19 Jun 17

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

15.5°C > 19.5°C: Fine and rather hazy with some cloud later. Light W wind. Good visibility

Sunrise: 04:44 BST again

Priorslee Lake: 04:22 – 05:30 // 06:25 – 07:50

(79th visit of the year)

Notes from today:
- yesterday’s unidentified group of Mallard seems to be a duck with three fledged juveniles. I did not see the other duck with her four unfledged juveniles today. I am rather confused as I took photos of what seems to be different parties of just three juveniles. I could never see ‘both’ groups so remain unconvinced
- a pair of Tufted Duck present early only; later a drake flew in
- another new Coot brood but losses seem very high this year
- three tern sp. arrived at 07:30 and flew around twice and left. From the very ‘elastic’ wing beats and apparently long tail-streamers I did wonder about Arctic Tern but the rather poor photos I was able take do not support this and suggests they were Common Terns again
- small but variable number of Swifts almost throughout: how many different birds?
- the Willow Warbler sang but once and then only briefly today
- almost all the singing Reed Warblers were away from the two main reed beds. Are these late arrivals still trying to establish a territory? failed breeders looking for alternative sites? breeding birds on feeding forays? Answers on a postcard to ...
- 2 moths on the new street lamps – a Common Emerald and a May Highflier
- a Lacewing sp., probably Chrysopa perla, also on the street lamps
- many Timothy Tortrix moths again – only seem to flush these early on
- at least 1 Common Marble (Celypha lacunana) flushed later
- Large Skipper butterflies again
- the usual trio of Common Blue, Azure and Blue-tailed Damselflies
- more Black Snipe flies (Chrysopilus cristatus)

On with the bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull again
- 22 Feral Pigeons (1 party)
- 14 Wood Pigeons
- 2 Jackdaws

Hirundine etc. counts:
- >6 Swifts
- 2 Barn Swallows
- 2 House Martins

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 7 (7) Chiffchaffs
- 1 (1) Willow Warbler briefly
- 13 (10) Blackcaps
- 2 (2) Garden Warblers
- 2 (1) Common Whitethroats
- 2 (1) Sedge Warblers
- 7 (5) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 3 Mute Swans
- 20 (16♂) + 3 (1 brood) Mallard (see notes)
- 3 (2♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Grey Heron again
- 7 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 5 Moorhens
- 23 + 7 (5 broods) Coots
- 3 Common Terns again

The sunrise.

And a nice skyscape later.

The Mute Swan family seems to have adopted the heap of cut under-water weed as a soft resting place.

The three ducklings that were with a duck Mallard. The two on the left with all-dark bills are likely drakes; the one on the right a duck with the brown edge to the bill.

The conundrum: here there seems to be a single drake nearest me; the other two look like ducks in the making. Mum at the back. Same group or not?

A moulted feather from the speculum a Mallard.

The lone drake Tufted Duck that flew in long after the pair present at dawn had left.

The best of a bad bunch of tern photos. While the colour of the bill looks more blood-red (Arctic) than orangey (Common) it shows a dark tip and the dark outer trailing edge of the underwing is certainly diffuse – both pointing to Common Tern.

Almost unrecognisable: not sure whether this Great Tit is just moulting at the end of a hard breeding season or whether it has ‘mange’ or the birdy equivalent thereof.

This juvenile Great Tit still seems very young as there is a hint of the yellow gape remaining. Most parties of Great Tits seemed to fledge at least two week ago (the early light through the trees has accentuated the yellow tones on the body somewhat).

A Sedge Warbler with a beakful for its offspring.

Do not often get a chance to see this species in the open, even if it was a bit far away – a Treecreeper using its tail as a prop as it winds its way up – always up – this trunk.

Here we see the thin bill used for prising goodies out of cracks in the trunk.

Not at a very helpful angle. However this Common Emerald moth is easily identified as the only ‘green’ moth with the checkered wing-edges.

This moth, high up on a light seems to be a very worn May Highflier – this species persists in to July.

This neatly-marked Flame Carpet was on the roof of the Priorslee Avenue foot-tunnel.

The strength of the marking at the rear of the wing separate Small and Large Skipper – their size difference is minimal and of no practical use. In the field this looked ‘clean-enough’ for a Small Skipper but I am pretty sure it is not – the shading on the hind part ahead of the black sub-terminal band would not show on either a fresh or worn Small Skipper.
This lacewing is probably Chrysopa perla.

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 05:35 – 06:15

(60th visit of the year)

A Kingfisher was, surprisingly, my first here this year and so became my #66 on my 2017 Flash list

Other notes from here
- the Greylag x Canada Goose this morning was the ‘old’ easy to separate bird and I could not locate yesterday’s bird
- 2 new broods of 4 and 3 Moorhens; one full-sized juvenile from an earlier brood
- also a new brood of just 2 Coots, though they were being brooded and there may have been more ‘underneath’!
- the 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls had a close look at the water: not sure whether they actually touched down
- one of the Blackcaps was a juvenile gleaning from the vegetation at the ‘top’ of the water

Birds noted flying over

Hirundine etc. counts
- 3 Swifts again
- 2 House Martins again

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

The counts from the water
- 2 + 7 Mute Swans
- 33 Greylag Geese
- 1 Greylag x Canada Goose
- 168 Canada Geese
- 1 white feral goose
- 15 (13♂) Mallard
- 6 (4♂) Tufted Ducks
- 1 Great Crested Grebe again
- 4 + 8 (3 broods) Moorhens
- 17 + 8 (4 broods) Coots
- 2 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, briefly

Of interest between the lake and The Flash today
- a Moorhen heard calling from the lower pool
- the usual Chiffchaff singing around the lower pool
- a Flame Carpet moth on the roof of the tunnel under Priorslee Avenue
- molehills alongside the Wesley Brook – cannot recall them here before

(Ed Wilson)

On this day..........

Telford Town Centre
A singing Sedge Warbler by the entrance to the Blue Willow car park.
(Ed Wilson)