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

Monday, 19 January 2009


Below are the duck count numbers from Foxcote Reservoir, counted between 13:10-15:10 hrs today:

Little Grebe - 1
Great-crested Grebe - 4
Cormorant - 12
Grey Heron - 2
Mute Swan - 7
Wigeon - 422
Gadwall - 18
Teal - 57
Mallard - 12
Shoveler - 3 (2m, 1f)
Pochard - 43
Tufted Duck - 28
GOOSANDER - 4 (2m, 2f)
Moorhen - 5
Coot - 277
Black-headed Gull - 425
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 5
Common Gull - 16

Undoubtedly the highlight was the BITTERN which showed immediately in front of the hide for nearly 10 minutes. I had heard something crashing about in the reeds as I was counting the ducks, but despite looking on a couple of occasions couldn't see anything moving so assumed it was a Coot or some other duck. I was halfway through counting the Pochard when I heard another noise and the Bittern was stood on reeds in the open (in the small channel that's been cut through the reeds to water's edge in front of hide). It stayed there for 2 or 3 minutes before working right along the water's edge, stopped where the reeds stop (just to right of hide) and then flew back left in front of the hide and along the reeds. Due to the very cold wind, I had the left hand flaps shut, so didn't see where it dropped down, but assume it's still present. As I was doing the WEBS count, I hadn't brought a camera, but the bird was no more than 5 metres from the hide in beautiful winter sunshine - stunning! It also provided a tick to a couple from Marsh Gibbon who were making their first ever visit to Foxcote - claimed to be Calvert regulars, but hadn't met them before.

The RING-NECKED DUCK was appearing occasionally on the edge of the reeds at the end of the spit.... and finally, not sure where all the ducks have appeared from (Bill Parker)