17 Aug 16

The Flash: 07:00 – 07:25

Sunrise: 05:55 BST
11°C > 17°C: Clear start with increasing patches of medium-level cloud for a while. Light E wing. Good visibility but rather hazy

Best today was a male Peregrine seen in hot pursuit of a Wood Pigeon over the fields to the E: result was unclear.

(79th visit of the year)

- no sign of the juvenile Tufted Ducks: they are easy to overlook / could have been around the back of island
- a 3rd adult Great Crested Grebe this morning. The juvenile was again with a lone adult
- just outside the area there was a Raven sitting on the spire of St Georges Church to the consternation of the local Magpies

Birds noted flying over
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 5 Wood Pigeons
- 1 Pied Wagtail

Hirundines etc. seen here today
- 4 House Martins

Warblers seen / heard around the water: numbers in brackets are singing birds, though song very sporadic now.
- 5 (0) Chiffchaffs

The counts from the water
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans]
- 8 Canada Geese
- 1 all white feral goose
- 42 (29?♂) Mallard
- 18 (14?♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Grey Herons once more
- 3 + 1 Great Crested Grebes
- 4 + 1 (1 broods) Moorhens
- 16 + 9 (7 broods) Coots
- 33 Black-headed Gulls (3 juveniles)

Just outside the area on the spire of St Georges Church this Raven was causing the local Magpies to go on the warpath.

No actual contact seemed to be made and the Raven stood its ground.

Actually the same Grey Heron as yesterday but even closer today.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Lake: 07:30 – 09:55

(114th visit of the year)
Notes from today
- one brood of 2 Coots still has the red heads showing they are very recent
- a Kingfisher seen carrying food E across Castle Farm Way and then returning empty-billed a few minutes later: so the nest cannot be far down the Wesley Brook
- a party of >25 House Martins was low over the Ricoh hedge for a while, apparently feeding on a ‘hatch’ also being exploited by Pied Wagtails. Meanwhile at least 6 other birds were high over the estate. Later a family(?) party was seen flying S – setting off for Africa?
- one of the Chiffchaffs was attempting to sing and call at the same time – perhaps a juvenile starting to practice
- on definite Reed Warbler heard calling along the N side today
- in addition to the 2 Pied Wagtails overhead there were 2 birds on the roof of the Academy; and later 5 on the roof of the Ricoh building
- a single Phoenix moth on the lamps this morning: a new Shropshire record for me
- 2 Speckled Wood and 2 Meadow Brown butterflies seen
- again rather few insects
- no damselflies
- just 2 Common Darter dragonflies
- a hawker-type dragonfly buzzed past me
- a few specimens of the common hoverfly Eristalis tenax
Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 41 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 1 Stock Dove
- 98 Wood Pigeons
- 1 Collared Dove again
- 1 Jackdaw
- 2 Rooks
- 2 Pied Wagtails

Hirundines etc. seen here today
- 4 Swallows again
- >35 House Martins

Warblers seen / heard around the water: numbers in brackets are singing birds, though song very sporadic now
- 14 (1) Chiffchaffs
- 1 (1) Willow Warbler again
- 5 (0) Blackcaps
- 1 (0) Reed Warbler

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 25 (10?♂) + 2 (1 brood) Mallard
- 4 (0♂) Tufted Ducks again
- 8 + 6 (3 broods) Great Crested Grebes remain
- 1 Grey Heron
- 3 + 2 (1 brood) Moorhens
- 48 + 14 (10 broods) Coots
- 51 Black-headed Gulls (3 juveniles)
- 43 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Herring Gull

A snoozing Mallard. Without seeing the bill it is hard to sex this bird in eclipse plumage but I think the rather large and smooth primaries suggests a drake.

These two Mallard are certainly not adult drakes with dark bills. I suspect they are almost-grown ducklings as, especially on the left-hand bird, the wings look rather short and the head a wee bit fuzzy.

A fine shot of one of the juvenile Great Crested Grebes: still stripes on the face but you can see where the head-plumes will be.

And here it is again with its sibling.

A well-grown juvenile Coot with the start of the white shield evident. The overall plumage is still paler with a white throat and breast that it will lose within a few weeks. Then the size of the shield will be the best indicator it is not a full adult.

This adult Black-headed Gull is in wing-moult: mainly the inner primaries and / or outer secondaries but there seems to be a missing primary as well.

A fine shot of a rather scruffy Dunnock – likely just moulting. The dark reddish eye suggests an adult.

A female Greenfinch: this, like yesterday’s immature male, shows no real ‘green’ tones but has light streaking.

This is the underside of a Meadow Brown butterfly. When the wings are closed like this and the eye-spots not clearly visible these can be hard to separate from the slightly smaller Gatekeeper (also known as the Hedge Brown).

A different specimen providing a better view – and what a scruffy and worn specimen this is. But it is about the end of the flight season for this species and they are rather scarce now.

I thought this was going to be a Common Carpet moth: then I saw the curled-up end to the abdomen and that means it is the rather similarly marked Phoenix moth. Although a common moth this is my first here – indeed my first in Shropshire.

The common hoverfly Eristalis tenax, sometimes called a drone fly.

I took this shot of Common Darter because through the binoculars I thought it was a ‘proper’ red adult male. The photo reveals that it isn’t that mature after all. The wings held forward is not at all unusual in this species.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in ...........
Priorslee Lake
Today's Report Here