2015: The year at Priorslee Lake

I have been watching Priorslee Lake for well over 30 years now but have easily accessible records only for the last five years. Every year brings its special sightings and this year was no different.

Special Mentions
Absolute highlight was finding the very first Marsh Warbler for Shropshire in early June. This bird sang and sang for some 8 days before presumably deciding it was not going to find a mate and moved off. Literally hundreds of birders made the journey to see ‘my’ bird even though we could not immediately publish anything about the sighting on the web site – it is a Schedule 1 bird and must not be disturbed when (potentially) breeding.

Marsh Warbler

Marsh Warbler

Amazingly it was the second Schedule 1 bird at this un-prepossessing site still just about on the edge of Telford. Once again we had successful breeding by the Little Ringed Plovers on nearby private land. This made it five years out of the last six. For a while it looked as if a pair of Oystercatchers might join them but after three weeks they disappeared.

Little Ringed Plover

Little Ringed Plover chick

In late October I found another Cetti’s Warbler, the second record here after I also found the first in December 2014. That first bird seemed to stay about two weeks, but this time the (same?) bird has been around at least seven weeks (and may still be present)

Last winter was generally disappointing with no ‘white-winged’ gulls and rather few gulls in the whole area. This winter, for reasons that are unclear, gull numbers are even lower at the moment

I missed the lake’s first-ever Ring-necked Duck – the North American equivalent of our Tufted Duck. It turned up for a few days while I was away in Ecuador

The breeding season was hard to some up: a few success and some failures. Selected notes
- the Swans only had 3 cygnets and quickly lost them all. The pen is still quite young but there may be a genetic problem as they are half-siblings
- Mallard always have many broods and many failures: this year was little different and I do not think and ducklings survived
- Little Grebe adults and juveniles were present from late summer. When I first saw them I would judge the juveniles could have flown in. But this is a secretive species
- up to 6 pairs of Great Crested Grebes were present in the summer: only one pair seemed to be nesting, then suddenly three more pairs produced young. Despite the close proximity of the nests many juveniles seemed likely to fledge when I left for another holiday abroad
- Moorhens seemed to have a good year – there are more present than I can recall
- Coots usually do very badly with 15 / 20 pairs having 2 or 3 broods of up to 6 juveniles; fewer than 10 seem to fledge. This year I estimate more than 30 seemed likely to fledge
- Stock Doves bred in the area, but I am not entirely sure where
- a Willow Tit sang from many locations around the lake. At the time I noted more than one bird singing in April and May but I suspect that this was just one very mobile bird. I saw no evidence of breeding (at least one bird is still present in the area)
- a Willow Warbler moved location mid-season and was probably not successful
- more Blackcaps than usual singing, but I saw rather few juveniles
- one Garden Warbler sang for weeks but did not appear to attract a mate
- several Lesser Whitethroats were seen and heard at the start of the season but did not seem to breed. This species is very secretive once paired but usually sings again between broods – which I did not record this year
- two Sedge Warblers sang for a few days each but moved on
- Reed Warblers arrived late and were still feeding juveniles at the end of August and seemed to do well

Recorded Bird Species
Here is a list of the 105 species of birds I recorded in 2015 in BOU species order, with the date I first recorded them
As with last year not too much should be read in to these dates as I spent many periods out of the country

