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).

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Mainly buitterflies

it's been a good couple of days for seeing butterflies in Bedfordshire.....

On Friday, 1st, I visited College Wood near Northill and saw at least 5 excellent Silver-washed Fritillaries. Steve Blain and Mark Ward joined me at lunchtime and Mark found a dark individual - it was of the form "valezina" which I had seen only in the New Forest, Hants previously. It remained in the same vicinity near a stub turning on the left c50m up the main track from the gateway coming down to bramble when strong sunshine but then returning to the trees to "roost" when it clouded over. Lol Carman and I were both able to get some good photographs of it later in the afternoon. A Gatekeeper here was my first this year.

A White Admiral showed well too as did 4+ White-letter Hairstreaks. Plenty of commoner species about too in good numbers though my mid afternoon visit to Chicksands Wood was less successful as it clouded over during my visit. [I did find a Spotted Flycatcher though about 100m up the main drove from the parking area].

Yesterday, I called back at Chicksands from 9.55am. At c 10.10, I was talking to Tony Heukin and another guy about 100m south of the first monument when Tony got us both quickly on to a Purple Emperor - likely a female - that came very low along the main drove and carried on low past our feet and we watched it for another 50m or more before it was lost to view. I remained in the general vicinity for the next 1.5 hours but it didn't reappear. 2 Silver-washed Fritillaries and a White-letter Hairstreak showed well though. A Southern Hawker flew close to inspect me as I walked back down the hill and a Common Lizard scampered across the parking area. The field of poppies nearby are absolutely stunning - a must to see if you're near there.

Late morning I visited Sharpenhoe Clappers - more wild flowers in abundance and numerous Marbled Whites too. I was able to get some good photographs of Dark Green Fritillaries here seeing 8 just along the few hundred metres of roadside path. Garden Grass Veneers were frequent, a couple of Narrow-bordered Five Spot Burnets were photographed and a Shaded Broad-bar was seen.

I visited Marston Thrift mid afternoon but couldn't locate a Black Hairstreak - they're probably over now. A Purple Hairstreak showed briefly and the north-west corner pool had a pair of Broad-bodied Chasers, an Emperor Dragonfly which settled for close-up photos and a Brown Hawker. Another stunning Silver-washed Fritillary is, I think, my first at this site in around 25 years of visiting this wood.

Lastly, I visited Rookery South ClP late afternoon but again no Wall Browns were located. I did find return wader passage in full swing! Nine species were found comprising numerous Lapwings inc 2 broods of 2j and 4j, 4+ Ringed Plovers, 5+ Little Ringed Plovers, 2 Common Redshanks, 1 Greenshank, 1 WOOD SANDPIPER, 1 Green Sandpiper, 1 Dunlin and a pair of Oystercatchers. As I walking back to the Jackdaw Bridge entry point, a scan along the south-west side of this vast pit produced a female and a juvenile Red Crested Pochard to again confirm breeding at this site. A Little Egret was 'best of the rest' of 60 bird species noted today.

My 19 Butterfly species for the 2 days were: Large White, Small White, Green-veined White, Purple Emperor, White Admiral, Red Admiral, Comma, Marbled White, Ringlet, Meadow Brown, Gatekeeper, Speckled Wood, Purple Hairstreak, White-letter Hairstreak, Large Skipper, Small Skipper, Holly Blue, Dark Green Fritillary and Silver-washed Fritillary bringing my County year list up to 32 species.

s separately emailed to the moth group - a Small Ranunculus in my Kempston trap was a moth tick for me yesterday morning - quite a coule of days!


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