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).

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Mopping up a few Beds Year Ticks - LGRE


Another pretty miserable day weatherwise, with cold NW winds and intermittent rain all day. The light remained very poor and the rain got heavier throughout the afternoon.

After several false-starts, I finally got down to doing some target-birding in Bedfordshire.....


BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS returned to my village today with a vengeance; firstly, a small group of 4 appeared on the few remaining Pink Rowans by the entrance to the Anglo Office Park in White Lion Road and then, half an hour later, this figure increased to 18 - with an additional 26 in trees surrounding Shardeloes Lake early afternoon. None appeared to be colour-ringed.

In White Lion Road, a Mistle Thrush was acting very aggressively towards the flock.


Very quiet apart from 18 Gadwall and a GREEN SANDPIPER in the stream.


I spent over two hours searching for Darin's two male Blackcaps but to no avail - the well-stocked front garden of no.43 did however produce 2 Rooks, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Dunnocks, Nuthatch, numerous Great and Blue Tits, 7 Long-tailed Tits, Greenfinch, 5 Chaffinch and 2 Reed Buntings.

The GREEN SANDPIPER was still present on the Sewage Treatment Works, with a nice COMMON KINGFISHER (perched and feeding on a Stickleback) and GREY WAGTAIL on the river inside the tiny nature reserve.


The usual pair of EGYPTIAN GEESE were present in the field opposite the mill, whilst 4 Common Teal (2 pairs) were feeding at the cress beds. At least 30 Redwing were in the area but yet again I failed to find any Common Ravens in the area and worryingly they have not returned yet to the usual nest (another pair I know of has now started nest-repairing).

At Bendish Lodge (TL 166 224), both Red Kite and Common Buzzard were noted, with a covey of 6 Red-legged Partridges at TL 154 232, the junction of Church Road and Lilley Bottom.


Despite the grim weather, a RED KITE was soaring above Pegsdon Hollow, whilst in the Lilley Manor Farm area, a Common Kestrel and 80 Fieldfare were seen.


Thanks to Mike Russell, I was finally able to add EGYPTIAN GOOSE to my 2011 Beds Year List - two birds of unknown origin feeding on the grass at the north end of the park and easily visible from the A6 adjacent.

Two free-flying pairs of non-naturalised adult WHOOPER SWANS were also back on the lower part of the lake, these being additional to the pair currently residing at Wilstone Reservoir, Tring.

I did a full inventory of the park's resident water birds, accumulating 2 Greylag Geese, 98 Atlantic Canada Geese, 109 Mallard-types, just 18 Coot and 12 Moorhens.

There were also a large number of loafing Black-headed Gulls in the park (246), including a colour-ringed first-year (Yellow KO29), as well as an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull.

The only passerines noted were 5 GOLDCRESTS in overhanging Willows by the lake.


Had an abortive attempt as usual for the Little Owls at Sandy Smith Nature Reserve but did see a covey of 15 Red-legged Partridges feeding by the junction at Beadlow at TL 105 383.


I achieved much better success at Southill where in the trees at the sharp bend at TL 151 430 (200 yards east of the lake), a superb flock of 41 BRAMBLINGS was on display, including some smartly plumaged adult males. In fact, they far outnumbered any other species present, with just 9 Chaffinches, 2 Greenfinch and a Goldfinch.

A TAWNY OWL was a very welcome addition (sat roosting at a hole entrance), whilst Ring-necked Pheasants were abundant in the Warden Warren area.


At the instruction of MJP, the male COMMON SHELDUCK was easily 'collected' - showing well roosting on the end of the spit. Nothing else of significance present though.


Nearby at Brook End Farm (TL 162 476), coveys of 9 Red-legged and 4 GREY PARTRIDGES were noted in the field east of the B 658.


As expected, a complete blank drawn on the overwintering but next-to-impossible-to-see Water Pipit; the adjacent field held a mixed flock of 69 Lapwing and 29 European Golden Plover.

The light then faded and the rain more heavily set in and my remaining birding of the day turned up nothing.

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