10 Jul 15

Priorslee Lake: 4:20am - 5:50am // 7:00am - 9:15am

Telford sunrise: 4:57am

10.5°C > 16.5°C. Fine and clear start with patchy cloud, increasing. Calm start with light S wind later. Very good visibility

(89th visit of the year)

- just 1 drake Tufted Duck this morning
- as I was about to leave I heard and then glimpsed a Common Sandpiper landing on the very overgrown dam-face. Could not get a view of it from anywhere once it had landed
- 1 Common Tern dropped in briefly with the large arrival of gulls and settled on a buoy but I could not find it later
- >30 large gulls on the water when I arrived had already starting to leave. Then c.550 more large gulls appeared from the Ricoh area about 100 of which briefly stopped off at the lake before they all left to the N before 4:45am. Just a few seen over later
- however unlikely it seems the counts of Jackdaws for the last 3 visits have been 492, 192 and today 292!
- 1 Barn Swallow again passed through at the very early time of 5:00am: 2 more singles passed through later
- only 1 Reed Warbler heard singing but at least 8 birds heard calling or seen

- in the Priorslee Avenue foot-tunnel I located a Light Arches moth – my first in Shropshire

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- >450 large gulls
- 12 Feral Pigeon (3 groups)
- 292 Jackdaws
- 68 Rooks

Count of hirundines etc
- 13 Swifts
- 3 Barn Swallows

Count of singing warblers
- 10 Chiffchaffs
- 13 Blackcaps
- 2 Common Whitethroats
- 1 Reed Warbler

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 19 (?♂) Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 Grey Heron
- 8 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 5 Moorhens
- 52 + 18 (8) Coots
- 1 Common Sandpiper
- 1 Common Tern
- 32 Black-headed Gulls
- >130 large gulls
- >1 Herring Gull

The early sunrise.

With a bit more colour later.

And then a great cloudscape: a touch of mist too.

“why did the Common Toad (Bufo bufo) cross the yellow line?”

Look: the beetles Rhagonycha fulva are living up to their recently acquired vernacular name - Hogweed Bonking-beetle. Several small black beetles share the Hogweed but look the other way.

These are NOT an allied species “Ragwort Bonking-beetles”!

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee tunnel (between the Lake and The Flash)

This a Light Arches moth: a new species for my Shropshire list

(Ed Wilson)


Woodhouse Lane: 7:50am - 8:50am

(10th recent visit)

- Reed Bunting still singing from oilseed rape field

Other selected counts
- 1 Sky Larks in song
- 2 Chiffchaff in song and 2 calling
- 2 Blackcaps in song and 1 calling
- 2 Common Whitethroats in song and another seen
- 2 Bullfinches
- 1 Linnet over
- 2 Yellowhammer in song.

- Common Blue Damselflies and Black-tailed Skimmer dragonfly
- Large White, Small Tortoiseshell and Ringlet butterflies
- a frustrating unidentified moth: looked like a ‘loose-winged’ Orange-tip butterfly but that species is no longer flying this year. The moth – I am sure it was a moth – did not settle and I cannot think of any species which fits what I thought I saw

This is the flower of a Sow-Thistle sp. Note the paler outer petals ....

And this is the flower of a different plant close-by. I can find no reference to any species with paler outer petals and both seem to be Perennial or Field Sow-Thistle (Sonchas arvensis).

This is probably the longhorn beetle Strangalia maculata – sometimes Spotted Longhorn Beetle. It shows rather less yellow at the base of each antenna segment than most illustrations so it is just possible it is one of the allied species.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 6:00am - 6:50am

(64th visit of the year)

- the Canada Goose with some Barnacle Goose genes was present again
- could not see the juvenile Great Crested Grebe this morning: the female(?) was still sitting on the nest; recently the other adult has also been around the nest with the juvenile but this morning it was away at the S end of the lake fishing on its own
- most of the adult Coots have now joined up in a single loafing group unless they are still looking after juveniles

Birds noted flying over

Hirundines etc
- 5 House Martins

Count of singing warblers
- 2 Chiffchaffs
- 1 Blackcap again

The counts from the water
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 59 Greylag Geese
- 169 Canada Geese
- 1 Canada x Barnacle(?) Goose
- 1 all-white feral goose seen
- 35 (23♂) + 3 (2 broods) Mallard
- 11 (9♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 Moorhens
- 25 + 7 (4 broods) Coots
- 2 Black-headed Gulls

Here we see a juvenile Black-headed Gull. When they first fledge they are even more gingery than seen here: this bird has perhaps been fledged more than 2 weeks.

This is a Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis) larvae. The Harlequin is an invasive species that out-competes our native ladybirds. It arrived in the UK in 2004 and is now common: I see it every year around the lake whereas ‘our’ ladybirds are relatively uncommon.

(Ed Wilson)