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, 28 September 2009

COMMON CROSSBILLS still in Black Park

28/09 16:00 : 15 COMMON CROSSBILLS : Black Park. Circled over heathland area just as I arrived then flew south back over woods . David Cleal

Sunday, 27 September 2009

VizMig on Ivinghoe Beacon

It was a rather cool 3 degrees when I stepped onto the hills this morning, hat and gloves were required for the first time this Autumn. The only noteable passage migrants were Mipits and a couple of Great Spotted Woodpecker went over. Otherwise pretty typical Autumn fayre of finches and Buntings.The Beacon produced 2 COMMON STONECHAT and a massive c200 Mipit on the deck. It was a balmy 8 degrees when I left (Mike Wallen)

VizMig in North Bucks - an excellent passage of LINNETS

At Ravenstone STW this morning, c210 Linnet, 45+ Skylark (most flying over south), c60 Mipit, 3 Chiffchaff and 27 Yellowhammer.A definite autumnal feel to the crisp, clear sky, and the corresponding birdlife (Rob Hill)


27/09 : Common Crossbill : Wooburn Common. over Farm Wood. Peter Stevens

Saturday, 26 September 2009

College Lake today

43 Mute Swans which is a good count for here, 150+ assorted Gulls, mostly Black-headed and small number of LBB'S, 50+ Lapwings, 35 Pochard plus 1 Red Crested Pochard female, 25 Wigeon and single figures of Tufted Duck and Gadwall. A total of 7 Common Buzzards and 2 Red Kite flew over in one sighting. A few Meadow Pipits went through throughout the day and a single Yellow Wagtail. Amazingly we had 5 species of butterfly - Brimstone, Peacock, Speckled Wood, Brown Argus and an extremely tatty Common Blue (Paul)

Linford Evening Update 24/9

Lovely evening at Linford, with a splendid red sky. There were still 1m 1f Common Stonechat & 2 Whinchat in the paddock next to Swanns Way, plus 2 Hobby, 2 Water Rail, and 6 Little Egret on the reserve (Rob Hill)

More migrant 'chats - 24/9

At Willen Lake this lunchtime: 2 Green Sandpipers, 1 Common Sandpiper, 2 Snipe, 1 Buzzard and the female Red-crested Pochard (Paul Moon)

Nik Maynard discovered at Linford along St Peters Way, on the wires next to the road - 2 WHINCHAT and 2 COMMON STONECHAT.

First REDWING of the autumn 21/9

21/09 10:00 : 5 Redwing : Aston Clinton. Hedgerow in Stablebridge Road. (Graham Jones)

Monday, 21 September 2009


The GARGANEY was still at Foxcote Reservoir Sunday lunchtime. Plus three Common Snipe.

And there was a WHINCHAT at Hillesden earlier (Ted Reed)

Saturday, 19 September 2009

GARGANEY at Foxcote

FOXCOTE RESERVOIR: About 150 Lesser Black-backed Gulls plus one juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 2 Common Snipe and a Common Redshank.

A female/immature GARGANEY was feeding right of the hide near far bank.

A plump immature Western Reed Warbler crashing around in the reeds in front of the hide and a build up in the number of Eurasian Wigeon were the main highlights this afternoon (Ken Earnshaw)


David Ferguson had up to 30 COMMON CROSSBILLS in Black Park this morning, not far from the Five Points Crossroads

Gayhurst Wildfowl

At Gayhurst Quarry this morning; Mallard, probably 300, Gadwall, c50, Teal, c30, Tufted, c20, Shoveler, 4, Wigeon, 2, PINTAIL, 1 juvenile on Spinney Pit.

Also 4 Egyptian Geese on Motorway Pit, 8 Little Grebe, 20 Lapwing, Snipe and Little Owl (Robert Norris).

Friday, 18 September 2009

LITTLE GULL at Foxcote Reservoir

I arrived at Foxcote this evening to be greeted by the sight of a juvenile LITTLE GULL flying in typical erratic fashion quite close to the dam. It was making regular circuits and appeared to be feeding on flying insects as well as picking items from the water surface. After about ten minutes it landed and started to preen so a great opportunity to get some digiscoped shots, but I managed just one shot before the camera decided the batteries were flat and shut down. I loaded some fresh batteries, but the camera allowed me only one shot before again closing down. At that point the bird decided I had had my chance and took off again! I did manage some flight shots with a different camera though which I will put on the web-site.

