3 Jul 15

Priorslee Lake: 4:20am - 5:15am // 6:20am - 7:43am

Telford sunrise: 4:50am again

8.5°C > 12.0°C. Mist and fog: cleared at The Flash c.6:00am but not at the lake, apart from a short period around 7:00am. Calm / light E wind. Bad / poor visibility

The combination of the poor visibility and getting soaked through from the saturated vegetation drove me away early to get dry and warm.

All counts badly affected by the poor visibility.

(85th visit of the year)

- up to 3 Grey Herons this morning: 2 birds flew in together at 5:00am and as these are normally very territorial I assume that at least one was an immature; this may have been the bird I flushed from the Wesley Brook later
- just a small part of what sounded like two large groups of Jackdaws could be seen. Yet more birds heard seemed to have pitched in to the trees along the N side – I have seen this before when they seemed to have got disorientated by fog
- a rather yellow-looking juvenile Blue Tit suggests it came from a late replacement brood

- after the rain slugs and snails were in abundance this morning

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 2 large gulls
- 45 Jackdaws

Count of hirundines etc
- none seen / heard

Count of singing warblers
- 8 Chiffchaffs again
- 10 Blackcaps
- 2 Common Whitethroats
- 4 Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 18 (15♂) Mallard
- 2 or 3 Grey Herons (see notes)
- 4 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 1 + 2 Moorhens
- ? Coots – not counted
- 3 Black-headed Gulls

Is there such thing as a good photo of a slug at work? If so this may be it. Probably Arion ater, sometimes Black Slug but a misnomer for, as we see here, it has a very common orange-red form.

Vegetation this wet is unpleasant to walk through!

And this was during the temporary clearance ...

This Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii) looks so different from some of the others that I have identified as such that I am beginning to wonder whether I have misidentified some. This is certainly a typical Common Spotted Orchid.

(Ed Wilson)


Woodhouse Lane: 4:25am - 4:40am

(9th recent visit)

Short visit to see whether it was above the mist: it wasn’t.

Selected counts
- no Sky Larks in song this early – ‘up with the lark’ is largely a misnomer
- 1 Chiffchaff in song
- 2 Blackcaps in song
- 2 Common Whitethroats in song
- 2 Yellowhammer in song

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 5:25am - 6:10am

(60th visit of the year)

- the cob Swan was on the warpath against Greylag Geese this morning – he usually singles out a Canada Goose. He split a group of 4 and drove them under one of the footbridges. As they attempted to get away it was clear that they were moulting heavily and could not fly. Two escaped but 2 others forced their was through the reeds and sedges with the Swan unable to follow but standing guard and preventing them returning
- >150 geese were in the road / gardens along Derwent Drive as I approached: counting them as they rushed past me on both sides was rather a challenge!
- not at all sure about the Mallard this morning: there were two different ducks both with groups of 3 small ducklings. Another single small duckling was near one of these groups but seemed to be with a different duck, though that seemed to be the drake still loosely in charge of the 8 almost full-grown ducklings
- a pair of Tufted Duck near the island saw me and flew off in to the mist. I assume they were the same pair I saw later along the E side
- Coot could not accurately be counted through the mist: those juveniles I noted were birds that are now sufficiently grown to be independent
- Buff Ermine moth on one of the lamps

Birds noted flying over

Count of hirundines etc
- 2 Swifts
- 1 House Martin

Count of singing warblers
- 4 Chiffchaffs
- 3 Blackcaps

The counts from the water
- 2 + 4 Mute Swans
- 22 Greylag Geese
- 194 Canada Geese
- 1 Lesser Canada Goose ssp.
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 12 (7♂) + 14 (4 broods) Mallard (see notes)
- [the all-white feral duck not noted]
- 2 / 4 Tufted Ducks (see notes)
- 2 + 1 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 2 Moorhens
- 14 + 3 (? broods) Coots

As the sun started to breakthrough at The Flash this was the rather effective result.

A Buff Ermine moth on one of the lamps: the intriguing thing is that the photo reveals another very small moth which I cannot begin to ID.

The mist rolling away from The Flash.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2006 and 2013
Priorslee Lake
Grasshopper Warbler reeling
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
2 Common Sandpipers
2 drake Ruddy ducks
(Ed Wilson)