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

Sunday, 1 February 2009


31 JANUARY 2009: The female or immature MERLIN sat on the hedge opposite the Grendon Underwood Layby for at least 15 minutes yesterday afternoon, allowing me to get some dodgy record shots, before shooting off low towards the BBOWT reserve. Fantastic to see one perched for so long and as Tim Watts first saw this bird in mid-December it is worth a scan here whenever passing. Brilliant area.

After here I drove round to Marsh Gibbon but the fields were not as flooded as I was expecting and were fairly birdless.

At Calvert BBOWT there was no sign of any of the Bitterns from the first hide so I moved to the other one to scan through the gulls. Good numbers of larger gulls but very few small gulls.

At c5.00pm I picked out a 'white-winged gull' arriving with c400 large gulls from the landfill site and was hopeful that it was an Iceland. When it landed I could see it had grey markings on the primary tips, reminiscent of a Kumlien'sGull. Shape was more Herring Gull like though, with shortish primary projection and large head. Mantle was also a shade darker than argenteus Herring Gull and the bird was slightly larger than Lesser Black-backed Gulls alongside. After a few minutes half the gulls flew off towards the sailing lake. I followed this bird with bins and could make out no black in the wingtips at all. Also present were an adult CASPIAN GULL and 12 YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS (10 adults, 1 3rd-winter & 1 1st w).

Another quick look in the first hide before the light completely went produced a single EURASIAN BITTERN in flight between the reedbeds and a CETTI'S WARBLER calling (Rob Andrews)