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, 30 April 2013

The SPOONBILL at Biggleswade (Derek White's) - record shots

Here is a selection of distant shots I took of the immature SPOONBILL from the gate......

Saving the life of a BITTERN......

When I went away in mid April, it still felt like Winter in the field. Now I am back, it still feels like Winter in the field..........
Anyway, with a brisk NNW wind blowing, temperatures hovering around 8 degrees C but relatively clear blue skies, I set forth on a day's birding on the local front, after being lured away in recent days by the likes of Rock Thrush and Eastern Subalpine Warbler......
WILSTONE RESERVOIR was my first port of call where Roy Hargreaves had discovered a singing male Wood Warbler early morning in the vicinity of the Drayton Bank Hide. Both Mike Campbell and Cliff Tack had already spent time looking without success, so putting in a further hour on top with no bird was not looking good. Birding in this vicinity did produce a flyover COMMON CROSSBILL at 1045, a flyover Linnet, singing Common Chiffchaff behind the hide, 2 COMMON WHITETHROATS, 2 different singing male WILLOW WARBLERS, at least 9 Blackcaps, Long-tailed Tit and a pair of COMMON TREECREEPERS, whilst on the reservoir proper, the two drake Wigeon and a single Black-headed Gull. A spell of sunshine produced Small Tortoiseshell and Peacock butterfly.
Most concerning was the mindless vandalism to have taken place overnight. Our information board by the car park being smashed, uprooted and thrown into the reservoir.
A flock of 8 House Sparrows was by the farm shop
After giving up on the Wood Warbler, I joined Martin, JT and Anna Marett at STARTOP'S END, where a full breeding-plumaged BLACK TERN was performing, along with 44 Common Terns and the 3 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS.
Knowing that Steve Blain had relocated the NORTH AMERICAN GREEN-WINGED TEAL at 100 Acre Pools east of Priory Country Park (Bedfordshire), I decided to switch counties. Just as I drove away, Joan and Anna had an OSPREY fly from Marsworth to Wilstone, bad timing or what. Anyhow, stopping off at BROGBOROUGH LAKE (BEDS) on the way, I was pleased to see 5 ARCTIC TERNS, a COMMON WHITETHROAT and the continuing SLAVONIAN GREBE, now in full summer attire.
I did an extensive sweep of 100 ACRE LAKES (BEDS) but failed in my quest to locate the drake straggler - it had flown. Not much to be found apart from a single COMMON SANDPIPER, 6 COMMON WHITETHROATS and a singing male SEDGE WARBLER.

Whilst on site, I received a call from Ian Williams. He had visited WILSTONE in his lunch hour and had relocated the WOOD WARBLER - time to move on. Just over twenty minutes later, I was back at WILSTONE where COMMON SWIFT numbers had dramatically increased from about 130 to 220. Swiftly walking round to the hide and past a rather happy looking Mike Campbell, I was rather surprised to hear the male WOOD WARBLER after just a few minutes. It was inhabiting a dense area of Hawthorn scrub about 90 yards NW of the Drayton Bank Hide but was far from easy to see. In fact, it took Peter Brazier and I over an hour to get really good views but well worth it as it was a brightly marked individual (see Peter and Dave Hutchinson's images above). It sang about once every five minutes and kept high in the canopy, often feeding on the newly flowering buds of the Black Poplar trees. After missing two different birds at Amwell and two at Spade Oak, I was very relieved at finally getting this one - Wood Warbler now being a pretty scarce bird in our region.
As I walked back to the car, a first-summer Mute Swan flew in and Tufted Ducks had increased to 171 birds.
At STARTOP'S END, the tern flock now included two nice ARCTIC TERNS within their ranks, with 2 Grey Wagtails, 11 Common Swifts and several House Martins noted.
MARSWORTH held the Greylag Goose pair and at least 4 Lesser Black-backed  Gulls, with the horsefields producing no less than 14 YELLOW WAGTAILS, a BLUE-HEADED WAGTAIL and 46 Barn Swallows.
With plenty of time to check the hills, I headed towards Ivinghoe Beacon but was diverted at the last minute by a call from LEIGHTON BUZZARD. A EURASIAN BITTERN had been found on the tiny Dragonfly pools at LEDBURN ROAD, TIDDENFOOT (BEDS) - a species I had managed to miss in the county this winter. Luckily, being just seven miles away, I was there within 10 minutes - and luckier still, finder Rory Morrisey was just getting back to the car park. Rory escorted me part way to the site, then Cliff Tack took over - Mike Wilkes and his wife and Bob Henry staying with the bird.
Getting to Bob he exclaimed ''It's in my 'scope'' and looking through the viewfinder I was shocked to find such an emaciated bird. It was ludicrously close (10 feet) and was sat in the water like a goose. Something was seriously, seriously wrong. I phoned Andy Plumb and Steve Blain to see if anyone else had shown an interest and then waited for Johnny Lynch to arrive from Tring. I suspected that the bird had collided with overhead power cables and I was right, as after half an hour we captured the bird - it had a broken wing and a slightly damaged leg (see photos below).
Certainly an eventful day

