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, 17 June 2009

Late spring migrant or early returning failed breeder?


The rain associated with a slow moving Atlantic front eventually reached the Chiltern area late afternoon and largely fizzled out with just the odd light shower.

Following a text from Simon Nichols, I broke away from the computer and drove down to Dorney Rowing Lakes. Fortunately Russell Ness was still on site and confirmed that the bird was still present and better still, the finder Kevin Duncan very kindly offered to drive me down to the college site from where it was a much shorter walk.

The bird involved was an adult WOOD SANDPIPER and with Kevin's guidance, both of us were able to confirm its further presence until at least 2100 hours feeding on the extensive mud exposed along the northern shore. It was a bright adult and still largely in full breeding plumage (notably brighter than the individual I saw at College Lake BBOWT last week), with contrastingly white lower underparts, a broad white supercilium and coarsely-spotted upperwings. The upper breast was greyish and finely streaked and cut off from the white in a haphazard fashion with light barring on the foreflanks. The legs were obviously long, with lengthy tibia, but were quite dark in colour, but with a yellowish tone.

The Seasonal Pool also held 2 drake COMMON TEAL (my first of the 'autumn'), the resident pair of COMMON SHELDUCK and 27 roosting large gulls (comprising of 23 mainly first-summer British Herring Gulls and 4 Lesser Black-backed).

A pair of HOBBIES and a further single were also seen in the vicinity.