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).

Saturday, 28 February 2015

Drake SMEW on Brogborough

The first SMEW of the year - an adult drake - was with 33 Common Goldeneye this afternoon at Brogborough Lake. It was found by Neil Wright at about 4pm allowing Jim Gurney, John Bowler & I to connect within the hour. Jim, Neil, Keith Owen & I also had the adult summer MEDITERRANEAN GULL in the Stewartby Lake roost at dusk.....

Sunday, 22 February 2015


Thanks to a timely call from Jim Gurney, caught up with this EGYPTIAN GOOSE at Cainhoe Pit, Clophill, roosting on main island - my 102nd species in county this year

Saturday, 21 February 2015

First LESSER SPOT in the county this year

A good size flock of c 200 mainly Redwing with some Fieldfare around the old airstrip paddock near Hill Farm from Wood Lane this morning.
Also three Common Buzzard drifted from Moggehanger park across towards Sheerhatch.  Single Barn Owl hunting the ditches.  Single Yellowhammer near the farm.
Best was a male LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER drumming and calling repeatedly from the eastern edge of Sheerhatch close to the transmitter mast.  Seen only briefly but a species I've not seen or heard in the parish or county for years - it's call is so distinctive it's one that I will never forget and will always alert me to it's presence.   Please note that Sheerhatch Wood is strictly private although can be viewed from three sides.  The road that skirts the southern edge is also good for Marsh Tit and the only place I can tick Nuthatch in the village!

Robin Edwards

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

RING-NECKED PARAKEET and male BLACKCAP in birder's garden in Arlesey

Thought I'd share some media i've captured of two unusual garden visitors in north Arlesey. The two images linked are of a Ring necked Parakeet that seems now to be resident in the area. I've seen/heard it flying around most days since summer though this is the first time i've seen it land in my garden.

The youtube link is a video of a male Blackcap that has been a daily visitor since I put up the bird table a month ago. It usually visits 2/3 times a day. John

BLACK-NECKED GREBE still present

At DUNSTABLE SEWAGE WORKS, this long-staying BLACK-NECKED GREBE remains present, along with the WHOOPER SWAN pair and the Water Rail. Newly arrived are 3 Little Egrets and a pair of Shelducks....

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Friday/Saturday Birding (MERLIN at last)

Adult PINK-FOOTED GOOSE with badly damaged wing still present with Atlantic Canada Geese at HARROLD-ODELL COUNTRY PARK, along with 150 Greylag, 6 Mute Swans, 18 Gadwall, 85 Tufted Duck, 4 Common Goldeneye, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Grey Wagtail and some very showy Redwings (see images below)

Nearby, a female Sparrowhawk, 4 Common Buzzard & a Common Kestrel at FELMERSHAM and 148 Mute Swans with adult WHOOPER SWAN in Kale crop by RADWELL SEWAGE WORKS/GRAVEL PITS

No sign of any Owls on THURLEIGH AIRFIELD 1600 hours to dark, but 470 European Golden Plover, 100+ Lapwing and this Common Buzzard roosting on a haystack

Thanks to a number of people including Martin Stevens, Tim Stowe & Stuart Warren, finally connected with GYPSY LANE WEST'S wintering adult male MERLIN - showing very well on the T-bar posts scattered about the site. It chased & caught an unfortunate Meadow Pipit and flew to a tall Oak to dismember & eat it - lots of record shots attached

Two RINGED PLOVERS remained on GYPSY LANE EAST from yesterday, as well as a GREEN SANDPIPER, both SHELDUCKS, 450 Lapwing, 80 European Golden Plover, 7 Shoveler and a scattering of wildfowl

No sign of any Egyptian Geese once again nor of the Cardington Peregrines (although Roy Dunham had seen the pair earlier)
On WATLING STREET at SP 946 293, another dead Barn Owl - this one unringed, with both the BLACK-NECKED GREBE and Whooper Swan pair still showing well at DUNSTABLE SEWAGE FARM - the former now starting to get some colour.

Another blank on Corn Bunting but COMMON RAVEN and LITTLE OWL pair at a site deserted in over 20 years - also Green & Great Spotted Woodpecker, singing Song Thrush & Greenfinch

A Common Treecreeper at EVERSHOLT LAKE was my first in Beds this year while 11 GOOSANDER were welcome (7 drakes), with 45 Greylag Geese (my first record here), drake MANDARIN DUCK, 15 Chaffinch, 70 Greenfinch (roosting) and singing male Song Thrush all noted


A reasonable roost at STEWARTBY LAKE, where 1,700+ Black-headed Gulls were joined by at least 1,260 Common Gulls (spring passage birds presumably, mostly adults), 27+ Herring Gull, 19 Lesser Black-backed Gull and a single adult Great Black-backed Gull; 79 Great Crested Grebe was my largest Beds count this winter with PEREGRINE roosting on chimney and a murmuration of at least 4,000 Common Starlings.