All posts by Steve Blain

January-February 2018 bird news

January 2018

Pink-footed Goose – At least one was still touring the Ouse and Ivel valleys with the Greylag flocks during January with birds regularly recorded at Roxton Lakes and Broom GP during the month. 30 also flew over Arlesey on 17th (LB)
Pintail – Three drakes were at Blunham Lake on 28th
Goosander – This species was a little more widespread than usual with records from Woburn, Cainhoe Lakes, Harrold and Odell CP, Grovebury SP, and Broom GP throughout the month.
Red-throated Diver – The bird remained at Brogborough lake from 2017 until 2nd.
Great White Egret – Up to two were present in the brick pits with them together at Brogborough Lake on 4th (MJP)
Merlin – Only two were reported – a male around Southill on several dates and a female at Houghton Brook pools
Ruff – 13 were a good january count at Harrowden on 7th
Mediterranean Gull – An adult was at Brogborough lake until at least 14th with a first-winter joining it on 14th.
Yellow-legged Gull – Two were at Brogborough lake and three at Grovebury SP on 7th, and up to six were at Brogborough lake on 13th.
Short-eared Owl – One was on Brogborough Tip on 20th
Black Redstart – A male was in Stopsley on 31st
Common Redpoll – One was on Brogborough Tip on 28th (NW)
Hawfinch flock, Southill Park, 12th January 2017Hawfinch – Two of the biggest flocks ever recorded in Beds were recorded in January – 45 at Southill Park on 11th and a huge 94 at Woburn Park on 14th (MAW). Birds were also recorded from a wide range of locations throughout, but mainly along the greensand ridge. Ruddy Shelduck – An adult female was at Radwell Lakes on 14th

February 2018

Marsh Harrier – The first one of the year was at Brogborough lake on 4th

Common Sandpiper – A wintering bird was found at Harrold and Odell CP on 25th

Mediterranean Gull – A fine adult in summer plumage was in Woburn Park on 21st

Black Redstart, Leighton Buzzard, 24th Feb 2018

Black Redstart – Following the Stopsley bird on 31st Jan, another fine male was preset around the Sandhills estate in Leighton Buzzard all month. Unusually it was often seen feeding from a sunflower heart feeder.

Brambling, The Lodge, 3rd March 2018
Brambling – Some good flocks were present, with over 50 in Sandy garden and 30+ around the feedes at The Lodge
Hawfinch – Numbers slowly tailed off during the month, with birds still present in all their usual locations but often in much smaller numbers than January.
Hybrid Duck sp. – An interesting duck resembling a Lesser Scaup was present on the Pillinge during the month. It appeared to be a returning bird to the county from at least 2015 and the resulting discussion resolved it as being a hybrid. The exact parents of this particular individual was a lot more open for debate however!

LB – Lester Bull
MJP – Martin Palmer
NW – Neil Wright
MAW – Mark Ward