First off, a very Happy New Year to everyone and, secondly, apologies for the late posting of my final list for 2013 due to family commitments. Well, despite an amazing month nationally for both birds and extreme weather – I got to see Baikal Teal, Hume’s Leaf Warbler, Ivory Gull and Brunnich’s Guillemot and many other excellent offerings during December bird trips and you’ll all know about the weather !!! – there was only one addition to the Bedfordshire year list – the imm Shag found at Priory CPk by Tony P and Dave K. This brought the final tally to 197 – good, but comparatively poor by the recent standards we’ve all set.
The 197 listed below all have been, where necessary, or look set to be, accepted by the local rarities committee. In addition during the year I have heard or read of a number of other reports and these follow here – some may be the real deal, so to speak, but descriptions have not, so far as I’m aware, been sent to Richard Bashford et al for verification or have but, in a few cases, not been substantiated:
Great White Egret, Willington GP’s 9th January 2013; Northern Goshawk Broom GP’s 27th January; (presumed escaped) White Stork over Upper Caldicote 14th April; Black Kite, The Lodge, Sandy 18th June; Red-footed Falcon, Millbrook Pillinge 23rd June; European Honey Buzzard, Dunstable 20th August; Richard’s Pipit, The Lodge, Sandy 15th October and Common Crane over Sandy 26th December.
Good December sightings about the County included Whooper Swans, a Scaup, a Great Northern Diver, a Common Scoter, a Great Grey Shrike, a Merlin or two, a Firecrest, a couple of Siberian Chiffchaffs and a few Short-eared Owls.
In the year-listing stakes, Jim Gurney, Steve Blain and I all finished on 185. Gannet, Osprey, Black-tailed Godwit, Whimbrel, Sandwich Tern, Wood Lark, Tree Pipit, Pied Flycatcher, R B Shrike, Black Redstart, Firecrest and Hawfinch were the dozen I missed (Martin J Palmer)