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, 31 August 2009

Large build up of YELLOW WAGTAILS

This evening with Kevin and Mike at Little Marlow GP - 35 Yellow Wagtails in meadow, 330 Greylags in at dusk and 1 Green Sandpiper (Alan Stevens)


I went back down the fields tonight and found two WHINCHATS ( both looked like juveniles ) in the same place I found 1 this morning; tonight they were happily feeding from the tops of Wheat in a large field. However whilst I'm confident one was one of those from this morning, one clearly was different. I suspect the other I saw this morning was a female. So 3 today.

Also a nice little flock of YELLOW WAGTAILS in Rowsham earlier (Mike Wallen)


3 WHINCHATS in Stowe. near the Bourbon Tower (Phil Tizzard)

Large flock of YELLOW WAGTAILS at Dorney

On the way to the carpark check amongst the cattle. At least 22 Yellow Wagtail seen this morning (Kevin Duncan). 2-3 COMMON GREENSHANK were also still present today on the Seasonal Pool.

In a bumper autumn for WHINCHAT - Mike Wallen finds two in ROWSHAM

Two WHINCHATS this morning in Rowsham, both fem/ imm. My first in Rowsham ( proper ) in 10 years. Both were on fences but some distance apart. One was on a fence adjacent to an old manure heap which I have checked twice, for chats, on every walk down my fields for 10 years. Today I put my bins on the heap/ fence to finally see a chat !! (Mike Wallen)

Saturday, 29 August 2009


At around midday Steve Rodwell and I had a juv/1st winter YELLOW-LEGGED GULL in a field being ploughed at Smokey Row near Little Kimble. Also c60 LBBGulls, 1 Herring Gull and a few Black-headeds (Rob Andrews)

Broughton Grounds

At Broughton Grounds this morning, 1 Spotted Flycatcher and a juvenile Hobby; plus 6 Green Sandpiper at Willen (Rob Hill)


A WHINCHAT was near the Bourbon Tower, Stowe, on 28 August (Phil Tizzard)

Little Marlow - Friday evening

A total of 26 YELLOW WAGTAILS in Randalls Meadow feeding with cows

Alsol 2 Common Terns, Grey Wagtail, 30 Sand Martins and 40 Swallows (Alan Stevens)

North Bucks GARGANEY

On spinney Pit this morning (Friday 28 August) a female-type GARGANEY was keeping company of a male Shoveler and 8 Gadwall. Just one Common Sandpiper and one Green Sandpiper were on the Fishing Pit.

Around the site were 4 Little Egret, 4 Little Grebe and Tufted Duck broods of 7, 4 and 3; also a noticeable movement of Sand Martins through.

Up at Quarryhall which was surprisingly sheltered from the wind was a lone Spotted Flycatcher and a Hobby flew through. On the way back up a Sparrowhawk was being mobbed by several Swallows and 3 Yellow Wagtails as it flew over (Robert Norris)


What a treat to see a SPOTTED FLYCATCHER in my garden today, exactly three years to the day since the last record. They nested in 1999 and 2002, but not surprisingly have been increasingly rare visitors ever since (Phil Tizzard)

Tuesday, 25 August 2009


Foxcote Reservoir at dusk yielded about 30 YELLOW WAGTAILS on the dam, whilst a COMMON RAVEN called as it flew over (Ken Earnshaw)

YELLOW WAGTAILS at Little Marlow

c12 YELLOW WAGTAILS on Thames meadow amongst cattle. Seen at 18:15 - 18:30 in first field on right after crossing railway. None seen an hour later.

Also noted, 6 Ring-necked Parakeet flying together near the Spade Oak. The most I've seen here for over a year (Kevin Holt)


2 WHINCHAT in the hedge along the Pump Field immediately to the west of the lakes. Scanning along the length of the hedge I picked them up as first one, then the second landed on the top of the hedge about midway along it. I got reasonable views for about 20 seconds before they flicked down to the other side of the hedge. Despite 30 minutes of further observation I couldn't find them again in very breezy conditions.
Earlier there were 3 Greenshank on the Seasonal Pool (SP) though most of the time only 2 were visble the other favouring the out of sight north shore. No sign of the Ruff though I didn't check the reserve pool owing to threatening clouds, had already got soaked once!!
5 Teal on the SP.
20 Barn Swallows over the arboretum but bushes appeared quiet with just a couple of Chiffchaffs calling (Dave Cleal)

TREE PIPITS keep coming

After several thousand TREE PIPITS were logged heading south out of Falsterbo (Sweden), it is not surprising that sightings in the Chiltern Hills and neighbouring high ground have increased.

Warren Claydon had seen and heard one over Lodge Hill on Saturday (23rd), along with 9 YELLOW WAGTAILS and a COMMON REDSTART, whilst this morning, Mike Wallen had 3 TREE PIPITS together fly south over Rowsham.

WHINCHATS increased to 4 at Ivinghoe Beacon, with a single COMMON REDSTART and two juvenile NORTHERN WHEATEARS. (Lee Evans)

Monday, 24 August 2009

A rare update from FOXCOTE RESERVOIR

Foxcote Reservoir was completely waderless this evening as far as I could see, but not without interest. There was a very mobile group of 12 Yellow Wagtails flycatching on the dam, which appeared to be a mix of juveniles and 1st winter birds. On the water, 5 Wigeon, 5 Shoveler, 5 Pochard and 10 Gadwall plus Tufted Duck and Mallard, one Little Grebe and 8 Great Crested Grebes. A Little Egret was in the willows with 15 Cormorants. A flock of c150 Swallows suddenly appeared and stayed for five minutes before disappearing again.

By the time I left, a small gull roost had built to 80 Black-headed, 120 Lesser Black Backs and one adult Herring or Yellow-legged Gull. The light was going and the bird was rather inactive so hard to decide. The head appeared to be in winter plumage with a light scatter of fine dark streaks and a darker grey patch in front of the eye. The mantle colour looked more like argenteus Herring Gull in shade, but the primaries were long and projected a long way past the tail, but then I think the tail was in moult. The longest primary was all black, (but not P10 I suspect, as the wing was in moult too). So who knows? My guess would be Herring Gull.

