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).

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

TURNSTONE at second attempt but still no Crossbills


The wind shifted to the Southwest today but it still remained warm and dry with some relatively long spells of sunshine.

Being otherwise occupied adding a new bird to my British List in Cleveland when Keith Owen discovered a Turnstone in Bedfordshire last night, I tried my luck today after Steve Blain informed me that Stuart Winter had confirmed its presence today mid morning.......


It was bright sunshine when I visited Rookery Pit this afternoon and problematic for finding and identifying waders in the glare and at such distance. As a result and after nearly an hour of scanning, I admitted defeat and failed to locate either the Turnstone nor the Dunlins.

I did locate 2 Little Ringed Plovers and 5 Common Redshanks, as well as 3 Little Egrets, 21 Northern Pochard, Hobby and 10 Common Swifts, whilst successful breeding was proven for Great Crested Grebe (1 pair with 3 stripy young and another with 2), Mute Swan (both nesting pairs now accompanied by five small cygnets apiece), Coot (pair with 4 small young), Common Whitethroat (several juveniles fledged) and Willow Warbler (adult feeding single begging young).

A male Western Reed Warbler was singing from scrub near Jackdaw Bridge and 6 Stock Doves were at the manure pile by the track entrance.


I visited nearby Quest Pit on the offchance that the Turnstone had moved there but it hadn't. The site was looking superb though with lots of muddy edges and prime wader habitat.

There was a large loafing gull roost incorporating mainly Lesser Black-backs (just under 200), with just a single 3rd-summer Argenteus Herring Gull amongst them. Four Lapwings and a Ringed Plover represented the waders with the nesting pair of Mute Swans accompanied by 6 cygnets. A Little Egret was present, several Common Swifts and more fledgling Common Whitethroats being fed.

ROOKERY PIT (return visit)

With cloud blotting out the sun early evening (1730 hours), I was very pleased to get a call from Keith informing me that the (RUDDY) TURNSTONE was again present - and Little Egret numbers had increased to six. I raced over to join him and within ten minutes of his call was finally able to connect - the bird itself being a fabulous adult in full breeding plumage (waders don't come much better in appearance than Turnstones in full plumage). A few minutes after getting on to it as it fed on a distant island, it flew up with a single adult Dunlin and several Ringed Plovers, the flock heading off strongly east. Fortuitously, the Turnstone broke away from them and flew back to the island. It represented my 173rd species in the county this year.


Spent a couple of hours this evening searching for Common Crossbills but failed in my quest - large numbers of Common Treecreepers and several Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Chinese Water Deer but surprisingly little else of note.

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