5 Jul 15

Priorslee Lake: 4:17am - 5:45am // 6:45am - 9:01am

Telford sunrise: 4:52am

9.5°C > 14.0°C. Fine and clear with a few high cloud patches: more extensive high cloud by 6:30am. Calm / light and variable wind. Very good visibility.

(87th visit of the year)

- no sign of the Little Grebes today
- no idea why there appeared to be fewer Coots this morning
- the Common Sandpiper was furtively working along the water-line of the now very over-grown dam-face and was very hard to see. Did not hear it call
- 6 of the Black-headed Gulls were present on the buoys when I arrived: all birds seen today were adults
- no repeat of yesterday’s large number of large gulls at the lake / in the Ricoh area: assume it was due to the poor weather
- 2 Barn Swallows flew through W at the early time of 5:30am: neither of these had tail-streamers and were perhaps juveniles
- twice heard what I thought was Siskin overhead: on the second occasion I located what was clearly a small finch high overhead with a flight action that fitted Siskin and despite the rather unusual date I have accepted both as such (and retrospectively added the record from The Flash for yesterday)

- at least 5 large bats, probably Noctules, flying around when I arrived
- a dead Carp sp. floating in the water at the W end: as previously noted for Trench fatalities after the exertion of the fights around spawning are not uncommon.

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 1 Grey Heron
- 1 Cormorant
- 89 large gulls
- 6 Feral Pigeons
- 1 Stock Dove
- 492 Jackdaws
- 398 Rooks

Count of hirundines etc
- c.25 Swifts
- 3 Barn Swallows
- 6 House Martins

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

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 21 (17♂) Mallard
- 1 Grey Heron
- 8 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 3 Moorhens again
- 39 + 14 (7) Coots
- 1 Common Sandpiper
- 19 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

A clear morning so about time we had another moon shot.

And this is what it looked like the other way.

And slightly later.

A slightly unusual view of a Wood Pigeon. It was the clear grey rump and neatly-edged primaries that caught my attention.

After it ‘greyed over’.

This little fellow is the leafhopper Eupteryx aurata. Leafhoppers have toxic (to plants) saliva which destroys chlorophyll. It is about 1mm long so the camera did well – just look at the antenna peering over the edge of the leaf: sadly I did not see that at the time so have no idea what it is.

I know this species is not ‘new’ but the Snipe Fly (Rhagio scolopacea) looks rather impressive from this angle.

My reading of the literature leads me to conclude this is NOT Yellow Vetch as I thought but Meadow Vetchling (Lathyrus pratensis).

This had me confused as I could not initially make out what it was. It seems this damselfly was cold and fell off a grass stem when I knocked it and then lay on the ground with wings unusually held open. As there are a number of less common damselflies that habitually rest with wings partially open it needed investigation.

It seemed happy-enough to clamber over my fingers and the club-shaped mark on segment 2 identified this as ‘just’ a Common Blue Damselfly.

The club-mark is well shown here and it seemed as if it wanted to mate with my hand!

And here is a full-body shot.

This is a fine specimen of male Shaded Broad-bar moth. A male because of the feathered antennae. And being fresh the bar shows a purple tinge.

An ‘art shot’ of two feathers afloat on the water. And no: I have no idea.

Or do you prefer the solo feather?

The Common Sandpiper lurking on what little exposed rock still exists along the water-line of the dam.

This Great Crested Grebe is wrestling with its breakfast.

Far from my best shot but was amazed me was that this Black-headed Gull which was on a buoy at the other end of the lake saw what was happening and came to ‘help’!

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 5:55am - 6:35am

(62nd visit of the year)

See above: yesterday’s possible Siskin has been restored and represents my first of the species here this year – it was very scarce everywhere last winter

- I could only see 3 cygnets this morning but the cob was feeling benign today and the whole family was sleeping amidst Canada Geese and Mallard so hard to be sure
- the party of 8 Mallard ducklings is barely recognisable now and has split in to two groups, one associating with adult Mallard
- the 3 Tufted Ducks seen today were all drakes
- a new brood of Coots and another recent brood reappeared after a few days hiding away
- 1 Black-headed Gull briefly: this is my first of the autumn here

Birds noted flying over
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

Hirundines etc
- 10 Swifts
- 6 House Martins

Count of singing warblers
- 3 Chiffchaffs again
- 2 Blackcaps

The counts from the water
- 2 + 3? Mute Swans
- 51 Greylag Geese
- 117 Canada Geese
- 1 Lesser Canada Goose ssp.
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 21 (17♂) + 12 (3 broods) Mallard
- 3 (3♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 2 + 1 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Moorhen
- 18 + 10 (4 broods) Coots
- 1 Black-headed Gull briefly

Lurking in the vegetation we see the latest brood of (at least) 2 Coot being brooded.

Just the duck Mallard and six of her ducklings: the others have left to join some of the other adults.

The 3 drake Tufted Duck this morning. Note the variability with only one bird in anything like breeding plumage and even that has some grey on the rear. Whether the others are juveniles that never acquired full plumage or birds early in to eclipse is hard to say. The bird on the left seems to have extensive head plumes so perhaps it at least is a mature bird.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2005, 2010,  2012 and 2014

Priorslee Lake
Highlights Here

Priorslee Lake
Grasshopper Warbler singing
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
2 Green Sandpipers seen flying from the lake towards Priorslee Flash: these were my first here for c.10 years
1 Common Sandpiper
House Sparrow unusual here  (Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Possible Crossbills close-by
(Ed Wilson)