The first red backed shrike in Bedfordshire since 1996 was discovered on Biggleswade Common on Saturday 28th August, by local birder Steve Heath.The adult female has shown well in an area alongside the railway line, keeping many birders happy over the Bank Holiday weekend.The bird is still present this morning, Photos here - http://bedsbirds.blogspot.com/
Access from Biggleswade;From the A1 roundabout in north Biggleswade, turn east along the main A6001and turn left on to Sun Street and then left again on to St John's WoodRoad. Continue over the railway and then turn left on to Furzenhall Road andcontinue along this narrow metalled road for about a mile to just beforethe sharp bend and entrance to Furzenhall Farm. Park sensibly in this area onthe verge and follow past the gate on the concrete track to the sewageworks entrance, bearing right and continuing NW along the perimeter fence. Thetrack peters out at the wire fence (be careful not to cause any damagehere, as cows are currently in this field) and after a further 80 yards, theshrike is favouring the slightly raised embankment line of the railway
A whitethroat called and popped up on the bracken, on the trail towards the hillfort this morning, as I took a walk around with Val Thompson, our volunteer co-ordinator.We were doing our regular walk ,checking the reserve is looking at its best, but it's hard to ignore the birds as we go around! A couple of buzzards soared over the hillfort, a male kestrel sped overhead and birds were in song in the early sunshine ( which has now disapeared!) . In an area of backen and shrubs on the new heath, near the shop, two willow warblers foraged along with several goldfinches and a nuthatch.On the hide feeders, a great spotted woodpecker fed on the peanuts and a family of chaffinches flew in .Back in the shop, a coal tit had flown in through the door and was flying around the ceiling and landing on the light fittings.Eventually, after a good look around, it made its way back outside again!
A good start to the day, when an osprey glided over the Gatehouse at low level at about 9.30am.