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).

Thursday, 28 April 2011

BAR-WIT bonanza


Another very cold day with the wind remaining ENE and quite strong at times. Very cloudy and grey early on but then much brighter this afternoon. Everywhere still very dry, with the ground baked hard. BAR-TAILED GODWITS were the order of the day with 9 birds locally, four of which lingered to allow many birders to connect.......


After hearing that Dave and Roy's Wilstone BAR-WITS (2) and WHIMBREL had flown straight through and east, I made my way towards Bedfordshire where I was convinced some BAR-TAILED GODWITS would pitch down at some stage and become twitchable. In the event, I was very fortunate, as up until 0949 hours at least, a party of 4 individuals (1 transitional and 3 winter-plumaged types) remained on the mud in Rookery South Pit. Sitting shivering in my shorts, other birds detected during several 'scope scans included the long-staying single adult ICELANDIC BLACK-TAILED GODWIT, 3 Common Redshank, several Ringed Plover and 4 Little Ringed Plovers.

A single drake GARGANEY was also apparent, Mute Swans were still nesting (despite being left for dry with the receding water level) and the perimeter scrub despite the cold still harboured both singing Lesser Whitethroat and Willow Warbler.

The gaudy male YELLOW WAGTAIL was still present on the manure pile by the entrance track.


Following both MJP and Pip to Stewartby, that water body was surprisingly birdless - just 1 Common Tern at 1000 hours, 70 Barn Swallows and 50+ House Martins


Again, pretty birdless - 9 Common Terns, 80 Barn Swallows and a singing Willow Warbler


No Godwits or any other waders of note to speak of - potential breeding Northern Pochards at four different sites the highlights


A single ARCTIC TERN here at 1105 hours was of note, but keeping mainly to the adjacent river rather than the pit, 8 Common Terns, an adult summer DUNLIN, Ringed Plovers, the lone Barnacle Goose and 18 House Martins. The 3 Bar-tailed Godwits had departed to the north at 0945 - so long gone


Joined Bob, Lol, Jim and Pip at the reserve but despite walking the entire length and breadth of the 'New Heath', no sight nor sound of Andy Schofield's early morning Tree Pipit - the weather was just not conducive for a bird like that to sing and display.

In over an hour searching, the best I could find were 3 singing male GARDEN WARBLERS, a COMMON CUCKOO and 8 singing male Common Whitethroats


Back to Broom and at 1240 hours, of the 35 terns flying over the lake 7 were ARCTIC and 28 Common - the ARCTICS all keeping together and flying over towards the southern shore.

Little else of note though - 8 Mute Swans on the pit by the entrance track and 2 Little Grebes and a singing male Western Reed Warbler and COMMON CUCKOO and numerous singing male Common Whitethroats.


No sign of any Bar-wits here, just the breeding pair of Oystercatchers, 8 Mute Swans (1 pair nesting), a Common Tern and 162 Barnacle Geese

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