Monday, 29 April 2013

LGRE's recent exploits

At STARTOP'S END RESERVOIR late afternoon, 3 BLACK TERNS with 27 Common Terns, whilst MARSWORTH produced a single COMMON SWIFT and 6 House Martins. No less than 9 WESTERN REED WARBLERS were singing from the reedbeds, and 3 SEDGE WARBLERS - with male Blackcaps in the wood and by the canal.
BROGBOROUGH LAKE (BEDS) at 1800 hours yielded a female-type COMMON SCOTER, a summer-plumaged adult LITTLE GULL, 4 BLACK TERNS, 8 Common Terns and the continuing breeding-plumaged SLAVONIAN GREBE.
Heavy rain overnight and cold NW winds. At MARSWORTH RESERVOIR, a pair of Oystercatchers was on the horse fields, even copulating at one point, with 23 Common Terns on the bales, Common Kingfisher, 8 singing Western Reed Warblers, Goldcrest, Wren, Common Chiffchaff and Blackcap in the Wood and a single male YELLOW WAGTAIL
On STARTOP'S, the 3 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS, 25 Tufted Ducks, 2 Grey Wagtails, 42 Sand Martins, 30 Barn Swallows and 5 House Martins; 3 Lapwings flew east
WILSTONE yielded 3 COMMON SANDPIPERS together on the bank and 2 migrant Argenteus HERRING GULLS - an adult and first-year. The two drake EURASIAN WIGEON remained, with a single drake Northern Pochard and 37 Tufted Duck. Lots of hirundines present including 73 Barn Swallows and 8 House Martins, as well as 13 COMMON SWIFTS. Unexpected highlights included a flyover TREE PIPIT at 0817, a COMMON RAVEN with a full crop west at 0828 and a single male YELLOW WAGTAIL on the bank.
Walking from DRAYTON BEAUCHAMP along the DRY CANAL to the ORCHARD added Linnet (4+), COMMON WHITETHROAT (7 singing males), COMMON CUCKOO (calling male), Yellowhammer (6), WILLOW WARBLER (singing male), Eurasian Skylark (singing male), Chaffinch (6), Red Kite, Stock Dove, Green Woodpecker, LESSER WHITETHROAT (rattling male), Robin, Long-tailed Tit and Great Tit (4).
COLLEGE LAKE BBOWT was quiet with 10 Mute Swans, a drake Wigeon, 2 Common Shelduck, drake Northern Pochard, 8 Common Redshank, 2 OYSTERCATCHERS and a Jay noted, whilst PITSTONE QUARRY added 2 Little Grebe, 6 Coot, a singing Blackcap and a further Jay; a female NORTHERN WHEATEAR was a surprise in the NORTHFIELD FARM PADDOCKS.
No Wheatears in OLD AMERSHAM (BUCKS) though, but 2 singing male YELLOWHAMMERS by School Lane.
A bit of local birding between East Anglian twitching with DEREK WHITE'S PIT, BIGGLESWADE (BEDS) supporting a nice sub-adult EURASIAN SPOONBILL and 60 Barn Swallows, and GYPSY LANE EAST PITS, BROOM (BEDS) adding Oystercatcher (2 pairs), Common Shelduck (pair), Gadwall (4), Common Teal (6), Shoveler (7) and Common Tern (2).
At AMWELL NR (HERTS) in the evening, I connected with the fabulous male PIED FLYCATCHER thanks to Simon Knott and Phil Ball, plus a reeling GRASSHOPPER WARBLER by the James Hide, numerous Blackcaps and Western Reed Warblers, 4 Common Redshanks and at least 20 pairs of raft-nesting Black-headed Gulls.

Drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL relocates to 100 Acre Pits

Green-winged Teal still at Meadow Lane GP this morning, currently on 100 Acre pit, 09.25, TL083501 (Steve Blain)

WOOD WARBLER at Henlow Grange

While on my usual walk around my local patch, heard a song which I thought was Wood Warbler - likened by a Swedish friend to the noise made by spinning a coin on a table top. Not quite believing what I had heard I spent more than 10 minutes trying to see the songster and almost convincing myself it was something more common. Eventually a bright Wood Warbler popped into view, larger and brighter than a Chiffchaff with bright yellow throat, white belly and greener upper parts. It was just north of the fishermans' car park at approx: TL182391 There seemed to have been an influx of the commoner warblers with three singing Sedge Warblers one of which included alarm call of Great Tit and Swallow plus the 'tirrick' of a Common Tern in its song; at least four singing Whitethroats (only one yesterday); and one each of Reed Warbler and Willow Warbler. All the singing Blackcaps that I laid eyes on were Blackcaps, so no Garden Warblers yet. Does anyone have any tips for separating Blackcaps and Garden Warbler songs, I struggle every year. And still 8 Wheatear on the horse paddocks alongside the railway line. Viewing was against the sun this morning so difficult to make out any detail. To see the Wood Warbler, park in Henlow village and walk in from the south. Entering Henlow from the A507, go over the first roundabout with the Crown pub on your left. At the Post Office/Village store on the right, turn right into Park Lane; in 100m Park Street swings left, you want to turn left (although effectively straight on) onto coach road with the cricket and football pitches on left. Park at the end in parking bay - by kiddies play area. DO NOT park at the Grange, they don't like it. Walk down the road towards the Grange, turn left at the bottom keeping school playing fields on your left. In 100m turn right and walk down to bridge over R.Ivel (this is a good spot for Kingfishers). Just after crossing the bridge turn left. The fishermans car park is 400m down this track. The Wood Warbler was singing in the alders and scrub just north of the car park. Alternatively, from the north park in Langford. Langford Garden centre might let you park in their car park and also have a café that does coffee and cakes. Walk south down Common Road which becomes a track and then a foot path. Keep going south with the pits on your right. The scrubby area on the bank of the second pit is particularly good for warblers with singing Sedge Warbler, Whitethroat, Blackcap and Chiffchaff this morning. Eventually, you will come to the fishermans car park (Roger Hicks)

Singing FIRECREST at the Lodge

There's a singing FIRECREST in hollies at the back of the Lodge main car
park this afternoon. It's just behind the very last bike shed and compost
heap TL187477 (per Steve Blain)

SPOONBILL at Derek White's

Mike Lawrence located an immature EURASIAN SPOONBILL at Derek White's Pit, Biggleswade, on Saturday morning (27 April) and it was still present today.


Keith Owen relocated the drake GREEN-WINGED TEAL on the remaining water at Castle Mill GP on 26 April

Broom sightings 26 April

First Hobby, Lesser Whitethroat, Reed Warbler, Garden Warbler

Today - the 3 Black Terns, Wheatear, Curlew thru, 2 Swift, Hobby, 11
Common Terns, 2 Dunlin.