Mute Swan 13/01/2015
Greylag Goose 11/02/2015
Greylag x Barnacle? Goose 18/09/2015
Canada Goose 13/01/2015
Lesser Canada Goose ssp. 12/02/2015
Shelduck 11/02/2015
Eurasian Wigeon 08/02/2015
Gadwall 13/01/2015
Teal 15/02/2015
Mallard 13/01/2015
Pintail 27/09/2015
Shoveler 07/02/2015
Pochard 13/01/2015
Tufted Duck 13/01/2015
Goosander 14/01/2015
Red-legged Partridge 14/05/2015
Pheasant 15/02/2015
Cormorant 13/01/2015
Grey Heron 09/02/2015
Little Grebe 13/01/2015
Great Crested Grebe 13/01/2015
Red Kite 28/09/2015
Sparrowhawk 14/02/2015
Common Buzzard 14/01/2015
(Common) Kestrel 14/01/2015
Hobby 01/09/2015
Peregrine 06/09/2015
Water Rail 13/01/2015
Moorhen 13/01/2015
Coot 13/01/2015
Oystercatcher 12/03/2015
Golden Plover 06/03/2015
Lapwing 23/09/2015
Little Ringed Plover 05/04/2015
Common Sandpiper 30/04/2015
Woodcock 15/01/2015
Snipe 06/03/2015
Common Tern 29/05/2015
Arctic Tern 06/05/2015
Black-headed Gull 13/01/2015
Mediterranean x Black-headed Gull 09/08/2015
Common Gull 06/09/2015
Lesser Black-backed Gull 13/01/2015
Herring Gull 13/01/2015
Yellow-legged Gull 07/02/2015
Great Black-backed Gull 13/01/2015
Feral Pigeon 15/01/2015
Stock Dove 13/01/2015
Wood Pigeon 13/01/2015
Collared Dove 15/02/2015
Swift 30/04/2015
Kingfisher 13/01/2015
Green Woodpecker 07/12/2015
Great Spotted Woodpecker 13/02/2015
Magpie 13/01/2015
Jay 15/01/2015
Jackdaw 13/01/2015
Rook 13/01/2015
Carrion Crow 13/01/2015
Raven 13/01/2015
Goldcrest 13/01/2015
Blue Tit 13/01/2015
Great Tit 13/01/2015
Coal Tit 13/01/2015
Willow Tit 13/01/2015
Sky Lark 15/02/2015
Sand Martin 04/04/2015
Barn Swallow 05/04/2015
House Martin 05/04/2015
Cetti's Warbler 29/10/2015
Long-tailed Tit 13/01/2015
Chiffchaff 12/03/2015
Willow Warbler 30/04/2015
Blackcap 30/04/2015
Garden Warbler 30/04/2015
Lesser Whitethroat 30/04/2015
Common Whitethroat 30/04/2015
Sedge Warbler 30/04/2015
Marsh Warbler 05/06/2015
Reed Warbler 30/04/2015
Nuthatch 18/02/2015
Treecreeper 17/02/2015
Wren 13/01/2015
Starling 12/02/2015
Blackbird 13/01/2015
Fieldfare 14/02/2015
Song Thrush 13/01/2015
Redwing 13/01/2015
Mistle Thrush 15/02/2015
Robin 13/01/2015
Dunnock 13/01/2015
House Sparrow 10/06/2015
Yellow Wagtail 08/05/2015
Grey Wagtail 13/01/2015
Pied Wagtail 14/01/2015
Meadow Pipit 14/01/2015
Chaffinch 13/01/2015
Greenfinch 13/01/2015
Goldfinch 13/01/2015
Siskin 15/02/2015
Linnet 13/02/2015
Common (Mealy) Redpoll 12/03/2015
Bullfinch 13/01/2015
Yellowhammer 14/05/2015
Reed Bunting 10/02/2015

I recorded 11 species in 2015 that I did not see in 2014
Greylag x Barnacle Goose
Lesser Canada Goose ssp.
Red Kite
Arctic Tern
Mediterranean x Black-headed Gull
Common Gull
**Marsh Warbler
(another first for the lake was the Ring-necked Duck present in January(?) while I was away

Six species were recorded in 2014 but not in 2015
Black Tern
Mediterranean Gull
Tawny Owl
Grasshopper Warbler (H)

Recorded Butterfly Species
I found 14 species of butterfly

1526 Small Skipper 30/06/2015
1531 Large Skipper 29/06/2015
1549 Large White 04/05/2015
1551 Green-veined White 06/08/2015
1553 Orange-tip 27/05/2015
1574 Common Blue 04/06/2015
1591 Painted Lady 11/06/2015
1593 Small Tortoiseshell 30/06/2015
1597 Peacock 04/05/2015
1598 Comma 09/07/2015
1614 Speckled Wood 04/06/2015
1625 Gatekeeper 05/08/2015
1626 Meadow Brown 30/06/2015
1629 Ringlet 29/06/2015
Of these Large Skipper, Painted Lady and Comma were not recorded in 2014

Recorded Moth Species
I was surprised to find that I recorded 53 species of moth. With the street lights out of action for much of the year while the building work on the Academy closed the footpaths I had expected a low total. The new lamps along Teece Drive will be no good for moths – the new 'bulbs' are the wrong colour temperature
Comparison with 2014 is not meaningful as that was affected by the failure of the street lamps for a different part of the year.