A couple of Western Reed Warblers were still in the reeds (Phil Tizzard)

Manor Farm attracts a 'new' DUNLIN

Two new 'fresh' DUNLIN on the Manor Farm wader pool this evening. Last weeks long stayer appears to have flown to be replaced by two altogether lighter birds.Also on same pool, three Green and one Common Sandpiper.

Single Little Egret and Common Buzzard low over were the only other real birds of interest

Chris Gleadell

Garden COMMON WHITETHROAT in Prestwood

Whilst trying to locate a chacking Blackcap I ended up looking at a fresh Common Whitethroat; this is the first in our garden in 23 years and was feeding on Elderberries.

I did not see the Blackcap but Rose did; the CW disappeared so I flew upstairs to get the camera set up; all sorted and back it came only to find ( yet again, some may say ) I had a dead battery. Not seen since (Mike Collard)

The anniversary of Mike's Wryneck is almost nigh

DORNEY WETLANDS - Sunday 23 August

At Dorney Lake this evening there was a NORTHERN WHEATEAR where the Reserve Pool meets the Return Lake. As I reached the Seasonal Pool it appeared that all the migrant waders had departed, with only 55 Lapwing being present. After a short wait the Greenshank first appeared from a very small area not visible from the causeway. It was then followed by the two RUFFS.

Greenshank have now been present for 9 days. Numbers peaked at 6 on the 19th of August. One Ruff has been present for 7 days (Kevin Duncan)

RUDDY SHELDUCKS enter second week on site

What appears to be an adult female and three first-year RUDDY SHELDUCKS at Calvert Landfill on Sunday 23 August

A very good morning in mid-Bucks

Calvert landfill; (private No access) Undoubted highlight for me was seeing and correctly identifying a GRASSHOPPER WARBLER that flew up from underfoot and had 3 second flight view. Another highlight was the relocation of last week's presumed family group of 4 RUDDY SHELDUCKS on the Landfill - all unringed and very wary. Seen feeding by up-ending. Took a long, uncomfortable, hidden wait but eventually obtained images (see above) (Tim Watts).

Weekend Highlights

A summary of Recent Sightings - 21-23 August

At DORNEY ROWING LAKES, the two juvenile RUFF and at least three juvenile COMMON GREENSHANK remained all weekend, with two Common Redshank still on the Seasonal Pool on 21st (Kevin Duncan) (with 1 to 22nd - Jim Rose)

Two BAR-HEADED GEESE joined the Canada Geese on 21st (Kevin Duncan)

At COLLEGE LAKE BBOWT, an OSPREY drifted slowly SSW on 23rd (Jeff Bailey), whilst over at IVINGHOE HILLS NR, the WHINCHAT and up to 6 NORTHERN WHEATEARS remained until 23rd. The first-winter male COMMON REDSTART was present until 22nd.


In the North of the county, a CETTI'S WARBLER was a first site record for GAYHURST QUARRY - frequenting a large Dog Rose on the banks of the first river below Spinney Pit on 21st (Rob Norris), whilst a GRASSHOPPER WARBLER was at OAKGROVE on 22nd (Rob Hill)

Thursday, 20 August 2009

Major Fall on Hills as muggy weather gives way to fresh westerly winds


An Atlantic front hit the west coast of Britain today and in turn bought fresh WSW winds to our region, much cloudier skies and a few drops of rain. As a result, a number of drift migrants were grounded on Ivinghoe, including a COMMON NIGHTINGALE, at least two COMMON REDSTARTS, a WHINCHAT and numerous NORTHERN WHEATEARS.

(0900-1400 hours; in part with Steve Rodwell and Mike Collard)

Arriving in the car park just after 0900 hours, my first port of call was the row of 7 Hawthorns traversing the fenceline, just SSE of the gate at SP 962 163 (the area NW of the main car park, at the bottom of the valley). Herein was a first-winter female COMMON REDSTART, flitting back and forth between the bushes and calling quite frequently. Both SR and MCo were there, both having seen the bird well, but in general it was very elusive and only showing intermittently.

A SPOTTED FLYCATCHER landed in a Hawthorn nearby (found by MCo) and then moved a short way along the hedgerow, from where it stabilised in a dead tree by the main gate adjacent to the S-bend at SP 961 164 and began feeding for a while.

Steve had also found a large group of 'chats' which were initially close to the sheep pens but after being disturbed moved to the much more sheltered area of field just SE of the tumulus at SP 963 167. The flock included 8 NORTHERN WHEATEARS and a juvenile WHINCHAT. All 9 birds were still present at 1400 hours, often disappearing into the numerous rabbit burrows on the slope here.

Also indicative of a strong migration was the presence of 80 BARN SWALLOWS over the east end of Gallows Hill.

As I broadened my horizons and branched out to check new areas, I heard what I thought was another Redstart by the 5-bar metal gate at the start of the tree-line at SP 967 160. The bird was feeding on the ground and had a rufous tail and rump. It darted back in but reappeared slightly further along and again returned to the ground. Its underparts were white and it was lightly washed on the breast, with unmarked upperparts. It also had an obvious white eye-ring. It appeared to be a COMMON NIGHTINGALE.

I followed it along the tree-line, twice the bird repeating a sharp 'churrr', and sitting quietly on the ground managed several more views as it repeatedly returned to the ground. It was far too rich rufous in colour for Thrush Nightingale, both on the crown and ear-coverts and especially in the wing-coverts and rump and did not appear to have any dark spotting on the undertail-coverts. Of the brief views obtained of its underparts, the breast band was warm-coloured and certainly lacked the heavy mottling and greyness of luscinia. I could not get any detail on the wing formulae but the legs and feet were a distinct pink.

I walked back to where the Common Redstart was, so that my phone reception would work once more, and phoned Stuart Piner (RBA) and Steve and texted DB. Steve had departed the site sadly so I then decided to do Top Scrub as I had walked back up. Top Scrub was windblown and devoid of migrants so within a short time I returned to the 'East Slopes'.

'Scoping from near the gate at SP 964 157, I relocated the COMMON NIGHTINGALE in a Box hedgerow, 40 yards either side of an obvious dead tall Elm. It repeatedly came out to the edge of the hedgerow, often feeding on rabbit mounds and was still present at around midday when rain set in. However, like all small turdidae, it was generally elusive and difficult to keep track of.

What I thought was the same COMMON REDSTART was calling from bushes close to the car park but later returning to the main gate, at least two birds were present together, feeding on the brightly coloured berries of the Hawthorn. There were almost certainly three individuals present.

