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

Saturday, 27 February 2010

WAXWING update

The two WAXWINGS were still in the tree on Gifford Park at 1550, I left at 1625 and they were still there. Direction are as follows: drive down Broadway Avenue past the shops and school and as you get to the end of the playing field you can see a tree on the other side of the road full of mistletoe just before the turning for Runnymede Road. The Waxwings were in this tree associating with a few Starlings (Dave James)

WAXWINGS in Milton Keynes

Alan Nelson discovered two BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS in Giffard Park, Milton Keynes, this afternoon. They were frequenting a very large tree with plentiful Mistletoe, close to Giffard Park School, Gifford Park Pub and Shops and playing field. The best known nearby road is Runnymead Road. These are the first of the year and were still present at 1600 hours.


The three EURASIAN WHITE-FRONTED GEESE flew into Broughton Trout pools ( Aylesbury ) at 0740 this morning. They arrived with the Atlantic Canada Geese from the SE suggesting that they may be using one of the artificial small reservoirs off of the A41 to roost.

Also at the trout pools this morning were 18 Eurasian Wigeon, and there was a female COMMON STONECHAT along the canal between bridges 13 and 14 and a Chinese Water Deer in the meadows (several observers).

OYSTERCATCHERS back on Gayhurst

A BTO tetrad visit to Gayhurst Quarry this morning didn't turn up anything particularly exciting, although there were several encouraging signs that spring is on the way - the first Oystercatcher was back at the pits, the field by the fisherman's car park held 3-4 displaying Lapwing, and plenty of birds were in song, including Yellowhammer, and c5 Wren (which were good to hear, after concern over their survival this winter).

Also 1 Egyptian Goose on the Motorway Pit, 350+ Wigeon, and a Grey Wagtail (Rob Hill)

Friday, 26 February 2010

WHITE-FRONTS still at Broughton

The only news today concerned the three EURASIAN WHITE-FRONTED GEESE at Broughton, grazing with 25 Atlantic Canada Geese on the north side of the canal 400 yards east of the car park.

There was an unconfirmed report of a 'Brent Goose' at Little Marlow GP and a report of two White Wagtails was presumably erroneous

POLECAT sighting

Monday 5-15am
A4146 (Grid Ref SP 89547 25558) just outside Linslade across the border in Bucks
Travelling South with snow falling fairly heavily.
I was rather surprised to see a POLECAT emerge from the central reservation and then stop in the outside lane to let me pass! I was going quite slowly so had a great view of it in the snow, including it's bandit-like mask. This is the first time I've seen a polecat in the wild (Pete Rowling)

Thursday, 25 February 2010

Much COMMON CROSSBILL action in Lowe's/Buttermilk Wood today with 25-30 birds flying in and out the larch block by Shire Lane bridleway (SP 926 321). This is technically in Beds but they were also in Bucks with best views in the more open larches at SP921322 (not strictly public). Also some Siskins feeding with them and the odd Greenfinch. Good to see lots of tits and a few Treecreepers, Nuthatches and Goldcrests have survived the winter, but Wrens seem down and it was two hours before I found one (Chris)

PENN WOOD update

Last two visits, Sun 21st and Wed 24th, have shown increases in Brambling & Greenfinch after a general drop in numbers - although I had not checked the wood between 10th and 19th.

Brambling: 65 on Sun 21st & 82 on Wed 24th

Greenfinch: c200 on Sun 21st & c130 on Wed 24th

Roost areas now favoured are along southern pathway near se corner of fenced paddock and the holly stands at the se corner of the wood (close to Tylers End Gate entrance). Roosting between 16:30 and 17:00.

Also c30 Lesser Redpoll seen briefly at 15:30 on 21st at extreme eastern end of main rhododendron ride; probably moved south following line of lane from Penn Street to Penn Bottom. (Kevin Holt)

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

WHITE-FRONTS still present

The small family group of 3 EURASIAN WHITE-FRONTED GEESE was still present today at Broughton Trout Pools

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

New Bucks email group

Subscribe now to my new Buckinghamshire Birding email group at

If you wish to know specific instructions on how to see scarce species such as Common Raven, Long-eared Owl, Firecrest, Woodlark, Dartford Warbler, Northern Goshawk, Eurasian Honey Buzzard, Hobby and other interesting birds, then this group is for you.

