The Christmas Birdhunt 2023

The quick rules are that birds must be seen in Bedfordshire between 00:00 on 25/12/2023 and 24:00 on 31/12/2023. You have seven days to find as many species as possible.

In 2021 we found 113 species and in 2022 we found 106 species giving an average over the 20 years of 111.95.

We have a core list of 87 species that have been found in all the years we have run this but others only turn up occasionally or maybe in half the years.

157 species have been seen over the 20 years and in 2021 we added American Wigeon to this list. In past years we lumped Caspian and Yellow-legged Gulls but these have now been split out for all years using the old records.

For a write-up on the first ten years of the Christmas Birdhunt then please see the 2011 county bird report. A write up of the first 20 years should appear in the 2021 county bird report.

So what will be found this year? We will only know if as many people as possible take part and report what they find. You can spend as little or as much time as you wish looking for birds on this the only rules are that the sightings must be in Bedfordshire and within the 7 day period from Christmas Day to the end of the year.

You can submit sightings either by email to, on

the Bedsbirds email group, by phone to me on 01462 850753, or indeed by post to 32 Long Close, Lower Stondon, Beds, SG16 6JS.

TOTAL SO FAR: 107 species
DATE: 31/12/2023
TIME: 23:40

Below is the list of species with a Y or N indicating whether seen yet or not:

Common Name Seen (Y/N
Mute Swan Y
Bewick’s Swan N
Whooper Swan N
Tundra Bean Goose N
Pink-footed Goose N
White-fronted Goose N
Greylag Goose Y
Canada Goose Y
Barnacle Goose Y
Brent Goose N
Egyptian Goose Y
Common Shelduck Y
Mandarin Duck Y
Eurasian Wigeon Y
American Wigeon N
Gadwall Y
Eurasian Teal Y
Green-winged Teal N
Mallard Y
Pintail N
Garganey N
Shoveler Y
Red-crested Pochard N
Common Pochard Y
Ferruginous Duck N
Ring-necked Duck N
Tufted Duck Y
Greater Scaup N
Common Scoter N
Common Goldeneye Y
Smew N
Goosander Y
Ruddy Duck N
Red-legged Partridge Y
Grey Partridge Y
Common Pheasant Y
Lady Amherst’s Pheasant N
Red-throated Diver N
Great Northern Diver N
Northern Gannet N
Great Cormorant Y
Shag N
Eurasian Bittern N
Little Egret Y
Great White Egret Y
Cattle Egret Y
Grey Heron Y
Little Grebe Y
Great Crested Grebe Y
Slavonian Grebe N
Red Kite Y
Marsh Harrier Y
Hen Harrier N
Northern Goshawk N
Eurasian Sparrowhawk Y
Common Buzzard Y
Common Kestrel Y
Merlin Y
Peregrine Falcon Y
Water Rail Y
Common Moorhen Y
Common Coot Y
Eurasian Oystercatcher N
Ringed Plover N
European Golden Plover Y
Northern Lapwing Y
Dunlin N
Jack Snipe Y
Common Snipe Y
Woodcock Y
Black-tailed Godwit N
Eurasian Curlew N
Common Sandpiper N
Green Sandpiper Y
Common Redshank N
Mediterranean Gull Y
Common Gull Y
Lesser Black-backed Gull Y
Glaucous Gull N
Iceland Gull N
Caspian Gull Y
Yellow-legged Gull Y
Herring Gull Y
Great Black-backed Gull Y
Little Gull N
Black-headed Gull Y
Kittiwake N
Rock / Feral Pigeon Y
Stock Dove Y
Wood Pigeon Y
Collared Dove Y
Rose-ringed Parakeet Y
Barn Owl Y
Little Owl Y
Tawny Owl Y
Long-eared Owl N
Short-eared Owl Y
Common Kingfisher Y
Green Woodpecker Y
Great Spotted Woodpecker Y
Lesser Spotted Woodpecker N
Great Grey Shrike N
Magpie Y
Eurasian Jay Y
Western Jackdaw Y
Rook Y
Carrion Crow Y
Common Raven Y
Goldcrest Y
Firecrest N
Penduline Tit N
Blue Tit Y
Great Tit Y
Coal Tit Y
Marsh Tit Y
Bearded Tit N
Sky Lark Y
Cetti’s Warbler Y
Long-tailed Tit Y
Common Chiffchaff Y
Blackcap Y
Dartford Warbler N
Waxwing Y
Eurasian Nuthatch Y
Eurasian Treecreeper Y
Wren Y
Common Starling Y
Blackbird Y
Black-throated Thrush N
Fieldfare Y
Song Thrush Y
Redwing Y
Mistle Thrush Y
Robin Y
Common Stonechat Y
Dunnock Y
House Sparrow Y
Tree Sparrow N
Grey Wagtail Y
Pied Wagtail Y
Meadow Pipit Y
Water Pipit N
Common Chaffinch Y
Brambling Y
Greenfinch Y
Goldfinch Y
Siskin Y
Linnet Y
Twite N
Lesser Redpoll Y
Common Redpoll Y
Common Crossbill N
Bullfinch Y
Hawfinch N
Yellowhammer Y
Reed Bunting Y
Corn Bunting Y
Previous results (corrected with both Caspian & Yellow-legged gull as separate species)
Year Total
2022 106
2021 113
2020 115
2019 113
2018 110
2017 108
2016 112
2015 110
2014 109
2013 103
2012 110
2011 112
2010 114
2009 113
2008 117
2007 115
2006 122
2005 114
2004 110
2003 113
2002 112