The only other migrants present were 8 Common Chiffchaffs. Two COAL TITS were also noted.

Dorney Rowing Lakes this morning

The two juvenile Ruff at Dorney (Jim Rose)
The hedgerow from the car park had some activity, with 3 Lesser Whitethroats, 5 Linnets and family parties of both Green & Goldfinches. A chunky Wheatear was on the grass by the start, playing chase me with 3 Pied Wagtails.

On approaching the Seasonal Pool 2 Common Redshank flew north and were followed by a calling Common Greenshank which looped round and landed on the Reserve Pool. This left the (still present) 2 juvenile RUFF and 1 Redshank in situ; 2 Teal were also on the pool. After 20 minutes or so a second Redshank flew in followed by a Greenshank. There was a Greenshank on the Reserve Pool on my return, so at least 2 Greenshank still present.

Scanning the car park hedgerow on my return to the car produced a Common Whitethroat (Dave Cleal)

Another migrant COMMON REDSTART

A single COMMON REDSTART is present this morning in an isolated Hawthorn as you walk between the gate/stile and the Sheep Pens (per Steve Rodwell)

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

EGYPTIAN GEESE back in North Bucks

3 Egyptian Geese still on the Bund ( seen from Near Hide) at Linford NR, + 1 Common Sandpiper. 17:00 hrs (per NBBR)

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

MANOR FARM hits back

Earlier this evening a Ringed Plover favouring the mud along the front of the last sizeable wader pool. Probably best viewable from the River Ouse side, unfortunately I didn't have time to venture that far. Took to the air on several occaisions but then settled back to earth, still there when I left at 5:30ish.

Also for the fifth day both the juvenile Dunlin and Common Greenshank are on the same pool.

Just a single Common Tern today after yesterdays high count and where yesterday there was over 1000 gulls just seven (thats seven) greeted me today.Later on, a motley assortment of LBB and Herring Gull were lined up along the new shingle banking though.

Problem at the site again though is lack of water, tomorrows predicted hot day might well see another two of the smaller pools gone going on what was left today. Pray for rain, lots of it or those nice people at Hanson leaving the tap running (Chris Gleadell)

Now 2 RUFF at Dorney

Arrived at the Seasonal Pool this morning to see no visible waders. After a short wait they appeared in view from the near bank. First two COMMON GREENSHANK then the Ringed Plover and the juvenile RUFF. At 07:38 the two Greenshank flew east. Over the Reserve Pool a third bird joined them. They landed along the Return Lake then continued east over the Thames and appeared to come down near to Bray GP(Berks). Walked to check Bray GP but no sign.

Returned to the Seasonal Pool to find 3 Greenshank on it and another bird along the Return Lake. Will never know if the three are returning birds or new in. Could be a total of 7 Greenshank seen today. There was also a second juvenile RUFF. They were being chased around the Seasonal Pool by about 20 Jackdaws. Finally they were allowed to feed in peace.

Viewed from the causeway between the Rowing Lakes.

Also a site record of five other birders seen! (Kevin Duncan)

Monday, 17 August 2009

Wader bonanza at Dorney


A beautiful day with moderate to fresh warm SSW winds, clear blue skies and temperatures reaching 23 degrees C. I decided to bird South Bucks today searching several farmland sites and then Dorney Rowing Lakes........


After directions and details were finally forthcoming, I spent time checking the gamebird feeding trays near Hillmotts Farm and Hyde Farm. Red-legged Partridges were absolutely everywhere, with many small 'poults' running around - along with many young Common Pheasants.

RED KITES numbered 34 on and around Hedgerley Landfill.


After spending 90 minutes or more scanning from the raised bund overlooking the overgrown gravel pits east of Over's Farm and the farmland therein, I failed in my quest of locating the 3 Common Ravens that had been seen in this area in recent days. I was overwhelmed by the sheer number of large raptors in this area, with RED KITES absolutely everywhere. The farmer at Castleman's was ploughing his fields and spraying them with manure which in turn, attracted the kites from every quarter. I was staggered by the number of juveniles - 13 in total - indicating yet another booming breeding season. Adults numbered at least 30 - many in ragged and very worn plumage - and many diving down on to the soil in search of prey and food.

Common Buzzards were also abundant, with what appeared to be two nesting pairs from Dipple Wood - adults feeding two juveniles in both cases - and a pair of Common Kestrels feeding two young.

Large numbers of Carrion Crows (44+) were also in the area, Dipple Wood also harbouring Great Spotted Woodpecker and Wren.


I was delighted to find 35 HOUSE SPARROWS roosting in the hedgerow bordering the eastern boundary of the farm as well as two separate families of Barn Swallow - three juveniles in each.

At the tiny farm pond opposite (at SU 924 877), Moorhens have successfully bred, with 3 juveniles fledged.

OVER'S FARM (SU 925 886)

Linnets bred successfully, with an adult feeding two young.

(1400-1608 hours)

With quite a fresh SSW wind, I decided to take my chance at Dorney, where Kevin Duncan had been recording a different selection of waders on every visit. Looking at the site, it was clear to see why. The Seasonal Pool at 1,250m is particularly attractive to migrant birds at the moment, especially waders.

At least 4 migrant Common Chiffchaffs were feeding in the hedgerow adjacent to the car park, whilst a migrant YELLOW WAGTAIL flew south as I walked down the central causeway. Further migrants included 18 BARN SWALLOWS flying SW, whilst a Grey Wagtail flew east.

At least 13 Egyptian Geese were sleeping in the grass trying to escape the heat, with 3 Common Terns fishing at the north end of the return lake.

As I approached the Seasonal Pool, a COMMON GREENSHANK flew from the largely dried up reserve pool and landed. It was to join two more birds feeding at the back of the pool, all three individuals being juveniles.

As I was studying the Greenshanks, I heard an unfamiliar call and looked up to see a medium-sized wader flying in from the north. It was a very strange call, very gruff and low, and at first I thought that it may be a Pec. As it banked, I noticed that the dark feathering extended well on to the sides of the rump and as it made landfall on the pool, I could clearly see that it was a RUFF. With its clean white face and throat, pale sandy-buff unmarked underparts, neatly patterned mantle and neatly bordered black-centred scapulars and wing-covert feathers, the bird could clearly be seen to be a juvenile. Its long legs were quite yellowish, whilst its very slightly decurved, medium-length bill was blackish.

