Priory Country Park is a former gravel pits located on the South East edge of Bedford, adjacent to the River Great Ouse. Find us at Barkers Lane off A428, or in Priory Business Park off A421 Bedford bypass. Admission is Free with access to the Visitor centre and 2 hides, one overlooking the main lake and one on the Finger lakes. You will find Winter wildfowl, passage terns and waders, and Water Rail all year.
Well it was another quiet morning in the most part. Finding the flock was the order of the day. The first one was in the Alders by the Crescent, a number of Tits, Chiffchaffs and Reed Warblers were moving through the area. A nice start but nothing compared to what we found in the South West corner of the park later on. In one of the Willows we found some Chiffchaffs so we stopped and scanned the tree and it soon became obvious that the tree was loaded with small Warblers and Tits. As we scanned they started to move off into the next tree across one of the fishing swims. This gave us a chance to count and we ended up with 17 Chiffchaffs and 2 Willow Warblers along with Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits and a couple of Robins. These are minimum numbers as there were others in the thicker scrub behind us that we could hear calling. One of the Willow Warblers was really yellow in colour and showed quite well:
Total Chiffchaffs for the morning was 29! Thanks to DK for that. Sparrowhawk, Kestrel and a Kingfisher were also seen. Green Woodpeckers are still active around the park and this Great Spotted Woodpecker posed at the top of the snag up by the STW bridge.
Great Spotted Woodpecker
So a quiet morning but that flock of Warblers was great to see. Next week is the guided bird walk on Sunday morning (25th). Meet at 8am outside the visitor centre.
For anyone interested in bats there is a guided bat walk this week on Friday 23rd at 8pm. You will need to book in advance for this as numbers are limited due to the number of bat detectors available. Please contact the Ranger if you would like to book. Tel: 01234 211182.