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, 22 November 2011

TUNDRA BEAN GEESE at Clophill - and still present today


Another glorious day with warm sunshine and clear blue skies after a foggy start. I spent the day in Bedfordshire, notching up one of my latest ever Ospreys in the UK......


Taking Steve Blain's advice, I parked up by the Meccano Bridge just as you enter Biggleswade from the Sainsbury's A1 roundabout and followed the public footpath northwards alongside the River Ivel. This quickly brings you out on to Biggleswade Common, where one can obtain an excellent panoramic view north and east to The Lodge and escarpment. As soon as I got parallel with Derek White's Eggs Pit, I could see the OSPREY - a juvenile that has remained in the area for at least three weeks and is the latest one ever in the county. It was busy circling about 30 feet above Manor Farm Fisheries before suddenly plunging down and resurfacing with a fair-sized Trout. It then slowly drifted north along the Ivel to Warren Villas before veering off east towards the ridge at The Lodge. All in all it was on view for about 22 minutes, affording excellent 'scope views. Photographs taken by fishermen reveal that the bird is unringed. Other than a juvenile that remained in the Chess Valley by my house into late Nivember, this is the latest I have ever seen an Osprey in Britain.

I also saw a COMMON KINGFISHER on the River Ivel and 5 Gadwall were on Derek White's.


Directly opposite Broom Peacocks Lake at cTL 164 433, a large recently ploughed field held a huge number of wintering plovers. I parked up and click-counted the flocks and there were no less than a staggering 2,197 EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVERS and 711 LAPWINGS present.


Whilst counting the plovers, I fortuitously got a text from Andy Plumb informing me of 3 TUNDRA BEAN GEESE nearby at Cainhoe.- found by Peter Jones on his WeBS count. Being just ten minutes away, I was quickly on site - soon joining SCB on top of the viewing Motte & Bailey mounds at TL 097 375, just north of the A507 just over a mile east of the Clophill roundabout.

There, in amongst the 104 Greylags and 99 Atlantic Canada Geese were the 3 TUNDRA BEANS - an adult pair and a single surviving youngster. Talking to Steve, it transpired that they had actually been present since Thursday - initially being seen by Laurence Jarrett. The three birds afforded excellent views - the juvenile having obvious white-tipped upperwing coverts and fringing and a much plainer brown mantle and back with weak crescentic pale fringing to the feathers as well as duller orange bare part colouration. All three birds did have quite extensive amounts of orange on the bill but had short, dark necks typical of rossicus.

The pits also held a Great Crested Grebe, 4 Little Grebes, 24 Gadwall, a single drake Eurasian Wigeon and 24 Lapwings, with several Linnets flying over.


No sign of the Northern Wheatear seen earlier in the day most likely because of the number of people around.


The adult female PEREGRINE FALCON was sat as usual on its perch on the BT building in the town centre at 1530 hours

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