31 May 17

Priorslee Lake, The Flash, Trench Lock Pool and Trench Middle Pool

11.0°C > 15.5°C: Periods of medium clouds with some clear spells as well. Calm with light SE breeze later. Very good visibility

Sunrise: 04:52 BST

Priorslee Lake: 04:22 – 06:45

(70th visit of the year)

An early arrival still failed to get me in time to see any early Jackdaws passage, What I was treated to was some different warbler song
- a 3rd Garden Warbler was singing
- a Lesser Whitethroat was singing along the S side: some 10 minutes later what I assume was the same bird was heard and then glimpsed briefly in the W-end hedge
- 3 Common Whitethroats were singing
- the Sedge Warbler was singing as well
All these birds stopped singing by 05:00

Other notes from today:
- single Canada Goose on the water resisted attempts by the cob Mute Swan to shift by the simple tactic of hiding in the reeds – the swan took no notice of it when it was not visible
- initially 8 adult Great Crested Grebes, quite clearly as 4 pairs. One seen circling high overhead and then off W was presumed to be one of these though I could only locate 6 adults thereafter
- large party of at least 50 Swifts by 04:40; most gone by 05:00
- a Willow Tit was in song again: once more he seemed to be the only Willow Tit in a mixed tit flock
- two Sky Larks heard singing from ‘across the (Castle Farm) way’
- the Pied Wagtails visited the boat-launching platforms today
- at least two Mistle Thrushes heard and seen away from their usual area where the male was still singing
- one Yellowhammer also heard singing from ‘across the (Castle Farm) way’
- a large bat sp. was over the lake briefly
- a White Ermine moth was on one of the lamps
- 2 Silver-ground Carpet moths flushed from vegetation
- >30 Timothy Tortrix moths, only seen very soon after I arrived
- a large hatch of the caddis flies: I think Mystacides longicornis but I now learn there are other possibilities. My photo checks out as Mystacides longicornis
- single Blue-tailed Damselfly seen: left rather too early for insects to be flying
- several Giant Hogweed (Heracleum mantegazzianum) plants now well over 6’ high and should start flowering soon. Several are encroaching the Wesley Brook footbridge: BEWARE as the sap of this plant can cause serious skin irritation – leave alone!

On with the bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake:
- 1 Greylag Goose
- 18 Canada Geese (4 groups)
- 9 Wood Pigeons
- 4 Jackdaws

Hirundine etc. counts:
- >50 Swifts
- 2 House Martins

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 7 (7) Chiffchaffs again
- 1 (1) Willow Warblers as usual
- 12 (11) Blackcaps
- 3 (3) Garden Warblers
- 1 (1) Lesser Whitethroat (see notes)
- 5 (3) Common Whitethroat
- 1 (1) Sedge Warbler
- 8 (7) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 4 Mute Swans
- 1 Canada Goose
- 12 (8♂) + 4 (1 brood) Mallard
- 6 (4♂) Tufted Ducks
- 8 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes (see notes)
- 3 Moorhens
- 21 Coots

Sunrise in mid-Summer: a very different place across the lake from mid-Winter.

And later with different colours.

And then as the sun actually rose.

One of the Great Crested Grebes in flight: the only possible confusion is with a diver sp. – fat chance inland! – and that would never show white in the wing.

At dawn this juvenile Pied Wagtail looked rather cold and forlorn.

A silhouetted Pied Wagtail.

A White Ermine moth: the relatively sparse spotting indicates a male, confirmed by the feathery antenna used for locating the female from her pheromones.

A silhouetted spider with some of its larder: not sure of the species from this view.

Not possible to get good shots of dancing caddis flies so this one in a web will have to do for ID – it is Mystacides longicornis.

This is what dancing caddis flies look like!

Another flower: I will have to come back to this – no time to do the research at the moment. Enables me to add greenfly to the list!

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 06:50 – 07:40

(51st visit of the year)

Notes from here
- the 7 cygnets still OK and prepared to upend and even dive to reach food provided
- a large hatch of the caddis fly Mystacides longicornis here as well
birds noted flying over
- 1 Feral Pigeon
- 2 Starlings

Hirundine etc. counts
- 4 Swifts
- House Martins heard only

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 2 (2) Chiffchaffs yet again
- [no Blackcaps]

The counts from the water
- 2 + 7 Mute Swans
- 47 Canada Geese
- 1 white feral goose
- 13 (11♂) Mallard
- 2 (1♂) Tufted Duck again
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- 2 Moorhens
- 18 + 8 (4 broods) Coots

With persistence: here we see two of the cygnets upending.

