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).

Saturday, 8 January 2011

A semi-successful day out in Bedfordshire - LGRE


The first bright day in a while with clear blue skies and winter sunlight virtually all day long. Fairly cool, with a brisk westerly wind.

Decided to spend the day in Bedfordshire where I had very mixed results. Distinct lack of redpolls again......

HATFIELD (HERTS): flock of 10 Lapwings flew west across the A1

BIGGLESWADE (BEDS): in the peafield immediately SW of the Grizzly's A1 layby were 107 Lapwings and 92 EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVERS.

(0830-1130 hours)

Very very poor with just 2 LESSER REDPOLLS found in the Drinking Pool/Quarry areas and 5 SISKINS. Little else of note too - Robin, Fieldfare, 5 Goldcrest, Common Treecreeper, Coal Tit, 17 Blue Tits and 5 Great Tits.

SANDY TOWN: 10 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS perched in tall trees along the High Street - at number 101A.


Thanks to Peter Holden and Richard Bashford, quickly located the large feeding flocks of birds in fields west of the village at TL 150 514 and TL 148 518. Redwings predominated with 170 counted, whilst CORN BUNTINGS numbered 137 (highest count after numerous efforts - mainly when the flock perched on the overhead wires), 40 Yellowhammer and a much smaller number of Reed Buntings (15+). There were also 2 Song Thrushes in the field, 8 Goldfinches and 15+ House Sparrows in the village, as well as singing male Dunnock and Mistle Thrush..


Stopped off briefly to check out the non-naturalised Barnacle Goose flock - 300 in all - with 20 Lapwings and Long-tailed Tits also noted.


Roy Nye, Francis Buckle, Tony Heukin, Peter Smith and others had seen a Slavonian Grebe late morning hugging and swimming along the northern edge of the lake. Not long after, MJP, SB, AP, LC, BC and I pitched up but despite an exhaustive search, none of us could relocate it. We did find 13 Dabchick, 45 Great Crested Grebe, 500 Tufted Duck, 3 Goldeneye and 2 GREATER SCAUPS (the first-winter drake and one of the adult females).


Did two separate stints of watching - from early afternoon to 1450 hours and again from 1600 hours until dark.

Initial highlight was a pair of sparring PEREGRINE FALCONS (the Stewartby chimney pair) whizzing over the rough fields, 1 or 2 of them being seen again very distantly on two further occasions.

A resident pair of Common Kestrel was present, a Eurasian Sparrowhawk (my first of the year) and 3 Common Buzzards - whilst 5 Gadwalls departed the tiny village pond with 21 Mallard and 2 Eurasian Skylarks flew over. A pair of COMMON STONECHATS was particularly welcomed as following the cold spell, this is a very difficult species to find.

Returned much later to join Tony Donnelly, Darren Thomas and Richard and at 1640 hours, one of the SHORT-EARED OWLS appeared and began hunting - the first sighting of the day !

(Others had seen Little Egret and Merlin at the site)

BROUGHTON GROUNDS (NORTH BUCKS) - 80+ European Golden Plovers in fields west of the motorway.


The adult WHOOPER SWAN was showing well in fields north of the river but nearby I failed to locate the Tree Sparrows at Dairy Farm.

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