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

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Another migrant MARSH HARRIER

Little Marlow GP - as I arrived at 13:15, I could hear a Greenshank calling. This was then then joined by a second bird and I watched them both fly off westwards towards the STW. A third bird was then found on the spit, which was a juvenile. Other birds of note were a Little Egret, 8 Shoveler and 6 Teal.

Marlow Bottom garden - post school pick-up and kids teas, I sat down and looked out of the lounge window. Almost immediately I picked up a distant raptor circling over the valley to the east. It had elevated wings, but looked very dark with a pale head through bins. Suspecting a Marsh Harrier, I dashed for my scope but predictably, the bird disappeared and I thought I had blown my chance. However, about 10 minutes later at 16:40, what was presumably the same bird appeared again distantly to the east above 2 Red Kites. Through the scope it was obviously a female/immature type MARSH HARRIER. I watched it glide WNW over the north end of the valley, circling a couple of times before disappearing from view. It was a very dark brown looking bird, although the long squarish ended tail appeared reddish in good light, pointing to adult female. However, the pale gold colouring appeared to be restricted to the head and the hand also looked quite narrow, coupled with the overall darkness of the bird means that it was probably a juvenile - the upper wing was never visible. The yellow legs also stood out at long range contrasting with the dark brown under body. This is my 4th consecutive year to have Marsh Harrier over the valley, so far all between August 26th and September 21st and also all mid-afternoon birds.

Adam Bassett