Within a very short time of landing, it was set upon by a rogue of Western Jackdaws, and they chased it around the pool for about four minutes. Again, the bird was making this peculiar anxiety call, and as it flew strongly back and forth, a white wingbar was clearly apparent and trailing legs beyond the tail. The Jackdaws would not leave it alone and at one stage, 15 or more were in hot pursuit. It eventually used the Greenshanks as protection, landing with them for a minute, but all that happened was that all three waders were attacked. Knowing KD was keen on the site, I phoned to inform him of the Ruff, as well as RBA and Simon Nichols.

I clapped my hands several times and that distracted the Jackdaw flock; the RUFF dropped back down on the pool and started feeding amongst some Black-headed Gulls on the north edge. A single Common Sandpiper quickly joined it. I was also joined by another local birder who had nipped out in his lunch hour.

I then turned my attention to the roosting gulls; there were 4 adult COMMON GULLS roosting, 2 adult Lesser Black-backed and (eventually) 21 HERRING GULLS, including 4 juveniles.

Kevin had shown major interest in the Ruff so as I scanned to see where he was in the car park at the south end, I picked up a large wader flying low over the eastern rowing lake. It landed tired on the grass sward of the central causeway just north of the 1,750 m mark and was a juvenile ICELANDIC BLACK-TAILED GODWIT. The bird appeared to be very exhausted and in no time at all was hastled by an adult Carrion Crow. At the same time, a dogwalker was approaching and the bird walked slowly into the grassy edge and disappeared from view.

Once the dog and joggers had passed, the godwit crept out again on to the open grass and once again was attacked, this time by Jackdaws. He moved to the middle and I lost it from view. Ten minutes later Kevin appeared and as he walked towards me behind an elderly couple, the godwit finally flushed at 10 yards range !! It flew back to the edge and stood. I walked back down to join Kevin and enjoyed staggering close views of this Arctic tundra born waif. In fact, Kevin managed to photograph me and the bird (see above) as well as some crippling images of the tired wanderer. It allowed approach to within just a few feet poor thing but at least we kept the corvids at bay.

We returned to the Seasonal Pool where newly arrived was an adult RINGED PLOVER. I walked back towards the car and saw 4 more RINGED PLOVERS arrive from the north at 1555.

The grass also held 10 Linnets and a charm of 17 Goldfinches.


I returned back to the farmland south of the M40 and at 1640 hours, I eventually located an adult COMMON RAVEN feeding in the overgrown gravel pit. It soon flew and went directly towards Mill Wood and Wooburn Green. It was in primary moult with at least one full feather missing on its left wing.

MANOR FARM this evening

Juvenile DUNLIN and COMMON GREENSHANK still on site along with two GREEN SANDPIPERS. (Chris Gleadell)

LESSER SPOT garden visitor

A LESSER SPOTTED WOODPECKER visited a Prestwood garden today (Peter Stanford)

Dorney Rowing Lakes - early morning

Only a quick visit today, so not enough time for a proper check of the hedgerow leading from the Arboretum carpark. Plenty of birds moving with at least two Whitethroat seen.

On the Reserve Pool there were 3 COMMON GREENSHANK. A new bird plus I presume the two birds from the last two days. These were flushed here yesterday evening by a photographer walking in the Nature Reserve next to the Seasonal Pool! After a few minutes of watching all three birds flew to feed on the Seasonal Pool.

Along the Return Lake a Common Sandpiper at the 1750m marker (Kevin Duncan)

Manor Farm DUNLIN and COMMON GREENSHANK both still present - 16 August

Chris Gleadell confirmed the presence of both the COMMON GREENSHANK and DUNLIN at Manor Farm for their 3rd day on Sunday morning.

There was also an influx of Common Sandpipers, with three on site, two Green Sandpipers and four Little Egrets.

Saturday, 15 August 2009

Dorney YELLOW-LEGGED GULL still present

I was just in time to see the two COMMON GREENSHANK fly off south calling. The adult YELLOW-LEGGED GULL that Kevin Duncan found yesterday was again sat on the buoy by the 750 metre mark allowing me to obtain the image above.
Apart from a Common Sandpiper nothing else in the way of migrant birds (Jim Rose)

The Story So Far in 2009 - mid August Update

A total of 187 species has been recorded in BUCKINGHAMSHIRE by 15th August 2009
LGRE has seen 165 species (those marked in blue)

1) Great Crested Grebe
2) Little Grebe
4) Atlantic Great Cormorant
7) Grey Heron
10) Mute Swan
14) Greylag Goose
15) Atlantic Canada Goose
16) Barnacle Goose
18) Common Shelduck
19) Ruddy Shelduck*
20) Egyptian Goose
21) Mandarin Duck
22) Mallard
23) Gadwall
25) Shoveler
26) Eurasian Wigeon
27) Common Teal
29) Northern Pochard
30) Red-crested Pochard
32) Tufted Duck
35) Common Goldeneye
36) SMEW
37) Goosander
40) Red Kite

43) Common Buzzard
44) Eurasian Sparrowhawk
46) Common Kestrel
47) Hobby
48) Peregrine
50) Red-legged Partridge
51) Grey Partridge
53) Common Pheasant
54) Water Rail
55) Moorhen
56) Coot
58) Oystercatcher
59) Little Ringed Plover
60) Ringed Plover
62) European Golden Plover
63) Lapwing
70) Green Sandpiper
71) Common Sandpiper
72) Common Redshank
73) Common Greenshank
78) Woodcock
79) Common Snipe
81) RUFF
82) Black-headed Gull
83) Common Gull
85) Herring Gull
86) Yellow-legged Gull
88) Lesser Black-backed Gull
89) Great Black-backed Gull
93) (GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL** - record still under review)

