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).

Friday, 26 August 2011



From early on this morning, the entire Chilterns region was embraced by heavy cloud, bringing rain (often heavy) throughout the day until mid afternoon. The wind was very light and variable, although underlying was a south-eastern element to it. I was expecting quite a lot to turn up today but in the end, it was mainly RUFF and scarcer terns that were located. My best find of the day was a SANDERLING.....

I then decided to check the hills for migrants but was very disappointed with my results - virtually nothing. I failed to find any Whinchats, even at Blows Downs or Luton Airport. BLOWS DOWNS PADDOCKS supported just single NORTHERN WHEATEAR, LESSER WHITETHROAT, juvenile Willow Warbler and male Blackcap as migrants and a roving party of 18 Blue Tits.


By 1430 hours, the rain was still falling, with Stewartby Lake yielding 48 Mute Swans and an arrival of 6 BLACK TERNS (a moulting adult and 5 juveniles).


Again, fairly lacklustre, with no new waders (the 3 RUFF and a single Common Greenshank) and the lingering juvenile MARSH HARRIER. A Chinese Water Deer was seen but more interesting was a Weasel encounter on the main track not far from Jackdaw Bridge. I had been looking at a Dunnock feeding beneath a bush when it was suddenly 'grabbed' by a Weasel around the neck. The Weasel quickly suffocated it and it fell silent and still. It was then dropped on to the ground before a very peculiar ritual took place. The Weasel repeatedly bounded backwards and forwards seemingly 'dancing' around the corpse before eventually, after about 5 minutes, picking it up and carrying it off into the undergrowth.


At around 1530 hours, I picked up a winter-plumaged SANDERLING feeding on the Washout Pit with a Green Sandpiper. which was still present when I departed the site at 1610 hours (and later when SCB and others arrived on site). Although gleaming white on the underparts and peppered dark grey/black above, it was surprisingly difficult to locate in its 'orange' surroundings and kept 'hiding/crouching' when other birds flew over the site.

Thanks to Jim Gurney and Steve Blain, I was eventually able to locate the juvenile WOOD SANDPIPER that was present for its third day in the vicinity viewing from the western track. The bird was feeding on flotsam along the NE shoreline, immediately north of Peacock's Island on the main Peacock's Lake. It had however been commuting between here and the Washout Pit today.

Other species of note included a Common Sandpiper and 16 Yellow Wagtails.

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