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 May 2010

QUAIL in Oving

A COMMON QUAIL was heard calling this morning near Ramshill Farm, Oving.

Saturday, 29 May 2010

Willen SANDERLING present for 3rd day and PIED AVOCET at Dorney

The adult summer SANDERLING is still at Willen north, plus 1 summer plumaged Dunlin, 1 LRP and 300+ Common Swift.(per Rob Hill)

Meanwhile, Kevin Duncan has discovered the second PIED AVOCET at Dorney Rowing Lakes this spring - this individual again on the Seasonal Pool and present until midday at least

Thursday, 27 May 2010


Today at least one Spotted Flycatcher back at Lathbury Rectory (about half way down Church Lane) and at lunchtime 4 Hobbies at Tyringham Bridge (Robert Norris)

Later, a SANDERLING on the spit at Willen North Basin (Rob Hill)

Tuesday, 25 May 2010


A female MARSH HARRIER was still present this afternoon at the new reserve on the River Ray, showing well at times, whilst later, from 1915 to at least 1945 hours, the TEMMINCK'S STINT was still showing well on the spit at Willen Lake North Basin, opposite the hide (along with Ringed Plover, Common Redshank, Oystercatcher, Little Egret, Cetti's Warbler and 6 Western Reed Warblers) (Lee Evans)

Warren Claydon later saw the MARSH HARRIER in the evening.


TEMMINCK'S STINT at Willen Lake: bird showing well from early morning until at least 1300 hours on spit opposite hide; also Tundra Ringed Plover and 2 Oystercatchers there

Sunday, 23 May 2010

QUAIL on cue

Temperatures reached a sizzling 82 degrees fahrenheit today and in with the heat came the first calling COMMON QUAIL of the summer - in the cornfields at Down Farm - and 'wet my lipping' continuously from 2000 to 2100 hours.

An OSPREY flew north over Long Marston at 1702 hours, after earlier drifting high over Wilstone

Saturday, 22 May 2010

SANDERLING bonanza and BLACK TERNS displaced by the Easterly winds

At Spade Oak Pit today (Saturday 22 May), 2 summer-plumaged SANDERLINGS were present this morning on the spit with a Common Sandpiper (they both flew off north at 1133 hours) (Alan Stephens, LGRE, et al)only to be replaced by a further individual this afternoon (Alan Stephens)

Meanwhile, College Lake BBOWT attracted 2 BLACK TERNS, a COMMON GREENSHANK and a summer-plumaged DUNLIN (LGRE, DB, NR, PR, et al), with the most exciting news being of the pair of OYSTERCATCHERS with three small fledged young on the East Islands. LGRE also recorded 28 pairs of Common Tern on the reserve, the continuing pair of Black-headed Gulls, 13 active nests/successful breeding of Lapwing, Common Redshank with young, 3 LITTLE RINGED PLOVERS (with a pair still sitting) and the calling COMMON CUCKOO still.

At Calvert Sailing Lake, 1 BLACK TERN arrived in the afternoon (Tim Watts) and at Hillesden Pools, a DUNLIN was present (Tim Watts)

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Drake GARGANEY at Linford

A splendid hour at Linford this evening. The drake GARGANEY was still on the bund (c8.30pm), as was 1 Greenshank (which departed east), 2 LRP and 1pr Wigeon. Also 1 Yellow Wag, 1 Barn Owl, and by the approach road, a Hobby. And the Common Nightingale was singing lustily from it's usual spot at c9.05pm (Rob Hill)

Another OSPREY

14 May 2010: An OSPREY was watched well at Tyringham Bridge from approx. 4.30pm to 5pm by several local observers. Initially it was perched at the top of the dead tree just upstream of the bridge, sporting a silver ring on the right leg, and a black tag on the left leg. It eventually drew the attention of Corvids and flew briefly upstream towards Newport Pagnell, before circling back over Tyringham Clinic and then followed the river downstream towards Ravenstone Mill and possibly Emberton Park.

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Twitching rare waders at the new Gallows Bridge reserve

Please note, if you happen to twitch interesting birds reported at the new Gallows Bridge reserve (River Ray Meadows), it is best to try and find out where they actually are on the reserve before going. I made two abortive and expensive trips for Grey Plover because I naturally assumed that they were with the waders on the access drive pools, where other species were feeding. However, this is not the case, the Grey Plovers were actually on a pool at the far western reaches of the reserve which has no official access and can only be viewed very distantly from the new hide accessed along the trail from the main parking area. There is a nice pool here with muddy edges which is very attractive to waders but due to the nature of the slant in the field, the long grass which harbours many nesting species makes it difficult for viewing.

The new reserve is situated just NW of the A41 and Grendon Underwood/Calvert turning at SP 668 188 and may be accessed from the gate 250 yards along Grendon Underwood road. The track leads down to a car parking area from where one can walk to the hides.