148 Yellow-barred Longhorn (Nemophora degeerella) 05/06/2015
998 Epiphyas postvittana (Light Brown Apple Moth) 06/09/2015
1038 Dark-triangle Button (Acleris layerana) 06/09/2015
1048 Garden Rose Tortrix (Acleris variegana) 16/09/2015
1062 Acleris emargana (Notch-wing Button) 06/09/2015
1063 Barred Marble (Celypha striana) 01/07/2015
1082 Plum Tortrix (Hedya pruniana) 28/05/2015
1129 Ancylis apicella (Hook-tipped Roller) 07/06/2015
1174 Yellow-faced Bell (Notocelia cynosbatella) 28/05/2015
1293 Garden Grass-veneer (Chrysoteuchia culmella) 30/06/2015
1304 Pearl Veneer (Agriphila straminella) 05/08/2015
1305 Common Grass-veneer (Agriphila tristella) 09/08/2015
1344 Eudonia mercurella (Small Grey) 09/08/2015
1361 Small Purple & Gold (Pyrausta aurata) 07/06/2015
1388 Udea lutealis (Pale Straw Pearl) 07/08/2015
1395 Rusty-dot Pearl (Udea ferrugalis) 01/09/2015
1405 Pleuroptya ruralis (Mother of Pearl) 07/08/2015
1708 Single-dotted Wave 15/07/2015
1713 Riband Wave 05/08/2015
1727 Silver-ground Carpet 31/05/2015
1728 Garden Carpet 13/09/2015
1732 Shaded Broad-bar 01/07/2015
1745 Mallow 01/09/2015
1764 Common Marbled Carpet 30/06/2015
1790 Epirrita sp. [Autumnal, November, Pale November Moths] 03/11/2015
1799 Winter Moth (Operophtera brumata) 01/12/2015
1837 Grey Pug 05/08/2015
1852 Brindled Pug 05/04/2015
1887 Clouded Border 30/06/2015
1906 Brimstone Moth 20/09/2015
1923 Feathered Thorn 08/11/2015
1935 Mottled Umber (Erranis defoliaria) 04/11/2015
1956 Common Wave 03/06/2015
1957 White-pinion Spotted 27/05/2015
1984 Hummingbird Hawkmoth 10/06/2015
2019 Chocolate-tip 08/08/2015
2050 Common Footman 10/08/2015
2107 Large Yellow Underwing 08/09/2015
2134 Square-spot Rustic 16/09/2015
2160 Bright-line Brown-eye 09/09/2015
2199 Common Wainscot 10/08/2015
2269 Centre-barred Sallow 08/09/2015
2272 Barred Sallow 22/09/2015
2293 Marbled Beauty 01/09/2015
2321 Dark Arches 09/07/2015
2343 Common Rustic 11/08/2015
2353 Flounced Rustic 04/07/2015
2382 Rustic 01/09/2015
2441 Silver Y 03/09/2015
2463 Burnet Companion 30/06/2015
2469 Herald 01/09/2015
2474 Straw Dot 05/06/2015
2477 Snout 09/07/2015

Recorded Hoverfly Species
I identified just 7 species of hoverfly

Eristalis tenax 07/09/2015
Eristalis pertinax 05/08/2015
Eristalis nemorum 07/09/2015
Melanostoma scalare 04/08/2015
Episyrphus balteatus 01/05/2015
Helophilus pendulus 09/07/2015
Volucella pellucens 16/05/2015

Recorded Damselfly/Dragonflies
I was disappointed to find I logged just 8 species of damsel/dragonfly

Common Blue Damselfly 05/06/2015
Red-eyed Damselfly 23/05/2015
Blue-tailed Damselfly 28/05/2015
Black-tailed Skimmer 01/07/2015
Common Darter 08/08/2015
Brown Hawker 01/07/2015
Azure Damselfly 06/06/2015
Emperor Dragonfly 01/07/2015

Recorded "Bugs"
For what it is worth the following 'bugs' were identified as best I could, but lots of things – flies, bees, spiders and beetles - went unrecorded and/or unidentified

