4 Jun 16

The Flash: 07:00 – 07:15

Sunrise: 04:48 BST

13°C > 16°C Medium overcast threatened to break but replaced with lower overcast. Light mainly N wind. Moderate visibility

(55th visit of the year)

Birds noted flying over

Hirundines etc. seen here today
- 2 Swifts
- 3 House Martins

Warblers seen / heard around the water: numbers in brackets are singing birds
- 1 (1) Chiffchaff again
- 1 (1) Blackcap again

The counts from the water
- 2 + 6 Mute Swans
- 23 Canada Geese
- [the all white feral-goose not noted]
- 19 (16♂) Mallard
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 Moorhens again
- 16 Coots

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake: 07:20 – 09:30

(90th visit of the year)

- the 2 drake Tufted Ducks flew off at 09:05 towards The Flash
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls touched down and briefly drank and then moved off again
- just 2 Swifts put in a brief appearance
- the 5 House Martins only appeared when a male Kestrel flew over: the Kestrel hunted the SW area, the Ricoh grass and then the M54 verges
- Cetti’s Warbler seems to have gone: even when breeding the males are normally very noisy
- a Garden Warbler was, rather unusually, singing from an exposed perch
- the same female Common Whitethroat was seen carrying food along the Ricoh hedge again: more surprisingly another bird was heard scolding and briefly seen – too briefly to sex – along the S where birds bred in both the previous two years but from where I have heard no song this year
- a Green-veined White butterfly
- at least 5 Silver-ground Carpet moths
- on one of the lamps a Twin-spot Carpet and a Brimstone moth
- a small migrant moth Plutella xylostella (aka Diamond-backed Moth)
- Common Blue Damselflies
- the caddis-fly species Mystacides longicornis
- several interesting-looking flies
- my first White Clover of the year
- also the first Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor)
- Horsetail (or Mare’s tails) (Equisetum arvense) now very obvious

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 1 Cormorant
- 3 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull
- 2 Feral Pigeon (singles)
- 5 Wood Pigeons
- 13 Jackdaws
- 21 Rooks

Hirundine etc. approximate maxima
- 2 Common Swifts
- 5 House Martins

Warblers seen / heard around the lake: numbers in brackets are singing birds
- 7 (5) Chiffchaffs
- 9 (8) Blackcaps
- 1 (1) Garden Warbler
- 2 (0) Common Whitethroats
- 6 (5) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 2 Mute Swans
- 15 (12♂) + 2 (1 brood) Mallard
- 2 (2♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron
- 6 Great Crested Grebes again
- 6 Moorhens
- 25 + 2 juveniles (2 broods) Coots
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls

A male Garden Warbler unusually on an exposed perch. How do I know it is a male?

... it started to sing! Not sure about the dark mark on the neck – looks a bit like mange!

A Common Whitethroat: here the lack of brown in the wing suggests a female, but ...

It turned around and there was a brown feather! So perhaps a male feeling the strain of the breeding season.

It is the end of the breeding season and already some of the drake Mallards are beginning to moult out of breeding finery and enter ‘eclipse’ plumage prior to loosing all their flight feathers simultaneously.

Managed to get (most of!) a Silver-ground Carpet moth this morning. I surmise this is a male as the antenna are rather broad and feathered – a typical feature apparently to allow the male to better sense the female pheromones.

This seems to be a Twin-spot Carpet moth, though the ‘twin spots’ on the wings are rather faded here – surprising as this species has only just commenced its flight period and it should be a fresh specimen.

No doubts over this Brimstone Moth. A common species which is multi-brooded and can be found any-time between April and October.

This moth is Plutella xylostella (aka Diamond-backed Moth): this is a migrant moth and sometimes occurs in vast numbers. Its small size means it is easily overlooked – it is the first I have seen in Shropshire, but then it is a long way to migrate here when you are this size.

I am always amazed at how ‘hairy’ many insects are – like this Common Blue Damselfly. I have yet to find the Hairy Damselfly in Shropshire: I wonder what that looks like?

A red-eyed insect with very long-antennae: it is the caddis-fly species Mystacides longicornis.

This fly is reminiscent of the Yellow Dung-fly (Scatophaga stercoraria) but I am (as usual) confused. The eyes are red and from my books they should not be. But there are photos on the web of Scatophaga stercoraria with red eyes, so... Note the swollen femur of the front leg.

Two for the price of one: but not sure what either are, though I think ...

... the larger insect is probably Chrysopilus cristatus (aka Black Snipefly).

Spectacular but not quite sure what it is! I suspect it is a damselfly exuvia: whatever, it is caught in a spider’s web.

And I am none too sure what this is / was either ... I thought it might be another nymph, but the markings are unlike anything on the web.

Only a snail shell but what marking.

Nothing too exciting: I noted White Clover, Trifolium repens for the first time this morning – Red Clover, Trifolium pratense has been in flower for over 6 weeks.

A Blue Flag Iris (Iris versicolor): always later flowering than the Yellow Flag (Iris pseudacorus).

A close-up of the flower.

Horsetail (or Mare’s tails), Equisetum arvense: a real pest which spreads rapidly through deep rooted rhizomes.

Any help with this flower would be useful. Growing at the edge of the dam I looked at the flowers and though ‘wild strawberry’. But the leaves and stems are nothing like they should be so ...?

(Ed Wilson)

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

Today's Sightings Here


Holmer Lake
Black Swan
(Marilyn Morton)