96) Common Tern
99) Stock Dove
100) Woodpigeon
101) Collared Dove
103) Common Cuckoo
104) Tawny Owl
106) Barn Owl
107) Little Owl
108) Common Swift
110) Common Kingfisher
111) Ring-necked Parakeet
112) Green Woodpecker
113) Great Spotted Woodpecker
115) Skylark
117) Sand Martin
118) Barn Swallow
119) House Martin
121) Meadow Pipit
123) Pied Wagtail
125) Yellow Wagtail
126) Grey Wagtail
127) Wren
129) Dunnock
130) Robin
134) Northern Wheatear
137) Song Thrush
138) Redwing
139) Mistle Thrush
140) Fieldfare
141) Common Blackbird
143) Garden Warbler
144) Blackcap
145) Lesser Whitethroat
146) Common Whitethroat
147) Sedge Warbler
148) Grasshopper Warbler
149) Cetti’s Warbler
150) Western Reed Warbler
151) Willow Warbler
152) Common Chiffchaff
153) Goldcrest
155) Spotted Flycatcher
156) Great Tit
157) Blue Tit
158) Coal Tit
159) Marsh Tit
161) Long-tailed Tit
162) Nuthatch
163) Common Treecreeper
165) Magpie
166) Jay
167) Jackdaw
168) Rook
169) Carrion Crow
171) Common Starling
172) House Sparrow
174) Chaffinch
176) Linnet
177) Lesser Redpoll
179) Goldfinch
180) Greenfinch
181) Siskin
182) Bullfinch
183) HAWFINCH (14/1)
185) Reed Bunting
186) Yellowhammer
187) Corn Bunting



A pleasant walk up the footpath opposite Kiln Lane produced a Hobby taking a dive at 20ish Barn Swallows. A GARDEN WARBLER was feeding in an Elder Tree. 2 Common Buzzards and several Red Kites. Unfortunately no Quail but hundreds of red legged Partridges which the farmer confirmed had recently been released. He also said that 4 years ago they released some Grey Partridges of which some were still around. A Kestrel being mobbed by 2 Carrion Crows, a Magpie & a Red Kite had probably had better days!

A quick trip to Springfield Farm allowed me to catch up with the 3 COMMON RAVENS spotted there the other day. All 3 were initially flying over the mounds but later flew into the field to the west of the farm buildings allowing views on the ground (Dave Cleal)

Manor Farm waders

No sign of Roys earlier waders , 1 Common Sandpiper and 3 Green Sandpipers in the inlet , 1 GREENSHANK , 1 Little Egret and 1 DUNLIN on the main scrape. 3 Common Terns also.

Earlier at Furzton Lakes, 9 Common Terns , 18 Great Crested Grebes (Simon Nichols)


This Hungarian-ringed juvenile MEDITERRANEAN GULL was present in Pitstone Quarry again this morning (Dave Bilcock - see above) before being relocated in fields being ploughed opposite Town Farm east of the B489 at Ivinghoe (at SP 953 160) (Steve Rodwell, Rob Andrews).

These fields had seen a massive arrival of feeding gulls, including 1,031+ Black-headed Gulls and a staggering 262 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, including adults of both intermedius and graellsii stock (LGRE). There was also 5 HERRING GULLS including a heavily worn 4th summer and a freshly arrived argentatus (SR, RDA, LGRE, DB).

Friday, 14 August 2009


A fairly quiet mid morning visit to Dorney Lake today after a couple of the waders departing yesterday evening. At the Start End 2 fem/juv NORTHERN WHEATEARS were feeding in the grass. Nothing on the Reserve Pool. On the Seasonal Pool were the regular Common Sandpiper with a juvenile Little Ringed Plover.

At 11:30 I was just about to walk back to the car when c120 Herring Gulls dropped in onto the pool. All the birds were 1st,2nd and 3rd summer birds. Unusually this is the largest flock I've seen since early spring. Checked them all for colour rings, none seen.

They had all departed within the hour due to being flushed by two low flying Red Kites and a rower on the Retun Lake. On the way back to the car my first autumn YELLOW-LEGGED GULL perched on a buoy at 750m on the main Rowing Lake (Kevin Duncan)

RUDDY SHELDUCK hybrid at College Lake in February 2004

Re: previous Ruddy Shelduck county records

The bird that was reported as a Ruddy Shelduck from College Lake on 22nd February 2004 was actually not a pure bird, rather a strange-looking presumed hybrid, perhaps with Egyptian Goose? See photo above (Ben Miller)

This individual was also seen at Maple Lodge at around the same time (LGRE)

Post-breeding RUDDY SHELDUCKS circle Calvert BBOWT

A flock of 4 RUDDY SHELDUCKS are currently circling the BBOWT reserve at Calvert at 1705 hours (Tim Watts)

Wader-fest at MANOR FARM

Thanks to a tip off from Chris Gleadell , Rob Hill and I are are currently enjoying COMMON GREENSHANK , Juvenile DUNLIN and 2 Green Sandpipers at Manor Farm , also 2 Little Egrets (Simon Nichols)

The map above depicting Pitstone Quarry clearly shows where the county boundary lies between Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire - the Hertfordshire section is beloe the white line.

Another migrant COMMON REDSTART

A female COMMON REDSTART this morning at Butler's Hangings BBOWT reserve near West Wycombe (David Lee)

The Status of RUDDY SHELDUCK in Buckinghamshire

Mike Collard has asked me to comment on the validity of Ruddy Shelduck records in the county. The vast majority as one would expect relate to escapes from collections but a few (4 in 1987 and a singleton in 1999) may possibly have derived from the self-sustaining populations in the Ukraine and Moscow.

The first records attributable to birds from the non-naturalised/partially natural populations in the former Soviet Union are those at Willen Lake in 1987 - a female was present on 24-25 July and 2 August and replaced by three males which arrived with 3 Common Shelduck on 8 September.

The following year (1988), a Cape Shelduck took up territory at Linford NR from 11-30 September, and waht was considered to be a female visited Weston Turville Reservoir on 28 March 1989. Escaped Cape Shelducks (immigrants from neighbouring Berkshire) then began to plague us, with an adult at Little Marlow GP from 13 August to 10 September 1990.

The next Ruddy Shelduck to arrive was a considered escape at both Willen lake and Linford NR on 24 March 1991, with a female at Haddenham Pond on 4 August 1992 with the same caveat. A further escape graced College Lake BBOWT reserve from 21 November to 13 December 1992 and this male visited Weston Turville on 6 April. The roaming Midlands bird returned to Linford NR on 23 August 1994 and then we had several blank years.

What was considered to be an escape from a local collection appeared on the River Thames at Bourne End on 2 January 1997 before moving east to Spade Oak GP, Little Marlow, from 15 March to 2 April. However, a group of four birds with much better credentials dropped into Wotton Lakes on 19 September 1997.

