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, 10 October 2014

LESSER GREY SHRIKE in Bedfordshire!!

When Pete Sims espied a grey shrike species this afternoon at Biggleswade Common, little did he realise (or expect) that it was a LESSER GREY SHRIKE - the first in the county in over a hundred years. He had reported it via his wife Kathy as a potential Great Grey Shrike but when seen by Martin Palmer and Jim Gurney a few hours later, they realised the magnitude of the bird and phoned the news out immediately. Over the next few hours, the majority of Bedfordshire's keenest listers connected - perhaps 40 observers connecting by dusk.

I of course was in East Sussex photographing a confiding Tawny Pipit when MJP phoned and with Friday evening traffic in heavy rain showers, took just over four and a half hours to get there. Thankfully, I was able to persuade Keith Owen to keep on it for me and at 1817 hours, I finally set eyes on it. It was feeding on Dung Beetles in the large field immediately NNE of Furzenhall Farm and continued to do so virtually into darkness at 1847. An exceptional record - and hard on the heels of the Blows Downs Barred Warbler.

It represents the first 'confirmed' record for the county - Steele-Elliott (1904) mentioning a possible at Woburn Park in September 1894. There is also a claim of a dead one on the River Ouse on the rather unlikely date of 25 January 1907 (Gardner 1907-8)

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