3 Jun 17

Priorslee Lake and The Flash

9.5°C > 13.5°C: A whole lot fresher after the rain yesterday. Broken cloud gradually dispersing. Moderate WNW wind. Excellent visibility.

Sunrise: 04:50 BST

Priorslee Lake: 04:20 – 05:45 // 06:35 – 08:20

(72nd visit of the year)

The amount of birdsong has diminished markedly the last few days as birds either finish breeding or are too busy raising more broods. Most bird are still singing but sporadically

Notes from today:
- 2 Buzzards were each sitting on a post inside the Ricoh grounds
- cannot explain the increase in Coot number: for the first time for some weeks birds were gathering on the SW grass to feed suggesting for at least these birds the breeding season is over. So perhaps more are ‘off the nest’; or some from elsewhere? Has been a poor year for them this year
- the first Swifts were once again 2 at 04:30: thereafter between 2 and 10 birds could be found
- both presumed Pipistrelle and the large bats were seen this morning
- two Buff Ermine, a Brimstone and a Mottled Pug moth were on the lamps
- 4 Silver-ground Carpet moths flushed from vegetation
- several Timothy Tortrix moths also flushed
- Blue-tailed Damselflies in some number; also Common Blue and Azure Damselflies
- at least 3 Harlequin Ladybirds (Harmonia axyridis)
- three species of hoverfly ID-ed: Episyrphus balteatus; Volucella pellucens and Volucella bombylans
- a ‘Garden Bumblebee’ Bombus hortorum noted

On with the bird totals

Birds noted flying over the lake:
- 4 Greylag Geese (2 groups)
- 20 Canada Geese (5 groups)
- 5 Wood Pigeons
- 2 Jackdaws

Hirundine etc. counts:
- c.10 Swifts again
- 2 Barn Swallows
- 4 House Martins

Warblers counts: number in brackets = singing birds
- 7 (7) Chiffchaffs again
- 1 (1) Willow Warblers: the usual
- 15 (12) Blackcaps
- 3 (3) Garden Warblers
- 7 (4) Common Whitethroat
- 5 (4) Reed Warblers

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 4 Mute Swans
- 11 (7♂) + 4 (1 brood) Mallard
- 7 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 4 Moorhens
- 33 + 2 (1 brood) Coots

Sky clearing at dawn.

And colouring as the sun rises.

Like parent, like juvenile: Great Crested Grebes of course.

The juvenile was not really asleep and kept pestering to be fed: indeed the adult has an eye open but ignoring the incessant calls.

This also happened about three weeks ago: on the Academy running track all the Wood Pigeons clattered off leaving the normally very shy Stock Doves behind. No white in the neck and none on the bend of the wing either: also note the black marks on the wing feathers. They let me get quite close.

But no closer than this!

Male Blackbirds frequently show white patches: some here are no more than end-of-breeding-season scruffiness, though there are a few white feathers in the head.

A male Blackcap singing away – between broods? I saw a family elsewhere.

One of ‘those’ pug moths which are hard. I am pretty certain this is a Mottled Pug.

This Buff Ermine better positioned than the one I photographed yesterday. Males are very buff; females almost white which is confusing as female White Ermines are rather buffy! Luckily the marks are quite distinctive.

At first sight this might qualify as a female Buff Ermine but not with antenna like that it isn’t: must be a pale male.

No mistaking this: a Brimstone moth – one day earlier than my first 2016 record.

Does not particularly look like it but this is a Common Blue Damselfly – the pattern matches that of a male: its paleness suggests it is a so-called ‘teneral’ or recently emerged insect yet to acquire mature colouration.

This IS a female – the marks along the back are very different.

The different marking on segment 2 indicates an Azure Damselfly. There are seven very similar ‘blue’ damselflies and separating them without examining photos is problematic. Not all species occur in Shropshire so the field is narrowed somewhat.

A Harlequin Ladybird (Harmonia axyridis): at least three of this invasive species seen today. It was introduced to control aphids and now out-competes our native ladybirds to the task and these are becoming scarce.

This seems to be a Common Green Capsid (bug) (Lygocoris pabulinus).

Here we see the very common Episyrphus balteatus (often known as the Marmalade hoverfly).

Another common hoverfly – this is Volucella pellucens.

Not a bee – they have longer antenna: yet another common hoverfly Volucella bombylans.

For comparison here is a bee sp. with its longer antenna: probably the ‘Garden Bumblebee’ Bombus hortorum.

I shudder to think what is going on here: female spiders are well-known for not treating their suitors well.

A different snail this morning: a White-lipped snail (Cepaea hortensis).

Nothing special: just water droplets on an Ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare).

(Ed Wilson)


The Flash: 05:50 – 06:30

(53rd visit of the year)

Notes from here
- many fewer Canada Geese today
- just a single Great Crested Grebe seen ‘moving a Mallard along’
- my first Silver-ground Carpet moth of the year here

Birds noted flying over
- 3 Feral Pigeons
- 4 Rooks

Hirundine etc. counts
- 4 Swifts
- 1 House Martin only

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

The counts from the water
- 2 + 7 Mute Swans
- 24 Canada Geese!
- 1 white feral goose
- 19 (17♂) Mallard
- 2 (1♂) Tufted Duck remain
- 1 Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Moorhen
- 18 + 6 (4 broods) Coots

Between the lake and The Flash alongside the path
- a juvenile Moorhen scampered back into the shelter of the upper pool
- no warblers heard this morning

(Ed Wilson)

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

Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
Today's Sightings Here

Priorslee Lake
(Ed Wilson)

Priorslee Lake
Possible Marsh Harrier
11 Reed Warblers
(Ed Wilson)