1998 then saw the arrival of up to 6 birds of captive origin - a pair at College Lake BBOWT on 18 January which relocated to Calvert BBOWT on 28 March and 25 April. A single was also seen at Padbury on 25 April. The single male at Marlow reappeared on 22 March and was seen again on 24 April, 20 June and almost daily from mid-July to mid-September. A second bird arrived on 26 July and then another on 31 July, with three birds remaining until 15 November. At least one of these remained then until 4 December. A Paradise Shelduck also put in an appearance at Marlow on 24 March 1998.

The Marlow survivor was seen intermittently from 17 February to 5 September 1999, with another individual of equal merit at Calvert BBOWT on 17 April 1999.

A bird of unknown provenance visited Calvert on 18-19 September and 19-21 November 1999.

The Midlands wandering male returned to Willen Lake on 9 April and 20 May, visiting Linford NR on 2 June 2000. That same year, a pair of Paradise Shelduck visited Marlow from 17 July to 1 September and somehow tainted the credentials of the 3 Ruddy Shelducks there from 10-31 July 2000. These latter 3 birds returned again in 2001 and were seen on and off on 28 May, 11 July, 31 July and from 10 September through to 27 October. In 2002, a flock of 4 arrived on Spade Oak on 20 April.

Records then dwindled again with a presumed escaped female at College Lake on 5 June 2003 and what was presumably the same bird again there on 10 January and 22 February 2004.

A mass break out took place in 2005, with 3 birds virtually resident at Little Marlow from 26 February to 3 March and again from 27 June to the end of the year. Five were present in August and September, with a further four bearing bright yellow plastic rings at Linford NR on 3 August. Three birds survived at Marlow from January to May 2006, but with just the single pair from July to December, whilst the long-lived male visited Linford on 18 May and Caldecotte Lake on 21 July. The resident pair remained at Marlow throughout 2007 and most of 2008, with just a single female lacking a right foot surviving into 2009.
Lee G R Evans

Thursday, 13 August 2009


There were two NORTHERN WHEATEARS together on a fence on the far side of the return lake at the western end.

Otherwise only birds of interest were two Common Redshanks, one seen on the Seasonal Pool with about 230 lapwings and another constantly calling. The only other wader found was a Green Sandpiper at Dorney Wetlands (Wally Smith)

HAWFINCH garden visitor

A female HAWFINCH visited a garden at Tylers Green this evening for a few seconds (Roy Barkes)

Wednesday, 12 August 2009


At Linford this evening, 1 COMMON GREENSHANK, which departed south at 7.20pm. Also singles of Green & Common Sandpiper, 1f Wigeon & 4 Common Swift (Rob Hill)

North Bucks WHINCHAT present for its 29th day

A few interesting birds around North Bucks today,

Olney Meadows this morning: RED KITE.

Ravenstone S.T.W. lunchtime: Despite the crop on both sides of the track having been harvested, the WHINCHAT is still present (29 days now) but now on the fence at the top of the 'Wheatear Bank' and viewable from the main road.

Also loitering was a pair of COMMON RAVENS which were last seen to land in the field opposite with the sheep. Down at the works the family party of 5 GREY WAGTAILS were enjoying their ride on the carousel (when it stopped they flew off!). Also a family party of 5 LESSER WHITETHROATS were flycatching from a pile of branches. I heard a KINGFISHER but didn't see it- never seen one here before.

Gayhurst Quarry, in the rain this afternoon: Just 2 COMMON SANDPIPERS and 1 GREEN SANDPIPER, 2 LITTLE EGRET, 3 LITTLE GREBES including fully grown youngster, LITTLE OWL, TUFTED DUCKS with broods of 5 and 7 and screaming young EURASIAN SPARROWHAWKS in the wood.

Quarryhall Bean field, also this afternoon: Still 2 YELLOW WAGTAILS, around a dozen LINNETS and several SKYLARKS (Robert Norris)

Male WHINCHAT at Ivinghoe


(1335-1426 hours)

Although the wind was freshening from the WNW, the hills below and south of the beacon were sheltered, and perched on the fenceline the car park side of the sheep pens was a migrant male WHINCHAT - my first in the county this year. It barely moved in the 15 minutes or so I watched it and dropped just briefly from the fence to some weeds adjacent.

Otherwise, the hills were very spartan, with hardly anything of note. Inkombe Hole failed to yield any Common Redstarts and Top Scrub only offered up two juvenile Common Chiffchaffs.


Surprisingly quiet; I did the entire circuit and recorded few species

Mute Swans (breeding pair with two cygnets - a third cygnet died)
Tufted Duck (2 females)
Coot (11 including 3 juveniles)
Western Reed Warbler (just 8 noted in the reedbed, mainly juveniles)
Common Chiffchaff (11 mainly juveniles)
REED BUNTING (successful breeding; two juveniles by boardwalk)

(Lee Evans)

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

A flyover TREE PIPIT - a real mega these days

At Broughton Grounds this evening, 1 Green Sandpiper and two juvenile Little Ringed Plovers. There have been up to 3 adult LRPs on site for most of the summer, so it is probable that these are locally bred birds.

Amidst the general awfulness of the building site, there has formed a substantial pool with muddy edges, easily viewable from the approach road. This is where the waders were, and at less disturbed times, e.g evenings, Sundays, this pool would definitely be worth checking out.

At the quarry, a greater surprise was a TREE PIPIT flying over, calling. Also c25 Goldfinch & 3 Red-l Partridge. The quarry, which was levelled off a while ago, was being sprayed, presumably for weed control rather than any future crop intentions (Rob Hill)

Monday, 10 August 2009

Dorney BLACK-WIT still present

10/08 20:15 : ICELANDIC BLACK-TAILED GODWIT : Dorney Lake. still on Seasonal Pool(1250m) for third day.View from the causeway between the Rowing Lakes. (Kevin Duncan)

Sunday, 9 August 2009

And yet another MARSH HARRIER

As Mike Collard has already mentioned we (Mike, Rose and myself) had a distant view of a female/juvenile MARSH HARRIER, heading South between the Ivinghoe Beacon and Tring. This was the only bird of note in four and half hours, although there were up to 6 Common Buzzards and 2 Hobbys present. There were relatively few kites and most were in heavy moult. It was very difficult picking out raptors because they were so high and generally distant. Very little passage, a few Swallows and a single Common Swift.

