Many congratulations to Alan Cutts, winner of the Stotfold Mill & Stotfold News competition to guess the total number of different bird species formally recorded at Stotfold Mill Nature Reserve.

Alan, pictured with his grandson Lenny, was delighted with his prize of entry for two to this weekend’s Steam Fair & Country Show. His guess of 58 was very close to the actual number. Have a guess yourself and see how close you are (see foot of post for surprising answer).

The List, compiled by Mill volunteer and keen ornithologist Tim Boughen, followed the excitement created earlier in the year when a rare Siberian Chiffchaff was spotted at the reserve causing an influx of “twitchers” eager to get a sighting.

As the reserve continues to mature and develop, so the habitat becomes ever more welcoming to a growing diversity of birds. The hard work carried out by volunteers really does pay off.

So what did you guess, were you close? The answer was a surprisingly delightful 64 species.

The full list of birds seen at the reserve is as follows:

Chaffinch, Dunnock, Reed Bunting, Reed Warbler, Grey Partridge, Mallard, Moorhen, House Martin, Swallow, Siberian Chiffchaff, Little Grebe, Grey Heron, Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Gadwall, Red Kite, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Kestrel, Pheasant, Water Rail Coot, Woodcock, Black-headed Gull, Woodpigeon, Collared Dove, Kingfisher, Green Woodpecker, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Grey Wagtail, Wren, Robin, Blackbird, Fieldfare, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Redwing, Cetti’s Warbler, Willow Warbler, Goldcrest, Chiffchaff, Long-tailed Tit, Coal Tit, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Magpie, Jackdaw, Carrion Crow, Rook, Raven, Jay, Starling, House Sparrow, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Yellowhammer, Coen Bunting, Little Egret, Tufted Duck, Blackcap, Common Whitethroat

Stotfold Mill Nature Reserve is a wonderful place providing a beautiful and serene setting to enjoy the dawn or evening chorus, especially when the birds are in full voice on a sunny day. Come along and listen for yourself.