5 Jun 15

Priorslee Lake: 4:18am - 8:49am

Telford sunrise: 4:48am

11.5°C > 20.0°C. Cloudy spells and clear spells through hazy skies though horizontal visibility very good. Calm becoming light, sometimes gusting, S wind.

(75th visit of the year)

- the pair of Tufted Duck present throughout.
- just 6 adult Great Crested Grebes and the 2 juveniles were all I could find today.
- single juvenile Coots from broods #1 and #3: 2 juveniles from one of yesterday’s new broods – say brood #4; and 2 from a new brood (#6). No sign of brood #5.

- clear skies so few hirundines etc.: single and pair of Swifts early; a party of 10 zipped through later; and a single Swallow.
- 7 Mistle Thrushes seen flying W: a single and three 2s. But whether they sneaked back while I wasn't watching ....
- the Linnet fly-over was unseasonal even though they are not uncommon a few hundred yards away in Woodhouse Lane.

- 2 bats seen flying around at 4:30am – Noctule sized but far too far away to ID. My first bats of the year here.
- in addition to at least 10 Silver-ground Carpet moths I found a single Straw Dot and a Nemophora degeerella (Yellow-barred Longhorn) moth
- Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
Note: the hunt for the Marsh Warbler may have affected these numbers!
- 3 Greylag Geese (2 parties)
- 5 Canada Geese (2 parties)
- 1 Grey Heron
- 3 Stock Doves
- 1 Collared Dove
- 167 Jackdaws
- 92 Rooks
- 4 Starlings
- 1 Linnet

Count of hirundines etc
- 13 Swifts
- 1 Swallow

Count of singing warblers
- 7 Chiffchaffs again
- 2 Willow Warblers
- 14 Blackcaps again
- 1 Common Whitethroat
- 6 Reed Warblers yet again

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 7 (5♂) Mallard
- 2 (1♂) Tufted Duck
- 6 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 4 Moorhens
- 30 + 6 (4 broods) Coots

This Reed Warbler is carrying food.

Look at that huge bill: must be a Raven. Nope: like many Rooks flying over the lake at the moment just carrying food.

Not my best photo but to illustrate the point. This juvenile Goldcrest was just jumping off the branch as I pressed the shutter but we see clearly the absence of the black-border and the yellow crown-stripe in juveniles. The adult bill will also look all-dark. But the wing-markings allow identification, though size would do for our smallest native bird. A juvenile Firecrest is unlikely but would show a white stripe curving up behind the eye.

Not the most exciting moth in the world: a Straw Dot, commonly found at rest or flushed during the day.

This male Blue-tailed Damselfly is of the normal form with the same colour blue on the thorax as the ‘tail’ – the 8th body segment. It was the violacea form that I photographed earlier.

And here is a green-looking female, this specimen lacking the ‘blue’ tail but with a clearly marked 8th segment. This ‘not blue’ form is common.

Newly opened in the last few days are these Ox-eye daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare) that often flower in great swathes and brighten the scene.

A rather ragged-looking Common Whitethroat. I thought at the time it would be a juvenile but apart from the scruffy appearance there is no real suggestion of immaturity – no pale on the bill or around the gape – and I expect a juvenile would scoff any food it found rather than carry it somewhere as this one is apparently doing. The trials of parenthood.

 ‘Only’ a male (big ‘zip’) Great Tit but when they pop up and pose how can I resist?

Had second-thoughts as to why these orchids might be Early Purple rather than Early Marsh. But the leaves are not spotted so I think I was right first time – Early Marsh Orchid.

How close would you like?

Has a blue tail but with the much blue on all the body-segments this has to be something else. Likely candidates in this locality at this time of year are Common Blue and Azure and to separate the males, as here, we need to look at the shape of the black mark on the 2nd body segment. Not easy to do in the field and something digital cameras have made easy. This is a Common Blue Damselfly. Note how hairy these insects are if you get the light right.

This is a moth believe it or not – and a rather easy to identify one at that if not easy to pronounce - Nemophora degeerella. It is sometimes called Yellow-barred Longhorn and you can see why. But there are no ‘standard’ vernacular names for micro-moths and therefore I always quote the scientific name first. Of course since the advent of DNA things are being moved around between genera and even the scientific names are unreliable!

Another flower I noted for the first time this morning: this is Goat’s-beard or Jack-go-to-bed-at-noon from its habit of closing the flower during the middle of the day. It produces a large ‘clock’ in due course. The genus is Tragopogon but specific identification hard (i.e. beyond me!)

