4 Jul 15

Priorslee Lake:  4:22am - 5:55am // 7:00am - 9:10am

Telford sunrise: 4:51am

15.0°C > 20.0°C. Started with low cloud and drizzly rain in the air: started to lift and break after 8:00am with some warm sun. Light / moderate SSW wind.

Poor visibility in drizzle, becoming moderate and then good.

First some historic news courtesy of Dave Ash, one of the anglers. Last Saturday (27 June) a Little Egret was seen alongside a Grey Heron. Despite ever-increasing numbers in the UK this species seems to be scarce in this area.

Counts again affected by the poor visibility

(86th visit of the year)

Two highlights:
- at least 180 large gulls were low over the water as I arrived: whether they were thinking about landing or were leaving I am not sure. Most flew off E but some went off towards the Ricoh area where at least 50 more birds joined them before they too headed off E. At least 20, but possibly many more, were Herring Gulls. Then a tight group of 55 Black-headed Gulls flew in low from the Ricoh fields – these all adults
- after 4 hours trying to decide whether there were 6 or 8 adult Great Crested Grebes present suddenly 2 summer-plumaged adult Little Grebes appeared alongside the reeds on the N side: where did these come from? My first July record of this species here.

- just 1 juvenile Grey Heron
- visibility again rather poor for what seemed like a very late corvid passage. Some at least of the Jackdaws seemed to hedge-hopping below my sight-line

- >20 small Common Toads (Bufo bufo)
- after the sun came out the insects quickly appeared in some numbers but nothing unusual

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- >70 large gulls
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 134 Jackdaws
- 79 Rooks

Count of hirundines etc
- c.30 Swifts
- 1 Barn Swallow
- 3 House Martins

Count of singing warblers
- 7 Chiffchaffs
- 11 Blackcaps
- 4 Common Whitethroats
- 4 Reed Warblers again

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 11 (8♂) Mallard
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 Little Grebes
- 6 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 3 Moorhens
- 51 + 17 (7) Coots
- c.70 Black-headed Gulls
- >20 Herring Gulls
- >150 other large gulls

This is rather odd: the moth, on the roof of the Priorslee Avenue foot-tunnel, is the common-enough Flounced Rustic. But what exactly are the mass of creatures at its nose?

Improves on my photo of Common Toad (Bufo bufo): just emerged from wherever it was living as a tadpole.

and again.

Here is a Garden Chafer (Phyllopertha horticola) proving it is water-proof. The adults feed on trees and can be a pest of fruit trees. The larvae feed on the roots of grasses and cereals. Not welcomed by farmers then.

Here a Common Blue Damselfly also proves it is waterproof.

Another in my extensive series of “what on earth ...?”. The apparent lack of antennae point to it being a leaf- or frog-hopper but beyond that ...

Here is an attractive bee sp., almost certainly Bombus pascuorum. This species is described as having a thin coat and often looking ‘scruffy’ which seems a bit harsh but I see what they mean.

A record shot of the 2 adult summer-plumaged Little Grebes.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 6:05am - 6:50am

(61st visit of the year)

A possible highlight: I heard what sounded like a Siskin flying over. However I did not see the bird and it would be an unusual date for this species here. Perhaps a juvenile of another finch sp. making a strange call? Will have to let it pass.

- not sure why the geese numbers are so variable when at least some of them are unable to fly. Again many were in the road / gardens along Derwent Drive and perhaps other birds go deeper in to the estate? perhaps there are more places to hide on the island?
- no Tufted Duck seen today.

- Peppered Moth on one of the lamps: my first at this site and also my first in Shropshire for many years
- my first Brown Rat (Rattus norvegicus) here this year

Birds noted flying over

Hirundines etc

Count of singing warblers
- 3 Chiffchaffs
- 3 Blackcaps again

The counts from the water
- 2 + 4 Mute Swans
- 65 Greylag Geese
- 142 Canada Geese
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 22 (17♂) + 12 (3 broods) Mallard
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 2 + 1 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 3 Moorhens
- 15 + 3 (2 broods) Coots

Peppered Moth on one of the lamps at The Flash.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 9:19am - 10:09am

(32nd visit of the year)

- the two visiting Swans were resisting the attempts of the residents to shift them: none of the them seemed to be ringed
- the same post-breeding gathering of Mallard but these only noted on the second pass – where were they hiding?

- Common Blue and Blue-tailed Damselflies
- Black-tailed Skimmer
- Speckled Wood, Meadow Brown and Small Tortoiseshell butterflies, the latter two species new for me here this year.

- one of the fishermen told me the dead fish was a large Bream and not a Carp as I thought.

Birds noted flying over
- 2 Black headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

Count of hirundines etc
- 2 Swifts
- 1 Swallow
- 5 House Martins

Count of singing warblers
- 1 Chiffchaff still
- no Blackcaps again

The counts from the water
- 4 Mute Swans
- 15 Canada Geese
- 17 (13♂) Mallard
- 3 feral Mallard-type ducks
- 4 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes again
- 3 + 9 (3 broods) Moorhens
- 48 + 20 (8 broods) Coots
- 2 Black-headed Gulls (1 a juvenile)
- 1 Herring Gull

Looks a long way down? An adult Herring Gull contemplates taking the plunge ....

And best foot forward, though one might suggest it is easier if you don’t cross your legs!

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2006, 2010, 2011 and 2012
Priorslee Lake
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
A female Ruddy Duck. First site record since January 2009 - formerly semi resident in the district, with several breeding records from both the Lake and Flash.
(John Isherwood / Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Common Sandpiper
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Common Tern
2 drake Ruddy Duck
(Ed Wilson)