4 Aug 15

Priorslee Lake: 04:53 – 06:45 // 07:40 – 08:50

Telford sunrise: 05:32

11.0°C > 15.0°C. Variable cloud with clear spells and some low cloud and very light drizzle. Moderate / fresh SSW wind. Good visibility

All the street lights along the revamped Teece Drive access to the new Academy have now been connected and the lights along the W end footpath area also operational: rather too late for many moths to be recorded this year

Two caravans and a tent on the SW grass were here apparently with permission for two days only

(94th visit of the year)

- 1 Mallard duckling was my first here this year – always just 1 or 2 broods a year here
- the party of 6 Goosanders over was unexpected for this date but mirrors the party of c.50 that I recorded on 13 August last year (and initially misidentified as Pintail)
- 3 Little Grebes was also unexpected for the date. 1 bird at least was a juvenile. All 3 were keeping well apart. No suggestion that this often secretive species might have bred here
- only 5 adult Great Crested Grebes seen: a single new juvenile with one pair. No sign of the previous juveniles but these likely fledged and left
- several new broods of Coots since my last visit: from now on the adult counts likely includes some well-grown juveniles
- first Swift at 05:20 with 10 by 05:40. Then >40 in same general area by 08:00. This is rather unusual for this date – Swifts normally leave in the last few days of July and only stragglers / late breeders remain with sometimes a very few as late as September
- 1 Raven over the estate to the NW being harassed by Crows
- 20 Barn Swallows: 5 high over calling at 05:30; 8 flew low SE 06:15; 7 low over Ricoh grounds 07:50. These latter likely local breeders, the others seemed to be on the move
- very little bird song today and all the warblers heard, apart from one sporadic Chiffchaff, were only calling. No Reed Warblers seen or heard and they may have gone already
- 1 Dark Arches moth – not on the lamps but resting on the Castle Farm Way access gate

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 5 Canada Geese
- 6 Goosanders
- 1 Cormorant
- 1 Grey Heron
- 40 large Gulls
- 11 Feral Pigeons
- 2 Stock Doves
- 292 Jackdaws
- 88 Rooks
- 1 Starling
- 1 Pied Wagtail

Count of hirundines etc
- >40 Swifts
- c.20 Barn Swallow
- >40 House Martins

count of singing warblers [last report for year – song now more or less ceased]
- 1 Chiffchaffs

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 27 (?♂) + 1 Mallard
- 1 Grey Heron
- 3 Little Grebes
- 5 + 1 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes again
- 8 + 4 (3 broods) Moorhens
- 75 + 14 (7 broods) Coots
- c.35 Black-headed Gulls
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 1 Herring Gull

This morning’s sunrise: note the prominent growth of the weed in the lake. The chemicals formerly used to control this species are now banned and the only way to minimise the impact is to physically pull it up.

They may have fixed the street lights at the end of the lake but the only moth I found this morning was this Dark Arches sheltering on the entrance gate from Castle Farm Way.

Work on the new Academy has seen some of the verges re-modelled and several plants not usually seen in the area have colonised the bare ground. This seems to be Sun Spurge (Euphorbia helioscopia).

Another plant on the bare ground: this is Knotgrass (Polygonum aviculare) (it can also be seen in the background of the spurge picture).

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 06:55 – 07:30

(69th visit of the year)

- geese seem to have finished their wing-moult and are now flying away to feed so few around when I visited
- no sign of the juvenile Great Crested Grebe this morning: I doubt it could have fledged in my absence. One of the adults back to sitting on the nest
- a new brood of Coot this morning – just 1 juvenile

Birds noted flying over

Hirundines etc
- 6 House Martins

Singing warblers

The counts from the water
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 1 Greylag Goose
- 23 Canada Geese
- 1 Lesser Canada Goose ssp.
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 23 (?♂) Mallard
- 9 (5♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 Moorhens
- 16 + 1 (1 brood) Coots
- 37 Black-headed Gulls

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2008, 2011, 2012 and 2013
Trench Lock Pool
4 Common Terns
(Dave Tromans)

Priorslee Lake
Green Sandpiper
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
3 Common Terns
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Black-tailed Godwit
Little Grebe
(Ed Wilson)