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

Friday, 13 March 2009



Continuing mild with light SW winds; occasional light rain but generally overcast


Just 1 LITTLE EGRET remains, frequenting the river just east of Bois Mill.

DORNEY ROWING LAKES (0915-1130 hours)

After a very long search, Dave Cleal and I eventually located the RED KNOT that Kevin Duncan had seen on the Reserve Pool at 0730 hours this morning (Kevin had originally found it yesterday morning, where it had been seen up until midday but not thereafter).

It was favouring the east bank of the Reserve Pool with a single Common Redshank and 3 GREEN SANDPIPERS, which unfortunately can only be viewed from the hide. After I located the bird, we watched it from a distance using the 'scopes but to get a more detailed description, we went to the hide and in doing so, flushed all of the waders up and the Knot flew and landed on the overspill pool. Fortunately, in doing so, Adam Bassett who was standing on the causeway was able to see it.

The RED KNOT was in full 'grey' winter plumage, with plain grey crown, nape, mantle and upperwings. It had two striking white covert bars across the wings, one of which - a wingbar - was very obvious in flight. The grey extended on to the shoulders and on to the upper breast, forming a breast-band, with chevron-shaped grey feathers extending along the sides and flanks. It had an obvious white supercilium, dark lores and a rather short, straight, quite thick black bill.

It was a rather odd shape, being rather plump and short-legged, but was clearly larger than a Dunlin or Green Sandpiper but much smaller than the Common Redshank accompanying it. The basal colour of the underparts was gleaming white whilst the short legs were dark olive. In flight it had a light grey rump, very finely barred.

The bird constituted the first Bucks Knot of the year and represented the 131st species recorded thus far in 2009. It is a rare passage migrant to the county with rarely more than three occurrences per year.

In addition to the Knot, the Seasonal Pool and Reserve Pool yielded a single Greylag Goose, a pair of COMMON SHELDUCK, 10 Gadwall, 10 remaining Eurasian Wigeon, 9 Common Teal, 2 Common Redshanks and 11 Pied Wagtails.

Most entertaining were two male Green Woodpeckers arguing on the track in front of us - Dave managed to video the encounter. Initially, when they first met each other on the ground, the two birds repeatedly threatened each other by extending the neck and swaying the head backwards and forwards. This action was slow and rhythmic. They then kept stabbing the bills towards each other, actually touching the tips on numerous occasions as if jousting. At the same time, one bird repeatedly spread its wings wide, revealing its barred underwings, and fanned its tail. This aggression went on for about eight minutes before one of the birds flew off. A third individual was also seen nearby.


Dave and I then visited Cliveden National Trust Woodland, where in the Douglas Firs and mixture of Holly and Ivy clad trees, we located FIVE different male FIRECRESTS, all in a 300 yard section of woodland. Two males were located adjacent to the track near the tennis courts, whilst three more were together not far from the crossroads on Green Lane. Much display was in action, with some full song being heard.

Other woodland species recorded included Nuthatch, Common Treecreeper (2 singing males), Coal, Great, Blue and Long-tailed Tits, Chaffinch, Song Thrush (3) and SISKIN (2).

At nearby LITTLEWORTH COMMON, 30 REDWING were noted.


There was no sign of the two Ringed Plovers just 6 migrant Pied Wagtails.


Again very quiet, with all 3 Oystercatchers absent, 5 Lapwings, 4 COMMON REDSHANKS (my first in the area this year), 2 Common Teal, 9 Shoveler, Pochard and 2 adult Mute Swans.


An adult Great Crested Grebe was present (perhaps last year's breeder) and 6 Little Grebes.