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 8:55am - 9:40am

(55th visit of the year)

- the 4 Canada Goose goslings were a surprise – where did she manage to hide those eggs from the Council workmen when they dipped them on several occasions?
[incidentally when they did that first time this year they removed all the old eggs from last year and I was told it was >140 eggs. Presumably dipping the eggs makes them unpalatable otherwise I would have expected Crows, Magpie, whatever to have eaten them].
- Tufted Ducks not seen: could have been inside the island though.
- I could only see 1 juvenile Great Crested Grebe on the adult’s back but her(?) feathers were all fluffed up and the juvenile is rather small and there could yet turn out to be more.

- 2 Terrapins seen today.
- the carp were thrashing and chasing around in the shallows – the fishermen told me that with the warmer weather they are now preparing to spawn.

Birds noted flying over

Hirundines etc. seen
- 1 Swift
- 2 House Martins

Warblers heard singing
- 2 Blackcaps

The counts from the water
- 2 + 4 Mute Swans
- 21 Greylag Geese
- 91 + 4 (1 brood) Canada Geese
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 10 (7♂) + 8 (1 brood) Mallard
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 2 + 1? (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Moorhen again
- 22 + 10 (4 broods) Coots

The brood of Canada Geese that escaped the egg-dipping at The Flash.

Er? what seems to be happening here is that carp sp. were thrashing around in the weed-covered shallows pairing up ahead of spawning and this one went off camouflaged!

This is a bit odd: a family of three juvenile Coots but one of them is conspicuously less well-developed than its siblings.

Ah! sun!! a terrapin sp. warms up.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 10:00am - 10:40am // 11:15am - 11:19am

(29th visit of the year)

- the pair of Great Crested Grebes with the nest along the W side have still yet to produce anything much. After I saw the female come off the nest and display with the male on my last visit she was back on the nest this morning. The male then visited her and they mated while she was still on the nest. And then did the head-shaking bit with her still sat on the nest.
- my first Grey Heron here since 22 February.
- many more Coots out in the open this warm, calm morning. Still one bird sitting on a nest.

Birds noted flying over
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

Count of hirundines etc
- 2 Swifts
- 5 House Martins

Count of singing warblers
- 1 Chiffchaff again
- 2 Blackcaps again

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 14 Canada Geese still
- 2 (2♂) Mallard
- 3 feral Mallard-type ducks
- 1 Grey Heron
- 4 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes again
- 4 + 3 (1 brood) Moorhens
- 47 + 22 (8 broods) Coots

Another variation on the shield-bug theme and again from Trench Lock. This has obvious spikes on its back and is not in my books. But there are 1000s of shield-bug species so let's not worry about its name and admire!

“Do my thighs look big in this?”. No: you just have thick thighs – well thick femora strictly speaking and it is only the males of this beetle Oedemera nobilis that has thickened femora. Sometimes called the False Oil Beetle – don’t know, but Google says so. The background is part of a convolvulus flower. No idea who his small friend is.

And this is what a fresh Speckled Wood butterfly looks like.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Middle Pool: 10:45am - 11:10am

(10th visit of the year)

Perhaps there were many birds loafing unseen in the island: either that or there has been serious attrition of the goslings.
- a new brood of 5 Greylag Geese goslings: but several broods seen last time not located.
- another new brood of 4 Canada Geese goslings. None of the previously seen goslings was located.
- a big increase in Coot numbers and number of broods: they must have been all tucked up on nests on my last visit. One bird still on the nest.

- warm-enough for 4 terrapin sp. to be sunning themselves.

Birds noted flying over 

Hirundines etc

Count of singing warblers
- 2 Chiffchaffs
- 3 Blackcaps again

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 24 + 9 (2 broods) Greylag Geese (see notes)
- 96 + 4 (1 brood) Canada Geese (see notes)
- 10 (8♂) Mallard
- no feral Mallard-type ducks
- 2 (1♂) Tufted Ducks again
- 2 + 3 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes as usual
- 4 Moorhens
- 12 + 10 (3 broods) Coots

Sometimes Red Campion can look very tatty and the question arises: “is it Ragged Robin?”. Probably not as when you see Ragged Robin, as here, then there is never any question. Scientific name Lychnis flos-cuculi so there.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2006, 2009, 2012 and 2014
Priorslee Lake Map
Report Here
(Ed Wilson)

Holmer Lake Map
Black Swan
(Marilyn Morton)

Priorslee Lake Map
Common Sandpiper
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake Map
Ruddy Duck
(Ed Wilson)