Later at Wilstone Reservoir the number of COMMON GREENSHANKS was 6 (Steve Rodwell)

First-ever MARSH HARRIER for Amersham Recording Area

At 1100 hours late morning, a MARSH HARRIER spent 20 minutes flying low over Chesham Bois, before eventually drifting off south. This represents the FIRST record for the Recording Area (Roger Bibby)

Hot weather and clear skies leads to an excellent raptor passage

An OSPREY flew slowly east over Don Stone's garden in Lee Common at 0900 hours - the first this autumn and the FOURTH this year !

BLACK-TAILED GODWIT at Dorney all weekend

Saturday 8 August: My run of luck continues!

Every visit to Dorney Lake produces something different. Tonight all seemed quiet in dead calm conditions with just a single Common Sandpiper amongst the Lapwing on the Seasonal Pool. Moved up to middle bridge to view the Reserve Pool to check if the COMMON GREENSHANK was still present. It was with the Redshank and Green Sandpiper. Then the farmer turned up to check on his sheep. He must have flushed the BLACK-TAILED GODWIT from out of sight to join the other 3 waders. All fed together and seen in one scope view. The Godwit then preened and then flew southeast. Thought it had gone but it had landed on the Seasonal Pool. Last seen feeding and finding plenty of food. I would not be surprised if it there tomorrow.

Last scan of the Return produced a juvenile Dunlin at 1500m (Kevin Duncan)

Saturday Sightings from Noreth Bucks

A few bits and pieces from this afternoon.

Leckhampstead Woods - although I went for the butterflies, which were present in wonderful numbers, there was also 1 Hobby, 2-3 Marsh Tit and plenty of juvenile warblers, e.g Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Whitethroat.

Manor Farm - 3 Green Sandpipers.

Willen - 1 COMMON GREENSHANK still in front of - but hardly visible from - the hide, plus 41 Common Tern, and 9 Little Egret, 6 of which were juveniles (Rob Hill)

Saturday, 8 August 2009

Another passage MARSH HARRIER

What a glorious day - though not conducive like passage as yesterday, and very sunburn inducing!

This morning, with Steve Rodwell, we had good views of 2 COMMON REDSTARTS (a juvenile male and an adult female) in the western end of Incombe Hole; Dave had earlier seen a juv female as well. In the cereal field between Inkombe Hole and Pitstone Hill, a male COMMON QUAIL was eventually heard singing briefly, and 4+ Corn Buntings were around the field.

Moving round towards Ivinghoe Beacon, at 11:10 I had a juv/female-type MARSH HARRIER go due south over - I also almost missed it as I was looking for butterflies and looked up by chance just in time to see it overhead! I was able to watch it fly away & circle just once.

Moving on, early afternoon I had a Shoveler at Weston Turville, the first I have seen in the Tring area since mid-May. There were no large gulls on a disturbed Halton airfield, and I failed to find any large flocks in the area. Into Herts briefly, just one Green Sand and one Little Egret at Wilstone were noteworth.

Finally, at College Lake, I found 3 COMMON GREENSHANKS feeding on the back bank behind and right from the main Island - 3 of the 4 that graced Wilstone last night, as Roy has already pointed out! There was also a drake Pochard on the main lake and 2 Lesser Whitethroats and 2 Linnets in the scrub (Ben Miller)

LITTLE EGRETS reach new peak total in Calvert area

Calvert BBOWT Lake; 1 Green Sandpiper/ 3 Pochard, 2 are 1st males back/ unusual sighting was a juvenile Yellow Wagtail on open area/fair few warblers in bushes/ Water level risen by 3" which unhandily has covered the new mud edge I just shaped to bring waders close to 2nd hide!

Calvert landfill; Private site; Little Egret numbers still rising and now 8. This is a record Calvert flock I think.They could be roosting in Cormorant trees on reserve but needs a late trip and difficult to observe. Also 2 Green Sandpipers/3 Common Sandpipers/ 4 Tufted Duck young - the first breeding success at Calvert for years./ c400 Lapwing. Water level has risen dramatically here.

Hillesden Pools; 1 Green Sandpiper/1 Common Sandpiper/1 Teal/ 1 Yellow Wagtail (Tim Watts)

COMMON REDSTARTS continue their summer residency at Ivinghoe Hills NR

Inkombe Hole: 3 COMMON REDSTARTS at the far end towards Pitstone Hill (a juvenile male and 2 females = an adult and juvenile) . All showing really well in the morning sun. I took a number of photographs, three of which are depicted above.

Pitstone Quarry; 1 Little Egret

(David Bilcock)


An increase in the number of warbers this morning. Willow Warbler, Common Chiffchaff and Common Whitethroat all seen. On the muck heap at the bottom of Pulpit Lane, Oving (in the field on the left of the road heading away from the village) was a juvenile NORTHERN WHEATEAR (John Hale)

A further NORTHERN WHEATEAR was in fields near Pennstreet Farm (Andy Radford)

Friday, 7 August 2009

Eight species of wader at Dorney today

A visit a few hours before Dave Cleals' visit produced a seventh Green Sandpiper along the Return Lake at 1500m. On the Seasonal Pool a Redshank, 2 Common Sandpiper, Ringed Plover and a Little Ringed Plover.

A visit this evening' still the 2 Common Sandpiper on the Seasonal Pool. The Common Redshank had joined the 6 Green Sandpipers on the Reserve Pool. Viewed from the causeway at 750m. Iot

I had not planned to walk beyond the middle bridge but lucky I decided to count the Canada Geese at the start end. Feeding on the grass at 200m was a lone BLACK-TAILED GODWIT! It was flushed by two crows and flew off southwest at 19:06. Then looking back towards the middle bridge a fem/juv NORTHERN WHEATEAR on the causeway. The first for Dorney Lake this autumn, 11 days later than last year. On the walk back to the carpark a single Common Swift flew over.

