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, 20 December 2011


Keith Owen and I did the roost at Stewartby this evening with an eclectic variety of species.....

Gull numbers were distinctly poor and with a lack of local tipping, decent numbers may not occur very often nowadays....By our 4.25 departure there were only 10 G B Backs, 4 Herring Gulls and 7 L B Backs, under 100 Common Gulls and just a few B H Gulls. The big 3 species had "peaked" at a combined 47 - pathetically low but interestingly those departing were heading off in a north-westerly direction, 90 degrees at varience to e.g Brogborough Lake whereras the smaller species had been streaming out in a northerly direction - perhaps to roost on the big warehouses at Marsh Leys rather than going all the way to Grafham. When I arrived at 3.30 there were already stream of gulls departing though a good few hundred Common Gulls were present amongst a few thousand BHG's.

Other species included a Water Rail squeaking then dashing across the "beach" in front of the gull watchpoint, the regular Great Spotted Woodpecker flew in calling and there were a good few each of Wigeon and Gadwall but fewer Mallards. Coots tallied 35 and G C Grebes just 19, with just over 30 Mute Swans also present. No diving duck were noted but a few Cormorants were scattered over the lake.

The GREAT NORTHERN DIVER was still present and showing well in the middle of the lake albeit in the declining evening light so it continues to look quite a dark bird (tho' LGRE emailed yesterday evening to say that, from Martin Green's photos, he believes it isn't an adult bird as I had initially asssumed).

A huge swirl of thousands of Starlings were putting on an excellent show between the far side of Stewartby Lake toward Rookery North ClP and a Sparrowhawk was gliding around beneath them seeking out a late supper! No Peregrines were at the brickworks chimneys this evening though.

Perhaps the most intriguing bird was the "Common" Sandpiper I saw fly low across the middle of the lake toward the Millennium Park (south-west) shoreline on typically bowed wings with quivering beats at 4.15. The wing-bar wasn't particularly obvious but the light was beginning to decline and it was 400m+ away....... still it could be worth checking out in the next few days - bearing in mind a trio of recent Spotted Sandpipers at Lyme Regis, Chew Valley Lake and Plymouth!! However, this is Bedfordshire so it is likely a Common Sandpiper after all!!

Lastly, a pipistrelle sp. was a surprise flying rapidly about just right of the watchpoint and never far from the shore - to me a surprisinglt late date for a bat to be about (MJP)

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