18 Sep 15

Priorslee Lake: 05:47 – 09:02

Telford sunrise: 06:48

6.5°C > 12.5°C. Mainly clear again with some areas of cloud to SE and NW: more cloud later. Calm (fog in the vicinity but, unusually, clear here); light W wind later. Good visibility

(120th visit of the year)

Other notes
- the Pochard again: seemed to fly off
- a female Kestrel was over the W end and briefly perched atop one of the masts in the Yacht Club compound
- I again flushed something out of the Wesley Brook which scurried off in to the undergrowth: after yesterday’s experience I was approaching with care but was looking the wrong way – the bird was the other side of the bridge! Saw it only slightly better but still unhappy to positively ID it as a Water Rail
- the Rooks were in many straggling small groups today. The Jackdaws again passed mainly well to the E
- several single Barn Swallows over before 08:20 after which several large groups of 6 – 18 birds. All flying W
- at least 1 House Martin heard high overhead at 09:00 but not located
- 8 Chiffchaffs (4 in song) and 1 Blackcap located this morning
- first Reed Buntings since 18 July: usually unobtrusive (unless they are singing males) I saw what I thought might be a bird leave the W end scrub at 06:20: they often roost here in winter as well as breed. Later I heard another calling

- 3 Pipistrelle-type bats
- 3 moths on the lamps: an Epiphyas postvittana (or Light Brown Apple Moth); a Common Marbled Carpet and a Silver Y
- the same Silver Y moth was still in the Priorslee Avenue foot tunnel
- 3 lacewing sp. were on a lamp with another in the Priorslee Avenue foot tunnel and a 5th on the control box on the dam sluice gate

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 13 Canada Geese
- 18 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Stock Dove
- 258 Jackdaws
- 142 Rooks
- 11 Pied Wagtails
- 3 Meadow Pipits
- 1 Siskin again

Count of hirundines etc
- 53 Barn Swallows
- 1+ House Martin (see notes)

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 1 Greylag x ? Goose
- 21 Canada Geese
- 19 (10♂) Mallard
- 1 (0♂) Pochard
- 20 (8♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron
- 3 Little Grebes again
- 8 + 9 (4 broods) Great Crested Grebes
- 13 + 14 Moorhens
- 192 Coots
- c.450 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull

A different take on the sunrise this morning: and a few wisps of mist over the water.

The morning sunlight makes this Chiffchaff positively glow. There were at least 4 birds jumping around in this small group of willows with rather lichen-encrusted branches (others elsewhere).

The duck Pochard allowed a photo this morning but then decided to take off.

This is the duck Pochard at The Flash: lighting conditions are very different making direct comparison difficult but to my eyes these are different individuals.

Common Marbled Carpet moth: a very common species and rather variable in markings and colour.

This Silver Y moth on one of the lamps is in much better condition than the specimen from the foot-tunnel shown along with Wednesday’s notes (and in a easier location to photograph).

Covered in dew is a lacewing sp. one of number found today.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 09:04 – 09:39

(85th visit of the year)

Other notes
- geese numbers again likely to be under-recorded as many birds had probably already disappeared inside the island
- not sure where all the duck Mallards were this morning
- the House Martins flew N (strange?): one of them was calling like a juvenile
- 2 Chiffchaffs (no song again)

Birds noted flying over
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 5 Starlings

Hirundines etc.
- 4 House Martins

The counts from the water
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 64 Greylag Geese
- 329 Canada Geese
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 20 (17♂) Mallard
- 1 (0♂) Pochard
- 17 (12♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 2 + 2 Great Crested Grebes as usual
- 2 + 1 Moorhens
- 18 Coots
- 1 Black-headed Gull

A Darvic ring recently added to two of the cygnets here: no wonder I had trouble reading it as it waved its leg about – it is all verticals. I think ‘7IIU’

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool
: 09:48 – 10:15 // 10:50 – 10:53

(41st visit of the year)

- 1 Chiffchaff noted calling
- no insects noted

Birds noted flying over
- 1 female Sparrowhawk

Count of hirundines etc
- 5 House Martins flew E

The counts from the water
- 3 Mute Swans again
- 8 (4♂) Mallard
- 3 feral Mallard-type ducks as usual
- 1 (0♂) Pochard
- 6 (4♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 6 + 4 Moorhens
- 152 Coots
- 7 Black-headed Gulls
- 4 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Herring Gulls

A female (on size) Sparrowhawk

Here is a young (juvenile / 1st winter) Herring Gulls doing what this species seems to like to do – pecking at buoys: Lesser Black-backed Gulls rarely seem to do it. Why is it a Herring Gull? It is rather paler than a Lesser Black-backed would be and especially the bill is not solidly black. The pale notches in the tertials would not be shown by a Lesser Black-backed Gull at this age. The face pattern is unusually obvious here – a combination of the angle of the light and a well-marked bird.

Here we see it in front of two similar age Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Note how much darker they are and their solid black bills. Herring Gulls are typically larger than Lesser Black-backed Gulls but females of both species are smaller than males so what we probably have here is a female Herring Gull and male Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Note also their tertials are dark with neat fringes and not notched.

And here the Herring Gull has spread its wings for us to see the paler inner primaries (the ‘window’) and the markings on the greater coverts both of which would be all-dark on a Lesser Black-backed Gull.

And here the pattern of the underwing with the light shining through the window.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Middle Pool: 10:20 – 10:45

(16th visit of the year)

- almost all the geese were somewhere else today
- unusually high count of Tufted Duck: my highest total this year
- also a high count of Coots: seems like all the juveniles have stayed so far
- the 4th juvenile Great Crested Grebe, not noted on my last visit, was present today but was nowhere near the rest of the family
- 1 Chiffchaff calling
- 1 Treecreeper also heard calling was unusual and my first of the year here
- no insects of note

Birds noted flying over
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

Hirundines etc

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 12 Canada Geese
- 22 (12♂) Mallard
- 5 feral Mallard-type ducks
- 27 (9♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 + 4 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 5 + 2 Moorhens
- 21 Coots
- 1 Black-headed Gull

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2007 and 2014
Priorslee Lake

Today's Report Here
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Common Gull
(Ed Wilson)