WEDNESDAY 25 JANUARY
The mild theme with the weather continued with temperatures reaching 9 degrees C this afternoon. It was primarily dry but overcast with some light drizzle in the wind.
Managed to get some birding in today, mainly in Bedfordshire this afternoon.......
LITTLE HUNDRIDGE LANE, HYDE END (BUCKS)
The large plover flock was still present this morning, again favouring the large ploughed field immediately east of Little Hundridge Lane - all 112 LAPWINGS and at least 500 EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVERS; 4 Stock Doves were also seen
HOUGHTON REGIS CHALK QUARRY (BEDFORDSHIRE)
Some major changes afoot at this location, with over 100 new houses being built at its southern end. Very difficult to access now and terribly overgrown.
The Quarry is a traditional place to see wintering Jack Snipe but despite an hour or more trudging around the site this afternoon, I failed to find one. Two COMMON SNIPES were seen - and a nice WOODCOCK but no Jacks.
I also recorded my first Beds MEADOW PIPIT of the year, as well as 8 Greenfinches, several Fieldfares and a singing male Song Thrush. The Common Magpie roost held 158 birds by 1600 hours
Nearby, the neighbouring fishing lake held an impressive roost of no less than 800 Black-headed Gulls
With a stream of large white-headed gulls heading west, I quickly relocated to Grovebury......
GROVEBURY SAND PIT (BEDFORDSHIRE)
A most impressive gull roost awaited my arrival at 1620 hours and between then and 1700 hours, I click-counted the proceeds....
Stand-out birds were 3 adult YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS, with 2 adult Great Black-backed Gulls also of note. Herring Gulls (both Argentatus and Argenteus) were very numerous, with 472 roosting, whilst Lesser Black-backed numbered just 59 (Calvert Lake really is the capital for this species in winter). A total of 52 Common Gulls was amongst the approximate 1,900 Black-headed Gulls roosting.
Very little of note otherwise on the lake - 29 Eurasian Wigeon, 17 Tufted Ducks and just 1 Great Crested Grebe.