Scorpion Fly (Panorpa communis) 04/05/2015
Common Crane-fly (Tipula oleracea) 07/05/2015
Garden Spider (Arameus diadematus) 11/05/2015
Common stretch-spider (Tetragnatha extensa) 15/05/2015
Rhamnusium bicolor (longhorn beetle) 16/05/2015
Nettle Weevil (Phyllobius pomaceus) 23/05/2015
Red-and-Black Froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata) 23/05/2015
Phaonia viarum (Muscid fly) 28/05/2015
Verlusea rhombea (Shield Bug sp) 28/05/2015
Lacewing sp. (Chrysopa perla?) 06/06/2015
Mirid Bug (Amblytylus nasutus?) 06/06/2015
Earwig sp. 06/06/2015
Tibellus oblongus (grass spider) 07/06/2015
Red-tailed bumblebee (Bombus lapidarius) 10/06/2015
Cardinal Beetle (Pyrochroa coccinea) 10/06/2015
Mystacides longicornis (caddis) 29/06/2015
Soldier beetles 29/06/2015
Wasp sp. 30/06/2015
Oedemera nobilis (beetle) 30/06/2015
White-lipped snails (Cepaea hortensis) 02/07/2015
Rhagonycha fulva (Hogweed Bonking-beetle) 02/07/2015
Lacewing sp. (Chrysoperia carnea) 02/07/2015
Lagria hirta – brown beetle a bit hairy 15/07/2015
7-spot Ladybird (Coccinella 7-punctata) 07/08/2015
Common Frog-hopper (Philaenus spumarius) 07/08/2015
Harlequin Ladybird 07/08/2015
Common Nettle Bug (Liocoris tripustulatus) 09/08/2015
Tachina fera – fly sp. 07/09/2015
Phaonia valida – fly sp. 07/09/2015
caddis fly sp. 22/09/2015

Recorded Mammals
I logged just six species of mammal (though a late flurry of unidentified records could have pushed the total higher

Bat sp-1 Pipistrelle-type 15/07/2015
Bat sp-2 Noctule-type 05/06/2015
Fox 27/09/2015
Grey Squirrel 02/05/2015
Hare 04/03/2015
Mole hills 13/01/2015

Recorded Amphibians
Finally just two amphibians

Common Toad (Bufo bufo) 02/07/2015
Palmate Newt (Lissotriton helveticus) 29/10/2015

As a postscript here is a list of the 64 species of bird I recorded at The Flash in 2015

Mute Swan 13/01/2015
Greylag Goose 12/02/2015
Canada Goose 13/01/2015
Canada Goose x Barnacle Goose 01/07/2015
Lesser Canada Goose ssp. 08/02/2015
Teal 14/02/2015
Mallard 13/01/2015
Shoveler 08/02/2015
Pochard 13/01/2015
Tufted Duck 13/01/2015
Goosander 13/01/2015
Grey Heron 14/01/2015
Little Grebe 15/01/2015
Great Crested Grebe 13/01/2015
Sparrowhawk 11/02/2015
Moorhen 13/01/2015
Coot 13/01/2015
Kittiwake 01/12/2015
Black-headed Gull 13/01/2015
Lesser Black-backed Gull 13/01/2015
Herring Gull 13/01/2015
Feral Pigeon / Rock Dove 09/02/2015
Stock Dove 09/11/2015
Wood Pigeon 13/01/2015
Collared Dove 15/02/2015
Swift 04/05/2015
Great Spotted Woodpecker 25/02/2015
Magpie 13/01/2015
Jay 13/01/2015
Jackdaw 13/01/2015
Rook 25/02/2015
Carrion Crow 13/01/2015
Raven 13/01/2015
Goldcrest 15/02/2015
Blue Tit 13/01/2015
Great Tit 13/01/2015
Coal Tit 10/02/2015
Willow Tit 01/07/2015
Barn Swallow 04/05/2015
House Martin 20/04/2015
Chiffchaff 03/04/2015
Blackcap 28/02/2015
Garden Warbler 07/05/2015
Reed Warbler 11/05/2015
Nuthatch 29/06/2015
Tree Creeper 10/02/2015
Wren 13/01/2015
Starling 13/01/2015
Blackbird 13/01/2015
Fieldfare 09/02/2015
Song Thrush 13/01/2015
Redwing 18/02/2015
Mistle Thrush 20/02/2015
Robin 13/01/2015
Dunnock 13/01/2015
House Sparrow 13/01/2015
Pied Wagtail 14/01/2015
Meadow Pipit 05/04/2015
Chaffinch 08/02/2015
Greenfinch 08/02/2015
Goldfinch 13/01/2015
Common (Mealy) Redpoll 11/09/2015
Bullfinch 09/02/2015
Reed Bunting 24/12/2015

Notable additions were
Reed Warbler – last seen more than 4 years ago

Missing Species this Year
Missing this year but seen in 2014 were

(Greater) Scaup
Little Grebe
Common Sandpiper
Great Black-backed Gull
Sky Lark
Sand Martin
Willow Warbler – VERY SURPRISING even though I was away during main Spring passage
Many of these would have been fly-overs during Spring when I was out of the country for an extended period

(Ed Wilson)