Category Archives: Uncategorized

July 2020 Bird News

Quail – one between Hatch and Upper Caldecotte on 22nd, another near Southill on 24th, another nearby in fields west of Broom South Quarry on 29th

Pintail – one at MCP Wetlands NR throughout the month

Black-Crowned Night Heron – one near Potton on 11th was first reported in the county since 2003, and the six record in total (see article later in The Hobby)

Cattle Egret – one at Dunstable STW from 24th to 27th, presumably the same at Grovebury SP on 25th roosted overnight. The third record for the county.

Little Egret – breeding records again in the county from Southill and Blunham

Great White Egret – one at Brogborough Tip Pools on 14th, 19th and 30th at least, one at Broom East GP on 23rd

Ringed Plover – one at MCP Wetlands NR on 7th and 11th, two there on 19th

Dunlin – two at Grovebury SP and  one at Brogborough Tip Pools on 19th, one at Black Cat GP on 25th, another at Broom East on 26th, another at Grovebury on 29th

Turnstone – one at Grovebury SP on 19th

Whimbrel – a flock of 23 noted flying over Potton on 24th

Black-tailed Godwit – one at Black Cat GP on 3rd, one at MCP Wetlands NR on 5th, seven at Broom East GP on 10th with three there also on 25th, one at Grovebury SP on 19th with 14 through there on 20th

Wood Sandpiper – one at Broom East GP on 11th

Greenshank – one at Grovebury SP on 19th

Mediterranean Gull – one wearing a white ring at Broom East GP on 7th and 8th, two juveniles at Grovebury SP on 20th, another juvenile noted at Broom East on 25th

Yellow-legged Gull – up to 36 at Grovebury SP by 20th, then over 50 by the end of the month, all adults except one juvenile. Elsewhere seven at Broom on 29th

Caspian Gull – an adult at Grovebury SP from mid-month, presumed to be returning adult from previous years

Turtle Dove – one around MCP Wetlands NR at the start of the month

Stonechat – a juvenile noted at Brogborough Tip Pools on 14th

Whinchat – an adult and a juvenile were early migrants at Brogborough Tip Pools on 19th

Redstart – one at Barton Hills on 23rd, two at Streatley on 24th and 28th, a female at Pegsdon on 29th

Crossbill – one over Beeston on 7th, twelve over Eaton Bray on 20th, and another flock over there on 22nd

June 2020 Bird News

Quail – two between Galley Hill and Streatley on 8th

Bar-headed Goose – one of unknown origin near Toddington Services on 17th

Pintail – one at MCP Wetlands NR from 21st at least

Avocet – one at Dunstable STW on 6th

Curlew – one near Dunton on 13th, two at MCP Wetlands NR on 21st

Black-tailed Godwit – up to five different birds noted at Grovebury SP in the last week of the month, two at Broom East GP on 28th, one at Dunstable STW on 29th

Dunlin – six at Grovebury SP on 6th

Wood Sandpiper – noted at Black Cat GP on 13th, 14th and 25th

Mediterranean Gull – two over Priory CP on 7th

Yellow-legged Gulls – birds beginning to appear at Grovebury SP in the last week of the month

Great White Egret – one at Priory CP on 9th, the first from there since March, one near Sandy on 11th and 17th

Spoonbill – one at Grovebury SP on 6th

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker – one at Coopers Hill on 23rd

Golden Oriole – one heard at Knotting Green on 6th (PH), another at Whipsnade Zoo on 24th (ED)

Black Redstart – one  noted in Luton town centre on 22nd

Redstart – one noted during the month at Caddington Golf Course

Crossbill – about 20 at Woburn GC on 20th and ten in Maulden Woods on 25th


ED – Ethan Diver

PH – Pip Housden


May 2020 Bird News

Quail – four at Southill mid-month, others recorded near Shillington on 28th, near Streatley on 30th and Marston Moretaine on 31st. also recorded twice on nocmig at Meppershall

Shelduck – up to seven at Dunstable STW at the start of the month, one at Priory CP on 16th, with breeding noted at Grovebury SP

Garganey – male at Broom East GP on 1st and 9th, another male at at MCP Wetlands NR on 22nd

