13 Sep 15

Priorslee Lake: 05:44 – 10:04

Telford sunrise: 06:39

7.5°C > 12.5°C. Mainly clear with a few areas of high cloud. Calm with light SE breeze later. Very good visibility

The duck passage continues with 3 Shovelers and 4 Teal today. Possibly for not much longer as a Severn-Trent worker told me that contractors have been hired to remove much (all?) of the weed that is hampering the yacht club, the model boats and the anglers and threatening to cover the whole lake. The ducks seem to like it though

Other autumn passage included c.25 Barn Swallows, c.6 House Martins, 5 individual Meadow Pipits and a group of 3 Siskins

(115th visit of the year)

Other notes
- 23 Mallard counted on the lake: 11 seen flying off early may or may not have returned and been included in the count
- 11 Tufted Ducks counted on the lake: then 11 seen in flight and apparently all leaving in 3 groups. Later 8 seen on water so ....?
- a calm sunny morning enabled me to conclude that there are definitely 4 pairs of Great Crested Grebes with 9 juveniles between them. But to keep me on my toes another bird – a fledged immature – was seen taking off from the lake and apparently left around dawn
- until 09:30 all the Barn Swallows were passing high over: apart from a party of 16 at 07:15 the other 16 were singles or pairs. After 09:30 there were 6 at the W end which seemed to be local birds with a few local House Martins as well
- 9 Chiffchaffs (3 in song) with 3 Blackcaps (1 in sub-song) and 1 very late Reed Warbler were located today
- my first Chaffinch here since 04 August

- 4 Pipistrelles at least, all together at S end of dam: why don’t the echo locators jam each other?
- a Garden Carpet moth on one of the lamps: even though this is a common species it is my first-ever log at this site
- no moths in the Priorslee Avenue foot tunnel but what appeared to be a chrysalis on the wall
- 1 Speckled Wood butterfly
- no dragonflies
- a few hoverflies using the Ragwort – the only flowers in any abundance now

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 33 Canada Geese (3 groups)
- 14 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 10 Feral Pigeons (1 group)
- 3 Stock Doves
- 138 Jackdaws
- 193 Rooks
- 13 Pied Wagtails
- 5 Meadow Pipits
- 3 Siskins

Count of hirundines etc
- >35 Barn Swallows
- 8 House Martins

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 12 Canada Geese, briefly
- 4 (0♂) Common Teal
- 23 (11♂) Mallard (see notes)
- 3 (2♂) Shoveler
- 11 (7♂) Tufted Ducks (see notes)
- 2 Grey Herons
- 3 Little Grebes yet again
- 8 + 9 (4 broods) + 1 Great Crested Grebes (see notes)
- 11 + 22 Moorhens
- 186 Coots
- 127 Black-headed Gulls
- 11 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

A touch of red sky this morning: generally fine.

But a rather hazy sunrise.

This photo reveals what I could not see with binoculars: the ‘additional’ flying Great Crested Grebe was an immature: not one from the lake as none of those is fledged as yet.
It is always surprising how much white shows on the upperwing of Great Crested Grebes in flight. Note the elongated silhouette with long thin neck and feet sticking out the back.

Only a duck Mallard but the light and reflection adds something to a ‘stock’ bird.

Similarly with this drake Tufted Duck. Considering how white the flanks look on this bird I was surprised how little ‘tuft’ it showed.

And the same light shows the progress of two of the juvenile Great Crested Grebes, here with a parent: they have almost lost what I see as a ‘nasty-looking’ pink patch at the base of the bill.

A Grey Heron takes to flight: again it is the reflection that makes this ‘different’. No idea why the head-shape looks so strange: it was OK when it was standing by the dam but had this strange ‘bump’ on it as it flew off.

As juvenile Goldfinches begin to moult to adult plumage the first noticeable feature is the brownish marks on the side of the breast.

Here is one of the many Chiffchaffs that are still about. Had to look hard at this because the angle gives the cap a brown tone: could it be a juvenile Blackcap? The bill is the best clue: it is rather thin and pointed whereas Blackcap would be thicker and blunter. It does look rather too olive-brown for a Blackcap but that could also be an effect of the light so it is best to confirm using other features.

Not the best angle but identifies this moth as my first log of Garden Carpet moth at this site.

This is rather a puzzle: on the wall of the Priorslee Avenue foot-tunnel. I thought (and still think) it is a chrysalis but now I put it on the PC screen it looks to have ‘ears’ and rather resembles a very small bat!

Always amazed at the veins in the wings of insects – who designed them like this and why? Here is a female (eyes separated) Eristalis tenax hoverfly on Ragwort.

This is a very scruffy and worn Speckled Wood butterfly. This species is almost continuously brooded between April and late October but this is clearly a rather old specimen that had done much fighting – this is the species you see often flying in pairs or small groups in tight circles as they battle for territory.

Ragwort is still plentiful but the flowers somehow look tired and faded and are probably not producing much nectar.

These attractive berries are from Guelder-Rose (Viburnum opulus). The fruits are not really poisonous but may cause mild upset so best leave them for the birds.

(Ed Wilson)


Devil's Dingle: 07:45

1 Wheatear
5 Teal
1 Wigeon

(John Isherwood)


River Severn, Buildwas and Leighton: 09:00

1 Peregrine
1 Little Egret
1 Goosander

(John Isherwood)

On this day in 2007 and 2014
Priorslee Lake

Today's Report Here
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
(Ed Wilson)