6 Feb 16

Priorslee Lake: 07:15 – 09:30

Telford sunrise: 07:44

c.7.0°C. Low cloud and drizzle soon turned to real rain. Cloud lifted somewhat later. Light SE wind. Poor visibility to start; better later.

Well it wasn’t raining when I left home! Struggled with the weather – very few fly-overs; and wet optics

(15th visit of the year)

Only new species for my year-list was the Dotted Border moth

Other notes
- very few geese this morning, only partly explained by the restricted visibility
- 3 Little Grebes was a surprise: 2 together making their way along the N side to perhaps join up with the 3rd which was in its usual area in the NE reeds
- continuing decline in Coot numbers: one seen carrying nesting material today so perhaps they think winter is over!
- no large gulls seen
- when one of the bird-scarers went off in the fields to the E of Castle Farm Way at least 55 Wood Pigeons shot out of the copse by the Ricoh factory and flew off toward the sound. Very odd
- 8 of the total of 11 Song Thrushes recorded were in song
- Mistle Thrush also heard in song
- 3 Redwings were in the trees at the W end later
- apropos yesterday’s comment on a possible Starling roost: was in the right area today and heard and saw nothing to suggest any of the reed beds were used last night
- 3 Lesser Redpolls feeding on seed-heads were a surprise as I had not heard any in flight
- 2 moths on the lamps, both Dotted Border moths

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 20 Canada Geese (2 groups)
- c.25 Wood Pigeons (over fields to E)
- c.295 Jackdaws
- 32 Rooks
- 3 Pied Wagtails
- 2 Greenfinches
- 1 Chaffinch

Birds seen leaving roosts around the lake
- 43 Magpies (partial count again)

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 5 (3♂) Gadwall again
- 4 (2♂) Mallard
- 15 (13♂) Pochard
- 20 (8♂) Tufted Ducks
- 3 Cormorants
- 1 Grey Heron
- 3 Little Grebes
- 14 Great Crested Grebes
- 25 Moorhens
- 69 Coots
- 46 Black-headed Gulls

I am pretty confident that this is a Dotted Border moth. This species and the similar Mottled Umber are both quite variable and, like here, not easy to separate. However this specimen shows no dark spot close to the outer cross-lines but shows the hint of a straight inner cross-line, both of which point to Dotted Border.

On this specimen the inner cross-line is much more pronounced and it is more easily confirmed as a Dotted Border.

Not the best of conditions to photograph birds this morning with rain on the lens and very low light-levels. But we can see this is a Redpoll. In addition to the red crown note the stubby yellow bill, the obvious white-tipped greater coverts, and the prominent streaking on the flanks.

Another view of a different bird. Here we can see the small black bib. The very similar Twite lacks this bib. (Had it been a Twite a big local twitch would have ensued – you need to go to Scotland or Norfolk in Winter to see Twite these days).

Sadly not sharp but this shot illustrates the deep notch in the tail and the white in the outer tail-feathers.

The view of this bird was a bit of a surprise showing a very white and unstreaked belly. The taxonomy of Redpolls is a bit of a mess at the moment with several pale ‘northern’ races / species recognised. A good view of the exposed rump is needed to be more certain of the race / species involved but none of the other shots suggest anything other than our commonest Redpoll, which is properly named Lesser Redpoll (to avoid confusion with the Common Redpoll – which used to be called Mealy Redpoll).

This specimen, certainly from this angle, seems to show extensive streaking extending on to the belly.

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 09:40 – 10:00

(11th visit of the year)

New species for my year-list here were Jays (calling) and Goldcrest

- a pair of Mallard were on the roof of one of the houses in Derwent Drive

Birds noted flying over
- 2 Siskins

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swans
- 3 Canada Geese
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 33 (20♂) Mallard
- 63 (34♂) Tufted Duck
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 1 Great Crested Grebe
- 3 Moorhens again
- 18 Coots
- 7 Black-headed Gulls
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull – the same bird?

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2006, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014
Priorslee Lake

1 Velvet Scoter
3 Scaup
9 Pochard
9 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
c80 Black-headed Gulls
(Gary Crowder)

Telford Central Railway Station
35 Redwing
(Gary Crowder)

Horsehay Pool
1 Caspian Gull

(Tom Lowe)

Little Wenlock, Candles Landfill Site:

2 Glaucous Gulls 
1 Caspian Gull
(Kris Webb)

Priorslee Lake

4 Great Crested Grebes
15 Pochard
54 Tufted Duck
c.1200 Black-headed Gulls
1 Common Gull
c.420 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
c.30 Herring Gulls
2 Great Black-backed Gulls
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Flash
10 Pochard
47 Tufted Duck
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock
2 Little Grebes
30 Tufted Duck
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake

 3 Pochard
6 Goosanders
4 Pale Brindled Beauty moths
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
34 Greylag Geese
9 Pochard
56 Tufted Ducks
1 Water Rail
775 Black-headed Gulls
488 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
3 Herring Gull
1 Great Black-backed Gull
28 Robins
19 Blackbirds
8 Song Thrushes
1 Redwing
1 Willow Tit
41 Magpies
250 Jackdaws
100 Rooks
4 Greenfinches
2 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake

 2 Gadwall
22 Pochard
63 Tufted Ducks
164 Coots
600 Wood Pigeons
c.1300 Black-headed Gulls
84 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
9 Herring Gulls
21 Robins
24 Blackbirds
9 Song Thrushes
3 Willow Tits
11 Greenfinches
15 Siskins
17 Reed Buntings
(Ed Wilson)