Total Number of Species Recorded in 2011

2010 saw a total of 196 species recorded in Bedfordshire. Of this total, LGRE recorded 183, closely followed by Jim Gurney and Steve Blain on 181, Lol Carman on 180, Martin Palmer on 179 and Bob Chalkley on 177.

In 2011, a total of 452 species was recorded in Britain and Ireland of which I recorded just 69% (312); Bedfordshire recorded 204 species (of which I saw 94% at 191), Hertfordshire 192 (of which I saw 88.5% at 170) and Buckinghamshire 192 (of which I recorded just 86% at 165)

In 2012, I came fourth (on 168), following Steve Blain (177), Jim Gurney (174) and Martin Plamer (171).

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Another very cold and bleak day

Pip Housden and I had a late start this morning meeting up with Jim Gurney at Meadow Lane, Bedford STW shortly before 11.00am.

A Treecreeper was a good find by Jim low down in the hedgerow and we had brief flight only views of a silent Chiffchaff flying across the track and a little after low along the water-filled ditch and hedgerow.

A slog around Octagon Farm yet again failed to produce a Water Pipit - even a lone Meadow Pipit was proving elusive. A Common Snipe flushed up from a pool on the hardstanding, a Green Sandpiper flew over calling, 56 Mute Swans were counted and 2 Buzzards and 8 Stock Doves were seen.

Jim went back to Sandy whilst Pip and I headed over to Marston Vale. Yet again there was no call of a Cetti's to brighten our day but we had star birds with excellent views of a lovely Barn Owl near lagoon 3 where we also saw a splendid male Bullfinch and then a flock of small finches included a few Goldfinches, 1 Lesser Redpoll and c20 Siskins including some stunning males.

Rookery South was bleak indeed but the drake Red Crested Pochard was seen distantly along the wide inlet beyond the blue sheeting as looking diagonally out from the railway bridge corner.

Four probable Grey Partridges flew off at Dane Lane but no owls showed nor the Merlin we were hoping for so we headed off to Stewartby Lake for the last hour of our day where we joined Lol Carman at the gull watchpoint.I picked out at least 3 Yellow-legged Gulls - 2 adults and a fourth winter and amongst the distant throng there were possibly 3 or more more but as well as the argenteus Herring Gulls now gaining full new plumage, some of the Scandinavian argentatus birds are now appearing very clean and need to be ruled out when thinking of a YLG.

It was some time after a cold Lol had headed off back toward Dunstable that I eventually picked out a first-winter MEDITERRANEAN GULL which gave prolonged if a tad distant views for us to enjoy.

Some nice birds on a bleak day with some 65 species noted between Pip and myself (Martin Palmer)

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