29 May 15

Priorslee Lake: 4:26am - 8:15am

Telford sunrise: 4:54am

8.5°C > 8.0°C. Overcast ahead of slight rain from 6:00am and real rain from c.7:00am. Calm, becoming light SSW. Very good visibility ahead of the rain but moderate later

(68th visit of the year)

Two highlights this morning
- an adult Little Grebe first noticed c.7:45am tucked up along the S side where I had walked only a few minutes before. From where I then was, on the dam, it was rather too far to ID – just a ‘small, dark grebe’. Knowing that a summer plumage Black-necked Grebe was found just W of here at Belvide yesterday I had hopes. My attempts to get closer were rather thwarted when it flew a short distance to disappear at the base of reeds and was not seen again. But I had seen enough to know it was ‘only’ a Little Grebe, but unusual here at this date.
- an adult Common Tern: this arrived just as the rain became heavier and at the same time as 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, c.20 Swifts and dozens of Swallows and House Martins all ‘appeared’. It settled on a buoy: moved buoys when some fighting Coots got too close: and then without apparently looking to feed headed off S. It had been present c.30 minutes

- a pair of Tufted Duck from first light. c.7:00am another male was trying to muscle in, but had apparently gone by 7:30am when a second pair was present.
- a Grey Heron flew in at 4:50am but was not seen again. Been strangely absent recently and my first sighting since 12 May.
- both male and female Kestrels were hunting the S side grassy areas and adjacent M54 verges this morning and flying regular sorties to the N, presumably to feed nestlings somewhere.
- Great Spotted Woodpecker flew over carrying food.
- a group of Goldcrests with fledged young was seen on Monday (25th): the male was singing again in the same area this morning.
- both of the singing Common Whitethroats were in different locations. One was where the first arrival in Spring spent some while singing but then all was quiet: in addition to the singing bird another was scolding. The second bird was singing from the hedge on the E side of Castle Farm Way and was in a new location for the year.
- last Saturday (3rd) I saw a female Pied Wagtail rather agitated and carrying food on the dam. Nesting nearby, I presumed. But since then no birds seen in the area. This morning just one juvenile was on the dam face. A male on the SW grass was probably just co-incidence.
- juvenile Reed Bunting seen to confirm successful breeding here.

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 2 Greylag Geese (1 group)
- 11 Canada Geese (3 groups)
- 4 Cormorants (1 group)
- 13 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 3 Herring Gulls
- 1 Stock Dove
- 133 Jackdaws
- 92 Rooks

Count of hirundines etc
- c.50 Swifts
- c.20 Swallows
- c.25 House Martins

Count of singing warblers
- 6 Chiffchaffs
- 16 Blackcaps
- 2 Common Whitethroats
- 7 Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 10 (7♂) Mallard
- 1 Grey Heron (see notes)- 1 Little Grebe
- 8 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 6 Moorhens
- 29 Coots
- 1 Oystercatcher
- 1 Common Tern
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

Juvenile Pied Wagtail on the dam. Gives a rather ‘washed out’ appearance.

Adult Common Tern.

“I prefer yellow buoys”! The orange bill with the black tip identifies as an adult Common Tern. Adult Arctic Terns have red bills and juveniles would have a white forehead. They would also appear almost legless.

... and flies away.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day 2014
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