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).

Wednesday, 21 January 2015


Following calls from both Mike Ilett and Alan Reynolds yesterday, I made plans this morning to visit BRAMFIELD VILLAGE where the HAWFINCH flock has returned for the winter. Although pretty murky and grey and with temperatures struggling to get above freezing, I arrived on site at about 0900 hours. Francis Buckle, Tony Hukin and others had already seen 3 birds but they had flown off in the direction of the Old Rectory. Knowing a garden on that side of the road where they favour, I walked around and in no time at all espied two birds feeding on the ground beneath a Yew tree in the front garden. Both birds quickly flew and joined 3 others in flying back to the churchyard, where some excellent 'scope views were obtained. All 5 then dropped down into a garden where some 19 or so Greenfinches were also feeding, between the churchyard and the next road. I then located an additional 3 birds feeding in a garden behind the pub car park, all 8 eventually perching together in the tall trees within the churchyard. Throughout the hour or so I remained, the birds were very mobile, perching only briefly before returning to the gardens. Very vocal though, uttering the high-pitched, sharp 'ticc' from the evergreens. The village map below shows the favourite haunts occupied by the Hawfinches......
Bramfield Village also yielded 2 Mistle Thrush, 4 Song Thrush, 5 Redwing, 15 Chaffinch, Coal Tit, Nuthatch and a flyover flock of 32 Linnet.
In PANSHANGER LANE, this Common Buzzard made repeated attempts to cart off a dead Rabbit from the road...
Francis, Tony and I then visited AMWELL GP, where the drake SMEW was still present on Great Hardmead Lake, showing distantly from the watchpoint on the far SE bank. Just 2 Common Goldeneye too, but no sign of yesterday's Pintail - presumably flown back to Rye Meads. Northern Shoveler numbers were impressive, with 84 counted, with 16 Gadwall, 107 Wigeon, 62 Teal, 45 Mallard, 73 Tufted Duck, 22 Pochard, 335 Coot, 1 Mute Swan and 8 Great Crested Grebe making up the numbers.
Up at Tumbling Bay, a COMMON RAVEN circled overhead, while along the trail to Hollycross Lake, 2 Bullfinch, a Coal Tit and a MARSH TIT were the highlights, the latter feeding on the ground beneath the feeders.
Moving north, I drove through THERFIELD VILLAGE, where 15 House Sparrow, 2 Greenfinch and 45 Fieldfares were noted - the Pedlars Lane Rookery harbouring 21 nests. Not a single Grey Partridge to be found in the area unfortunately, but the Fallow Deer herd east of COOMBE ROAD (KELSHALL) held a total of 117 animals.
At least 66 Rook, 35 Jackdaw and 8 Common Gulls were at DEADMAN HILL (SANDON), while driving all round searching for Grey Partridge did eventually reward me with a flock of 200+ CORN BUNTINGS near WALLINGTON - 50+ Yellowhammer too, 15 Linnet, Common Kestrel, 4 Red-legged Partridge and 265 Fieldfare also.
It was then time to relocate to BEDFORDSHIRE, where a Stock Dove flew across the road in STOTFOLD. Not a sniff of the Great Grey Shrike at SANDY SMITH NR, CLOPHILL, nor of any Common Stonechats nor the Little Owls, but 35 Fieldfare, 8 Redwing, 7 Common Blackbird, 26 Yellowhammer and 9 Reed Bunting noted.
All 6 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS (3 pairs) were still in the QUEST PIT (STEWARTBY) (with 2 Mute Swan, 58 Wigeon, 62 Pochard, 45 Mallard and a Meadow Pipit in there) and a male PEREGRINE roosting on the chimney in the brickworks.

At dusk, I visited a traditional WOODCOCK roost, where 15 individuals emerged from the plantation between 1650 and 1715 hours

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