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).

Friday, 11 February 2011

ICELAND GULL, Common Chiffchaff and Barn Owl added to Year List - LGRE


Today was extremely pleasant. Following yesterday's all-day deluge of rain, today was dry, bright and surprisingly mild, with temperatures reaching 13 degrees C - the warmest day of the year so far. Hence, the first migrating northbound waders were on the move, with Ringed Plovers appearing at a number of inland sites.

My target for the day was Tony P's ICELAND GULL and a few other species I was still to find this year in Bedfordshire. The gull was a real treat.


After hearing that Steve Blain and Barry Nightingale had both seen the Iceland Gull at Stewartby Landfill, I made my way straight over. Arriving at about 1300 hours, I initially checked the lake, but there were just 37 large white-headed gulls present - 17 of them surprisingly Great Black-backed Gulls.

I then moved over to the tip but work for the day had ceased and there were no gulls present. I then came across a large roosting flock of gulls roosting in fields west of Kempston Hardwick and viewable by looking east from the railway crossing. The Iceland Gull was not with them, but the flock did contain a further 39 Great Black-backed Gulls, 58 Herring Gulls and 23 Lesser Black-backed Gulls.

I then returned to the main gull watchpoint at Stewartby Lake and there it was ! In a flock of just 25 birds, the ICELAND GULL was the left-hand bird and showing very well. It was a typically bleached juvenile with its dark eye, black-tipped pale bill and pale biscuit-chequered upperwings and upperparts. I phoned RBA and others and continued obtaining excellent views as it sat preening and bathing about 80 yards out. It seemed very settled and over the next hour Lol, Pip and Paul Wright arrived - the bird still showing well. At 1535 hours, it took flight and flew off east on its own, disappearing towards the landfill.

The two (pair) GREATER SCAUPS were still present on the east shore (with 2 Northern Pochards), along with 21 Great Crested Grebes. Otherwise, just Great Spotted Woodpecker and 18 Linnets noted, the latter flying around the landfill.

(At Rookery Pit South, two redhead SMEW and a drake PINTAIL were seen by others)


There was no sign of Lol's pair of Ringed Plover from earlier nor of the wintering Water Pipit but I was very pleased to see the overwintering COMMON CHIFFCHAFF at last - showing well and calling in the hedgerow opposite the house at the far end of Meadow Lane.


I was also very delighted to finally catch up with BARN OWL, kind courtesy of Jim Gurney. Jim had been seeing a bird regularly close to his home and tonight it did not disappoint. It afforded fantastic views as it appeared from its roost-site at 1645 and proceeded to perch on fenceposts and hawthorns to search for food. It came incredibly close and was seen to be unringed and was a real treat to watch.


I then returned to Stewartby in the hope of adding Mediterranean Gull, two different individuals of which had roosted this past week. There was a good crowd of watchers when I arrived, including Keith Owen, Paul Wright, Lol and Bob, but no Meds. The juvenile ICELAND GULL flew back in at 1650 hours and remained to roost, whilst amongst the 9,000 or so roosting Black-headed Gulls was the regular albinistic-mantled individual

No comments:

Post a Comment