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, 11 September 2009


Filled with a bit of optimism that some raptors might be on the move in the north-easterlies, I spent about an hour sky-watching from the patio early afternoon - I even had the 'scope set up for any distant uncertainties! As yesterday, it was apparent that there was very little moving and actually very little to look at with the resident Red Kites and Common Buzzards only showing occasionally. However, at 1:40pm I picked up a circling falcon drifting SW and was surprised to find a PEREGRINE in the 'scope - this is a garden tick, so I was well chuffed!

Then at 1:55pm, I picked up a distant raptor flying more or less east to west and quite high up. I also got this in the 'scope and saw a generally dark, chocolate brown, long winged and long tailed raptor with a pale head, showing slight pale patches at the base of the under primaries - Black Kite came to mind briefly, but closer inspection revealed a round-tipped tail and cream coloured head markings - a female/imm MARSH HARRIER. At one point it fanned its tail, which from below looked quite pale reddish brown, but it wasn't hanging around and after about 20 - 30 seconds of viewing it disappeared westwards. This is the third consecutive year I have had Marsh Harrier fly over the garden in the autumn - it just goes to show that you never know what is flying over! (Adam Bassett)