Also of interest were seven Common Snipe on the east shore, plus three Reed Warblers and a juvenile Sedge Warbler in the reeds in front of the hide.When I left there were around 80 LBBGs and maybe 400 BHGs on the water, but I could not find the Little Gull, so don't know whether it had left or I just could not see it (Phil Tizzard). One of the adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls was an apparent intermedius (see photograph above)
Nik found a WHINCHAT and a COMMON STONECHAT along the approach road at Linford NR today, whilst at Broughton Grounds this evening, 22 GREY PARTRIDGES were a splendid surprise. They were in 2 coveys of 11 each (Rob Hill)

Thursday, 17 September 2009


An adult Yellow-legged Gull roosted this evening amongst c260 LBBG's at Willen Lake South Basin (Rob Hill) with at least 7 more on Calvert BBOWT Lake (Tim Watts)

Wednesday, 16 September 2009

LITTLE MARLOW this morning

A brief visit to LMGP this pm produced a fem/imm Pintail at the back of the spit, an adult Hobby over the spit a couple of times and a Peregrine circled over from the STW and back again - this bird was an adult in partial wing moult and looked very similar to the bird that flew over my house last week. Also 6 Wigeon and 25+ Teal, but no wind blown scarcities or (Tufted Puffin!) (Adam Bassett)

Tuesday, 15 September 2009


Rob Hill found 3 Juvenile BLACK TERNS on Willen South this evening; they were very mobile , also a probable Juvenile ARCTIC TERN seen very briefly.

Of equally scarce status , only the 3rd COMMON TEAL in the last 10 years was found on FurztonLake by Paul Moon; Paul also had 8 Sand Martins (per Simon Nichols)

Monday, 14 September 2009


An adult PEREGRINE was seen twice over fields at Rowsham on Saturday afternoon (13 September) (Mike Wallen)


A WHINCHAT was present in Stowe on Saturday 13 September (Phil Tizzard)

Bledlow Ridge migrants

12/09 : At Lodge Hill Farm, Bledlow Ridge, a TREE PIPIT flew over calling, whilst a WHINCHAT was by the farm (Warren Claydon)

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)

Thursday, 10 September 2009

MARSH HARRIER lingers for an hour

Working from home today created the opportunity to take my lunchtime walk at Pitstone Hill rather than the village where I work! I joined Rob Hill there in the hope of a migrant raptor, with recent Honey Buzzard claims and Lee's heads-up from of our minds.

Sure enough, at c.12:50, we picked up a raptor heading north from Aldbury direction (Herts) along the valley towards us; distant at first but eventually reaching the copse SW of the hill, above Pitstone Quarry. The long tail, elastic wings with raised 'arms' and more level 'hands' and dark impression raised hopes, and as it got nearer we could confirm it was a cracking juvenile MARSH HARRIER, cream limited to just crown and throat. After a lengthy fight with a Carrion Crow into Bucks airspace, it dropped behind the copse; we expected that to be that, so let just a couple of people know on the off-chance.

However, at 13:10, the bird then re-appeared above the same tree-line; clearly the strengthening wind and cloud cover had halted its migration. We made a concerted effort to contact more locals, though unfortunately no-one was able to arrive by the time it gained height and headed off SW deeper into Herts towards Tring Station and town at 13:45.

The GARGANEY is still in Pitstone Quarry today (in Bucks initially, now Herts) with 11 Teal and 5 Shoveler, plus Rob and I enjoyed a steady stream of Swallows is groups of up to 30 moving south (Ben Miller)

Wednesday, 9 September 2009


A male and female COMMON REDSTART this evening along the ridge path heading from farm buildings towards canal.

Also Green Sandpipers, Little Egret and the first Kingfisher in a while along Back Brook (Chris Gleadell).

Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Dorney area and environs

One of those lively days at the Dorney Rowing Lakes today, with circa 5-600 Canada Geese, 40 Greylags, 80 Egyptian Geese, a Barnacle Goose and an escaped blue morph Snow Goose type - not a truly wild bird among them!! Together with circa 400 corvids and 80 odd BHGs, many feeding at height over the lake it was some show. But prize bird went to a single COMMON GREENSHANK on the reserve pool and with it a juvenile COMMON SHELDUCK, nice to have some water back in there. No sign of any Wheatears/Whinchats in the pump field but 4 Meadow Pipits at the Start End were my first this autumn; there were 4 Linnets here also.