Ring-necked Duck – last report of this long staying male was at Priory CP on 16th

Bittern – one booming in the brick pits again this year

Turtle Dove – still hanging on in the county, birds reported at Marston Thrift, MCP Wetlands NR, Knotting Green, Tempsford and Dunton

Crane – one reported over Biggleswade on 30th

Black-necked Grebe – two at Priory CP on 10th

Avocet – reported at Black Cat GP on 2nd – 5th May

Whimbrel – four over Sandy on 1st, one near Potton on 7th, two at MCP Wetalnds NR on 15th, also noted on nocmig on two occasions

Curlew – noted over Brogborough Tip on 4th and at Broom East GP on 5th

Turnstone – birds at Black Cat GPs on 5th and 16th

Ringed Plover – one at Grovebury on 23rd, three on 24th

Curlew Sandpiper – one in breeding plumage at Grovebury on 30th

Sanderling – two at Grovebury on 23rd, an  additional five there on 24th

Dunlin – one at MCP Wetlands NRon 8th and three there on 15th, noted at Grovebury on 2nd and 23rd, also reported from Black Cat GP including four on 14th

Wood Sandpiper – three at Broom East GP on 6th, one at Black Cat GP on 9th, one at Houghton Brook Pools on 16th

Little Gull – one at Priory CP on 23rd and 24th

Arctic Tern – two at Southill Lake on 2nd

Great Egret – one at Henlow Grange on 27th was a frist record at the site

Osprey – one through East Hyde on 1st, one over Houghton Brook Pools on 16th and another over MCP Wetlands NR on 17th

Montagus Harrier – female near Potton on 12th, male at Henlow on evening of 19th

Hobby – a maximum count of  14 noted catching insects over the brick pits on 17th

Hoopoe – third record this spring of a bird in Barton-le-Clay on 22nd

Black Redstart – a female in Blunham on 2nd

Nightingale – six singing around MCP Wetlands NR and Stewartby Lake with other birds at brick pit locations

Spotted Flycatcher – first report from Woburn on 7th, a few birds reported from known previuos locations suggests that it is hanging on the county but still a very scarce bird, please share all records

April 2020 Bird News

Bewicks Swan – one at Broom GP on 3rd

Brent Goose – recorded over Biggleswade and Meppershall on nocturnal migration on 1st and 4th

Pink-footed Goose – at least one still roaming around being reported at Tythe Farm, Roxton, Willington, Priory and Meadow Lane

Shelduck – four together at Broom GP on 6th, one at Astral Park Lake, Biggleswade on 16th

Garganey – a pair at Broom East GP on 11th for much of the month, drake still present on 30th

Pintail – one at Woburn on 27th

Ring-necked Duck – still present at Priory CP throughout the month

Common Scoter – noted on twelve recording occasions over Biggleswade, Meppershall, Eaton Bray and Eaton Ford on nocturnal migration between 1st and 7th

Great White Egret – one at Broom on 21st, one at Radwell on 24th

White-tailed Eagle – an immature over Houghton Regis CP on 2nd and just to west near Sewell on 3rd (one of at least three birds noted around the home counties in this period with two in Bucks and Herts, and one in Cambs at least). This bird is not one of the satellite tagged individuals from Isle of Wight reintroduction scheme and is considered to be one of those that have wandered from the growing population in the Netherlands

Osprey – one over Henlow on 21st

Hen Harrier – one over Meppershall on 10th

Avocet – one at Black Cat GP on 30th

Stone Curlew – two nocmig records, Luton on 8th and Meppershall on 11th

Little Ringed Plover – eight at Broom GP on 6th

Curlew – recorded over Biggleswade on nocturnal migration on 2nd and 3rd, Luton on 5th and Meppershall on 6th and 10th. One over Blows Down on 3rd and noted at Brogborough on 13th and 26th

Whimbrel – recorded on nocturnal migration between 15th and 29th on six occasions at Biggleswade, Meppershall and Eaton Ford. Three were seen at Broom GP early on 18th, one over Sandy and another at Houghton Brook Pools on 27th

