As of 10 November 2015, a total of 430 species have been recorded this year

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Tuesday, 19 January 2010

A flock of over 700 CORN BUNTINGS in Bedfordshire

I took the afternoon off today, primarily to see the Corn Buntings but with a quick skim around the brick pits.

Elstow - well they may be plastic but they sure are smart - 27 Red-crested Pochards. Didn't see the Smew though. Chimneys north and south had fair numbers of Pochard and Tufted Duck, two Goldeneye.

At Stewartby Lake, there were at least 110 Great crested Grebes so well down on recent counts.

I then headed to Stotfold, parking in a layby just off the A507 bypass. This is adjacent to a stand of poplar trees where SCB and I have seen the bunting roost before. Walking east a little brings you out just north of the trees at TL205366 and a footpath heading back into Stotfold town. This area is public. The buntings were either in the poplars, in the field but mainly in trees and bushes on the edge of town - TL211364. When they were up in the trees, I did a count - I got to 680 CORN BUNTINGS with a small number in the field (at least 500 in my image above). Also 40-50 Yellowhammers and a few Reed Buntings, 30 Magpies and 25 Stock Doves. So I think the count of c700 is a pretty good one. While I was there, I went to the otherside of road to TL208381 where there were another 50-60 Corn Buntings, 75 Linnets. This bunting flock really is worth a look.

I then headed north to Broom and fortunately found the BLACK-NECKED GREBE really close on the western side of the lake. Nipping around to the Gypsy Lane side, I saw the adult EURASIAN WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE with the Greylags. Birding until 4.15 - must be nearly spring...Richard Bashford

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