A good day for Dorney Lake with 8 wader species seen (Kevin Duncan)


Little Marlow GP this evening: a juvenile MEDITERRANEAN GULL, 3 LITTLE RINGED PLOVERS (adult and two juveniles) and 2 GREEN SANDPIPERS (Alan Stevens)

Dorney Lakes today

The overnight rain helped encourage 6 Green Sandpipers to feed on the Reserve Pool, while on the Seasonal Pool there were 3 adult DUNLIN, an adult Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper, plus the Lapwing flock. At 1500 mtr on the Return Lake there was a single juvenile DUNLIN.

The numbers of Goldfinches and Linnets seems to be building up, still 30 -40 Pied wagtails.

Earlier at Marsh Lane on the Jubilee River east of the road rhere were 2 Little Egrets (Dave Cleal)


This morning at Little Marlow GP, 150+ Common Terns in one flock roosting on the spit this morning. Occasionally spooked they would fly up in a couple of tight groups before spiralling back down onto the spit. These are in addition to the 8-10 breeders still present. Still present when I left at 08.30.

Also, 4 Green Sandpipers, c 800 Lapwing, 1 adult Yellow-legged Gull and 4 Herring Gulls of various ages (Dave Parmenter)


There was a single COMMON GREENSHANK on Willen Lake North Basin on 6 August (Paul Moon)

Thursday, 6 August 2009

Dorney Rowing Lakes today

2 Green Sandpipers, an adult Ringed Plover, Common Sandpiper, Common Redshank, 30 Barn Swallows low over the water and landing on the causeway and 2 Sand Martins. Charm 0f 14 Goldfinch with 3 Linnets (Dave Cleal)

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Twenty-two WHIMBRELS over Marlow Bottom last thing

Just had one of those rare birding events - I popped out into the garden to enjoy an unusual dry evening and was sitting on the bench when at 8:50pm, I noticed a flock of birds in fairly rigid V formation flying south down the valley, slightly to the east of me. Unusually, I had left my bins inside the house, but was able to retrieve them fairly quickly and get on to the birds as they were just past me. They were obviously large waders, although I couldn't get anything on the bills. They were all similarly marked, brown above, brown necks and pale underwings, with no wing bars. They had to be WHIMBREL - and then one bird called to clinch the ID. They had disappeared past a neighbour's house at this stage, so I ran through the house and down the drive from where I can see some distance down the valley. I picked up the birds again and tried to count them - I got to 22! They seemed to be following the valley bottom.

Recovering from the shock of the sighting, I texted Alan Stevens who lives to the south of me (the birds would have been long gone by then) and asked if he had seen/heard the birds. Remarkably, he phoned back to say that his wife had picked up a large flock of birds from the garden and he had caught them disappearing in the direction of Little Marlow GP. Don't know if anyone was there at dusk, but early am might be a possibility (Adam Bassett)

GAYHURST PIT looking good

Six species of Wader on site tonight:

Lapwing,about 20,
Common Sandpiper, 5,
Dunlin, juvenile that has been around about a week,
Common Snipe, first of the autumn
Common Redshank, juvenile, first here this autumn
Ringed Plover, juvenile, first here for three years.

( no Oystercatchers or Green Sandpipers seen )

Also 3 Little Egret.

Last time Gayhurst was this good was the year Foxcote was fantastic three years ago. Any news from there ? (Robert Norris)

Summering WHINCHAT still on territory

The WHINCHAT was still at Ravenstone STW at 5:30pm this evening (now for it's 22nd day!) (Robert Norris)

COMMON REDSTARTS still in Inkombe Hole

The two juvenile COMMON REDSTARTS are still present in Inkombe Hole this morning, favouring the same three Hawthorn bushes as before on the north side of the valley (Steve Rodwell). David Bilcock obtained the images above.

Monday, 3 August 2009

Two COMMON GREENSHANK at Dorney this morning

After a text at 15:43 from Adam Bassett with news of 2 COMMON GREENSHANK I was unable to visit until 19:00. By this time Dave Cleal had already made a visit and found the Greenshank had already departed. The remaining waders left on the Seasonal Pool (1250m) were a Common Redshank and the usual 2 Common Sandpiper (Kevin Duncan)

ROE DEER delight

As Sue and I walked to the fields near where we live at Flackwell Heath this evening, we could hear the sound of tractors as they were clearing away the Barley crop in a very large field. Overhead were four Red Kites obviously hoping for a few tit-bits uncovered by the harvesting. Dozens of Red-leggedPartridge (recently released) were milling around all over the place. But the most amazing sight of the walk was of a pair of ROE DEER. These appeared at the edge of a square of Maize that had been planted to support the Partridges and Pheasants. First of all a splendid stag with long antlers appeared and then a lovely doe, both looked to be in excellent condition and only about 60 yards away. I quickly put our dog on the lead and continued to watch as the doe walked across the field with the stag very close behind! So close that you could not see his nose! No doubt the mating season is here again and for a moment we did wonder if the pair might get more amorous, but a passing tractor seemed to take their attention. The only shame of it is that it was the only time in recent months that I have not taken my camera with me. With it's 18x zoom I could have got some amazing images.
The only other birds of interest were 3 COMMON SWIFTS over Wooburn Green (Jim Rose)
The Roe Deer images above were kindly provided by Stuart Read

Sunday, 2 August 2009

EDIBLE DORMICE in the Chilterns

July is an excellent month in which to see EDIBLE DORMICE in Buckinghamshire and a substantial number were recorded last night when checking the nestboxes (see Steve Griffin's images above)

Yet another Dorney SANDERLING - but video evidence proves it is a LITTLE STINT !

A visit this evening (Saturday 1 August) produced nothing until reaching the Seasonal Pool (1250m). On the pool feeding were 2 Green Sandpiper and 2 Common Sandpiper. After sheltering from a heavy shower I scanned back along the Return Lake to find at about 900m 4 Common Redshank that had just flown in. Then a small wader flew over calling, luckily it flew back to land on the Seasonal Pool. I tentatively identified it as a SANDERLING. As I left just the waders were all feeding on the pool, no Lapwing or BHG's (Kevin Duncan)

Fortunately, Kevin videoed the 'Sanderling' and on perusal on his Dorney blogsite, the bird can be safely reidentified as an adult summer-plumaged LITTLE STINT.

Another juvenile COMMON CUCKOO

01/08 : COMMON CUCKOO : Springfield Quarry. Juvenile near Over's Farm side of the Quarry (Peter Stevens)


The COMMON GREENSHANK was still present at Manor Farm on Saturday. Chris Gleadell took the image alongside.