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).

Friday, 16 May 2014

At last - a TURTLE DOVE

Another glorious day with temperatures even higher than yesterday's - 23 degrees C at one point this afternoon
Following a call from Steve Blake, astounded to see a family party of COMMON GOLDENEYE at SPRINGWELL LAKE (situated adjacent to the Stockers Lake complex) with Geoff Lapworth, John Edwards and JT mid morning, the first-ever such occurrence I have witnessed in Southern England (Goldeneye primarily being a breeder on the Scottish lochs). At the time (0930 hours), the female was accompanying 7 small ducklings (see pix below) but sadly by midday, just 4 remained (survived), after 3 were observed being taken by Pike. An amazing record and one of less than five such occurrences away from Northern England and Scotland.
A reasonable selection of birds encountered at SPRINGWELL, with the Mute Swans with just 1 surviving cygnet, 8 Greylag Geese, 12 Tufted Duck, drake Pochard, Coots with young (6 nests), 2 Common Tern, Stock Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 singing Western Reed Warbler, 2 Common Chiffchaff and a single male Garden Warbler.
I then made a visit to TOTTERNHOE KNOLLS where the undoubted highlight was a purring male EUROPEAN TURTLE DOVE - my first of the year. A total of 11 MAN ORCHID spikes was also apparent, while Great Spotted Woodpecker, Common Whitethroat (3), Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Goldfinch and Greenfinch complemented the list.

Nearby, 2 CORN BUNTINGS were along WELLHEAD ROAD - one of the few reliable sites left for this declining species in the area.


At MILL FARM MEADOWS (CHESS VALLEY), 5 male Common Whitethroats were on territory, with another at neighbouring FROGMORE MEADOW, as well as 3 singing male GARDEN WARBLERS

Sunday, 11 May 2014

WHINCHAT at Blows Downs

The male WHINCHAT was still showing well late morning, commuting between the wire fence and stunted hawthorns in the paddock horse fields at BLOWS DOWNS; also 1 GREENLAND WHEATEAR there and a singing male Common Whitethroat (see pix on my blog at

Meanwhile, for Roger and Birdtrack, 18 active Rook nests just north of MARKYATE at TL 055 172

Saturday, 10 May 2014

WOOD SANDPIPER still present

Present for its third day - WOOD SANDPIPER at 100 Acre Pit. I sat down in an area of sedges and waited for it to walk by (pix below)