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).

Monday, 30 March 2015

SANDWICH TERN present for a second day......

A SANDWICH TERN remained on Stewartby Lake this evening for a second day (Keith Owen, Paul & Neil Wright, et al)

Saturday, 28 March 2015


As the Bedfordshire Bird Club has so carelessly decided to place details of one of the last 5 remaining LADY AMHERST'S PHEASANT in the public domain, I should like to remind would-be visitor to the area that parking is particularly limited in Lidlington village and local residents don't take kindly to be woken up at a god earthly hour at weekends. Please respect the local residents and refrain from climbing the fence and leaving your litter all over the place. At least 15 twitchers have climbed into this sensitive site, some even leaving their aniseed bottle behind when baiting this particular male.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

CHINESE WATER DEER numbers on the up

Three LITTLE EGRETS flew from Stocker's Lake over Chorleywood heading towards the Chess Valley at 0550 hours
Checked a number of Bedfordshire woodlands early morning where 2 LESSER REDPOLLS highlighted and 2 singing Common Chiffchaffs; LITTLE OWL in usual tree at SANDY SMITH NR and 9 Chinese Water Deer at BECKERINGS PARK FARM. Another singing Chiffchaff at HOCKLIFFE McDONALDS.
Over at TRING RESERVOIRS, the female GREATER SCAUP remained at STARTOP'S, plus 2 Common Redshank, 2 Little Grebes, 2 Wigeon and 4 Grey Wagtails. The Barnacle Goose was in the MARSWORTH PADDOCKS before flying off to WILSTONE, where 5 SAND MARTINS, 2 Oystercatchers and 4 EGYPTIAN GEESE were seen. Also, singing male MARSH TIT, Treecreeper, Green & Great Spotted Woodpecker and 5 Goldeneye noted.

A male NORTHERN WHEATEAR graced the manure pile at WOODOAKS FARM, where also 10 Skylark, 22 Fieldfare and 8 Redwing were noted

Friday, 20 March 2015

Blows Downs attracts its first migrants of the year as temperatures hit 15 degrees C

Following a couple of Stonechats about a week ago, BLOWS DOWNS produced 2 further migrant arrivals this morning - a female BLACK REDSTART and a male NORTHERN WHEATEAR - both in the upper paddocks.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

CURLEWS back, as well as CORN BUNTINGS

Back on their breeding territories - EURASIAN CURLEWS and CORN BUNTINGS...

An hour spent in the hide at The Lodge, Sandy, yielded 7 LESSER REDPOLL and 5 SISKIN, as well as numerous Great, Blue, Coal & Long-tailed Tits and Nuthatch

At Gypsy Lane East on 14 March, a SCANDINAVIAN ROCK PIPIT highlighted, commuting between the near muddy edge and the shingle spit opposite the viewpoint, along with a pair of GARGANEY (again), 2 DUNLIN, a male NORTHERN WHEATEAR, 13 Shoveler, the PINK-FOOTED GOOSE, at least 270 Black-headed Gulls following the plough, 40 Common Gull, 9 Ringed Plover, 4 Common Redshank and 2 Mistle Thrush

A pair of LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKERS was showing well at Flitwick Moor SSSI, while SAND MARTINS were at two localities

Friday, 13 March 2015

Another day, another pair of LESSER 'PECKERS....

Thursday 11 March
It was a no-show by the STOCKER'S LAKE male Lesser Spotted Woodpecker this morning - nothing by the time I departed at 0900 hours (although it did show later). A lot of Great Spotted Woodpecker activity though, and Green Woodpecker, Nuthatch and Treecreeper too. A male Common Chiffchaff was singing by the River Colne, as were 2 male Song Thrushes, while Ring-necked Parakeets were active marking out their territories, and Stock Doves. At least 3 Little Egret nests appeared to be active, with 28 Shoveler lingering.

Healthy population of House Sparrows by STOCKER'S HOUSE, with a male Mistle Thrush singing by STOCKER'S FARM - the meadow harbouring 3 feeding COMMON SNIPES.

Common Snipes

At around 0850, David Kramer had watched a Pied Avocet fly SW through Barkers Lane (Bedford), so I headed up that way in anticipation of a relocation. Heading north up the A1, I was very pleased to hear of 2 GARGANEY at GYPSY LANE EAST (BROOM GP), the pair of which were both showing with 5 Common Teal when I arrived shortly later. They were mostly asleep on the bank.....

Two LITTLE RINGED PLOVER were freshly arrived too, while other waders present included 6 Ringed Plover and 2 Oystercatcher, with 2 Common Shelduck, 8 Gadwall & 14 Tufted Duck completing the line-up. Across the road on GYPSY LANE WEST was the first DUNLIN of the year, as well as 2 GREEN SANDPIPERS, a Common Snipe and 2 Red-legged Partridges. The adult male MERLIN was sheltering behind a tussock in its usual area whilst a PEREGRINE flew east.

At PEACOCK'S LAKE (BROOM), another pair of Oystercatcher, with 6 Brown Hares in the field opposite.

The LITTLE OWL was present in the tall Oak adjacent to SANDY SMITH NATURE RESERVE, whilst an afternoon visit to EVERSHOLT LAKE resulted in me finding a pair of LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKERS in the trees at the back - the birds on view for at least an hour. At least 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers too, as well as 2 Common Treecreepers, 4 SISKIN, 18 Goldfinch, Jay, Red Kite, Common Buzzard, 15 Redwing and a flock of at least 230 Fieldfare. The lake held 6 MANDARIN DUCKS (5 drakes) and 5 GOOSANDER (2 drakes), with 42 Greylag Geese in the field adjacent.

Over in WOBURN PARK, 6 more MANDARIN DUCK by the entrance road, and Oystercatcher, 25 Wigeon and a COMMON KINGFISHER on DRAKELOE POND.

The adult drake SMEW was showing well at BROGBOROUGH LAKE, while STEWARTBY LAKE proffered 2 Oystercatcher and 15 Pied Wagtails on the grass.

At MARSTON VALE, BARN OWL, WATER RAIL and CETTI'S WARBLER were all noted, as well as this pair of cheeky Chinese Water Deer. The new Tower Hide is coming along well too.

No less than 5 male LADY AMHERST'S PHEASANTS have been seen within the General Motors compound, the new arrivals no doubt being attributed to all of the forest work being undertaken in neighbouring Centre Parcs.