A quick trip just across the county border to Slough Sewage farm produced 3 Green Sandpipers, several Shoveler, Teal and a some Gadwall there. I then drove north of Burnham where scanning over part of Burnham Beeches produced a string of 32 Barn Swallows tracking south.

At Little Marlow GP there was a single Green Sandpiper on the spit with only a Kingfisher and 2 Common Terns also being of note. Couldn't see any Yellow Wags with the cattle by the river. (Dave Cleal)

Yet another OSPREY

Neil Manthorpe noted an adult OSPREY over Spade Oak Lake, Little Marlow, today, present from 1700-1705 hours before drifting south over the River Thames


At Linford this morning, the male REDSTART was still in bushes by the first right hand bend along the entrance track.

At Lathbury c190 Lesser B-b Gulls in a ploughed field, plus 1 Herring Gull.

At Broughton Grounds, a male REDSTART, in the small copse next to the north-east corner of the quarry. Also 1f/juv Wheatear, 2 Whitethroat, 160+ Lapwing and 6 Buzzard (Rob Hill)


Saturday morning (5 September) at Gayhurst Quarry: The GARGANEY is still present on Spinney Pit associating with 6 Gadwall, viewed from the gate at the bottom of the track.

Also on the pits 6 Little Grebe, 2 Common Sandpiper, Little Egret, 2 Teal.

Up at Quarryhall, a Wheatear on the fenceline down to the farm, 2 Yellow Wagtails, a Hobby and several Meadow Pipits with an obvious passage of the latter overhead (Rob Norris)

Saturday morning at Linford

2 COMMON REDSTARTS at Linford this morning, 1m & 1f, in the bushes around the first right hand bend along the entrance track. They were part of substantial passer flock which also included 12+ Blackcap, 4 Lesser 'throats, 1 Reed Warbler, 1 Treecreeper, and a handful of Willow Warblers and Chiffchaffs (Rob Hill)


04/09 17:30 : 21 Yellow Wagtail : Little Marlow GP. In meadow with cows. Difficult to count (the cows' legs got in the way) but maximum I managed was 21 which seemed about right. A really lovely sight, though, to watch the birds, at lose range, feeding around the animal's hooves. (Wally Smith)

Monday, 7 September 2009

Dorney WHINCHATS - 4/9

Still about a dozen Yellow Wagtails on Dorney Common associating with the cattle. In the pump field at the Lakes were 2 WHINCHATS and 3 NORTHERN WHEATEARS (Dave Cleal)

Yet another OSPREY

David Ferguson noted an OSPREY flying south over Ivinghoe Beacon at 0930 hours on Friday 4 September.

Linford NR - Friday 4/9

Linford Reserve this morning between 10:10 & 12:45.

Birds of note included 1 COMMON REDSTART near the Quiet Please gate (as highlighted earlier), 1 Little Grebe, c6 Common Tern, 3 Egyptian Geese, 2 Teal, 3 Wigeon, 2 Buzzard, 1 Swallow, 8 House Martin & 1 Hobby (Roy)


This fabulous and very beautiful male COMMON REDSTART was photographed by Tim Watts at Quainton Hills on Friday 4 September.


Since Friday 4 September, 1-2 COMMON REDSTARTS have been present at Linford NR, showing intermittently near the signs just as you approach the boardwalk (Rob Hill et al)


The YELLOW WAGTAILS are still present on the Thames meadows near Spade Oak Nature Reserve (aka LMGP).

On Thursday (3/9 at 17:30) there were 15 amongst cattle, but many initially flushed from the longer grass, near the Thames path at the meadow nearest Spade Oak. Also, at least 4 were reported with cattle at the meadow nearest Marlow Rugby Club.

I have put 3 photos on the new BBC Uploaded Photos site (Kevin Holt)

Thursday 3 September

At Linford NR this morning, a single SANDWICH TERN, 7 ARCTIC TERNS, 4 Common Terns and a Common Sandpiper were sighted.

Wednesday, 2 September 2009


A SANDWICH TERN spent ten minutes at Spade Oak GP, Little Marlow, today (David Ferguson)