6 Aug 15

Priorslee Lake: 04:55 – 06:50 // 07:50 – 09:32

Telford sunrise: 05:36

14.5°C > 17.5°C. Low cloud, misty / drizzly and humid start; cloud lifted somewhat after 08:00 with a sharp shower at 08:20 ahead of a clearance. Mainly light SSW wind. Moderate visibility becoming good after clearance

(96th visit of the year)

- lots of geese this morning with some groups of >50 birds. Not all headed in the same direction and there seemed to be some dispute as to where to go with birds going to the NE and the SE and at least 19 birds flying W
- the drake Tufted Duck was seen lifting off and flying out after I returned from The Flash: not seen previously
- 3 Little Grebes seen today: 2 adults and a juvenile
- 6 adult Great Crested Grebes as 3 pairs all with juveniles: number still not confirmed but at least 6
- one pair of Coots building a new nest from the weed some distance away from the shore – likely will be destroyed by the water sports but would be unlikely to succeed at this date anyway
- I specifically counted the Wood Pigeons flying E: I logged 205. Only 25 were noted flying ‘back’ W later. A higher number than I estimated for yesterday likely to be an inaccurate estimate rather than any significant increase in number
- first Swift at 05:35 this dull morning and a maximum of 10 birds today
- Kingfisher heard: likely to become regular here now breeding is finished
- 1 Barn Swallows low over Ricoh several times: 2 more flew high SE from calls sounded like adult with juvenile
- at least 50 House Martins were high overhead flying in and out of the cloud. When the cloud lifted many of them moved away
- at least 8 Reed Warblers seen with 2 in occasional spluttering song
- still no Dunnocks / Hedge Sparrows seen or heard
- 1 Riband Wave moth on the lamps
- 1 Shaded Broad-bar and >30 grass moths flushed
- after the clearance both Green-veined White and Large Skipper butterflies were noted
- a careful check of all the Ragwort plants failed to find any evidence of Cinnabar moth caterpillars this year

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 13 Greylag Geese (2 groups)
- 246 Canada Geese (12 groups)
- 3 Cormorants
- 22 large Gulls
- 3 Stock Doves
- 6 Feral Pigeons
- c.230 Wood Pigeons
- 298 Jackdaws
- 71 Rooks
- 7 Pied Wagtails

Count of hirundines etc
- c.10 Swifts
- 5 Barn Swallow
- >50 House Martins again

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 35 (?♂) + 1 Mallard
- 1 (1♂) Tufted Duck
- 3 Little Grebes
- 6 + 6? (3 broods) Great Crested Grebes
- 5 + 8 (5 broods) Moorhens
- 83 + 11 (7 broods) Coots again
- 25 Black-headed Gulls
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gull
Here is a Coot building a new nest from the weed some distance away from the shore.

Look a non-dysfunctional family all moving in the same direction! So there are three juveniles in this brood of Great Crested Grebes.

... or not: here there seem to be 4! Crowded in there.

Head-on the juveniles look most unattractive.

I think dad(?) will have to do better than that – seems to have brought a feather! Still perhaps they need the roughage?

Another spider that I struggled with – indeed it may even be the same specimen I photographed yesterday. Here it is with a nest of eggs and we can see an outline pattern on its back as well as the dots.

To complement yesterday’s photo of the small hoverfly Syrphus ribesii here is another showing its fondness for convolvulus flowers, in this case a wet flower.

A very fresh-looking Green-veined White butterfly. The rather blurred marks on the wing-tip as well as the ‘veins’ on the underwing distinguish this from Large or Small White. Specimens of those two species often look rather a yellowish white and a ‘bright’ white butterfly will often turn out to be a Green-veined White.

Whilst checking the Ragwort for, and failing to find, Cinnabar moth caterpillars I came across this small green bug. Rather reminiscent of a shield bug sp. I think it is a bit small: also the fore-wings are less ‘horny’. It may just be an early instar but it seems rather too elongated.

When they pose like this there is every reason to include another shot of a Large Skipper – a male here with the scent mark in the forewing. As the mark is clearly parallel to the wing-edge we can dismiss Essex Skipper without trying to see whether the underside of the antennae tips are black or not.

Been pondering some recently flowering umbellifers: did not seem right for (Common) Hogweed in that the outer flower of each head was not full-leaved. But which species from this confusing family. From this photo of an extreme example of the purple-stem, the ‘open’ flower-head and especially the almost bramble-like leaves it seems this must be Wild Angelica (Angelica sylvestris).

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 07:00 – 07:40

(71st visit of the year)

- I was told this morning that the 4th cygnet that I recorded as having disappeared on 4th / 5th July died in care after ingesting fishing line while eating bait being set by one of the fishermen
- two small juvenile Great Crested Grebes were confirmed this morning. There was also an extra adult bird

Birds noted flying over

Hirundines etc
- 1 Swift
- 1 House Martin

The counts from the water
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 1 Greylag Goose
- 44 Canada Geese
- 1 Lesser Canada Goose ssp.
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 28 (19♂) Mallard
- 6 (3♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 1 Grey Heron
- 3 + 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 + 1 (1 brood) Moorhens
- 15 + 2 (1 brood) Coots
- 5 Black-headed Gulls

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2006,  2009, 2011 and 2012
Priorslee Lake
Green Sandpiper
(Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
1 (imm/fem) Common Redstart
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
2 Common Tern