Mark Thomas


There was a male PIED FLYCATCHER in a private Wrestlingworth garden
on 25 April, per Pat Humprey.

Castle Mills GP waders 26/4

The Black-tailed Godwit was on the nice looking pool to the west of the pump but flew to the lake nearer Priory CP. the Whimbrel flew from the lake and off east. Also six Snipe, two Dunlins, two White Wagtails and a Kingfisher.

Makes up for a very disappointing early raid on Stewartby which was devoid of any birds and Woburn Road Wetlands which held a Common Sandpiper.

An Egyptian Goose in flight over Willington Main Lake.

Re access to Meadow Lane. The area around the lock is now being worked again and is virtually dry so it's probably all over in the east. The western end is worth regular checks and probably more accessible from the Priory end. There always seem to be dog walkers around the lake so early visits might be best.

Richard Bashford

Brogborough Lake 25/4

Returning from Istanbul mid afternoon gave me ample opportunity to visit Brogborough Lake, where at 6pm I recorded an adult summer LITTLE GULL, 4 BLACK TERNS, 8 Common Terns, a female-type COMMON SCOTER and the long-staying full breeding-plumaged SLAVONIAN GREBE (Lee G R Evans)

WOOD WARBLER at Broom 23/4

Martin Stevens has found at WOOD WARBLER in the Moathouse copse, Broom GP
this morning, 10:00. It was singing occasionally.

More incoming migrants 23 April

Steve Northwood has found a singing COMMON NIGHTINGALE by the bowls green in
Ampthill this morning.

Steve Rooke has RING OUZELS in the Sandy Heath Quary, on the
slope below the TV mast - TL204492

Late WAXWING 20 April

20 April: LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER and TREE PIPIT at Coopers Hill. Another Tree Pipit and Waxwing at Flitwick Sewage Works. All from Paul Wright.

Also Martin Stevens had a cream-crown MARSH HARRIER over G&M pits, Broom in the afternoon.

First CUCKOO (20 April)

Calling at Marston Vale per Steve Northwood.

WHIMBREL at Broom (19 April)

Whimbrel west over GLE, Broom GP this evening, per Martin Stevens


A bit of a tough slog on the bike as the wind is still a bit high;
Disappointingly quiet considering the time of year. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't find a hoped for Redstart.

Best bits-

2 Wheatear west of Upper Caldecote in fields.

Broom GLE,

5 White Wagtail
2 Ringed Plover
2 Little Ringed Plover
couldn't find any Yellow Wags

Broom GLW scrapes,

Dunlin- summer plumage
4 Ringed Plover
2 Little Ringed Plover
2 White Wagtail

Broom- Peacock's
Wigeon- female type
Common Sand- Peacock's Island
2 Common Tern- through North
Sedge Warbler- in scrub
Whitethroat- meadows just south of the quarry

Broom- Village Pit
Goldeneye- female type

Plenty of Chiffchaffs, Willow Warlblers and Blackcaps around now too.

Matt Burgess

TURTLE DOVE at Potton (19 April)

A purring bird by the smallholding on Sutton Road, Potton, just to the
south east of Pegnut Wood at 12:35 today - 19 April (Darren Oakley-Martin)

Another WHINCHAT (19 April)

Male Whinchat, and three Wheatears in the paddocks at Poppy Hill, Langford,
this lunchtime, per Stuart Warren.

Another TREE PIPIT (19 April)

Tree Pipit, Whinchat, and 3 Whitethroats at Flitwick sewage works this morning, per Paul Wright

Bird News 19 April

From Mike Lawrence:
Derek Whites Eggs pit - 2 Arctic Terns, 3 Oycs, 2 Redshank, Yellow Wag.

