15 Sep 15

Priorslee Lake: 05:47 – 09:07

Telford sunrise: 06:43

9.5°C > 12.5°C. Initially very low overcast and light rain / heavy drizzle. Clearer after 08:00 and some sun ahead of more showery rain after 09:00. Light WNW wind. Poor visibility becoming gradually good

Highlight this morning was an unusually late Common Sandpiper – Autumn passage is mainly in July and very early August. Apart from hirundines there were no other migrants noted today and none of the passage ducks remains

At 08:30 workers with a truck marked ‘Ground Control’ arrived to clear the remainder of the vegetation off the dam and then spray the dam to prevent regrowth. Seems there are concerns that the vegetation is moving the stones and potentially compromising the integrity of the dam. While this sounded plausible I was less than happy with the discussion with one of them about the effects of the cutting and the spray on the wildlife. He reported that it had been “checked” for bats: possibly (bats are actively using the vegetation along the dam to feed pre-dawn). He also told that all weed killers that were available are now safe to use in water and he did not see why they could not be used to kill the weed rather than cut it: sounded unlikely to me. But then what do I know ...? He did say that only vegetation on the dam itself was to be treated and that the new patches of reeds ‘in the water’ would be left.

(117th visit of the year)

Other notes
- steady passage of mainly small groups of Barn Swallows, all heading W (in to the wind) after 06:40 and before the clearance began c.08:00. Then a mixed group of c.30 swallows and martins gathered for a while but left as soon as the cloud lifted completely for a while
- exactly 200 Coots counted. Strange that some years there is a big increase here and other years they seem to prefer Trench Lock. Perhaps the weed is the attraction
- not sure where the Rooks were this morning: they would have gone over when the cloud was at its lowest and the visibility at worst so perhaps they were just ‘not available’
- a party of at least 25 Starlings was seen leaving the grass at the E end of the Ricoh area
- 11 Chiffchaffs (5 in song), 3 Blackcaps and 2 Reed Warblers were located today. The Reed Warblers were particularly noteworthy as now by far my latest-ever here. As I heard what sounded like a juvenile begging last week I suspect they are from a late / replacement brood

- 5 Pipistrelles at least: 3 of these were along the N shore – a new location for this species for me, but I do not usually walk the N side before dawn
- no moths on the lamps or in the Priorslee Avenue foot tunnel
- no insects again in the poor conditions

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 11 Lesser Black-backed Gulls again
- 1 Herring Gull
- 2 Feral Pigeons
- 2 Collared Doves
- 214 Jackdaws
- 15 Rooks only
- 8 Pied Wagtails

Count of hirundines etc
- 1+ Sand Martin
- >50 Barn Swallows
- >20 House Martins

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 9 Canada Geese (2 groups, each briefly)
- 19 (11♂) Mallard
- 12 (5♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Grey Herons
- 3 Little Grebes
- 8 + 9 (4 broods) Great Crested Grebes again
- 8 + 13 Moorhens
- 200 Coots exactly
- 1 Common Sandpiper
- 79 Black-headed Gulls

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 09:10 – 09:58

(83rd visit of the year)

- today the cob yellow 52F was sitting / standing in the middle of Derwent Drive and would not budge for vehicles using the road. Later I talked to Cuan House Wildlife Rescue who were already on the case. He would not re-enter the water with the other cob dominant and would be unable to take off from land. So would likely starve to death unless helped
- 2 of the 3 cygnets were wearing new blue Darvic rings but had their legs tucked up and I could not read them
- 23 Greylag and 5 Canada Geese were all that were present until I was about to leave when a hoard of geese arrived from the NE. As best as I could count the resultant melee on the water there were 188 Greylags, 288 Canada's and 1 Greylag x ? in this fly-in
- House Martin(s) heard high overhead but not located
- 6 Chiffchaffs (3 in song) were logged here

Birds noted flying over

Hirundines etc (as noted)
- 1+ House Martin heard

The counts from the water
- 3 + 3 Mute Swans
- 211 Greylag Geese
- 1 Greylag x ? Goose
- 293 Canada Goose
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 30 (19♂) Mallard
- 43 (20♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 2 + 2 Great Crested Grebes as usual
- 2 + 1 Moorhens
- 18 Coots again
- 1 Black-headed Gull

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2008, 2010, 2013 and 2014
Priorslee Lake
Today's Report Here
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Green Sandpiper
9 Ravens
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Mallard x Pintail
2 Sand Martin
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
100+ hirundines
31 Pied Wagtails
14 Chiffchaffs
7 Siskins
(Ed Wilson)