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).

Saturday, 28 April 2012

Spectacular evening 27/4

Arrived at Broom at 6 ish, SB present and not a lot happening, tried catching swallows as the highest number of the year present, no joy and heavy rain in patches.

SB left at 6.45hrs and I put up my scope for the first time in the evening. I scanned the edge of peacocks island with the bins and on the right hand edge was a striking white bird with a black cap partially concealed amongst the green weedy vegetation half way up the bank, the bird looked to be asleep but the striking black and white puzzled me, looking almost Avocet like.

I moved to the scope and at that moment the bird flew, it was a tern ! I then switched back to bins and saw it land on the T tern post. Going back to the scope I immediatly saw there were two terns sat side by side, a clear Common and a smaller strikingly gleeming white tern with a pink washed breast and an all black long and rather thin bill. I instantly thought Roseate Tern and looked at the legs as I remember the previous Broom bird had double rings on each legs - no rings but surprisingly long red legs, clearly longer than the Common next to it.

At this point I called SB and said get back here quick unbelievably I think I have a Roseate Tern. I then looked up and the both terns had just flown off the perch, I got straight on to the pale bird which going away looked to have very short wings but as it banked it clealy had very long 'sticking up' tail streamers. As the bird flew back in to the island I noticed dark edges to the the outer primaries of the upper wings which clearly formed a dark panel to the outer wing. The bird came back in and landed quite bizzarely low down on the wooden log on the front of the island, side on the tail was very long and the birds upperparts were all snowy white with little contrast between the back and body. At this point with the bird fixed in the scope on 50x zoom I spent the next 30 seconds looking for a camera in the car. On going back to my scope the bird had gone and there were no terns flying around on the entire lake. I am 100% certain the bird was a Roseate Tern.

As if that wasnt enough at 1955hrs I was stood with Martin Stevens, Jim Gurney and Stuart Warren when Stuart called out a raptor over the wood in the SE corner. Stuart described the bird as it came closer but it took all parties few seconds to get on. It was clearly a big raptor, Stuart called harrier?, I got on it with bins and suggested it might even be a big accipiter, the most prominant structural feature was its long tail, it was bulky but not in the proportions of a Common Buzzard. On getting the bird in the scope it had dark carpal wing patches and as it started to go away it clearly had a pale uppertail, I began shouting its a Rough-leg Buzzard. The bird held its wings almost horizontal but slightly arched at the hand, its flight was regular and not heavy or light. It continued over the lake in direct flight straight towards Shuttleworth. The right wing had one or two missing primary feathers. The ID was not based on any plumage paleness such as confusion with pale Common Buzzards. This was a totally different bird in structure, shape and flight action.
Mark Thomas

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