To be eligible to join, you must provide a genuine name and not a pseudonym

Lee Evans

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Beaconsfield FIRECREST survives the freeze

At least one male FIRECREST has survived the freeze, being seen in recent days either in back gardens or in the ivy in Hogback Wood (SU 929 913)

Very little else of note though to be found this weekend in the county

A pair of NORTHERN GOSHAWKS was displaying at a traditional location and between 3 and 7 LONG-EARED OWLS were in a thicket roosting site.

The Calvert gull roost did not yield any interesting species either day and there was no sign of the Broughton White-fronts today. Dartford Warblers remain extinct, with the only two COMMON STONECHATS in North Bucks

Saturday, 20 February 2010

WHITE-FRONTS perform well - LGRE Diary Note excerpts

Photographed well by Dave Bilcock (top 3) and Ben Miller


No change in the general weather, with continuing cold temperatures (4.5 degrees C). It was a clear bright day, with long periods of uninterrupted blue sky, but as darkness loomed, heavy snow started to affect the Chilterns, and by the time I got home in Little Chalfont, had settled considerably.

Although the day was spent relatively local, some main target species were once again missed, in particular the three long-staying Twites in Cambs, and Lesser Redpoll.

Sadly, in Buckinghamshire, single dead BADGERS were noted at Great Missenden (on the A 413 again, westbound, at SP 892 020) and another just NE of 'A World of Old' on the A418 just SW of Wing at SP 877 218.


Thanks to Dave Bilcock, I was made alert this morning of 3 'White-fronted Geese' at Broughton, just east of Aylesbury. It transpired that they had been found yesterday by a local birder, but when talking to local walkers, it seems they have been present since Valentine's Day.

Anyway, acting immediately upon David's news, I drove straight over, and found all three birds (the two adult and single first-winter EURASIAN WHITE-FRONTED GEESE that I had seen at Wilstone Reservoir on 12 February) showing very well in the grassy meadow being grazed by horses north of the Aylesbury Arm of the Grand Union Canal 75 yards east of canal Bridge 13 at SU 854 143. They were consorting with 30 Atlantic Canada Geese and were affording views down to 55 yards - both Dave Bilcock and Ben Miller obtaining some excellent photographic results (see images above. Park by the main bridge and walk just 330 yards east to view.

A first-winter Mute Swan was begging for food by the main bridge after parts of the canal had frozen over, whilst just two COMMON SNIPE were located in the frozen rushes area. A RED KITE was circling overhead.


Two RED KITES were sat on a perch overlooking the three European Bisons and their shelter at Bison Hill - presumably hoping to share some food (quite what I really don't know).

Nearby at Dagnall, the resident pair of COMMON RAVENS were well underway with domestics. As I arrived, both birds were walking about on the ground gathering beakfuls of clumps of grass. I followed them as they flew and they landed in one of the pines. In the 'scope, I enjoyed great views as, first the male dropped his grass on top of the pile of sticks and then the female. The male then flew off, cronking once quite quietly. The female then sat and shuffled around on the nest for some minutes, gradually moulding the nest into a cup shape. I felt quite embarrassed watching this intimate behaviour from afar but it was quite enlightening being allowed to share the social delights of Raven nesting behaviour.


A party of 7 COMMON CROSSBILLS in the Brickhills this morning, between the Woburn clubhouse and the 2nd tee of the Dukes course, i.e the other end of the same path that leads south-east from Bow Brickhill church. Also c15 Siskin (Rob Hill)

Friday, 19 February 2010


A party of 3 EURASIAN WHITE-FRONTED GEESE were today at Broughton in the paddocks between bridges 13 and 14. They were within a flock of Canada Geese (per BirdGuides)

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Week 7

Week 7 of 2010 has proved very quiet: at least 1 FIRECREST remains in Hogback Wood, Beaconsfield, with an immature ICELAND GULL joining the juvenile GLAUCOUS GULL at Calvert BBOWT. A single BITTERN remains at Weston Turville Reservoir, with a MERLIN near Saunderton and PEREGRINES in at least 5 locations.