Bar-tailed Godwit – recorded on nocturnal migration from Eaton Ford and Meppershall. One at Grovebury SP on 23rd and 25th, another flew over Potton on 29th

Black-tailed Godwit – three at Harrowden Meadows on 23rd

Ruff – one at Broom East GP on 3rd

Little Gull – recorded at Priory CP on 6th, 7th, 8th, 13th and 24th, one at Stewartby Lake on 18th and a flock of six over Upper Caldecotte on 21st

Sandwich Tern – one recorded on nocturnal migration on 8th

Little Tern – one at Grovebury SP on 30th

Arctic Tern – birds noted at Priory CP on 22nd and 23rd, five at Stewartby Lake on 24th and two on 29th, one at Grovebury on 30th

Black Tern – one at Grovebury SP and six at Stewartby Lake on 18th, two at Brogborough on 29th

Ring-necked Parakeet – pair still attending nest hole in Luton, one over Wootton on 7th

Hoopoe – one in Ampthill on 12th, another in Milton Bryan on 13th

Cuckoo – first report on 12th near Potton, more widely reported from 17th

Turtle Dove – reported from six locations in the month so looks to be hanging on in the county

Swift – a few early reports this year from 18th when first record received from Broon

White Wagtail – one on Stopsley Common on 4th, another there on 15th

Wheatear – noted in low numbers at various sites in the first half of the month

Whinchat – noted at Blows Downs on 13th, Houghton Brook Pools on 18th, near Meppershall on 19th

Redstart – one at Henlow Grange on 8th, one near Potton on 12th, one at Blows Downs on 13th, one near Chalton on 19th

Black Redstart – birds remained on 1st and 2nd at Bidwell and Blows Down, one in Wigmore, Luton on 3rd, one near Meppershall on 19th, one south of Broom on 29th

Nightingale – first of the year at Stewartby Lake on 7th with subsequent reports from a few brick pits locations, with one also near Sandy

Ring Ouzel – one at Barton Hills 5th, one at Potton on 6th, another at Blows Down on 6th, three at Dunstable Downs and one at Streatley on 10th, noted at Warden Hill Luton early morning on 10th (2), 12th and 16th (4) and 24th (3), and at Pulloxhill on 11th, one at Pegsdon on 12th with a count of eight there later in month. Also reported from Kensworth Quarry on 26th and near Potton on three dates

Wood Warbler – one reported at Priory CP on 7th, another heard in Maulden on 16th, another at Woburn GC on 28th

Firecrest – reported from Maulden Woods on 7th and near Southill on 23rd

Great Grey Shrike – Bird at Brogborough first noted in December, still present on 7th April

March 2020 Bird News

Great White Egret – one noted around Priory CP / Meadow Lane area from start of the month until 18th

Brent Goose – recorded as noctural migrant over Biggleswade on 23rd

Red-crested Pochard – one at Roxton 8th and 21st, male at Blunham on 12th

Ring-necked Duck – still present at Priory CP throughout the month

Common Scoter – birds sound-recorded on nocturnal migration over Biggleswade on 16th and 25th, Meppershall on 25th/26th and 31st and Eaton Bray on 26th

Goldeneye – reported only from Harrold Odell CP and Brogborough Lake during the month, other than one at Priory CP on 11th

Goosander – reported only from Harrold Odell CP in the month, with one at Broom GP on 3rd

Avocet – two at Broom GP on 26th

Grey Plover – one on flash near Dunstable STW on 22nd

Ringed Plover – first for 2020 at MCP Wetlands NR on 4th

Little Ringed Plover – first for 2020 arrived mid month on typical date of 15th at Black Cat GP wih birds present later in the month at Dunstable STW, Grovebury and Broom GP at least

Curlew- birds at Grovebury and Thurleigh at the start of the month

Black-tailed Godwit – one at Meadow Lane GP on 18th, seven briefly at Houghton Brook Pools on 19th, three at Dunstable STW from 27th to 30th

Mediterranean Gull – one adult regularly to roost at Grovebury SP during the month, one in the roost at Stewartby on 22nd, one at Broom East GP on 26th