From Bob Hook:
MVCP - 3 Wheatears along acces track

From Andy Grimsey:
Pegsdon Hills - 5 Wheatears, Raven, and female Ring Ouzel

Broom GP news:
2 Ring Ouzels on gravel mounds at GLE (Steve Heath early morning)
18 White Wags on GLE still
1 Dunlin

And lastly, a Wood Warbler in a private Sandy garden this morning.

per Steve Blain

Thursday, 11 April 2013

RING OUZELS the main attraction - BISON HILL producing the goods

It rained for much of the night, eventually petering out mid morning. I had raised expectations of a decent-sized fall after such conditions but I could not have been more wrong - very little being forced down. For most of the morning, it remained murky and misty, only eventually clearing up from early afternoon. Not a bad day temperature-wise, with an afternoon peak of 12 degrees C.
As Steve Rodwell was birding Tring and seeing surprisingly little, I diverted to the Hills where results were largely similar.
Although Francis Buckle had been successful before my arrival, Cliff Tack and I fared badly during the hour or so we searched BISON HILL, WHIPSNADE (BEDS) - just 75 Fieldfare, 18 Redwing and 3 Mistle Thrush being noted. The IVINGHOE HILLS were equally poor, with naff visibility and nothing of note to be seen (just lots of hillwalkers, dogwalkers and children on holiday).
Joined up with Peter Brazier at WILSTONE RESERVOIR (TRING) where 44 hirundines were in attendance - including 8 BARN SWALLOWS, 3 HOUSE MARTINS and 33 SAND MARTINS - a major arrival of birds. Also new in was a nice male NORTHERN WHEATEAR on the Jetty, loosely associating with Pied Wagtails.
Once again I dipped the Mandarin pair (SR had seen them at least twice prior to my arrival) but lingering wildfowl included 4 Mute Swans, 6 Gadwall, 72 Shoveler, 87 Wigeon, 4 Teal, 6 Pochard, 117 Tufted Duck and a single female COMMON GOLDENEYE. The drake Ring-necked Duck/Lesser Scaup hybrid was still present too, diving with Tufted Ducks not far off of the jetty.
In ASTON CLINTON (BUCKS), Rookeries were noted at SP 870 120 (4 active nests) and SP 865 115 (9 nests), whilst WESTON TURVILLE RESERVOIR produced nothing more than 3 SAND MARTINS and a singing Common Chiffchaff.
COLLEGE LAKE BBOWT had not improved on recent days, although the OYSTERCATCHER pair were back (on the westernmost island), COMMON REDSHANKS had increased to 10 and the bachelor male COMMON SHELDUCK was still resident.
More expected fare included 17 Mute Swans (1 first-summer), 6 Greylag Geese (3 pairs), 6 Gadwall, 4 Shoveler, just 8 Wigeon, a single Little Grebe, 34 Coot, 3 Common Snipe, 8 Lapwing and 18 Linnets.
MARSWORTH RESERVOIR (TRING) was fairly productive, yielding my first local LITTLE EGRET and CETTI'S WARBLER of the year, with 3 different singing male Common Chiffchaffs (1 in the wood, 1 by the canal and 1 in a plantation in the Barn Owl Field), a singing male Mistle Thrush, 10 Great Crested Grebes, 4 WATER RAILS, 3 singing male Reed Buntings, 2 Sand Martins, 2 Barn Swallows over the Horse Fields, a singing male Goldcrest in the wood, 3 'new' Rook nests by Manor House Farm, 3 Mute Swans, 4 Fieldfares east and a constant procession of Common Gulls migrating east. The local pair of COMMON KINGFISHERS were continuing their excavations.
Both WATER PIPITS were again on STARTOP'S END RESERVOIR, whilst TRINGFORD RESERVOIR held all 6 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS and a staggering migratory flock of 430 FIELDFARES. The Rookery in the Wood was in great shape with 37 active nests being utilised.
I then returned for another look at WILSTONE, where SR was part-way through another 3-hour watch. Little was happening, although we did watch a COMMON TERN fly straight through (it headed high NNW after just a brief stay), a first-summer Argenteus Herring Gull, a displaying Lapwing and a Song Thrush. Once again, adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls have taken up residence in the area, causing mayhem amongst local breeders.
With visibility improving, I headed over to ELLESBOROUGH and explored this very underwatched area. A lot of Red Kites were soaring over Beacon Hill to the south, as well as 2 Common Buzzards, whilst the Juniper Valley on the NW slope (at SP 833 063) held 2 RING OUZELS - a nice male and female. This area also held Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush and 1 Redwing, whilst the tall trees west of the village church harboured 18 active Rook nests.
Driving back through east, the reservoirs were still unproductive, so I returned to BISON HILL for the evening. This time, with no dogwalkers around, the RING OUZELS were showing well - favouring the sheep field 450 yards east of the car park. Elsewhere, 2 Ring Ouzels were seen today at Quainton Hills, with the long-staying male still in Wing. A most productive week for this gorgeous migrant.

