Monday 27 February 2012


The self-found list came to a bit of a halt towards the end of the month until I popped in to Derek's on 27th and found a Black-tailed Godwit feeding busily in the shallows.

Saturday 18 February 2012

Little bit of luck

With over 20 Crossbills around The Lodge recently the single female I saw on 18th didn't count. However a very quick look at the pits along Gypsy Lane at Broom produced an adult Little Gull washing with the Black-heads before flying off west - a lucky sighting!

Thursday 16 February 2012

Spotting a LSW

16th - I was just heading out at lunchtime when Jim Gurney called with news of a Lesser Spot at Swiss Gardens. Just ten minutes later I met Jim by the lake and we wandered back round the circular walk through the woodland. We came across a mixed flock and as I glanced up the female Lesser Spot was right above our heads - fantastic views and my first LSW in Beds for over two years.  Unfortunately it can't go on the SFYL.

Wednesday 15 February 2012

On a wanda

My usual lunchtime visit to Broom GP was brightened up considerably when I glanced at the Greylags next to the main lake only to see ten smaller geese amongst them - the Tundra Beans from Blunham had decided to make a visit. They were about 4 miles from their usual haunt so can I count them as 'self-found'? I haven't yet.

Sunday 12 February 2012


On 12th a visit to a few sites really paid off - first stop was Blunham Lake and a drake Goosander. Next off was a quick look at the hole in the ice at Wyboston Lakes from the Little Barford side of the river. After checking the lake for ducks I thought about taking a few pics of the site from the river’s edge. I walked a few paces towards the river bank and something big and brown flew out from underneath my feet - a Bittern! I (and some dog walkers) must have walked straight past it on my way in. Later on while checking Chimney Corner I found three Pintails on the ice, and in the Brogborough Lake roost I finally saw my first Med Gull of the year.

Friday 10 February 2012

N-Ice birding

Dipping in to Blunham again on 9th found the ten Tundra Bean Geese on the open water, along with my first drake Mandarin of the year and seven Goldeneye. Another dump of snow over night on 9th resulted in more new birds turning up on 10th, with six Bewick's Swans and two Smew around the ice hole at Wyboston Lakes.

Monday 6 February 2012

Three more

A visit to Broom on 6th found an Oyc on the island, and an evening at the Willington GP washout pit looking for the Bittern (unsuccessfully) found a Cetti's hopping along the iced up reedbed and a surprise two Corn Buntings in trees on the edge of the reedbed, before flying off south at dusk.

Sunday 5 February 2012

Gypo's OTL

A lovely weekend but not many 'finds' - Out with Darren Oakley-Martin on Saturday produced a lot of birds but nothing new. After a snowy night on Sunday 5th a nip out to Broom GP found four Egyptian Geese in fields north of the pits.

Friday 3 February 2012

Five mins too late

Gutted. Bashford and I arrived a few minutes after Jim Gurney had got to Blunham this lunchtime - he beckoned us over and said with a grin on his face "don't think these are greylags" - I put my bins up to find ten Tundra Bean Geese standing on the ice! Great birds to see but wish we'd been there a few minutes earlier. Then, when we get back in to work after lunch, we find out Tim Sharrock had found them even before Jim. And we thought we were the only birders who went to Blunham!

Thursday 2 February 2012

Ducking and diving

Fresh back from The Philippines it was good to see it was bloomin’ freezing and a slight change in birds locally. Good numbers of ducks at Blunham on 1st found Richard and I a nice set of five Goldeneye, but not a lot of extra spice amongst the standard Gadwalls and Wigeon. A visit to Derek’s on 2nd found me looking at five Dunlin scurrying around the muddy edge, and a lunchtime visit to Broom GP on 2nd scored a red-head Smew on Gypsy Lane West. Not a bad start to the month.