Sunday, 30 November 2008

2 Black-necked Grebes

Black-necked Grebes, Priory CP, 30th November 2008 by Steve Blain. Presumably these same two individuals were seen at Paxton Pits (Cambs) the day before, and at Furzton Lake (Bucks) the day after.

Slavonian Grebe

Slavonian Grebe, Brogborough Lake, 30th November 2008 by Steve Blain. 'Slav's' are getting increasingly scarce in the county, with only two records in the past two years.

Thursday, 27 November 2008

American Purple Gallinule

An American Purple Gallinule (Porphyrio martinica) was picked up dead during spring this year by one of the keepers of the Southill Estate. The bird has only come to light because of a chance encounter with Barry Nightingale, who regularly does WeBS and other surveys on the private estate.

Whether this bird arrived naturally, or escaped from a collection is unknown. How this individual arrived in Bedfordshire I suspect we'll never know. Currently the bird in a deep freeze waiting more analysis.

There is only one accepted British record, of an immature picked up exhausted on St Mary's, Isles of Scilly, 7th November 1958 (British Birds 53: 145-146, plate I; G. A. Pyman and the Rarities Committee, British Birds 53: 164; K. Williamson & I. J. Ferguson-Lees, British Birds 53: 371; Flood, Hudson & Thomas, 2007: plate 42). Obviously the most likely answer is of an escaped bird from a collection, but this type of information, for this species, is difficult to come by. If anyone has any information for American Purple Gallinule being in ANY collections in the UK (or even in Europe) I'd be most interested.

The record has already been submitted to BBRC for their further investigation.

What a year Bedfordshire is currently having!

Beds county recorder

Photos by BN, BS and GD

Wednesday, 26 November 2008


I was hoping for some sun today, but precious little about. Still, musn't grumble !

Come on, don't be so shy !

Not flies for lunch again !

Tony Knight's RBF

Hert's birder Tony Knight kindly forwarded this shot of our star bird.

Red-breasted Flycatcher

Taken on Monday, 24th November by Neil Wright.


Photo by Mike Neal

Saturday, 22 November 2008


I only took one shot of these today (since I was trying to film), and this is it - over quite some distance unfortunately but good to see them whatever.

Bean Feast

The four Tundra birds at Cainhoe this morning in amongst the Greylag. Distant but distinctive.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Linslade Firecrest

This fine male Firecrest was found by Geoff Dawes yesterday in Linslade. Today it was about 300m from the county boundary and was quite approachable - down to 6ft.



Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Chimney Corner Scaups

View west across Chimney Corner north - nice looking reedbed waiting for a Bittern...

Two female Scaups found on Sunday by Geoff Welch. He also found the female Red breasted Merganser still present today but too far away for photos.

Common Scoter at Roxton

In great light this afternoon and on my WeBS count, this fine female Common Scoter.

Saturday, 15 November 2008


One of the seven Waxwings between The Lodge and Deepdale currently, 15th November 2008 by Steve Blain.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

Grey Phalarope

Grey Phalarope on the floods at Radwell, 13th November 2008 by Steve Blain. Found by David Watson from Milton Ernest.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Tundra Bean Geese

These four Tundra Bean Geese at Clophill (first found at Cainhoe Lakes) are the first in the county since 1996! Well found Peter Soper. 12th November 2008 by Steve Blain.

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Hybrid Gull

Possible hybrid Med X Black-headed Gull at Harrold & Odell CP, 8th November 2008. I initially thought this was just a second-winter Med Gull, but on inspecting the photos later on in the evening I realised it looked very like a bird I'd seen at Great Yarmouth last year - see here.

Friday, 7 November 2008

Sparrowhawk and Carrion Crow - Stewartby Lake

A Sparrowhawk and Carrion Crow that were taking it in turns to mob each other over the Stewartby Lake gullwatch. Photos by Martin Green.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Radwell's White-fronts etc.

Female Pintail Radwell A6 Pit
Three White-fronts flying away over a very flooded Radwell A6 pit. Took a while to re-find them on the pit under the viaduct, but very distant.

Red - breasted Merganser

Distant record shot, very difficult to find at times among the pre roost gulls. Viewing poss. from bridge over L/Buzzard by pass

Saturday, 1 November 2008

Common Scoter at Harrold-Odell CP

After a rather disappointing visit last week, Harrold comes up trumps with this young female Common Scoter.


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