5 Apr 16

Priorslee Lake:

Morning Report: 07:15 - 09:35

Sunrise: 06:32 BST

6°C > 9°C: Medium-level cloud moving away to E; then increasing puffy clouds. Rather keen W / NW breeze. Very good visibility

Best today was the Wheatear flushed off the dam at the lake. At least three years since I last saw this species here, at least in part to the growth of the vegetation on the dam. This has recently been cleared by STWA contractors. As there were fishermen on the dam the bird was rather flighty and did not stay long

Also worth special mention were single Blackcaps at both the lake and The Flash. The male at the lake was silent; the bird at The Flash in song

(54th visit of the year)

Other notes
- lots of flying about from Tufted Ducks this morning: thought they were leaving but a recount revealed at least 7 drakes had flown in
- Coot numbers much reduced: numbers always rather variable as birds hide in the reeds but there did seem to have been a departure since yesterday
- again none of the Sand Martin nor Swallow stopped off at the lake – all were singles flying by
- in addition to the 2 singing Willow Warblers there were 3 other non-singing birds
- the Willow Tit was calling persistently again – but today it was heard ‘from across the road’ by the sluice exit. It is certainly covering some ground, possibly in its attempt to find a mate: recently I have heard it from the Castle Farm Interchange O-about, from across the M54, and then moving further W from the Ricoh area
- still a few Siskins over: perhaps after this good winter a few may stay and breed in the area
- 3 Reed Buntings heard, two of these males (with another male in Woodhouse Lane). but no song heard
- yet another March Moth on one of the lamps

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 5 Canada Geese (2 groups)
- 3 (2♂) Mallard
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 25 Wood Pigeons
- 2 Collared Doves
- 10 Jackdaws
- 2 Rooks
- 10 Starlings
- 1 Pied Wagtail
- 3 Meadow Pipits
- 3 Goldfinches
- 3 Siskins

Hirundine totals
- 4 Sand Martins again
- 1 Swallow again

Singing warblers around the lake
- 1 Cetti’s Warbler again
- 11 Chiffchaffs
- 2 Willow Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 2 Canada Geese briefly
- 5 (4♂) Mallard again
- 34 (23♂) Tufted Ducks
- 9 Great Crested Grebes
- 15 Moorhens
- 45 Coots
no gulls

The Tufted Duck were very flighty this morning. Here is a group of 10 with 6 drakes and 4 ducks. The ducks have the dark ‘arm-pits’ (properly humerals) though this is hard to see on the leading bird because of the position of the wing.

And here are 7 more – 4 drakes and 3 ducks. The drakes show white on the body behind the wing.

You cannot accuse Telford & Wrekin Council of not trying – “a host of [mainly] golden daffodils”. Well its sort of “beside the lake” and “beneath the trees” but is not Ullswater (© William Wordsworth).

(Ed Wilson)

Early Morning Sightings: 06:30

1 Cetti's Warbler in NW reedbed
1 Gadwall

(John Isherwood)


Woodhouse Lane: 08:30 – 08:55

Nothing too interesting again
- 2 (1♂) Mallard flying in to the small pool buried in the copse in the middle of the field
- 1 Great Spotted Woodpeckers
- 3 Skylarks
- 1 Chiffchaff
- 1 male Reed Bunting

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 09:45 – 10:25

(35th visit of the year)

- the second Mute Swan not seen, though residents told me they were seen mating yesterday so I guess the pen was unseen inside the island
- the Great Crested Grebes were on / around a potential nest-site
- the Willow Warblers were my first of the year at this site: let’s hope at least a few stay to breed – last year they were strangely absent as a breeding species
- a mammal scurrying around in the fenced-off reedy area was probably a Brown Rat, but I did not get a clear-enough view

The only birds noted flying over
- 1 Buzzard
- 1 Meadow Pipit – my first of the year here

Singing warblers around the water
- 4 Chiffchaffs
- 4 Willow Warblers
- 1 Blackcap

The counts from the water
- 1 Mute Swan
- 28 Canada Geese
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 19 (14♂) Mallard
- 17 (11♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 1 Cormorant
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Moorhen
- 15 Coots

(Ed Wilson)


Nedge Hill: 07:30

Blackcap - first singing bird
Goosander - overflying

- all yesterday's highlights have moved on.

Update on Nedge Hill Development

Work has now commenced clearing a vast swathe of land, on the NW side of the hill, in preparation for development of the largest plot of the Telford 54 project (> 600,000 sq. feet : source Shropshire Star, 2014). At least a dozen mature trees have already been felled and much construction plant in evidence.

Historically this encompassed excellent breeding habitat for species such as Garden Warbler, Green Woodpecker and Lapwing with Redstart, Ring Ouzel and Turtle Dove recorded on passage.

On a slightly more positive note the most productive passage sites, in recent years, are not currently scheduled to be built over but incidental impact through disturbance likely.

(John Isherwood)

On this day in .....................
Priorslee Lake

Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake

4 Great Crested Grebes

3 Cormorants
2 Grey Herons
9 Tufted Duck
4 Blackcaps
7 Chiffchaffs
1 Willow Warblers
131 Jackdaws
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash
1 Cackling Goose-type
37 Tufted Ducks
3 Blackcaps
4 Chiffchaffs
1 Willow Warbler
(Ed Wilson)

Trench Lock Pool
4 Great Crested Grebes
23 Tufted Ducks
3 Sand Martins
1 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake

2 Little Grebes 
5 Great Crested Grebes 
2 Gadwall 
23 Tufted Ducks 
2 Redwings
1 Fieldfare
3 Chiffchaffs
(Ed Wilson)

The Flash 
3 Great Crested Grebes
48 Tufted Duck 
2 Brambling
(Ed Wilson)

Nedge Hill
4 Lapwings
1 Stock Dove
3 Sky Larks
8 Redwing
(Ed Wilson)

Horsehay Pool
Male Wheatear
(Glenn Bishton)

Priorslee Lake

1 Goosander
(John Isherwood)

Nedge Hill
1 Ring Ouzel
60 Golden Plover
20 Yellowhammer
4 Wheatear
(John Isherwood, Andy Latham, John Isherwood, Ed Wilson)


Priorslee lake

2 Great Crested Grebe
17 Tufted Duck
68 Lesser Black-backed Gull
1 Kingfisher
5 Meadow Pipit
1 Blackcap
6 Chiffchaff
3 Reed Bunting
(Martin Adlam)

Priorslee Lake
6 Great Crested Grebe
5 Herons
7 Tufted Ducks
3 Lapwings
2 Ruddy Ducks
418 Jackdaws
27 Wrens
26 Blackbirds
47 Sand Martins
1 Swallow.
2 Fieldfares
1 Barn Owl
4 Meadow Pipits
2 Fieldfares
2 Blackcaps
6 Chiffchaffs
5 Willow Warblers
1 Willow Tit
9 Greenfinches
2 Siskins
7 Reed Bunting
(Ed Wilson, Martin Adlam)