Compared to most recent years, when for example I recorded 165 species in the county in 2011, 187 in 2012 and 173 in 2013, this has been a particularly poor one with just 157 species recorded by mid December - one of my worst years on record


It's all over - 2012 has come to an end. I managed a total of 187 out of the 198 species recorded all told in Buckinghamshire - 94% of the total - probably my highest-ever annual tally.

The current record is 191 species achieved in 2006 and held jointly by both Rob Hill and Simon Nichols

Saturday, 31 January 2009



It was the second day of a biting SE wind blowing right in across from Russia. Although dry and bright, the wind chill was quite unbearable.


For much of the morning, a female GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER repeatedly visited one of my nut feeders, close to the window

House Sparrow numbers were holding up well, peaking at 34, but again no Greenfinch.

BERKHAMSTED COMMON (1100-1300 hours)

As Francis Buckle and Mike Campbell departed (after a stint from 1030-1300), I arrived. Following FB's success of yesterday, I had great hopes but it was not to be. After stomping around for some time, I eventually tracked down just 2 LESSER REDPOLL - in Great Frithsden Copse at TL 010 096. I also recorded 1 male SISKIN (in Frithsden Beeches), along with 6 Coal Tits, 22 Great Tits, 15 Blue Tits, Nuthatch, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 4 Chaffinch, 3 Common Blackbirds, 4 Robins and 4 Fallow Deer.

DAGNALL (1310-1335 hours)

There was much activity in the vicinity of the nesting Pine. The COMMON RAVEN pair were very busy actively gathering nest material, with the female gathering moss and grass from the ground and the male collecting branches, mainly from a Silver Birch on the slope. Both birds were very vocal and as a RED KITE came across the valley, the agitated male quickly chased it away towards the Zoo.

A small group of 6 Redwing and 1 Fieldfare were noted.


There was no sign of the Rough-legged Buzzard reported in this area by a visiting Hampshire birdwatcher at 0830 hours, but there was a pale morph Common Buzzard sharing some characteristics of this species.

A first-year RED KITE was showing well just north of Gaddesden Lane at TL 077 119, whilst 55 ROOKS were in stubble at TL 085 116.

GREY PARTRIDGES are apparently fairly numerous in this area (per gamekeeper) although I did not see any (JT & MF saw a pair and later a small covey were noted by Ernest Leahy)


The three long-staying EURASIAN CURLEWS flew in at 3.15pm (Alan Stevens). Unfortunately, just as Alan phoned me, I was attending a call-out at a serious accident on the Northbound A1 where two vehicles had collided, one of which had overturned - at Junction 7. Miraculously, nobody was injured, and after the firemen pushed the 4 x 4 back on to its four wheels and was pulled to the hard shoulder, the motorway was very quickly opened again. I was able to slip away as I was no longer required.

Anyway, fortunately the A404, M25 and M40 were relatively queue-free for a Friday rush-hour and I was able to get to Marlow GP in good time and in good light. This time, after so many unsuccessful visits, I was in luck - and with Graham Anderson was able to get good views of all three birds as they roosted on the spit. They comprised of two males and a female, the latter being larger and with a much longer bill. She also had a very obvious white 'spectacle' or eye-ring, and a noticeable pale eye-stripe. The other two lacked any eye-stripe and had an indistinct eye-ring. They were present from at least 1630-1650.

A PEREGRINE had scattered the Lapwings (600+ tonight) just prior to my arrival (GA), among them being a single EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER.

There were also 5 COMMON SHELDUCKS present (two distinct pairs and the remaining bird from recent weeks) and 37 Magpies again flew to roost (LGRE)