Monday, 10 May 2010

TURNSTONE at Linford

Stopped on the way in to see the Common Nightingale at Linford - still showing well with a Barn Owl quartering the field to the right. On the bund were 2 COMMON SHELDUCKS and a TURNSTONE (Mick McGar)

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Weekend Round-up - WHIMBRELS and GREY PLOVERS

Up to 3 stonking summer-plumaged GREY PLOVERS graced Gallows Bridge reserve, south of Calvert (Tim Watts), with 2 Dunlin there, and another adult GREY PLOVER shortly after dawn in College Lake on Saturday (see Dave Bilcock's gripping images above). WHIMBRELS were in abundance, with 27 and 21 respectively through to the east at College Lake and Ivinghoe Beacon on Saturday, with another both mornings at Hillesden Pools, and 8 more at College Sunday morning and a further bird at Spade Oak Pit, Little Marlow on Saturday. The latter site also attracted 5 COMMON GREENSHANKS and 3 TURNSTONES on Saturday, with a SANDERLING east at Weston Turville Reservoir that same morning, whilst a female GARGANEY was an excellent find at Low Grounds Farm Flash, Marlow, on Sunday.

The singing male COMMON NIGHTINGALE and up to 4 reeling GRASSHOPPER WARBLERS remained all weekend along the entrance track to Linford Reserve

Friday, 7 May 2010


These cold NE winds have seen a repeat passage of ARCTIC TERNS through the water bodies in the county, with 9 or more through Calvert and 6+ at Willen Lake North


Bob Fowles discovered a singing male COMMON NIGHTINGALE showing well in the large Oak along the access track at Linford NR yesterday and the bird was still present today. Park near the gravelled fishermans car park on the left of the entrance road. The bird is occasionally singing out in the open.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

TURTLE DOVE in Black Park today

I popped into Black Park this evening after work and heard and saw a EUROPEAN TURTLE DOVE. It was purring on and off in the small trees at the northern end near the five points junction (Chris Hazell).

Cold winds stop play

A few things from a rather chilly day in the field:

Olney Meadows - 1 GRASSHOPPER WARBLER singing, 1 HOBBY, plus 3 singing Sedge Warblers and 3 singing Whitethroats.

Weston Underwood (Hungary Farm) - lots of warblers singing, which was nice to hear, also 1 Yellow Wagtail.

Buttermilk Wood - 1 Cuckoo.

Stewkley - 1 Grey Partridge, 2 singing CORN BUNTING.

But no Turtle Doves, despite the suitability of much of the habitat I was in today. There were plenty of Buzzards up in the air today though. They really do seem to be everywhere. In contrast, the number of butterflies, bees, wasps, etc seemed to be disappointingly low (Rob Hill)

Monday, 3 May 2010

All quiet on the northern front

At 9 o'clock at Willen there was a Dunlin and 2 Oystercatcher on the spit, also 19 Grey Herons and a Little Egret. There were 9 Common Terns on the North Lake and 11 on the South. Lots of Hirundines and a Common Sandpiper on the Ski Tow.

Gayhurst Quarry earlier was quiet with just 2 Oystercatchers, 7 Common Terns and 'Pinky Pinkfoot of any note.

Linford wasn't any better with no waders of any description (Rob Norris)

Spade Oak

A flock of 42 ARCTIC TERNS visited Little Marlow GP yesterday evening, with a further 5 early this morning; there was also a single DUNLIN present (Alan Stevens)

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Another Rowsham WHINCHAT

A quick bash around the fields produced a female WHINCHAT and shortly afterwards 2 Wheatear in a different area. These Wheatear were in a bit of Ridge and Furrow, exactly the same place as I found 2 with the male Whinchat on April 23rd (Mike Wallen)

Willen this evening

2 ARCTIC TERNS at Willen mid-afternoon, amongst 35+ Common. Also 300+ Swift, 120+ Swallow, 100+ House Martin and c50 Sand Martin (Rob Hill)

SANDERLINGS through Linford

Ted Reed has just (10.30) had 2 SANDERLING and 5 Dunlin at Linford. Lost to view , so presumably moved straight through.

WHIMBREL at Willen - 1 May

A four hour visit this morning, and some great birds. Some only briefly though. On the way to the hide, from Pagoda, Reed Warblers and Sedge Warblers along edge of lake. Cetti's at both sides of hide. Pair of Garden Warbler to the right of hide, along with Sedge Warbler, Chiffchaff, and Willow Warbler.

Two Oystercatchers on the spit by island. Common Sandpiper, Common Terns and at least two Little Egret. and at least two Little Ringed Plover and for about ten minutes, a WHIMBREL on the spit, before flying off towards the Peace Pagoda.

House Martins, Swallows and Swifts all in the air. (Keith)

COMMON NIGHTINGALE back in North Bucks

30 April: On a lunchtime run around Caldecotte , Singles of REED , SEDGE , WILLOW WARBLER and Chiffchaff were all singing.

A few sites visited this evening - Highlight of which was COMMON NIGHTINGALE

Stony Stratford NR Pair of COMMON TERNS, 2 Oystercatchers and 3 Lapwing were the highlights

Foxcote 21 SWALLOWS were soon dispersed by two fantastic HOBBIES that proceeded to hawk over the water , 2 COMMON SANDPIPERS were on the eastern shoreline. 1 poss 2 LITTLE OWLS along the gated road

Leckhampsted Wood 1 singing COMMON NIGHTINGALE and 1 poss 2 TAWNY OWLS were vocal.1 LITTLE OWL between Leckampsted wood and Akeley (Simon Nichols)