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).

Sunday, 13 February 2011

GLAUCOUS GULL in the Stewartby roost; 2 SMEW in Quest


The wind veered to the SE today but temperatures still held up. Although the rain held off until late morning, it then moved in and continued into darkness, somewhat hampering viewing.

The milder weather experienced over the weekend certainly spurned on some of the earlier migrants, with a marked arrival of OYSTERCATCHERS in our region, some more RINGED PLOVERS, COMMON SHELDUCKS, many FIELDFARES and numerous gulls reorienting northwards........


I was delighted to see an exceptional 33 GOOSANDERS on Eversholt Lake this afternoon, 16 of them full adult drakes. They afforded outstanding views as they partook in head-throwing courtship display around the island.


Two redhead SMEW were showing well on the northernmost part of the Quest complex, the two birds diving in tandem and keeping very close together. Lol Carman had found them shortly earlier.


Steve Blain located a first-winter MEDITERRANEAN GULL in the pre-roost gull flock which was sitting in fields adjacent to the access road to the reserve. I joined him ten minutes later and watched the bird sleeping within the flock - it was my first of the year in Beds.

(with MJP, Lol, SCB, Dave Ball and Andy Plumb)

As MJP exclaimed, Sunday is not a great day at the Stewartby roost as gulls feeding on the working tips during the week completely change their patterns once the landfills shut at the weekends. As such, this evening's in the rain was a mixed bag......

The highlight of course was a juvenile GLAUCOUS GULL - the first to be recorded in the county since 2008. It was a typical individual, with large size, dark biscuit plumage and hefty thick bill, bright pink at the base and black blob-ended towards the tip. MJP first sighted it, as he did the adult MEDITERRANEAN GULL which was also present (this bird showing quite extensive black on the head and bright red bill but not the white forehead or white eye-lids of other birds I have seen recently). The albinistic Black-headed Gull was once again present with an estimated 7,000 Black-headed Gulls in total, with perhaps 250 Common Gulls and 100 Herring Gulls, 150 Lesser Black-backed Gulls and 46 Great Black-backed Gulls.

A Sparrowhawk was also seen

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