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, 29 December 2015


GREAT WHITE EGRET still in Woburn Park this morning (10:30). It flew from small pools immediately south of Park Farm to a tree in the general area called Henrietta Gardens. If you stand with your back to Shoulder of Mutton Pond the tree is about 40-50 yards in front of you, to the west. It is within a small fenced area with rushes and is a favourite loafing spot for Grey Herons. It was with two herons this morning.
Also 3 Red Kites, 74 Gadwalls, 266 Wigeons, 23 Cormorants, 9 Shovelers and two Egyptian Geese.

Barry Nightingale  

Monday, 28 December 2015


Martin Green discovered a DARK-BELLIED BRENT GOOSE in Scrapyard Corner, Stewartby Lake, late morning - the bird relocating to the sailing club green and remaining until dusk (see images below). Whilst watching the Brent, Martin phoned me again to say that Paul & Neil Wright had found a SIBERIAN-TYPE CHIFFCHAFF with the 6 or so wintering Common Chiffchaff at Marston Sewage Works and all four of us (plus Stephen Northwood) studied it shortly later. A pair of Common Goldeneye was also on the lake, plus Common Kingfisher and 47 Great Crested Grebe.

At nearby Brogborough Lake, I counted 55 Common Goldeneye at the west end, while the juvenile GREAT NORTHERN DIVER flew east to join the Stewartby Lake long-stayer......

Sunday, 8 November 2015

GREAT GREY SHRIKE at Henlow Grange

Highlight of this morning's walk round my Henlow Grange patch was a GREAT GREY SHRIKE!!!! Not only a patch tick; not only a SFYL tick but (probably) the first GGS I have found for myself. There was a commotion of Linnet and Corn Bunting alarm calls as they chased something across the horse paddocks alongside the railway. It took me a while to realise it was a shrike, but when the penny dropped I'm sure I had a big smile on my face. The smaller birds chased the Shrike until it landed on a hawthorn bush alongside the railway where it stayed for about 5 minutes before it was flushed by a train. While perched, it was not mobbed by any smaller birds. After another 5 minutes the Shrike reappeared on top of another hawthorn bush on the far side of the railway. This time it remained in view for about 10 minutes, occasionally dropping into the bush where it could be seen moving about. It was flushed by another train and this time flew east towards the solar pa nel farm, landing in a hedge (alongside the track to the farm) where it was lost to view (Roger Hicks)

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Penduline Tits

These two juvenile Penduline Tits were present in the Broom GP complex from 31st October to 2nd November. They were discovered by Stuart Warren and were at a strictly private part of the complex with no official access. The news of their presence could not be released to a wider audience so county recorder Steve Blain took it upon himself to invite those he felt deserved to be told - a select invitation list of perhaps 20-25 observers. After a lot of arguing and after at least 22 local observers had seen them, I was eventually informed but on the strict proviso that I MUST NOT put the location into the public domain. When I finally got the opportunity, I drove up to the site to check out whether or not news could be released. It certainly couldn't - the site is strictly private, a working pit area and under surveillance by LaFarge. There was no direct access point that did not involve obvious trespass. I was accosted by one of the site maintenance engineers who was monitoring the site. He asked me what I was doing and I showed him the birds and the significance of them. I put to him the possibility of a twitch but he was not for the taking - the dangerous nature of the pit (quicksand) rendering any official access out of the question. The company insurance would not allow it. I had to agree with him.

Monday, 2 November 2015

Out of bounds

The Penduline Tit is a very rare visitor to Bedfordshire with just 3 records, with one trapped & ringed at Priory Country Park, Bedford, on 18 September 1991, two at Marston Vale Millenium Park on 10 November 2012 and that below at 100 Acre Pit, Bedford, on 28-30 December 2014.