6 Sep 15

Priorslee Lake: 05:24 – 08:35

Telford sunrise: 06:28

8.5°C > 11.0°C. Mainly clear with few clouds. Light / moderate WNW. Very good visibility

(108th visit of the year)

Seemed to be rather quiet but turned up several good sightings
- a male (on size) Peregrine flew N (with a perhaps unwise Lesser Black-backed Gull chasing it): my first at the lake this year
- a 1st winter Common Gull stopped off briefly: also my first at the lake this year – in fact my first for nearly 2 years here where it belies its vernacular name
- as I was preparing to leave 2 rather late Swifts stopped off overhead

Other notes
- 1 Grey Heron only [but a dog-walker reported 5 together at The Flash this morning]
- back to just 2 Little Grebes visible
- Great Crested Grebes were more amenable to counting today – 3 broods as previously recorded with an extra adult
- Moorhens seemed to be everywhere today and 35 must be a record
- the 4 Sand Martins were only revealed very high overhead as I was watching the passing Peregrine; 4 House Martins to the NW over the estate and later 2 over the water. No Barn Swallows seen
- 9 Chiffchaffs (1 in song), 4 Blackcaps and 3 Reed Warblers located today: one of the Reed Warblers sounded like a begging juvenile – very late brood?

- the same bat sp. seen rather better this morning, again pre-dawn: definitely only flying over the vegetation at the dam-edge and looked too small for a Daubenton’s Bat, so almost certainly just a Pipistrelle
- single hawker-type dragonfly see briefly
- no butterflies seen
- four moths on the lamps – rather surprisingly as clear and cool nights are normally thought to keep moth numbers down. Three species involved – one Acleris laterana (or Dark-triangle Button) and one Acleris emargana (Notch-wing Button), both new for me at this site this year; and two Agriphila tristella (Common Grass-veneer)

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 130 Canada Geese (10 groups)
- 36 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull
- 4 Stock Dove
- 3 Feral Pigeons (1 group)
- 3 Collared Doves (1 group)
- 181 Jackdaws
- 147 Rooks
- 5 Pied Wagtails

Count of hirundines etc
- 2 Swifts
- 4 Sand Martin
- no Barn Swallows
- 6 House Martins

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 25 (15♂) Mallard
- 4 (0♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron
- 2 Little Grebes
- 7 + 8 (3 broods) Great Crested Grebes
- 16 + 19 Moorhens
- 167 Coots
- c.85 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Common Gull
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 2 Herring Gulls

The early arrivals in to Europe from the US paint lines across the sunrise over the lake.

This is probably the micro moth Acleris laterana (or Dark-triangle Button): there is another very similar species that required genitalia examination to separate, but this is the more common species.

This is almost certainly a related micro moth Acleris emargana (Notch-wing Button). Its very distinctive wing shape should make it easy to identify but I read that it has recently been proposed that this variably-marked species comprises at least two distinct species .... My first in recent years since I began to keep full records of the moths identified.

Caught just lifting off here is here is the 1st winter Common Gull. Key features here are that it only slightly larger than the Black-headed Gulls; shows a rather rounded head with faint streaking; and an obvious, almost staring, black eye. The rather weak bill is hidden here.

In this flight view we see the pale wing panel in the centre of the wing, not show by any of the larger (Herring-type) gulls: and the very obvious and solidly dark tail. We can just make out the black eye and see the weak-looking bill.

A juvenile Reed Warbler in the sedges! With the head turned away the sloping forehead and longish bill is hard to discern. Probably the key feature to separate from Chiffchaff is the grey legs and feet – a Chiffchaff would show black legs with possibly reddish feet.

Here we see the sloping forehead and longish bill rather better. Chiffchaff would also look rather less brown on the back and more olive-toned: if a juvenile there could be a hint of yellow to the breast.

No mistaking this outline – a Common Swift. September records are uncommon unless a pair has a late brood when they may hang around. But then they are usually seen regularly at the same locations whereas these were one-offs.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2006, 2011 and 2014
Priorslee Lake
Today's Report Here
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Common Sandpiper
(John Isherwood)

Nedge Hill
2 Yellow Wagtails
(John Isherwood)

Priorslee Lake
Spotted Flycatcher
(Ed Wilson)