9 Jun 15

Priorslee Lake: 4:17am - 8:51am

Telford sunrise: 4:46am

4.0°C > 13.0°C. Mainly clear. Calm start with wreathes of mist; light E / NE wind later. Local ground frost! Good visibility.

A generally quiet day with nothing unusual that was new.

I was shown a photograph taken last week at Haughton Hall, Shifnal of a pure white Grey Squirrel. Did not seem to be an albino as it had dark eyes so I presume it should be called ‘leucistic’. There is a problem in that the terms albino and leucistic refer to conditions of varying severity in the lack of melatonin (albinism) or the presence of a recessive gene (leucism). Since the origin cannot usually be determined visually then these terms tend to be used rather loosely.

(78th visit of the year)

Most birds are still singing occasionally but song is noticeably dropping off now.

- 3 Moorhens were seen having a right scrap this morning – Coots often do but cannot recall this before with Moorhens.
- single juvenile Coots from broods #1, #3: 2 juveniles from brood #6.
- 2 Jackdaws, unusually, perched briefly on one of the street lamps in Castle Farm Way.
- last week the tits fledged and they were everywhere: today rather few: why?
- single Sand Martin was unusual for the date though I do usually get the odd record from June most years.
- family party of Nuthatches along the S side again.

- thanks to one of the fishermen I can add Roach to my site-list – one caught by an adult Great Crested Grebe and NOT offered to the children but scoffed instead!

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 4 Greylag Geese (1 party)
- 13 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull
- 3 Cormorants (1 single, 1 pair)
- 1 Grey Heron
- 1 Stock Dove
- 3 Collared Doves
- 196 Jackdaws
- 108 Rooks
- 1 Starling yet again

Count of hirundines etc
- c.15 Swifts
- 1 Sand Martin
- 3 Swallow
- 3 House Martins

Count of singing warblers
- 6 Chiffchaffs
- 2 Willow Warblers
- 12 Blackcaps
- 2 Common Whitethroats
- 4 Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 7 (5♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Tufted Duck
- 8 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 6 Moorhens
- 36 + 4 (3 broods) Coots

A clear sky meant a cold night even in June: the car thermometer registered just 2°C up the road – slightly warmer in the lay-by with some heat from the water no doubt.

Now you know why Wrens are loud: they put a lot of effort in to the singing!

“see I can be quiet”

But not for long. Nice to get this shot as Wrens rarely pose in the open – they can even give their distinctive song while in flight: once they start they seem programmed to complete the entire 7 second song whatever.

Down the hatch: not a marvellous shot but the red gills on the fish identifies the Great Crested Grebe’s breakfast as a Roach.

I caught this spider disappearing with prey in to this curled-up leaf. The spider looks rather like a Garden Spider (Araneus diadematus) but not possible to be sure on this view.

Once inside hard to see. That small fly is living dangerously if it did but know.

If you know feather colour it is possible to tell what this is: it is a juvenile Nuthatch that seemed to be already tired from the day’s activities and found a V in the branches to take a nap while its parents went on searching for food.

Beginning to take an interest again: we see the eye-stripe characteristic of this species.

In close-up.

I get confused: here is one orchid sp.

And here is another specimen. Both seem to be Early Marsh Orchids but .... why so different?

Can you have too many orchid photos? Probably.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 8:58am - 9:52am

(56th visit of the year)

- the Canada Goose goslings seen on Friday seem to be no more. Was informed that the cob Swan was on the warpath against the whole family over the weekend and seems to have succeeded, either directly or indirectly, in killing the goslings.
- Mallard ducklings not located: probably inside the island somewhere.
- still only 1 juvenile Great Crested Grebe visible on the adult’s back: should be on the water in the next day or so.
- Coot numbers down: why?

- 1 Terrapin seen today
- at least 12 large carp sp. alongside the Derwent Drive footpath.

Birds noted flying over
- 1 Cormorant

Hirundines etc. seen
- 4 Swifts
- c.15 House Martins

Warblers heard singing
- 1 Chiffchaff

The counts from the water
- 2 + 4 Mute Swans
- 24 Greylag Geese
- 107 Canada Geese
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 9 (7♂) Mallard
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 2 + 1? (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- no Moorhen seen
- 20 + 5 (2 broods) Coots

He’s on the warpath again – the cob is really grumpy at the moment and was also unhappy about people walking the path around the lake.
(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 10:00am - 10:30am

(30th visit of the year)

- rather fewer juvenile Coots today. Three birds sitting on nests suggests some fresh attempts or, just possibly, still brooding the juveniles after the chilly night.

Birds noted flying over
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

Count of hirundines etc
- 1 Swift
- 4 Swallows
- 10 House Martins

Count of singing warblers
- 1 Chiffchaff still
- 1 Blackcap

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 14 Canada Geese yet again
- 6 (5♂) Mallard
- 3 feral Mallard-type ducks
- 4 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes still
- 5 + 2 (1 brood) Moorhens
- 45 + 14 (4 broods) Coots
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

(Ed Wilson)