2 Jun 15

Priorslee Lake: 4:19am - 7:46am

Telford sunrise: 4:50am

10.5°C > 11.0°C. A little early brightness to N otherwise mainly cloudy with drizzle after 6:00am. Light SW wind fell calm. Good visibility but moderate at best in drizzle.

Well it was supposed to be wet and very windy: it wasn't! After the drizzle set in I waited to see whether anything would drop in: it didn't.

(72nd visit of the year)

- the Grey Heron popped in between 5:10am and 5:25am only.
- just a single juvenile Coot ventured out of cover this morning: from the 3rd brood I have logged this year. Many birds seem to have lost interest in breeding and 7 were feeding together on the SW grass at 6:00am without squabbling at all – just like the winter.
- early passage of Swallows flying W and the usual few Swifts dashing through.
- several Swifts and a small group of House Martins were feeding in the tops of the poplars on the N shore by 5:20am.
- larger group of House Martins appeared high overhead and were present on and off in a variety of numbers between 5:40am and when I left. At least 20 birds but perhaps they were not all the same birds coming and going (to where? but see notes on The Flash below).
- the Garden Warbler gave a single brief burst of song: from an area where it sang for many days so I assume it is too busy feeding nestlings / young to sing much at the moment.

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 3 Canada Geese (1 party)
- 2 Cormorants (singles)
- 1 Lesser Black-backed Gull
- 101 Jackdaws
- 73 Rooks

Count of hirundines etc
- 9 Swifts
- 26 Swallows
- >25 House Martins (see notes)

Count of singing warblers
- 5 Chiffchaffs
- 14 Blackcaps again
- 1 Garden Warbler, briefly
- 8 Reed Warblers once more

The counts from the lake area
- 2 + 1 Mute Swans
- 9 (6♂) Mallard
- 1 Grey Heron
- 6 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 3 Moorhens!
- 25 + 1 (1 brood) Coots

Gales and rain we were forecast. What we got was this – some brightness to start and almost calm. We did get some drizzle later.

Just about to break in to flower on the dam is the usual bright display of Red Valerian (Centranthus ruber). Stony / rocky places is where they grow naturally. However on the dam there will be several colour morphs from pinkish to mauve-tinged which leads me to wonder whether they are garden escapes.

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 7:50am - 8:21am

(53rd visit of the year)

- a Great Crested Grebe continues to sit on the nest: seems to have been there a long while.
- one of the pairs of Coots that has lost all but one of its recent brood was seen mating again – and right in front of the child too!
- the 6 / 8 local House Martins were temporarily augmented by a party of >20 birds high over – probably the same party as seen from time to time over the lake (q.v.).

Birds noted flying over.

Count of hirundines etc
- 2 Swifts
- c.30 House Martins (see notes)

Count of singing warblers
- 1 Blackcap only

The counts from the water
- 2 + 4 Mute Swans
- 2 Greylag Geese
- 65 Canada Geese
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 15 (11♂) + 8 (1 brood) Mallard
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 2 (1♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 Great Crested Grebes
- no Moorhens
- 20 + 7 (5 broods) Coots

I had always assumed that this flower that I know as Blue Flag was the species with the scientific name Iris versicolor. It originates in North America – it is the ‘cultivated flower species of the State of Tennessee’; and ‘the provincial flower of Quebec, Canada’. Widely naturalised in the UK and seen around both the lake and, here, at The Flash. Then a footnote in the Wikipedia entry caught my eye cross-referencing Virginia Iris (Iris virginica). Following that link showed me photos of a plant whose pictures looked just as much like mine as those in the Blue Flag entry. There was no textual detail to allow me to separate the species only a note that Virginia Iris flowers (in the Southern US) in April and May and this is now June ... But Marjorie Blamey’s Illustrated Flora – my flower bible – does not mention this latter species so I’ll stick to Blue Flag, though she calls it Purple Flag!

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2006 and 2014

Priorslee Lake Map
Highlights Here

Priorslee Lake Map
(Ed Wilson)