Little Gull – two at Grovebury SP on 19th

Short-eared Owl – one near Potton on 23rd

Merlin – one at Henlow on 5th,  near Upper Caldecotte on 9th, possibly same near Biggleswade on 13th and Broom on 20th, another at Brogborough on 18th

Ring-necked Parakeet – pair nesting in Wardown Park, Luton

Sand Martin – First returning bird at Priory CP on 9th, then Grovebury on 14th

Swallow – first reported on 9th over Henlow

Black Redstart – one at Bidwell on 25th to end of month, one at Potton on 27th, another at Blows Down on 31st

Dartford Warbler – one in Houghton Regis CP from 6th to 12th

Willow Warbler – first noted on 31st

Stonechat – strong passage in the first two weeks of the month

Wheatear – arrived in a number of locations on 17th including five at Blows Downs

Black-throated Thrush – reported at Whipsnade Zoo until 14th

Great Grey Shrike – still present by Brogborough Hill until 4th

Waxwing – six reported near Thurleigh on 7th

Hawfinch – one over Eaton Bray on 17th

Crossbill – two at The Lodge on 9th

Tree Sparrow – reported again in the month at two farmland locations, one near Chicksands and one north-east of Bedford

February 2020 Bird News

Pink-footed Goose – a single being noted regularly in the Ouse Valley throughout the month

Pintail – male at Broom East GP on from 1st to 12th at least, another male at MCP Wetlands NR on 2nd, six at Brogborough Lake on 21st

Red-crested Pochard – one at Flitwick STW on 5th, a male at Chimney Corner South on 22nd

Ring-necked Duck – wintering bird continued to be seen at Priory CP throughout the month

Goosander – two at Harrold CP on 13th, one at Meadow Lane GP on 21st, one at Derek Whites Eggs Pit and two at Black Cat GP on 22nd, others around Eversholt/Woburn throughout the month

Great White Egret – one or two continuing around Meadow Lane area reported from 3rd to 24th, one near Sandy reported occasionally between 2nd and 21st, one from the M1 at Houghton Brrok pools on 26th

Redshank – one at Meadow Lane GP on 1st was the first returning bird of the year

Kittiwake – an adult at Grovebury SP on 2nd, a juvenile there on 16th

Mediterranean Gull – two in the county on the 8th with different individuals noted at Priory CP and in roost at Stewartby Lake

Merlin – one near Broom on 13th successfully caught a Skylark, perhaps same near Upper Caldecotte on 15th with another reported near Streatley the same day

Stonechat – wintering birds included four at Meadow Lane GP, three near Slip End, two near Sandy, and three pairs noted around various pits in Marston Vale

Great Grey Shrike – continuing south of Brogborough Lake last reported on 19th

Waxwing – one in Sandy from January still present until 20th at least, report of 13 in Biggleswade on 19th

BLACK-THROATED THRUSH – still present at Whipsnade Zoo until 24th at least

Lesser Redpoll – very few reports this year so far. A small party of up to six at Broom early in the month was the largest group recorded

Tree Sparrow – three near Chicksands early in the month with at least one remaining until 22nd

January 2020 Bird News

Whooper Swan – two flew over Myers Farm near Potton on 4th

Pink-footed Goose – presumably the same one individual with Greylag and Barnacle Goose flock around Castle Mills / Willington / Roxton area early in the month until 12th at least

Shelduck – one at Broom East GP on 28th

Pintail – pair at Radwell GP on 12th, another male north of Dunstable on the same date

Ring-necked Duck – bird from November still present with sightings at Gadsey Brook GP from 1st to 12th and then at Priory CP from 16th to the end of the month

Pochard – one leucistic male at Brogborough Lake on 5th to 12th at least

Red-crested Pochard – two females at Brogborough Lake from 1st to 12th at least

Common Scoter – three at Stewartby Lake on 3rd

Goldeneye – recorded throughout the month at Brogborough including count of 21 on 12th

Goosander – a few reports of up to five from their regular sites at Lower Drakelow Pond, Woburn and Eversholt Lake. A pair at Broom East GP on 28th

Smew – a “redhead” briefly at Priory CP on 17th

Bittern – one noted at Cainhoe Lakes on 12th

Great White Egret – up to two birds regularly reported around Priory/Meadow Lane/Willington area at the throughout the month. Other reports included one near Dunstable STW on 31st

