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, 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)