For some reason, I have a soft spot for Bedford Purlieus NNR, despite having seen rather little there (with the exception of a drumming Lesser Spotted Woodpecker one morning in 2002).
It was for this reason that I suggested we visit this morning. There are also some nice pastures nearby which look good for Ring Ouzel or perhaps Wheatear, so why not?
To be honest, the time we spent in the wood itself was pretty uneventful. Lots of nice wildflowers out, though, especially Primroses, and plenty of Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs in song. A grotty-looking field to the east of the reserve proved slightly more interesting, however.
Darren picked up a distant Hobby to the south, which was a year tick and one of the first to be seen locally. Nice work. Prolonged scanning of the field produced a selection of Yellowhammers, Linnets, Goldfinches and Fieldfares. Common birds, but good ones. Finally, Darren found a male Wheatear with some Pied Wagtails (no Whites here). A nice bird to find, I always think.
With Buzzards soaring high above the wood, it was a good morning, and we rewarded ourselves with lunch at the Black Horse in Nassington, which is highly recommended.
Species added today: