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, 31 July 2010

COMMON QUAIL at last but alas - still no Grey Partridge !


Well the last day of July was yet another hot day with some clear periods and a light SW wind. Some light rain had fallen during the early morning but that hardly made any affect on the scorched and parched grass. Thanks to Mike Collard and his tetrad atlassing, I was finally able to add COMMON QUAIL to my County Year List......


Having not checked this site in a few months, thought I had better complete a summer census, despite most breeding birds now having departed.

The lake itself held 1 Mute Swan, 1 Atlantic Canada Goose, 14 Mallard, 33 Coot (including 3 juveniles), 8 Moorhen (including 4 juveniles), 1 Lapwing, 1 Black-headed Gull, 2 Stock Doves and 1 European Barn Swallow, whilst the woodland edge yielded Great Spotted Woodpecker, Common Treecreeper, Common Chiffchaff, Common Blackbird, Greenfinch, Goldfinch, Long-tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Wren and Carrion Crow.

The undoubted highlight was an adult HOBBY (in heavy wing moult) which kept flying back and forth over the lake catching insects.


Following up Dave Cleal's sightings of yesterday evening, I was delighted to confirm LITTLE RINGED PLOVER nesting at the site - a female feeding two very small juveniles - as well as COMMON RAVEN nesting - a pair attending two juveniles in the quarry.

Once again, 2 Common Buzzards, 6+ Red Kites and a myriad of large white-headed gulls were feeding on the newly laid rubbish, the latter containing at least 65 argenteus Herring Gulls (predominantly first-summers) and several YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS.

A Song Thrush was also seen.


Whilst at Springfield Quarry, I received a message relating to a COMMON QUAIL near Little Hampden. As this was still a species I had not recorded in Bucks this year (dipped 4 so far), I made my way straight over. The grid reference provided was SP 862 023 but when I got there, this clearly was not the location. Fortunately, Neil Fletcher had phoned the record in and through RBA it was easy enough to raise him. He eventually managed to talk his way through the directions and at long, long last, I was finally able to add COMMON QUAIL to the Bucks Year List. It was repeatedly calling from a wheat field to the west of the Little Hampden road, 300 yards south of the church, from 1430-1500 hours and its exact location is at SP 863 003.

The same field also yielded Common Pheasant and Red-legged Partridge (pair), with 3 singing male Yellowhammers in the vicinity.

I then decided to explore the Icknield Way and walked from Little Hampden church (SP 861 035), north through Little Hampden Common wood, past Little Hampden Farm all the way to Dunsmore Old Farm (SP 859 050). This was largely mixed woodland, with both coniferous and deciduous growth.

Species recorded included GOLDCREST (2 family parties totalling 10 birds), MARSH TIT (pair by Hampden Farm), Coal Tit (3 family parties), Blue Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Robin, Wren, Common Chiffchaff (1), Common Blackbird, Common Buzzard (4), Bullfinch, Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Green Woodpecker, and Jay (3), as well as Comma and Red Admiral.


Little Grebes had successfully bred at this site (1 juveniles), with other species recorded including Mute Swan (pair), Atlantic Canada Goose (pair), Mallard (5), Tufted Duck (female), Coot and Moorhen

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Belated RUFF report and Finemere Wood butterflies


Another very warm day and today coupled with bright sunshine as a wedge of high pressure moved in. I decided it was a great day to try and find local butterflies and pitched up at Finemere Wood mid morning......


A singing male YELLOWHAMMER was present in the hedgerow east of Green Park Caravan Site


Successful breeding: 18 European Barn Swallows in vicinity of farm buildings


Finemere Wood was part of the ancient Royal Forest of Bernwood and is now being restored and managed by BBOWT. Today, some of that management work was being carried out, a tractor cutting down all of the vegetation on rotational sides of the rides - where large numbers of butterflies were feeding (surely, late September cutting would be preferential)

Sadly, in a 2-hour period, I failed to locate any of the 5 PURPLE EMPERORS that had been sighted at the reserve since 5 July, nor any of the White Admirals.....

I did however record 16 species - Green-veined White (42), Common Blue (7), Brown Argus (3), Comma (1), Small Copper (1), Ringlet (100+), Meadow Brown (150+), Small Heath (15), Gatekeeper (200+), Brimstone (1), Peacock (2), Speckled Wood (11), Large Skipper (3), Small Skipper (3), PURPLE HAIRSTREAK (9) and SILVER-WASHED FRITILLARY (5)

Birds included MARSH TIT, Blue Tit, Common Chiffchaff, Common Whitethroat, Yellowhammer, Linnet, Common Blackbird, Chaffinch, Wren, Goldfinch and Common Kestrel. Highlight was a family party of BULLFINCHES.


Impressive numbers of House Sparrows noted with 8+ by Prune Farm entrance (SP 693 224) and 21 (including numerous fledged juveniles) just NW of the village at SP 681 230).

(1300-1330 hours)

Still looking great with a large exposed island of mud and nice muddy margins. There was no sign of Warren Claydon's RUFF of yesterday evening (I have managed to miss everyone of these this year so far - roll on August Dorney) but waders present did include 1 juvenile LITTLE RINGED PLOVER, 2 GREEN SANDPIPERS, 2 Common Sandpipers and 203 Lapwing.

Also of note were 3 LITTLE EGRETS, 2 Grey Heron, 7 Great Crested Grebes, 15 Sinensis Cormorants, 30 Mute Swans, Mallard, 6 Gadwall, 8 Tufted Duck, Coot, Moorhen, Black-headed Gulls, 7 Common Terns, a male Common Pheasant, 2 Stock Doves, Magpie, Carrion Crow, Common Blackbird and 3 Western Reed Warblers.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

WOOD SANDPIPER at Ca;vert for second day

A WOOD SANDPIPER is present for a second day at Calvert Landfill; access here is problematical and requires hard hat and safety uniforms

Saturday, 24 July 2010

WOOD SAND at College Lake

There was a WOOD SANDPIPER at College Lake BBOWT briefly this morning (per Dave Bilcock)

Thursday, 22 July 2010


I made an early afternoon visit to LMGP to catch up with Graham's summer plumaged DUNLIN, which was still present roosting on the spit in front of the island. Not much else except the regular adult Oystercatcher and a Common Sandpiper. I spent some time checking out the gulls - there were about 60 large gulls and about 100 Black-headed Gulls. There was some obvious coming and going, but I eventually picked out 3 adult YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS, a third summer and a second summer. At 3:10pm, something spooked all the BH Gulls. Whilst picking out the culprit, a passing Sparrowhawk, I also noticed 4 Black-tailed Godwits flying over south - they then circled round and landed on the spit and were 4 summer plumaged adults. They continued to feed on the back of the spit opposite the island and were still there when I left at 4:10pm. Whilst checking the gulls again before leaving, I found 3 juvenile YL Gulls that were new in and the first for me at this site this year.

4 Black-tailed Godwits, adult summer
1 Dunlin, adult summer
1 Common Sandpiper
1 Oystercatcher, adult
8 YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS, 3 adults, 3s, 2s, 3 juveniles
2 Common Gulls, adults

Adam Bassett

Elsewhere, a small group of ICELANDIC BLACK-TAILED GODWITS flew over Lathbury village (per Rob Norris)

Monday, 19 July 2010

Little Marlow Gravel Pits - Sunday

I spent a couple of hours at LMGP either side of midday. On arrival, not much of note, an adult Oystercatcher and about 40 large gulls on the spit, including the regular ringed adult YL Gull, 624J plus another adult. At 11:30am something put everything up and I eventually got on an immature Peregrine as it circled off with a Common Buzzard and a Red Kite. After midday some more large gulls started arriving including another adult YL Gull, then a first summer bird in active primary moult followed by a third summer and then a second summer. I'm not sure how long these gulls stay here, but at 5pm yesterday there were just two YL Gulls - the usual 624J plus another adult.

Some interesting behaviour - there are obviously a lot of fresh water mussels about - the Oystercatcher was certainly feeding on them as were the crows - the first summer YL Gull kept approaching the crows to try and grab a free mussel and when I first saw the third summer bird it flew in with a mussel in its beak being closely pursued by the first summer bird.

Adam Bassett

Saturday Waders

Manor Farm - A SANDERLING briefly before it was flushed by a Carrion Crow.

Linford - 2 Oystercatchers, 1 Green Sandpiper and 1 Common Sandpiper.

SSNR - 2 Oystercatchers.

Foxcote Reservoir- 2 Greenshank, 1 Common Sandpiper and 1 Little Ringed Plover (Ted Reed)

Friday, 16 July 2010

Heavy rain forces waders down

Finally some good waders on the extensive mud at Foxcote Reservoir this morning. All either on the spit or at the west end, except for one Common Sandpiper on the dam (Phil Tizzard)

1 juv Common Redshank
2 Common Sandpipers
2 Green Sandpipers
1 juv LRP
181 Lapwings

Elsewhere, a summer-plumaged DUNLIN dropped in at Pitstone Quarry this evening.

Thursday, 15 July 2010


The two summer plumaged islandica BLACK-TAILED GODWITS were still around the spit when I left at 14:50. Also on the spit were 2 adult Oystercatchers and 2 Common Sandpipers.

Early afternoon is obviously a good time for the large gulls to be loafing on the spit as there were 200+ again there today, probably more Herring than LBB and at least 7 Yellow-legged Gulls, 6 adults and a second summer. The same second summer gull that I saw yesterday showing many Caspian features was there again today and still looks good, but spent most of its time partially hidden. Also 100+ BH Gulls around the end of the spit (Adam Bassett).

Wednesday, 14 July 2010


A quick visit pre school pick-up found a large group of 200+ large gulls loafing on the Spade Oak Gravel Pit spit, which contained a surprisingly higher percentage of Herring Gulls than LBB. Also found in the group were 6 Yellow-legged Gulls, 5 adults and a second summer and also an intriguing gull that showed a lot of features of second summer Caspian - unfortunately I had to leave before I could see all conclusive features. None of the yellow legs appeared to be wearing a ring, although a 2S Herring had a white ring on its right leg that I couldn't read and a juv LBB had a red ring that I also couldn't read - note to self, need higher magnification!

Also present, 1 Oystercatcher, 1 adult LRP, a juv Little Egret and 5 Shoveler (per Adam Bassett).

More Local Survey Work - COMMON RAVEN July surprise and first CHALKHILL BLUES of year


A lot more rain fell today, with showers continuing on and off until late afternoon. Temperatures remained quite high and the wind was in the southwest. I carried out more breeding season survey work today, highlights being nesting House Martins, Marsh Tits and a wandering Common Raven....


On the River Chess by Water Lane bridge (SP 958 013), a pair of Moorhens was feeding 3 young. Close by, at the junction of Fullers Hill and Wey Lane (SP 958 012), I was delighted to discover two active nests of HOUSE MARTINS on the eaves of the corner house, the owner informing me that a colony had existed there for at least 44 years ! This same area also held breeding Collared Dove and HOUSE SPARROW (1 pair), whilst 8 Common Swifts were overhead.

Chesham has a thriving breeding population of Western Jackdaws utilising the chimney pots - totalling at least 30 pairs (including 3 pairs opposite the Queen's Head and numerous pairs in Bellingdon Road).

A total of 43 pairs of HOUSE SPARROW was located in Chesham, with the core populations on Lansdowne Road, Mount Nugent, Berkhampstead Road and on Vale Road; a further 6 Common Swifts were in the Evangelical Church area on the main road.


The most unexpected sighting here was of a loud cronking COMMON RAVEN that flew NE over the Rose & Crown public house and main road, constituting my first this month. It was missing a few flight feathers.

The woodland strip here held 11 singing male Wrens, Chaffinch with young, Greenfinch, Common Blackbird, Blackcap (feeding fledged young), a singing male Common Chiffchaff and families of both Great and Blue Tits.

I found an excellent new plantation area of young conifers (at SP 944 069) and this harboured Green Woodpecker and young, a family party of 6 Linnets (plus another pair), 5 Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinches and a singing male YELLOWHAMMER. There were two Red Kites overflying the area too.

On the northern outskirts of the Common, a pair of European Barn Swallows were nesting in a horse barn and both family parties of Blackcap and Common Chiffchaff were noted. A Eurasian Skylark was singing nearby.


Buckland Wood was a mixed deciduous woodland bordering Bottom Road but was dense and dark. Birds noted included Jay, Wren, Common Chiffchaff and Coal Tit, with another singing male YELLOWHAMMER on the opposite side of the road on St Leonard's Common.


At the edge of Northill Wood, just behind the buildings, a family party of MARSH TITS was encountered.


Very, very quiet, with little of note - 2 Mute Swans, 1 Common Redshank, 8 Common Terns, 15 House Martins and 8 Sand Martins.


Water level dropped dramatically with the central ridge of mud apparent. A large number of roosting small gulls including 83 Black-headed (including 1 juvenile) and a 2nd-year COMMON GULL (my first this month), along with 20 Lapwings and 8 Tufted Duck.


In the small meadow right of the chalk track, 80 yards beyond the first new gate, I quickly saw 28 CHALKHILL BLUE BUTTERFLIES, despite the poor weather (see Francis Buckle's excellent photographs above). There were also many Marbled Whites, Small Heath, Meadow Brown and Ringlets.


This extensive tract of woodland is best known for its bumper Edible Dormouse population, bolstered by the provision of several hundred nestboxes (for full details, read the following I decided to visit today to carry out an extensive bird survey, the woodland consisting of a wide variety of native and ornamental trees including Douglas Fir, Coast Redwood, Dam Redwood, Norway Spruce, Sessile Oak, Common Oak and Cherry. Most species have now ceased singing but I did manage to prove nesting for Dunnock, Jay, Common Chiffchaff, Nuthatch, Long-tailed Tit, Wren and Coal Tit (3 family parties). Two different Goldcrests were found but remarkably no Firecrests. There were numerous Badger setts in the wood.

Monday, 12 July 2010



After returning from my first-ever WHITE-TAILED PLOVER in Kent, I met up with good friends Dougal, Rossie and John and took them over to Dancers End Woods to show them EDIBLE DORMICE.

The first animals began contacting each other in the avenue of trees shortly after 2200 hours and over the next hour, some 15 specimens were encountered. We enjoyed some excellent views as they fed on berries overhead and clambered from branch to branch. The guys were well pleased.

As darkness fell, at least 3 TAWNY OWLS called and as I drove up through 'The Crong' on returning home, superb prolonged views were obtained of a BADGER in the headlights. It was trying to find food at the roadside but sadly, much of the ground is still very hard.

Friday, 9 July 2010


A couple of returning adult ICELANDIC BLACK-TAILED GODWITS appeared in the county on Thursday (8 July), with singles at Manor Farm, Wolverton (Chris Gleadell) and Little Marlow Spade Oak Gravel Pit (Alan Stevens).

Meanwhile, the LESSER EMPEROR dragonfly remains at Black Park Lake. PURPLE EMPERORS are now out at four different sites in Bucks.

Saturday, 3 July 2010

Finally - breeding GOOSANDERS seen


Well an eventful day. Following along the same lines as recent days, very warm and sunny again, with temperatures well in the high 70's. I had been hoping to see a Buff-breasted Sandpiper that had been present at Titchwell Marsh, North Norfolk, the evening before but by 0800 hours this morning, there had been no sign of it and it had presumably moved on overnight. Maybe it is last year's adult returning and will visit Cley Marsh in the next few days.

Anyway, disappointed at a no-show, I went down to Aldenham, where I bumped into an old sparring partner and author, Derek Turner. I was very pleased that he had managed to turn his life around and was now with a new partner - I had not seen him for several years and we once shared a lot of great times together, especially in very distant foreign climes in the late 1990's.

Then later, my fetish with the World Cup continued and I watched a very young and regimental Germany thrash one of the South American favourites Argentina 4-0. What an upset and following an earlier very exciting game that I had watched between Ghana and Uruquay (perhaps one of the games of the tournament) which ended in a penalty shoot-out. Presumably Germany will now go on to win, certainly if they play like they did today.

Robert Norris contacted me during the afternoon, so later I joined him in the evening at Olney Mill and at 2000 hours, we both enjoyed fabulous views of the adult female GOOSANDER and her three small young, fishing in the shallow water on the first bend, 100 yards east of the Mill. Rob photographed them, with one of his images published above. She originally had six young when first seen. The young birds were dark brown above and gleaming white below, with richer rufous colouring around the head and a narrow white streak behind the base of the bill and a pale loral spot.

This represents only the second breeding record for the county and follows a sighting of a female on the River Ouse at Gayhurst accompanying 12 small young on 8 May 2007 (Nik Mynard).

Goosanders are a tree hole nesting species and females generally lay 8-14 cream-coloured eggs. Incubation is by the female alone and males usually drift away with the eggs hatching after 30-32 days. The babies jump from the hole and run quickly to the nearest water. Though they can dive immediately, they feed mainly on surface insects, changing to small fish only when they are about ten days old. The youngsters finally fledge at 60-70 days of age.

Again, non-naturalised Barnacle Geese were present (6 this evening, Rob had seen 11 earlier) (Lee G R Evans)

Friday, 2 July 2010

A circuit of North Buckinghamshire - breeding TREE SPARROWS

JULY 2010


Some light relief early on when a band of light drizzle passed across the Chilterns. The heat soon returned though and by late afternoon, it was muggy and hot again. Temperatures peaked at 28 degrees C, although the sun struggled to break through the heavy cloud.

I reserved today to do a full circuit of North Buckinghamshire and eventually recorded 68 species. Highlights included breeding TREE SPARROW, YELLOW WAGTAIL and new HOUSE MARTIN colonies but biggest disappointment was failing to locate the breeding Goosanders and again failing to find Grey Partridge.....


After hearing of Rob Hill's sighting of a female GOOSANDER and 3 young (initially there had been 6 young), I was mad keen to witness this exceptional county breeding record and made an early start up there. Sadly, despite an exhaustive search, I could not relocate them, despite searching the Great Ouse river as far east and north for a mile.

Above Olney town itself, over 50 House Martins were overflying (suggesting a respectable breeding colony) and 30 Common Swifts, whilst on the River Great Ouse 'island' was an adult post-breeding OYSTERCATCHER, an adult summer-plumaged Black-headed Gull and an adult Common Tern.

Walking a mile stretch of river yielded 9 Mute Swans, a group of 54 Atlantic Canada Geese (mostly juveniles), 10 non-naturalised Barnacle Geese, several Moorhens and a Little Egret.

Breeding species in the Mill area included GREY WAGTAIL (pair with three fledged juveniles) and COMMON KINGFISHER (pair feeding young), whilst WESTERN REED WARBLERS included three singing males in sedges along the south bank of the river. A pair of House Sparrows was present in gardens opposite the churchyard.

An interesting observation involved a family group of Carrion Crows. One of the adults stood next to one of the juveniles and started preening its head in the same fashion as an ape would check another ape or how a mother would check her child's head for lice. This behaviour went on for over half an hour and was meticulous, the adult carefully peeling apart the feathers and presumably checking for lice and other parasites. I had never seen such behaviour before and it was very interesting to watch - the family bonding between the corvids is tremedous.

A pair of Mute Swans was attending 3 cygnets by the A509 bridge and a male Pied Wagtail was returning repeatedly to the church roof with food.


In neighbouring Emberton Park, the flock of non-naturalised Barnacle Geese was 81, including many juveniles.


I decided to return to Stoke Goldington to check the resident TREE SPARROWS. I was delighted in finding three active nests, two in and around the garden that I first found them in April and another in a tall Ash tree nearby. One nest was only just above head height in a short, quite young tree and contained several chirping babies. By erecting nestboxes in this vicinity, we could perhaps bloom a thriving colony as happened at Beddington Sewage Farm - must be worth a try.

A singing male Common Whitethroat was nearby whilst in the village, I located 1 HOUSE MARTIN nest in the High Street, on the house bearing the sign ''Birds Lane''.


Walking across to the farm buildings at Quarryhall from Mill Farm yielded Green Woodpecker, several Eurasian Skylarks, 3 Greenfinches, 2 Yellowhammers, Goldfinch, 2 Stock Doves and most importantly, breeding YELLOW WAGTAILS. Three pairs in all, in cereal fields north of the footpath at SP 855 455, and the females repeatedly returning to a small brook adjacent to find food.

Along the River Great Ouse, a female Reed Bunting was feeding young (on damselflies) and 2 WESTERN REED WARBLERS were in song. A pair of Moorhens had two small young.

On the main pit to the east of the complex, the summering drake EURASIAN WIGEON was present at the far east end, along with 15 Greylag Geese, 16 Mute Swans and a pair of Great Crested Grebes. A pair of Lapwing were attending a single chick on the shoreline, whilst a Common Chiffchaff was in song from the wood by the footpath.


Adjacent to the Giffard Park roundabout at Rawditch Furlong, I discovered a thriving HOUSE MARTIN colony on the new properties being built there. There were at least 12 active nests.


LITTLE EGRETS have once again had an excellent breeding season at the site and of the 10 birds recorded today, four were fledged juveniles, actively moving about the heronry.

Great Crested Grebes were also present (2 pairs), with 1 pair nesting.

(1410-1440 hours)

A single COMMON SANDPIPER on the spit represented my first of the autumn return passage, although there was no sign of any of the Green Sandpipers recently seen there.

Otherwise, there were Great Crested Grebe (4 pairs), Little Egret (3 on the island), Mute Swan (pair with a single cygnet), Lapwing (3), Coot (85, plus breeding pairs with 3,3 and 2 young respectively), Common Tern (9 adults on rafts, with two well grown juveniles and one recently fledged young), Western Reed Warbler (16 territories in total) and Sedge Warbler (1 singing male by the river on the east side).

Driving west towards Buckingham on the A421 SE of Thornborough, there was a dead BADGER sadly (at SP 750 327)


Foxcote Reservoir was very low and in great shape for wader passage with extensive mud on show and lots of roosting birds. The reserve had been the victim of unwarranted vandalism, with the hide partly singed and the blinds along the boardwalk burnt and smashed in places. Species noted included :-

Great Crested Grebe (10 including a pair mating)
Little Egret (1)
Mute Swan (22)
Lapwing (21 post-breeders)
Black-headed Gull (1 juvenile - my first of the year)
Common Tern (2 adults)
Western Reed Warbler (3+)
Reed Bunting (3 singing males)

My only Common Kestrel of the day was a male by 'The Lodge' on the A421.


Hillesden Pools were a complete waste of time and effort, as after I had battled my way along the overgrown footpath riddled with the nettles and brambles, I arrived at the hide to find it was locked with a combination padlock.

The Hillesden House garden held Linnet, a male BULLFINCH and a singing male WILLOW WARBLER - the latter my first in a while.

In the village itself (SP 682 301), House Sparrows were relatively plentiful (10+) and 6 European Barn Swallows including juveniles lined the wires, whilst in Church End (SP 685 288), more House Sparrows were seen and a nesting pair of SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS in the Vicarage Garden.


With little news reaching me these days of birds at this site, I popped in and carried out a breeding bird survey. Being hot and in early July, birdlife activity was minimal bit I did record 10 Great Crested Grebes (1 pair with 2 young and another with just 1 young), a pair of Mute Swans with 5 cygnets, 1 female Tufted Duck, 22 Coot (with two juveniles), 3 adult Common Terns sitting on nests on the rafts but no evidence of any chicks, Western Reed Warblers (5+ pairs feeding young) and a singing male Common Whitethroat. Marbled Whites were in evidence on the heath opposite the hide but no European Turtle Doves were either seen or heard (nor were they at other regular sites I visited this afternoon).


The grass and vegetation is so long now that it is virtually impossible to see anything other than the scrape by the car park and the one in front of the first hide. Consequently, the breeding Curlews were not seen. Highlight was a male YELLOW WAGTAIL in front of the hide, along with 15 post-breeding Lapwing, a Brown Hare, a breeding pair of Meadow Pipits feeding young near the hide, Common Kestrel, Linnets, Eurasian Skylarks (6+), Red Kite, 2 singing male Reed Buntings, male Yellowhammer and an adult male Pied Wagtail and 3 juveniles. Emperor Dragonflies were in front of the hide and Marbled Whites were in good supply.

Recent sightings here have included up to 4 Eurasian Curlew, Green Sandpiper, 3 Little Ringed Plovers (pair and juvenile) and a jangling male Corn Bunting on 25 June.

A further HOUSE MARTIN nest was located in Waddesdon.


I checked out the ''Duke Cutting'' at Ivinghoe this afternoon and was delighted to see good numbers of very fresh DARK GREEN FRITILLARY butterflies on the wing on the more open area just north of the S bend at Ivinghoe. There were several Marbled Whites as well, along with Meadow Browns and Ringlets, as well as 27 Pyrammidal Orchids and several hundred jaded Common Spotted Orchids.


Just inside Bedfordshire and west of the B4506 (at SP 995 174), there are some amazing fields completely covered in Red Poppies - a staggering sight.


Chris Pontin and I counted 83 spikes of Pyrammidal Orchids in the field just adjacent to Hodd's Wood (see photographs above), along with large numbers of Marbled White butterflies. A Song Thrush was singing loudly from the wood.

Thursday, 1 July 2010


There was indeed a female GOOSANDER at Olney Mill this evening, with 3 well-grown ducklings in tow (there had initially been 6 young). A splendid sight, and one I never thought I'd see in Bucks. Possibly the same female that bred at Gayhurst Quarry a few years ago? Surprising that the male hasn't been seen at all.

Also 1 Curlew and 12 Barnacle Geese at the mill (Rob Hill)