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

A rush of quality birds this afternoon

For the first time in what seems like ages, woke up this morning to rain. Not heavy rain but a constant drizzle - lasting for perhaps 2-3 hours. Coupled with this rain were SSE winds, an excellent combination for passage.......
And that was the theme of the day, with a lot more birds arriving in the region, including a few gems...
Steve Rodwell texted with a LITTLE GULL early doors but by the time I reached WILSTONE RESERVOIR (HERTS) at 0830 hours, it had already gone. Common Gull passage was being maintained though, with 31 through to the east in 15 minutes (that reminding me also of the adult Mediterranean Gull that roosted last night - per SR & DB). Most unexpected was a single HOUSE MARTIN flying around - my first of the year. Also 83 Shoveler still in attendance.
On nearby STARTOP'S END RESERVOIR, both WATER PIPITS were showing well, one much more advanced in plumage than the other. Also, a single passage Meadow Pipit, and a cracking male WHITE WAGTAIL commuting between the East Bank and the Horse Fields. Other migrants included 4 SAND MARTINS and a single BARN SWALLOW, whilst all 6 Red-crested Pochards were flying around, including a lone female with Mallards, with the pair of COMMON REDSHANK in display, 9 remaining Eurasian Wigeon, 2 Grey Wagtails, 4 Pied Wagtails and 4 Common Chiffchaffs in the West Hedgerow.
A male SISKIN flew over TRINGFORD RESERVOIR, where the single Great Crested Grebe remained and the Mute Swans were still nesting.
MARSWORTH RESERVOIR held a further pair of Mute Swans, with another on the Grand Union Canal near the car park, 8 Great Crested Grebes, a pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls and the first COMMON TERN of the year (see pix). Small birds included Dunnock, Chaffinch and singing male Great Tit.
COLLEGE LAKE BBOWT was in fine fettle with the weather change with some of the waders back on territory, including 8 Common Redshanks. Three pairs of Lapwing were in attendance, plus 1 Common Snipe, whilst wildfowl included 13 Mute Swans, all 6 Greylag (3 separate pairs), 20 Wigeon, 4 Shoveler (2 pairs), 4 Gadwall, 66 Tufted Duck, 3 Pochard and 17 Coot. Migrant-wise quiet - just 2 SAND MARTINS.
Neighbouring PITSTONE QUARRY held a further 4 Common Redshanks (making it 14 in total) before I commenced a walk from ALDBURY NOWERS to the east end of GALLOWS HILL. Hard graft but migrant returns included 8 different RING OUZELS (1 female), 185 Fieldfares, 6 NORTHERN WHEATEARS, 80 Meadow Pipits and a number of Linnets; 4 COMMON RAVENS as well. A further male RING OUZEL was still south of ELLESBOROUGH at DEACON HILL.
BEDFORDSHIRE was then in my sights and producing birds (finds) at a healthy pace......
CASTLE MILLS GRAVEL WORKINGS, NE OF BEDFORD (and north of the new bypass) is in fabulous condition and proving a magnet for passage birds. This afternoon in an extensive exploration of the site I had a beautiful full breeding-plumaged WATER PIPIT, two winter-plumaged SCANDINAVIAN ROCK PIPITS, 25 Meadow Pipits, 3 Pied Wagtails, a cracking male WHITE WAGTAIL, 3 DUNLIN, 4 Common Redshank, 2 Ringed Plover, pair of Oystercatcher, Little Egret, 3 Common Shelduck, 8 Teal, 6 Gadwall and Common Kingfisher. The pipits were favouring the NW end of the workings - perhaps 100 yards west of the skip and red-and-white flag - but were typically mobile and elusive.
Whilst working out my next move, Richard Bashford 'phoned to say that he had a SPOTTED REDSHANK at GYPSY LANE EAST, BROOM GP. Within 18 minutes I had joined him and for the next half hour or more, we enjoyed some nice views of it and heard it calling on at least five occasions. I obtained quite a few record shots (see above). There had been a noticeable increase in wader arrivals with 5 DUNLINS feeding together on the West Scrapes, 6 LITTLE RINGED PLOVERS, 10 Ringed Plovers, 4 Common Redshanks and 4 Common Shelducks.

