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, 5 August 2011

OSPREY puts on a great performance


After yesterday's heavy rain, conditions returned to normal today with dry, calm conditions and pleasantly warm temperatures.

My birding today was restricted to Bedfordshire where both Francis Buckle and Roy Nye discovered an Osprey mid-morning whilst on a jaunt to look for local fungi..........


By the time I had negotiated the northbound M1 roadworks, the OSPREY that had been sitting in a dead tree north of Palmer's Shrubs Plantation had flown west and in to Woburn Park. Both Roy and Francis had set off in hot pursuit of it but had failed to relocate it. I arrived and followed the Greensand Ridge Trail into the park and checked out all of the localities it was likely to have headed for - the chain of lakes to the west of the Abbey and the larger lake closer to Woburn town. Despite having a clear view over much of the area, I too could not relocate it - the main lake supporting a family of Mute Swans (two cygnets), hordes of Greylag Geese, 23 Tufted Duck and 117 Coot and the Park woodlands 2 Red Kites, at least 14 Common Buzzards (including several begging juveniles), 3 SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS, Coal Tit and 7 Nuthatches.

I walked back to Eversholt Lake where I joined up with Francis and Roy, as well as MJP, Pip, Jim Gurney, Bob Chalkley and later Cliff Tack and his partner. We stood around chatting for a while and looking at PURPLE HAIRSTREAKS flitting about the Oaks of the orchard when suddenly I caught a movement out of the corner of my eye and espied the OSPREY flying out from the lake and carrying a large fish in its talons. I immediately got everybody on to it and as expected, it flew back to the southernmost of the two tall dead trees on the slope at SP 984 318 - opposite the refurbished cottage at Potter's End.

The bird had a few primaries missing in flight and was an adult, with an obvious dark trailing band on the tail, marked blackish underwing covert bar and uniform dark brown upperparts. It was unringed.

It flew into the dead tree at 1215 hours, where it was quickly joined by an adult and two juvenile Carrion Crows. They watched intently as the Osprey pecked off the head of the fish and then proceeded to eat the rest of it, holding it tight beneath its talons. Excellent views were obtained through the 'scope and FB, MJP and JG all attempted to get some record shots of it. At 1227 hours, for no apparent reason, it suddenly left its perch and flew with the remaining fish carcass south towards Palmer's Shrubs and disappeared. From the amount of droppings on and around its perch, it is possible that this bird has been present in the area for some time. However, it did not reappear in the next hour. It represented my 174th species in the county this year and MJP's 178th.....

Shortly later, I was called away to the M25, where a heavy goods vehicle had turned over at Junction 21A causing traffic chaos. It took eight hours to get the surrounding routes clear......Hey-ho

No comments:

Post a Comment