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

Wednesday, 14 January 2009



The Chess River Valley was bathed in dense fog all morning, with the Latimer Bridge area yielding just 1 LITTLE EGRET, a single adult Atlantic Great Cormorant, 1 COMMON TEAL and 7 NORTHERN POCHARDS. Once again, there was no sign of the Green Sandpiper.

Whilst returning to write, and whilst enjoying watching a Coal Tit repeatedly take single Sunflower seeds from one of my feeders, Rob Norris sent an email detailing his sighting of a HAWFINCH NE of Gayhurst Motorway Pit late morning. The bird had been perched high with several Yellowhammers by the game strip and was likely to be still in the area.

So it was North Bucks yet again for me, and after 55 minutes drive, I parked up at the end of Lane.


I spent a good hour and a half traversing the various plots of maize game-strips east of Mill Farm but could not locate Rob's Hawfinch. Once again, the undoubted highlight was the presence of 19 TREE SPARROWS (two groups, 14 and 5) in the bushes just west of the manure spoils at SP 857 455, along with 25 Red-legged Partridges, 5 Goldfinch, 14 Chaffinch and 7 Yellowhammers.

The Greylag Geese flock had returned to the meadows and numbered an unhealthy 385+, with 126 Lapwings and 54 Fieldfares also sharing the same food source (now completely thawed).

Vast numbers of wildfowl were feeding on spilt grain on the Motorway Pit, including 108 Mute Swans, 2 adult Australian Black Swans, 11 Common Teal, 16 Gadwall and 404 Eurasian Wigeon. Eventually, two NORTHERN PINTAILS were located - an adult drake and a female (not together) - constituting my first of the year.

In the gardens bordering the access lane, 13 Blue Tits, 5 Great Tits, 7 Greenfinches and a Jay were noted.


In a brief visit, excellent views were obtained of a single resting SHORT-EARED OWL. Earlier, three had been showing, as well as 3 Barn Owls.