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, 26 January 2009


Continuing my 'dipping streak', visited Little Marlow GP twice this weekend and completely failed in my quest to see the 6 EURASIAN CURLEWS.

Following all 6 roosting on the spit Friday night, I arrived on site pre-dawn. Not a sign despite a hard frost.

As the mist slowly cleared, most impressive was a flock of 7 COMMON SHELDUCKS resting on the spit - in addition to the two long-staying birds (pair) which were feeding in the shallows close to the island. All 7 flew off west at 0810 hours, taking with them the female Ruddy Shelduck !

Also present were 17 Great Crested Grebes, 96 Eurasian Wigeon, 42 Common Teal, 33 Shoveler, 51 Pochard, 518 Lapwing, 15 Great Black-backed Gulls and COMMON KINGFISHER.

I then continued on to Devon but at 1427, took a call from Alan Stevens informing me that all 6 birds had just flown in high from the west. Typically, they remained until dusk on the spit and roosted.

I returned to the site on Sunday evening (with Mike & Rose Collard) and from 1430 until 1715 hours, and yes you guessed it, there was NO SIGN of any Curlews.

Enough time was spent however to do a full census of the wintering birds of Little Marlow GP

Great Crested Grebes (22)
Sinensis Cormorants (a whopping 57 on the island)
Grey Heron (2)
Mute Swan (4 - 1 first-winter)
Greylag Geese (57)
COMMON SHELDUCK (only 1 remaining)
Eurasian Wigeon (93)
Common Teal (55)
Gadwall (6)
Shoveler (14)
Tufted Duck (152)
Pochard (59)
Common Kestrel
*LAPWING (1,068 click-counted)
Black-headed Gull (468)
Common Gull (712+ at dusk)
Herring Gull (28, mostly Scandinavian)
Lesser Black-backed Gull (43)
Great Black-backed Gull (23, including 3 first-winters)

COMMON KINGFISHER (2 showing frequently)
Pied Wagtail (6 on the meadow)
Meadow Pipit (1 on the meadow)
Fieldfare (23 on the meadow)
Redwing (2 on the meadow)

Most impressive was the Corvid roosts: a total of 38 (BLACK-BILLED) MAGPIES flew in to the North Scrub to roost, and over 3,670 (WESTERN) JACKDAWS on the island and surrounding trees.