Marsh Harrier – female-type regularly reported around the brick pits during the month, a male also near Brogborough on 16th

Black-necked Grebe – one at Priory CP on 27th until early morning next day

Oystercatcher – returned early to the county with birds seen on 31st near Stewartby

Mediterranean Gull – adult in Stewartby Lake roost on 5th, one over Blunham Lakes 12th

Caspian Gull – adult north of Dunstable on 4th

Great Black-backed Gull – a bird at Grovebury SP on 5th was ringed and traced to a scheme at Portland, Dorset

Merlin – birds recorded near Staploe on 1st, female near Woodbury Hall on 8th with presumed the same near Tempsford Airfield on 16th, and near Cainhoe Lakes on 12th

Stonechat – wintering birds noted at Brogborough Tip, East Hyde, MCP Wetlands NR, near Staploe, on Thurleigh Airfield, near Gadsey Brook and in Quest ClP

Firecrest – one at Brogborough Hill all month

BLACK-THROATED THRUSH – continued at Whipsnade Zoo from December to end of the month

Great Grey Shrike – continued around Brogborough Hill area from December to 27th at least

Waxwing – one in Sandy from 9th until the end of the month

Lesser Redpoll – very few reports this winter. A group of six were briefly at Broom GP on 17th

December 2019 Bird News

Great White Egret – reports included one regularly roosting at Priory CP early in the month noted from 6th with two there on 15th with presumably one of the same birds seen at 100 Acre Lake also on 15th, also maybe the same individuals recorded elsewhere as one at Willington GP on 24th and two at Octagon Farm GP on 31st. Elsewhere one was at Brogborough Lake on 29th

Pink-Footed Goose – one at Meadow Lane 25th to 30th at least

Ruddy Shelduck – pair at MCP Wetlands NR on three dates between 1st and 6th and reported again on 21st

Common Shelduck – two at Dunstable STW 27th

Pintail – adult male at Grovebury SP on 28th and 29th, another or the same at Brogborough Lake on 30th

Red-crested Pochard – pair at Cuckoo Bridge Lake on 3rd, female at MCP Wetlands NR on 6th, female at Brogborough Lake 27th and 30th

Ring-necked Duck – the bird from November was noted again at Priory CP on 13th and Gadsey Brook GP on 31st

Common Scoter – one at Grovebury SP on 22nd

Goosander – one at Brogborough Lake on 3rd, five at Felmersham GP on 14th, two in Woburn Park on 25th, one at Henlow Lakes on 28th

Goldeneye – two at Stewartby on 26th and 27th

Marsh Harrier – one around the brick pits again during the month

Hen Harrier – one passed through Grovebury SP on 8th

Jack Snipe – one at Meadow Lane on 25th

Black-tailed Godwit – two at Chimney Corner North on 27th

Mediterranean Gull – one adult on 29th and two adults on 31st in roost at Stewartby Lake

Little Gull – one on Peacocks Lake at Broom GP on 29th

Caspian Gull – one at Grovebury SP on 2nd, a 2w at Brogborough Lake on 27th and 29th

Yellow-legged Gull – a few individuals noted in roost at Stewartby through the month

Great Black-backed Gull – increasingly scarce in the county, two at Brogborough Lake and a few individuals the Stewartby Lake roost in the last week of the month

Ring-necked Parakeet – three in Bedford on 3rd

Merlin – one near Streatley on 11th, another near Old Warden on 23rd

Waxwing- one in Bedford on 25th

Great Grey Shrike – the bird first noted in November was still present to 30th at least with a report of two birds present on one day early in the month

BLACK-THROATED THRUSH – A first for the county identified from a photograph taken at Whipsnade Zoo on 11th before being seen again by a number of observers on 13th and then daily into the New Year 2020

Stonechat – pairs opposite The Lodge and near Upper Caldecote on 2nd, one in Chimney Corner North pit on 5th, four at Yielden Airfield on 26th, one at Meadow Lane 27th, two at MCP Wetlands NR on 29th

Chiffchaff – one of “tristis” race noted at Bedford STW on 7th, 8th and 27th with good numbers of regular “collybita”

