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, 14 March 2011

WAXWINGS hang on with two CASPIAN GULLS in Stewartby Area


The day started fairly bright and mild but as the morning wore on, a brisk SE wind blew in and dramatically decreased temperatures. The bright conditions prevailed throughout the rest of the day but it felt mightily cold.

(mid-afternoon visit)

A flock of 55 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS was commuting between trees in the G & M Growers car park and the two berry-laden shrubs in front of the complex. Excellent views were obtained as they occasionally flew down to feed. They were particularly vocal.

At Gypsy Lane Pits South (the new working at TL 177 432), a pair of Ringed Plover (117) and 11 migrant Pied Wagtails was present, whilst nearby on the Washout Pits, a single winter-plumaged DUNLIN was seen (118), along with Common Redshank, the pair of Common Shelduck and 6 or more Reed Buntings. There was no sight nor sound of the Bearded Tits, Jim Gurney and I both extensively searching.


Just north of the village and west of Vinegar Hill Road, a pair of GREY PARTRIDGES was displaying.


Late afternoon saw 500 or so large gulls basking in the sunshine in fields east of Stewartby Landfill. Carefully 'scoping through them at about 220 yards range, I managed to locate two different first-winter CASPIAN GULLS (one an exceptionally small individual and another more typical individual), 4 YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS (a worn adult, two 2nd-winters and a first-winter) and a juvenile GLAUCOUS GULL x HERRING GULL hybrid amongst them. Both CASPIAN GULLS were distinctive birds, with long thin legs, long sloping foreheads affording a snout-like appearance, clean white heads and almost marbled-like patterning on the scapulars and upperwing-coverts. One bird was significantly larger than the other, with a gleaming white unmarked head and quite heavy streaking on the lower hindneck; this bird was also markedly more advanced in scapular pattern, being much greyer in this area.

From about 1700 hours, I moved over to Stewartby Lake, where I was later joined by Keith Owen and Steve Blain - it was absolutely freezing with the SE wind blowing in straight at us. At least 6,000 gulls roosted, predominantly Black-headed (2,300+), but also Common Gull (600), Herring Gull (250+, still including a number of Argentatus), Lesser Black-backed Gull (mainly intermedius - 2,000+) and Great Black-backed Gull (just 9 registered). The smaller of the two first-winter CASPIAN GULLS eventually flew in to roost but precious little else in the way of interest.

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