THE SPOTTED REDSHANK at Broom...........

At BROGBOROUGH LAKE, an adult LITTLE GULL in full breeding plumage was on view from the Watchpoint, as well as the 6 GREATER SCAUPS and 23 Common Goldeneye. The winter-plumaged SLAVONIAN GREBE was still at the west end, with the adult in all of its summer glory still on ROOKERY PIT NORTH at STEWARTBY.
An evening visit to PEGSDON HILLS added yet more RING OUZELS to the day tally, with a male NORTHERN WHEATEAR on Deacon Hill, 40 Meadow Pipits, 120 Fieldfares and 4 Red Kites.

RING OUZELS arriving

More arriving: 4 on Pegsdon Hills this morning

Monday, 8 April 2013

The Lodge Feeders today

Early spring in Beds


Still no let up from the easterly wind, although temperatures recovering to 8 degrees C; otherwise, bright and clear...
Spent the day in BEDFORDSHIRE, trying to catch up with some Year Ticks. Frustratingly, numerous birds found after I got home, namely 3 Ring Ouzels on Pegsdon Hills (per SCB) and female Marsh Harrier at Brogborough (Neil Wright).......
First off, joined Lol, Bob, Jack O'Neill and others at BLOWS DOWNS, but no sign of male Ring Ouzel seen briefly in the Paddocks by Rob Dazley and John Temple - in fact, nothing of note other than a single Song Thrush.
At BROGBOROUGH LAKE midday, all 6 GREATER SCAUP (4 drakes) and the winter-plumaged SLAVONIAN GREBE present, as well as 23 Common Goldeneye, first-summer Mute Swan, 4 Common Teal, 156 Tufted Duck and 8 Northern Pochard
ROOKERY PIT NORTH still held the breeding-plumaged SLAVONIAN GREBE (see pix above), plus 8 Great Crested Grebes and 2 Dabchicks.
CASTLE MILLS PIT (north of the Bypass) proved very productive regards waders, with GREEN SANDPIPER, 2 LITTLE RINGED PLOVER, 2 Ringed Plover, 4 Common Redshank, Oystercatcher pair and 13 Common Snipe, as well as 6 Gadwall and 8 Common Teal
A flock of 32 EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER flew NNE over UPPER CALDECOTE, with nearby GYPSY LANE PITS EAST supporting 2 DUNLIN, 3 Ringed Plover, another pair of Oystercatchers, 3 Common Shelduck and 4 Pied Wagtails.
Over at THE LODGE RSPB, SANDY, COMMON CROSSBILL proved surprisingly easy in the pond area, with 7+ BRAMBLING, 40+ LESSER REDPOLL, 15 SISKIN, Nuthatch and Coal Tit at the entrance feeders.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Today's Highlights

Two different SLAVONIAN GREBES present in the county today - a bird in breeding plumage on Rookery North (Stewartby) and a winter-plumaged bird at Brogborough Lake. Latter site also holding 6 GREATER SCAUP and a drake Red-crested Pochard, whilst 8 WAXWINGS still in Shefford.

Migrants still few and far between but male RING OUZEL on Bison Hill, Whipsnade, this morning