4 Jun 15

Priorslee Lake: 4:17am - 9:08am

Telford sunrise: 4:49am

6.0°C > 16.5°C. Chilly clear start with only a few clouds. Calm becoming light S wind. Very good visibility.

 (74th visit of the year)

- a pair of Tufted Duck flew in from the E c. 6:00am and then stayed throughout.
- with calm water it was easy to see that all 8 adult Great Crested Grebes were present this morning – and may well have been throughout.
- single juvenile Coots from broods #1 and #3: also 3 juveniles each at 2 new broods.
- Kingfisher seen flying in to willows where the Wesley Brook runs in to the lake.
- Coal, Blue and Great Tits all with juveniles for my first time here this year.
- the outbreak of Willow Warbler song was unexpected especially as only one of the three birds heard was in a location used earlier this year.
- female Blackcap seen carrying food and agitated by my presence.
- 2 Common Whitethroats back singing, both in previous territories. Single other birds seen at both sites as well but too briefly to age.
- several Reed Warblers were also actively flying around as if they too might be feeding young.

- both Common Blue and Speckled Wood were new butterflies here this year.
- many grass moths for the first time this year but none landed where I could ID them.
- lots of mayfly sp. also around this morning but again could not see any at rest to try for an ID.
- more strange insects – see the photos for my best shot at ID's.

Counts of birds flying over the lake (in addition to those on / around lake)
- 1 Canada Goose
- 1 Cormorant again
- 5 Lesser Black-backed Gulls
- 1 Stock Dove
- 1 Feral Pigeon again
- 155 Jackdaws
- 94 Rooks

Count of hirundines etc
- c.20 Swifts
- 1 Swallow
- 2 House Martins

Count of singing warblers
- 7 Chiffchaffs
- 3 Willow Warblers
- 15 Blackcaps again
- 2 Common Whitethroats
- 6 Reed Warblers again

The counts from the lake area
- 2 Mute Swans
- 12 (9♂) Mallard
- 2 (1♂) Tufted Duck
- 8 + 2 (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 9 Moorhens
- 28 + 8 (4 brood) Coots

The early light along Woodhouse Lane – but a few 100 yards from the lake.

A lovely peaceful, calm morning at the lake.

And from the other end.

Lurking in the bush this Common Whitethroat has a beakful for the hungry brood.

Seems this Blue Tit got up in haste and forgot about straightening its feathers!

Still singing but also looking a bit scruffy after the first brood – Mr. Reed Bunting.

Almost perfect! Adult Moorhen in close-up.

“well I could go to sleep ...”. Drake Tufted Duck of course.

“but she’s looking a bit mischievous”. Duck Tufted Duck.

“perhaps just a quick one ...!”

“oh er!”

A male Common Blue butterfly – male because the body is blue (and you can just see blue on the tip of the left upper fore-wing). The female has similar underwing markings but is brown bodied. We are ‘lucky’ here in the Midlands as only two species of this very confusing and complex almost world-wide group of dozens of species occur – the Common Blue and the Holly Blue. And the general rule is that if they are below shoulder height they are Common Blues and above that height Holly Blue – works >90% of the time.

You can just about make out the wasp-waist of the ichneumon fly. My books do not show any illustrations of species with such thick and red thighs.

From the wing mark and the tapered abdomen this looks like the Snipe Fly Chrysopilus christatus and probably a male – females do not show the tapered abdomen. On what is probably Meadow Buttercup (Ranunculus acris) though I did not look at the leaves of the plant to check.

A ‘red-tailed bumblebee’ tucks in to breakfast in another buttercup flower. There are several species of bumblebee that look very similar and on this view specific identification is not possible (by me anyway).

Spider sp. is as far as I can go. The plain background is the Sailing Club hut wall.

What on earth ...? Well this female Blackcap was carrying food for her brood and was really upset at my presence and jumping around crest raised. Worth it for comic relief!

Say “aaah” yet again. A newly emerged Blue Tit gazes through apparently somewhat unfocussed eyes and waits to be fed.

“what are you then?”. Probably never seen a human before and certainly never seen a camera.

This looks to be the Soldier Beetle Cantharis rustica.

Speckled Wood butterflies usually rest with wings open so this view of the underwing is less familiar.

Here is that more familiar view. I would expect to be seeing fresh specimens of second brood imago by now but this is decidedly tatty!

Been after a photo of Reed Warbler for weeks without success and this morning there was one right in the open and singing away! Not always an easy species to ID when not singing. Shows quite a white throat but when not singing and excited has a rather elongated flat-crowned look. Lack of any real supercilium helps dismiss things like Chiffchaff or Willow Warbler.

Another view showing the way the forehead ‘runs on’ to the bill.

These two are hoverflies of the genus Parhelophilus and likely to be the species versicolor. When I initially found them they seemed to be mating. My first impression from the photo is that they were both females as on neither insect do the eyes meet. But is seems this genus of hoverflies does not show that feature. The front specimen looks darker between the eyes and that might indicate the female of the species but I am unsure from the illustrations in my reference book.

(Ed Wilson)

Woodhouse Lane: 4:25am - 5:45am

(6th recent visit)

NB: This visit started pre-dawn so I would expect some difference in numbers.

- Reed Bunting still singing in the oilseed rape field.

Selected other counts
- 2 Sky Larks in song
- 2 Chiffchaffs in song
- 2 Blackcaps in song
- 4 Common Whitethroats with 2 singing
- 3 Linnets over
- 3 Yellowhammer in song and 2 more heard

(Ed Wilson)


Priorslee Flash: 9:12am - 10:06am

(54th visit of the year)

- significant build-up of geese now that breeding season has finished. They will probably stay around to moult, though the new fences that restrict their access to the grass may affect things this year. All (near) adults of course as this year’s goslings – none raised here – will not yet be able to fly.
- the Great Crested Grebes have young now: at least 1 juvenile on one of the adult’s back. Magpies were have a real go at the nest so I assume the young has / have only just climbed on to the adult’s back and vacated the nest for the scavengers to tidy up.
- I confirmed today what I had suspected for some time – there are 11 pairs of Coots at the moment. This is a higher number than I have recorded most years during the breeding season – 7 or 8 seems to be usual, looking at my notes from previous years.
- in the fine weather all the hirundines were feeding elsewhere.

Birds noted flying over

Hirundines etc. seen

Warblers heard singing

The counts from the water
- 2 + 4 Mute Swans
- 12 Greylag Geese
- 107 Canada Geese
- 1 all-white feral goose
- 9 (6♂) + 8 (1 brood) Mallard
- 1 all-white feral duck
- 2 (1♂) Tufted Ducks
- 2 + 1? (1 brood) Great Crested Grebes
- 1 Moorhen
- 22 + 10 (5 broods) Coots

Its only a Wood Pigeon! Very strange eyes.

Too much honkin’! A Greylag Goose makes a noisy approach.

A Buzzard looks on.

(Ed Wilson)

On this day in 2012

Holmer Lake Map
Black Swan
(Marilyn Morton)