9 Aug 15

Priorslee Lake: 04:58 – 08:42

Telford sunrise: 05:41

14.0°C > 18.0°C. Overcast start with small gap to E allowing red sunrise: started to clear soon after 07:00 and sunny by 08:00. Light S wind veered WSW with clearance and increased moderate. Very Good visibility

Another morning of two halves, today at the behest of the weather. Overcast and dull with most things very quiet to start, but picked up after 07:30.

One of those records to be ‘pended’ today. At 08:15 I heard what in other circumstance I would have logged as a Marsh Tit. But I have never recorded this declining species here – the nearest site I know of is on The Wrekin. The bird came fast, straight toward me jumping between branches at head-height. I saw so little of the bird that I was unable to even see whether it might be a Great Tit making an usual call which would be the most likely alternative. I chased after it but it had disappeared.

(99th visit of the year)

Other notes
- Mallard duckling not noted this morning
- same 3 Little Grebes again
- no nearer solving how many Great Crested Grebes there are: again seemed to be 3 pairs with 4, 2 and an unknown number of juveniles. In one pair the juveniles were on both of the parents’ back – not seen this before
- I again specifically counted the Wood Pigeons flying E: today 198. Just 22 were noted flying ‘back’ W later but I probably left before the main return
- 4 Swifts arrived at 06:00 increasing to 8 shortly afterwards. Then 5 at 07:30 and long after the previous group had left. Finally 2 at 08:25
- high total of House Martins: unseen birds calling high overhead at 06:00 likely migrants. Then at least 50, mixed with c.10 Barn Swallows, were seen heading vaguely S and high over towards the E at 06:40. 50 birds seems too many to be all local birds. Small parties over thereafter. A few additional Barn Swallows were seen moving through later
- rather unusually a single Raven was seen in with the roost-dispersal of Rooks. Later another bird was heard; and then another flew over
- 14 Chiffchaffs logged today included 6 birds in the same Alder tree along with 3 Coal Tits and a number of Blue and Great Tits
- fewer Reed Warblers – just 6 – but one of these was seen taking food in to the reeds where juvenile(s) were heard begging
- no Song Thrushes singing this morning: for me this is the first time this year
- dragonflies etc. noted: Red-eyed Damselfly and Common Darter
- butterflies noted: Large White only
- two moths checked: Agriphila tristella (or Common Grass-veneer) and a probable Eudonia mercurella (or Small Grey)
- a Common Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus)

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 12 (2 groups) Greylag Geese
- 191 Canada Geese (15 groups)
- 18 large gulls
- 1 Cormorant
- 7 (4 sightings) Feral Pigeon
- c.225 Wood Pigeons
- 1 Collared Dove
- 221 Jackdaws
- 88 Rooks
- 3 Ravens
- 1 Pied Wagtail
- 1 Linnet

Count of hirundines etc
- 15 Swifts
- 11 Barn Swallows
- >60 House Martins

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 22 (?♂) Mallard
- 3 Little Grebes
- 6 + >6 (3? broods) Great Crested Grebes
- 6 + 12 (7 broods) Moorhens
- 75 + 16 (8 broods) Coots again
- 183 Black-headed Gulls
- 23 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

On what seemed like a morning with 8/8 cloud the red sky caught me ‘out of position’ and this was my best effort.

Another study of a juvenile Black-headed Gull. Some pale-grey feathers in the mantle indicate it has started the moult to 1st winter plumage.

Adult Black-headed Gull still mainly in summer plumage but with the hood starting to fade. The way the wing-tips are held suggests it is probably moulting some of the primaries.

Firstly a reprise and back to the drawing board with this juvenile gull that caused me to pause: yesterday. I concluded “surely ‘just’ a rather large specimen of Black-headed Gull”: but not so. The Belvide blog Here for the previous day (8th) has two photos of what is clearly the same bird and that includes one where the wings are open and show that the clear grey greater coverts form the distinctive grey panel in the wing of immature Mediterranean Gulls. In that photo there are several other features that point to Mediterranean Gull and I am now happy to accepts it as a hybrid. My main reason to dismiss this was the bill structure which is much too slim for Mediterranean Gull but clearly the bill is largely Black-headed Gull genes: but even here the colour is rather brown as opposed to reddish s in pure juvenile Black-headed Gull.

A bit of grab shot capturing something I have not seen before – a pair of Great Crested Grebes sharing parental duties. I have often wondered whether the juveniles are always on the female’s back and now I know: not always.

This is one of a different pair bringing breakfast back to the brood.

.... and one of the grebelings(!) will be happy – seems the other adult is happy as well.

I know I did this only the other day but well-lit against a blue sky worth another look at an adult Goldfinch.

and here for contrast is the dull juvenile.

One of the more distinctive of the grass moths with the pale longitudinal streak identifying this as Agriphila tristella (or Common Grass-veneer).

This is probably Eudonia mercurella (or Small Grey) but there are several confusion species and a moth 15’ feet up a lamp-post is not easy to examine.

The wildlife is already adapting to the changes wrought by the remodelling of the roadway for the new Academy. The fence erected atop the piling used to prevent the children falling in the Wesley Brook has been adopted by Common Darters and shooting along the fence top allowed this somewhat unusual ‘isolated’ male.

This is a Common Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus) here helpfully on a nettle (though I found one yesterday elsewhere on leaves of a Maize plant (Zea mays) aka Sweet Corn).

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2014

Priorslee Lake
Report from today Here

Priorslee Lake
Green Sandpiper
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
2 Lapwings
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
4 Little Egrets
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Peregrine Falcon
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
(Ed Wilson)