And now diving – I am sure adult Mute Swans cannot dive!

Between the lake and The Flash alongside the path
- both pools are rather overgrown making observation difficult: at least 2 Moorhens heard on the upper pool
- singing Blackcap the only warbler this morning

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Lock Pool: 07:57 – 08:35 // 09:20 – 09:23

(21st visit of the year)

Notes from here
- good count of new cygnets
- geese only seen when I dropped by on my way back from Middle Pool
- small brood of three well-grown Mallard ducklings
- very low number of adult Coots and several birds located on nests. Some juveniles, though number well below normal for here
- one immature Lesser Black-backed bird briefly circled very low before moving on
- just a single Swift here
- House Martins heard high over but could not locate them
- a singing Song Thrush was, according to my logs, the first for me at this site in 2017!
- a few Common Blue Damselflies had emerged before I left
birds noted flying over here
- 23 Feral Pigeons

Hirundine counts
- 1 Swift only
- House Martins heard

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 2 (2) Chiffchaffs
- 3 (3) Blackcaps

The counts from the water
- 2 + 8 Mute Swans
- 9 Greylag Geese
- 8 Canada Geese
- 2 (1♂) + 3 (1 brood) Mallard
- 1 + 1 Great Crested Grebes
- 4 + 3 (2 broods) Moorhens
- 15 + 10 (5 broods) Coots
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull briefly
- I checked the plants again and noted new species in flower here: in no particular order:
.... Yellow Flag (Iris pseudacorus)
.... Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum)
.... Smooth Sow-thistle or Milk Thistle (Sonchus oleraceus)
.... Hawkweed (Hieraceum brittanicum)
.... Convolvulus sp. probably Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis)
.... speedwell
.... Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens)
.... Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
.... Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus agg.)
.... Cleavers (Galium aparine)
.... Common or Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

The Mute Swans were always ‘at the other end’: here are six of the eight cygnets.

It may only be a male Chaffinch, but ...

 Rather handsome.

(Ed Wilson)


Trench Middle Pool: 08:35 – 09:15

(17th visit of the year)

- one of the Mute Swans sitting on nest
- goslings again today with rather few surviving Canada Geese. Perhaps some were hidden on the island?
- just 1 Great Crested Grebes juvenile seen in the water; later it was tucked up at the nest site where one adult could be seen
- at least 3 broods of Coots again: one was very new so one of the previous broods seems to have disappeared
- one of the Grey Wagtails seen in a tree – suggests nesting here
amongst the newly identified flowers here (see below) was a first in the Telford area
- Ragged-Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi)

Birds noted flying over here
- 9 Greylag Geese (probably the birds later at Trench Lock, though they were not going that way)
- 2 Jackdaws

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 1 (1) Chiffchaff
- 2 (2) Blackcaps

The counts from the water
- 2 Mute Swan (one on nest)
- 22 + 11 (4? broods) Greylag Geese
- 47 + 2 (1 brood) Canada Goose
- 18 (16♂) Mallard
- 1 + 1 Great Crested Grebes
- 3 Moorhens
- 11 + 8 (3 broods) Coots
- I checked the plants again and noted other new species in flower here: in no particular order:
.... Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca)
.... Meadow Vetchling (Lathyrus pratensis)
.... Ox-eye Daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare)
.... Ribwort (Plantago lanceolata)
.... Dog Rose (Rosa canina agg.)
.... Red Stem Dogwood (Cornus stolonifera)
.... Yellow Flag (Iris pseudacorus)
.... Foxglove (Digitalis purpurea)
.... Common or Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
.... Hawkweed (Hieraceum brittanicum)
.... Red Clover (Trifolium pratense)
.... Common Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus corniculatus)
.... Water Forget-me-not (Myosotis palustris)

A female Grey Wagtail.

Here calling.

Something you do not often see – I cannot recall doing so: a Grey Wagtail in a tree. I conclude she has a nest there somewhere.

This is Tufted Vetch (Vicia cracca): and it has a lot of ‘free-loaders’ as well as cuckoo spit (caused by froghopper nymphs).

And this is Ragged-Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi): I always try and ‘string’ this species whenever I see scruffy Red Campion but, as so often, when you see the real thing there is no debate.

This is likely Water Forget-me-not (Myosotis palustris) though there are some similar less-common species.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day.......
Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

Long Lane, Wellington
13 Ringed Plover
2 Dunlin
(JW Reeves)