7 Jun 15

Priorslee Lake: 4:18am - 8:44am

Telford sunrise: 4:47am

8.0C > 12.5C. Mainly clear. Calm with light / moderate NNW wind; still feeling cool; very good visibility.

(77th visit of the year)

- single juvenile Coots from broods #1, #3 and #4: 2 juveniles from each of broods #6 and new brood #7 (brood #2 long-gone; nothing seen of brood #5 for 2 days).
- family party of Nuthatches along the S side.

- several moths including two which seem to be new for me.

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 4 Greylag Geese (1 party)
- 2 Canada Geese (1 party)
- 6 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 7 Cormorants (3 singles, 1 party)
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 2 Collared Doves
- 147 Jackdaws
- 71 Rooks
- 1 Starling again

Count of hirundines etc
- c.25 Swifts
- 1 Swallow
- 2 House Martins

Count of singing warblers
- 7 Chiffchaffs once more
- 1 Willow Warbler again
- 14 Blackcaps
- 1 Common Whitethroat yet again
- 5 Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 1 Canada Goose, briefly
- 6 (4♂) Mallard again
- 7 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 3 Moorhens again
- 38 + 7 (5 broods) Coots

Good lighting on the waning moon shows the craters well.

A nice clear sunrise.

Ah! the Autumn mists! Mallard with Coot behind.

Red on the crown means this is a juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker. When just fledged the red reaches the forehead and almost touches the bill but recedes as they get older.

And here it is working away at these dead sticks. I always think that the plumage of many juvenile birds looks ‘blurred’ around the edges – the new feathers all have fringes which soon wear away to reveal the real ‘sharp’ patterning.

A quick preen – makes my neck ache to watch!

Now looking alert: see how the tail is jammed against the tree as a ‘prop’.

Not too easy to photograph this species, a restless sprite: a Coal Tit pauses between preens on top of a 50’ tree. Note the white stripe down the nape. Great Tits have pale napes too but usually yellow-toned and more of a square shape and less clear-cut. Note the thin wing-bar with just a hint of another in front.

And now he has to shake to get the preened feathers back in to alignment.

We have had one of these before – but not as well and with a finger for scale! A White-pinion Spotted moth – a species readily disturbed from its day-time roost in bushes.

As long as they continue to pose we can all look at juvenile Long-tailed Tits.

and again!

and yet again.

Talking of posing: here is a male Blackbird doing just that.

Stumbled across this moth by accident – was chasing another that got away. This seems to be Ancylis apicella, sometimes called Hook-tipped Roller. Could be a new species for me: my ‘moth man’ confirms it is an Ancylis sp. but he is unsure which, specifically. It matches some on the web closely but not all of the specimens that claim to be this species – best as a ‘probable’.

What a splendid little fellow! This is the moth Pyrausta aurata (Small Purple & Gold). Again it is new for me. I have had this independently checked as there are several similar species.

This red-tailed bumblebee sp. seems to be sleeping it off in the dog rose flower. Probably just warming up – typically insects (and some humans!) are unhappy if the temperature is below 10C (50F in old money). He has a small friend with him.

This bug is going for the camouflaged-look with green bits that match the leaf and is in actual fact a Green-legged Saw-fly, Tenthredo mesomelas.

Another spider sp. with a unique way of sitting to disguise what it really is. I have very little literature on spiders and ID guides on the web are not always helpful as there are so many possibilities. That said this looks like Tibellus oblongus which is variously described as a grass spider or slender crab spider. But as I've just found out it is in fact a Nursery Web Spider, Pisaura mirabilis. Is that the remains of breakfast between its hind legs?

(Ed Wilson)