.
- pretty much all the Swifts and hirundines passed through with only a group of, eventually, 5 Swifts staying more than a few minutes.
- a Reed Warbler heard singing from near the top of a 30' tree this morning: and another singing from the bushes on the E side of Castle Farm Way.

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 1 Greylag Goose
- 2 Canada Geese (1 group)
- 13 Cormorants (4 groups)
- 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull
- 6 Feral Pigeons (3 singles / groups)
- 2 Stock Doves
- 221 Jackdaws
- 87 Rooks

Count of hirundines etc
- 10 Swifts
- 7 Swallows
- 1 House Martin
Count of singing warblers
- 7 Chiffchaffs once again
- 1 Willow Warbler once again
- 16 Blackcaps
- 1 Common Whitethroat once again
- 1 Sedge Warbler
- 9 Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 3 Canada Geese
- 11 (8♂) Mallard
- 4 (3♂) Tufted Duck
- 7 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 3 Moorhens
- 27 + 2 (1 brood) Coots

Not in very good light but the pair of Stock Doves that I think are nesting in this copse usually fly off as soon as they see me so the chance to photo one perched was not to be missed. Here we note the lack of white neck-mark or white band at the bend of the wing which rules out Wood Pigeon. While immature Wood Pigeons – there are some about already – lack the white in the neck they would not show the faint barring we can just see on this bird. The dark mark across one of the wing-feathers is also diagnostic. However it is usually more prominent across several feathers than we see here – a rather strange bird with some pale feathers in the wing.

Here is what I assume is its mate. Especially evident on this view is the lack of contrast between the head and the back – on a Wood Pigeon the back is paler grey than the head and neither is as blue-grey as shown here.

Here we see the neck marking more clearly. In the right conditions – not at 5:30am on an overcast morning – this glosses green (or purple – depends on the angle of the light).

It is always the way: go to all that trouble and what happens? Probably the same pair trotting around. albeit rather distantly, but in the open and over an hour later. In this better light the green sheen on the neck is very evident (possibly not the same pair as neither shows the aberrant wing feathers, though we are looking at a different side).

I thought this was going to be a different species of Scorpion Fly. However looking more closely the antennae are short so it has to be a species of Crane Fly. On the web it has some similarities with the Cone-horn crane fly (Ctenophora pectinicornis) although the species / specimen here has much stronger markings in the wings.

The currently more or less unused path at the W end alongside the Ricoh hedge – unused because you cannot get to or from it along Teece Drive. Has been a picture with more abundant Cow Parsley than I can recall in any previous year.

Still not fully open this Yellow Flag (Iris pseudacorus) is already attracting the insects. The one inside the flower appears to be yet another crane fly sp.

(Ed Wilson)

Woodhouse Lane: 7:15am - 8:00am

(4th recent visit)

Some notes from Woodhouse Lane.
- family party of Jays seen in flight.
- Reed Bunting seen singing from oil-seed rape field and another bird heard calling from a different field (a male was seen to fly from the dam-face and away to the E and was perhaps one of these).

- the Hare as highlighted.

Selected counts
- 3 Sky Larks in song
- just 1 Chiffchaff heard in song
- and just 1 Blackcap in song
- 3 Common Whitethroats with 1 only singing
- no Linnets today
- 2 Yellowhammers in song and 3 more heard

Those are not reeds! This male Reed Bunting seems not to care and was happily singing from the oil-seed rape.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2009, 2010 and 2012
Nedge Hill Map
2 Ravens mobbing Kestrel.
(John Isherwood)
Priorslee Lake Map
Ringed Plover
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake Map
Red Kite
(Ed Wilson)