Monday, 15 February 2010

HEN HARRIER on North Bucks border with Northants

Ringtail HEN HARRIER, just south of Horton Wood 1 km east of Salcey Forest - right on Bucks/Northants border, late morning today. Quartering Brassica field.

Take marked footpath north of B526 at Eakley Manor Farm, past stables on the left to field with caravan in bottom corner. SP 822519

At Calvert Sailing Lake, both the immature ICELAND and juvenile GLAUCOUS GULL roosted, the former first discovered by Warren Claydon on Saturday (*per Tim Watts)

Friday, 12 February 2010

Highlights from today

The juvenile GLAUCOUS GULL remains at Calvert BBOWT (per Tim Watts)

Hampden Manor Woods: Still no sign of the shrike reported recently and initially a walk through the woods didn't produce anything. On my way back I scanned the field that lies south of the first fir plantation along the path. So I was looking east back along the south side of the plantation. In a line of decidious trees that runs north south out of the eastern end of the plantation were a couple of finches high in a dead tree. I got my 'scope on them and eventually realised they were COMMON CROSSBILLS, a pair. The male was on the top most branch just surveying the scene while the female was more active and appeared to be feeding under the loose bark. I got some very distant (smudgy) photos (@ circa 350 yds) (Dave Cleal)

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

MERLIN at extreme north of county

This morning at Olney Meadows the pair of COMMON STONECHAT were still present in the area around the pond. Also a pair of COMMON RAVENS were in the sheep field at the west end before flying off down the river valley.

Nearby at Emberton Park there were 12 GOOSANDER (only 2 drakes) on the lake by the sailing club.

At lunchtime I took a walk from Ravenstone North End to Ravenstone Great Wood. This area looks superb for birds of prey with a lot of rough grass areas, and on my walk down I saw 6 Buzzards, 2 Kestrels and a fantastic MERLIN which circled right overhead. There were also 5 Grey Partridge, 10 Bullfinch and a Marsh Tit. A Fox and a Fallow Deer topped things off (Rob Norris)

Tuesday, 9 February 2010


This smart first-winter CASPIAN GULL was photographed at Calvert Landfill Site by Tim Watts on 7 February. It is one of at least five different birds recorded in the area this year.

Monday, 8 February 2010

CROSSBILLS increasing in number at Hampden House

07/02 : 21 Common Crossbill : Hampden House. 3/4 males in full song. Warren Claydon

Friday, 5 February 2010

CROSSBILLS at Hampden House

05/02 : Up to 12 Common Crossbills in woodland around Hampden House, which have been in the area for at least a week (per Mike Collard)

Drake SMEW still present

The Drake SMEW is still on the south lake at Caldecotte today (13:25); also noted 2 Grey Wagtails, 1 Little Grebe and 3 Wigeon (Paul Moon)

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Caldecotte Lake SMEW

A drake SMEW (13:22 hours) is still near the island at the southern most part of Caldecotte Lake, earlier found by Nik Maynard (per Paul Moon)

Wednesday, 3 February 2010


The BITTERN showed briefly in flight at Walton BL late afternoon (1655hrs), from the viewing platform. Also 3 Water Rail (Rob Hill)


Adam Bassett had a MEDITERRANEAN GULL at Little Marlow GP today.

Tuesday, 2 February 2010


The Walton Balancing Lake BITTERN was still showing in the reedbed last night at around 16:50, viewed from the observation platform. Also, rather amusingly, as I walked onto the platform I flushed out a water rail that was sheltering underneath and shot out across the ice into the reedbed. Only other bird of note was a hunting sparrowhawk (Martin Kincaid)

Monday, 1 February 2010

Foxcote RND

The drake RING-NECKED DUCK was present yesterday directly out from the hide near to the far bank along with a pair of Goosander and several displaying pairs of Goldeneye along with the usual bits and bobs. A quite pale Buzzard was in the trees along the shoreline on the left far bank (Ken Earnshaw)