IMAGES TO FOLLOW
THURSDAY 25 JULY
Slightly cooler than of late at around 26 degrees C but humidity high despite a run of heavy showers overnight. Pretty cloudy until early afternoon but then cleared..
Richard Bashford gave me my first excuse to visit BEDFORDSHIRE in over a month when he heard some COMMON QUAILS on one of his regular bike rides in the northeast of the county....it made for a pleasant change
BROOM GP (BEDS)
Stopped off in the hope of a Greenshank or Hobby (haven't seen either in the county yet this year) but just 2 Green Sandpipers, 70 Lapwing and a juvenile Little Ringed Plover in the wader line and 4 Common Shelduck (adult female and 3 juveniles) and 61 Black-headed Gulls (7 juveniles) otherwise.
TEMPSFORD AERODROME AREA (BEDS)
With some excellent directing from Richard Bashford, I parked up in Everton Road opposite the farm entrance in the layby at TL 190 517 just under a mile east of the railway crossing and then walked the mile to WOODBURY LOW FARM. As Richard has already stated, this is quality farmland birding and during the hour or so I was present, I had BARN OWL carrying food to the nest, LITTLE OWLS on the barn, 6 Yellowhammer, 25 Linnet, 2 singing male Reed Buntings, a pair of GREY PARTRIDGE, 5 Stock Dove and numerous gritting Woodpigeons. No Turtle Doves sadly but both COMMON QUAILS calling incessantly early afternoon, to the SSE of the brick barn in the rough fields thereabouts - easily audible from the farm buildings.
CHICKSANDS WOOD (BEDS)
With the sun now out, I decided to give Chicksands Wood a go for butterflies and was very pleased with my efforts. Highlights included 12 WHITE-LETTER HAIRSTREAKS in Ash trees 30 yards before the second monument, 2 cracking male PURPLE EMPERORS in the turnaround area just before the monument fork, 4 SILVER-WASHED FRITILLARIES, 2 PURPLE HAIRSTREAKS, 2 RED ADMIRAL and a plethora of commoner species including 22 freshly emerged Peacocks, 16 Comma, 8 Meadow Brown, 150+ Large Skipper, 6 Large White, 2 Brimstone and 400+ Ringlets.
MARSTON VALE MILLENIUM PARK (BEDS)
No sign of the female Marsh Harrier again, Stephen Northwood tending to see this bird shortly after dawn as it leaves its roost site in the reedbed.