10 Sep 15

Priorslee Lake: 05:30 – 07:10 // 08:05 – 09:27

Telford sunrise: 06:35

8.5°C > 16.0°C. started clear with a few thin wisps of cloud: by 06:15 mist and low cloud rolled in, lifting after 09:30 and after 10:30 some good sunny spells. Calm with SE breeze springing up and moderate at times. Moderate visibility becoming poor for a while.

A sure sign of autumn with more dabbling ducks moving through. Yesterday’s Shovelers seem to have gone but 1 drake Wigeon and 6 immature / female Teal were at the lake

The first teaching morning at the new Holy Trinity Academy in Teece Drive apparently went off without any extra disturbance

(112th visit of the year)

Other notes
- lone Canada Goose on the lake throughout
- both the Wigeon and the Teal were very ‘jumpy’ and did not allow close approach
- in addition to the usual variable number of resident Great Crested Grebe another bird flew in: this was a juvenile, much further advanced than any of the local birds, all of which have yet to fledge. One of the adult pairs was seen displaying in front of the children
- the Rooks passed high over as usual: the Jackdaws were some 15 minutes later than usual and I thought I must have lots them in the fog
- no hirundines until 09:10 when a much smaller mixed group of 15 birds arrived: later at least 1 Sand Martin was with them
- 10 Chiffchaffs (5 in song) and just 3 Blackcaps were the only warblers located here today

- 1 Pipistrelle-type bat
- no dragonflies or butterflies
- no moths on the lamps
- the same 3 moths were in the Priorslee Avenue foot tunnel when I walked toward The Flash but only the Riband Wave moth was still present when I walked back 45 minutes later

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
again affected by the mist / low cloud
- 18 Canada Geese (4 groups)
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 208 Jackdaws
- 130 Rooks
- 10 Pied Wagtails
Count of hirundines etc
- 1+ Sand Martin
- 4 Barn Swallows
- >10 House Martins

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans [7HFB + 7FAD]
- 1 Canada Goose throughout
- 1 (1) Wigeon
- 6 (?) Common Teal
- 28 (?♂) Mallard
- 9 (3♂) Tufted Ducks again
- 2 Grey Herons still
- 1 Little Grebe only
- 6 + 9 (3 broods) Great Crested Grebes (see notes)
- 4 + 13 Moorhens
- 183 Coots
- 67 Black-headed Gulls
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

Even in the mist there is no mistaking the head shape of a Wigeon, the warm rusty flanks confirming it as a drake.

This immature Great Crested Grebe flew in this morning. This fledged bird born this year is, unlike the local juveniles, full-sized and with only remnant head stripes.

At extreme range in the misty conditions it is still just possible to identify these compact dabbling ducks as Common Teal. One of the best features in these conditions is the pale stripe along the base of the tail, more noticeable than that shown by duck Mallard. The middle bird looks slightly more warm-toned which tends to point to it being a drake – either in eclipse plumage or an immature. In the conditions positive aging / sexing not really possible.

Two small insects here: on the right is a midge likely a male Chironomus plumosus with the furry antenna. Since this is the only species of midge shown in my book in which the wings are shorter than the body it makes the larger insect on the left rather harder to identify.

Strange: grass-seed seems to have been added to the mulch on the reconditioned verges outside the school but no birds were seen taking advantage of what seems to be a free meal. Perhaps the seeds have been coated on a bad-tasting chemical? Not a good idea when there are dogs being walked in the area.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 07:20 – 08:00

(80th visit of the year)

- the Mute Swans have done a changeover act with 2 different adults. Where that leave the 3 cygnets is hard to judge. They seem to be feeding themselves OK but when all the wildfowl were fed their usual morning corn by one of the locals the cob swan pecked one of the cygnets quite aggressively several times
- 5 Chiffchaffs (1 in song) were the warblers logged here
Birds noted flying over

Hirundines etc

The counts from the water
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 3 Canada Geese
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 37 (15♂) Mallard
- 32 (15♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 2 Grey Herons
- 2 + 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 3 Moorhens
- 16 Coots again
- no gulls

7HJJ is the rather worn ring of the current pen Mute Swan.

The ring on the cob is rather damaged but seems to be 7IDV.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 09:36 – 10:05 // 10:45 – 10:57

(39th visit of the year)

- the same 3 Mute Swans again
- the feral Mallard that had done a disappearing trick on my last visit were present as usual
- 2 of the 3 adult Great Crested Grebes were doing the full display bit with weed
- 1 Chiffchaff calling was the only warbler today
- a Vanessid sp. butterfly flew through while it was still very cloudy – Peacock / Painted Lady / Red Admiral, but which?
- a male Migrant Hawker dragonfly was identified over the water
- a male Emperor Dragonfly was seen a few minutes earlier apparently picking up prey-items from the ground of the Blue Pig car park. A late date for this species

Birds noted flying over
- 4 Canada Geese
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

Hirundines etc

The counts from the water
- 3 Mute Swans
- 21 Canada Geese
- 8 (5♂) Mallard
- 3 feral Mallard-type ducks
- 3 (2♂) Tufted Duck
- 3 Great Crested Grebes still
- 5 + 3 Moorhens
- 130 Coots
- 18 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 2 Herring Gulls

A pair of Great Crested Grebes in display. Note the cocked tail as well as the head plumes sticking up and out.

This seems to be a female spider sp. on a lamp here because ....

This is a smaller individual which I am guessing is the male – this is very typical in spiders and sometimes very much so. Whether the smaller red-bodied spider just sneaking in to the picture is related is hard to say.

These seem to be the cocoons / nests to which the spiders retreat.

This dragonfly is a Migrant Hawker and my first here this year. This species is slightly smaller than the similarly-marked Common Hawker. It would be easier to confirm from a plan view but that was not on offer as this ranged up and down.

This shot does not quite give enough of the ‘plan view’ but it does highlight the rather even width of the main body – the Common Hawker male would be noticeably ‘waisted’ at the front of the body.

This is just a small part of a terrible photo – but hey: dragonflies in flight are hard! But to me this shows the bright green synthorax (front part) that can only be an Emperor Dragonfly. This species does not normally fly after late August so this is a good record and hence needs supporting evidence.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Middle Pool: 10:10 – 10:40

(15th visit of the year)

- almost all the geese logged flew while I was present
- Mallard have mostly now gone again!
- 2 Chiffchaffs calling again
- no insects of note
- last week’s fungus now looking rather sad

Birds noted flying over
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

Hirundines etc

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 2 Greylag Geese
- 55 Canada Geese
- 6 (3♂) Mallard
- 1 feral Mallard-type ducks
- 19 (5♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 + 3 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 3 + 1 Moorhens
- 12 Coots
- 1 Black-headed Gull

(Ed Wilson)


Devil's Dingle: 09:00

2 Shelduck
6 Teal

(John Isherwood)


River Severn, Buildwas and Leighton: 10:30

2 Little Egret
1 Wigeon
1 Common Sandpiper

(John Isherwood)

On this day in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2014
Priorslee Lake

Today's Report Here
(Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
2 Wheatear
2 Yellow Wagtail
1 Raven 
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake
Common Sandpiper
(John Isherwood)

The Flash
Common Sandpiper
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
2 Kingfisher
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Common Gull
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
A juvenile Arctic Tern
(Ed Wilson)