Firecrest – two at Capability Green in Luton on 5th, one at Brogborough Hill on 16th and 31st

Siskin – relatively scarce so far this winter, but c50 at Sandy Smith NR on 27th

November 2019 Bird News

Great White Egret – one at Priory CP on 5th and 13th, one at Willington GP on 9th, two at Cuckoo Bridge Lake on 20th-22nd, one south of Sandy from train on 23rd

Whooper Swan – five reported in flight near Luton on 30th, a family group of two adults and three youngsters

Greylag Goose – a massive count of 1460 at Broom GP on 27th

Pink-footed Goose – one with Barnacle Goose flock at Roxton on 1st

Pintail – male near Dunstable STW on 8th, female at Broom GLE on 15th, another at Flitwick STW on 17th and 18th

Gadwall /Wigeon hybrid – one at Blunham on 26th

Red-crested Pochard – four (3m, 1f) at Grovebury SP on 10th, one female at Flitwick STW on 18th and 23rd at least

Pochard – 180 at Brogborough Tip Lake was a high count on 16th

Ring-necked Duck – one at Cuckoo Bridge Lake on 20th to 22nd

Goldeneye – 17 at Brogborough Lake on 17th, one at Blunham on 26th

Goosander – female at Wilden on 10th

Smew – one “redhead” at Meadow Lane GP on 9th

Marsh Harrier – one around the brick pits during the month

Avocet – one flew over Quest ClP on 7th

Woodcock – a a few wintering birds reported including nine around Sandy Smith/Chicksands area on 30th

Little Gull – one at Houghton Brook pools on 7th

Short-eared Owl – one on Brogborough Tip on 20th, another just north of Barton-le-Clay on 26th

Ring-necked Parakeet – three investigating suitable nesting holes in  Wardown Park, Luton on 17th

Swallow – one late bird near Meppershall on 8th

Rock Pipit – one at Broom GLE on 1st

Great Grey Shrike – one between Brogborough Lake and Brogborough Hill from 19th into December

Stonechat – one near Linslade on 10th, four at Houghton Brook pools on 10th, two at Brogborough Tip on 16th

Redstart – one late bird near Rowney Warren on 4th

Tree Sparrow – one in a garden in Radwell on 2nd

Snow Bunting – one in flight between Broom and Southill on 24th

October 2019 Bird News

Cormorant – count of 82 from Priory CP on 31st

Great Egret – one at Willington GP on 19th

Teal – a leucisitic bird has been seen on a few occasions in Chimney Corner North

Pintail – male at Grovebury on 20th

Red-crested Pochard – male at Grovebury on 20th

Ring-necked Duck – an eclipse adult male at MCP Wetlands NR on 5th until 17th was the first in the county since 2006

Scaup – one at MCP Wetlands NR from 16th until 20th

Common Scoter – one in Coronation ClP on 21st

Goldeneye – five at Priory CP on 28th

Osprey – one over Broom on 3rd

Goshawk – one reported over The Lodge 9th, another escaped bird from Flitwick was around Stewartby area early in the month before being returned to its owner

Harris Hawk – one seen near Cople has been noted as having been living as a feral bird for some three years

Black-tailed Godwit – one at Chimney Corner North on 2nd

Dunlin – one at Broom GLE 29th

Yellow-legged Gull – one at Stewartby on 16th, one in CCN on 25th, one at Broom GLE on 29th

Caspian Gull – one at Grovebury SP on 13th at least was carrying a yellow ring demonstrating German origin

Mediterranean Gull – one at Grovebury SP on 13th

Ring-necked Parakeet – one in Wootton on 16th, four in Biddeham on 31st

Rock Pipit – one at Radwell Lakes on 13th

Ring Ouzel – one over The Pinnacle, Sandy on 12th, one at Knocking Hoe on 20th

Stonechat – one in Ridgeway Wood on 15th, one in Woburn Park on 18th

Firecrest – one in a Langford garden on 24th, one in Ampthill Park on 27th

Brambling – birds noted at Knocking Hoe and Sharpenhoe Clappers on 20th

Hawfinch – one heard over Knocking Hoe on 20th