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).

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

WATER PIPIT still present

Having enjoyed a few days in Norfolk (with considerably more success than I did at Rainham on Saturday), I decided on a local trip this afternoon not straying too far from Kempston.

First off was Kempston Mill where the high river levels seemed to have pushed off the local drake Mandarin duo as I hadn't seem them here last Friday either.

Stimulated by excellent views of Water Pipit at Titchwell from the new Parinder hide (where also a trio of Shore Larks and 17 Twite all at close range) and up to 4 Scandinavian Rock Pipits at nearby Thornham, I decided to have yet another try for the Water Pipit at Octagon Farm. The hardstanding area was bare so I continued on around the bund to the big field and first of the two lakes. The filled in flash area has been sown along with the rest of the big field and the rain-filled hollows were attracting Pied Wagtails - 21 in total. I waited a while at the corner of the first lake and soon heard the clear single notes I was hoping for and saw the WATER PIPIT fly several metres along the shoreline, perch momentarilly in a low willow and drop to the ground out of sight.

I approached cautiously and was rewarded with good views of a long clean supercillium and double white wing-bars and all to soon the bird was up again and flying straight past me calling repeated single notes as it went off toward the hardstanding and (presumably) on toward the sewage works. Nice to get such close flight views and an unmistakable bird, the Water Pipit being generally greyer than would a Rock Pipit and uttering the single "seep" note repeatedly as it took to flight - the white of the supercilia and wing bars being equally diagnostic. I watched the WATER PIPIT at 3.05 initially and then at 3.10pm. My 112th species of c122 in Beds so far this year.

I then drove over to Stewartby Lake and from 3.35 to 4.50 scanned the roost from the gull watchpoint, mostly in the company of Roy Nye who'd already been there an hour. Roy had seen a Bittern fly to the west (Marston) corner just before I joined him and had also seen a female Scaup earlier. The gulls were all quite close this evening in sunny, fine, calm, if cold weather. I soon found 2 first-winter drake SCAUP by the opposite east corner and then a first-winter and an adult Yellow-legged Gull. Roy had also seen a first-winter YLG earlier and though my bird differed subtly from his so likely 3 YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS in all were present this evening.I click-counted 265 Herring Gulls - significantly down on the 472 of last Friday - 97 Great Black-backs and 71 Lesser Black-backs (Martin Palmer).

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