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).

Monday, 28 March 2011

AVOCET clawed back - LGRE

MONDAY 28 MARCH The gorgeous spring weather continued today with very light winds accompanied by clear skies and long sunny periods. Although a tad down on the weekend, temperatures still held up well at around 15 degrees C. It was another day spent birding locally with the continuing conditions ensuring a lively passage of incoming migrants. Highlight was a pair of PIED AVOCETS in Rookery.......... HODGEMOOR WOODS AND ENVIRONS, CHALFONT ST GILES (BUCKS) A belated report of the first migrant Northern Wheatear in my Amersham Recording Area on Friday sent me in the direction of Chalfont St Giles first thing but alas it had moved on. A singing male Common Chiffchaff was new in (in trees on the eastern fringe of the wood) whilst 1 Skylark, 1 Meadow Pipit, 2 Stock Doves, Great Spotted and Green Woodpecker, 4 Carrion Crows, 2 Common Magpies, 6 Blue Tits, Great Tit, 2 Nuthatches, Common Treecreeper, 2 singing male Dunnocks, a male Chaffinch and 2 Linnets were also noted in the paddocks and woodland. PITSTONE QUARRY (HERTS/BUCKS BORDER) The reservoirs drew a blank this morning with no sign of last night's Osprey (although what very well may have been it flew north over Cheddington mid-morning) but Pitstone Quarry with its extensive mud hosted a Common Redshank and 3 LITTLE RINGED PLOVERS. The trees on the fringe also held 3 singing male COMMON CHIFFCHAFFS. STEWARTBY LAKE AND THE MILLENIUM LAKES (BEDFORDSHIRE) (1400-1530 hours) A concerted effort certainly reaped rewards with CETTI'S WARBLERS in the sunshine with 4 of the estimated 7 birds in the area located. The easiest to see was that individual previously mentioned and holding a territory in the reed-fringed northern edge just under 100 yards north of the gull watchpoint on Stewartby Lake. It repeatedly showed in an area of scrub not far from the green water barrel on the shoreline and sang frequently. Another more elusive bird was present in the dense scrub surrounding the ditch inland of the bench just yards beyond the inlet channel in the Marston corner with two more on the Wetlands Reserve proper. A singing male BLACKCAP was my first in Beds this year (also in the Marston Corner) whilst COMMON CHIFFCHAFFS numbered at least 14 and could be heard all the way along the northern shore. WILLINGTON GP (BEDS) Despite Tony P connecting, both MJP and I failed in our quest to find Dave Ball's Yellow Wagtails of yesterday evening. The fields did hold 281 Barnacle Geese, perhaps about half harbouring red rings, whilst the pit complex produced 2 Great Crested Grebes, a pair of Common Shelduck, 9 Teal, 11 Shoveler, 21 Tufted Duck, 27 Lapwing and 4 Oystercatchers, as well as Green Woodpecker, 4 Goldfinches and yet another singing Common Chiffchaff. PRIORY COUNTRY PARK (BEDS) Checked the main lake and the Finger Lakes for migrants but little activity apart from that from 7 Common Chiffchaffs, 2 singing male BLACKCAPS, a pair of BULLFINCH and a Common Treecreeper; there was no sign of the weekend's male Willow Warbler. ROOKERY PIT SOUTH (BEDS) In just over a week, the water level at Rookery has dropped dramatically, making it ever more attractive to migrant waders and wildfowl. Consequently, it came as no surprise to find two PIED AVOCETS on view and taking advantage of the conditions - a species I had missed at Willington earlier in the month. I first noted the two birds at 1714 hours but Keith Owen who was independently several hundred yards away had first seen them at 1702, but in any event, they both flew high to the east at 1720 hours, after being flushed by a MARSH HARRIER...... The MARSH HARRIER, an adult female, made frequent sorties around the pit following its first appearance, repeatedly scattering many of the birds present. At one stage, it chased a Common Teal and repeatedly dropped down into the reedbed in the same general area. It remained throughout the rest of the evening and was still present when MJP arrived about 45 minutes after I first found it. Waders were well represented this evening with the full roll-call including the 3 RUFF, up to 24 Common Snipe, 7 ICELANDIC BLACK-TAILED GODWITS, 8 Common Redshank, 3 Ringed Plovers, 2 LITTLE RINGED PLOVERS and an impressive 12 DUNLIN - an excellent selection and 9 species in all including the several Lapwing present. Wildfowl included 4 remaining Wigeon, 25 Teal, 6 Shoveler, 5 Gadwall, 5 Northern Pochard, 8 Tufted Duck, the pair of NORTHERN PINTAIL and 5 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS (1 female). The most surprising sight was that of 27 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS that flew west past Keith and I at 1808 hours - the first I have ever seen at Rookery. Two Chinese Water Deer were feeding in an open area of the reedbed Lee G R Evans

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