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, 11 March 2012

CETTI'S WARBLER at Harrold and up to 5 CURLEWS at Thurleigh Airfield

A very different story to last weekend - it was a pleasure to be out and about and great that we have daylight earlier so we can enjoy a peaceful dawn without all those terrible humans spoiling it...

06.30 at Harrold offering standard stuff, still two Oystercatchers and the injured Pink-foot. The 13 Goldeneye were enjoying the spring weather with much head tossing. The pair of Red-crested Pochards have been joined by another female. While counting, I thought I heard a Cetti's Warbler over the other side. On listening (hard to do in Spring at Harrold with the constant honking from the Canada Geese), I could only hear a Wren so assumed I'd heard that. I then went to the end of the lake to view and count the birds behind the island. A few more half-hearted snatches of Cetti's-like calls and then the full song. Excellent - I'm not sure if this has been recorded at the site before - but it is now! I walked around to the small patch of reeds and heard it again. Then it moved into the willows where I saw it before it crept out of view. At least three Herons nests and plenty of young Cormorants in nests too.

Radwell still contains loads of birds - a staggering 238 Mute Swans, 458 Wigeon and at least five Heron's nests. Captives on the viaduct pit still surviving - 2 Red-crested Pochards, 2 Bar-headed Geese, one Egyptian and 1 Paradise Shelduck.

Then to Thurleigh where I was greeted with bubbling EURASIAN CURLEWS - three in flight and displaying actively. Really something special to see and hear in Bedfordshire. I saw one displaying beyond the car lot too so four, maybe five birds. I went around to Keysoe Row West and found two on the ground. Scanning from both sides revealed no Wheatears yet, but must be any day now. Lots of Skylark and a few Meadow Pipits in song.

Back home to some gardening.

Richard Bashford

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