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, 11 December 2010

WAXWINGS in Wendover


The warmest day in over three weeks with temperatures reaching 7 degrees C. Ice on many of the gravel pits and reservoirs was beginning to melt with many wildfowl on the move between sites. There was a little bit of brightness but generally it remained grey and overcast. The winds were light.

As has been the case for several weeks now, BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS were the talking point and today they were just everywhere. My tally for the day was 252 birds - but there were many more, especially in Hertfordshire.


My first port of call was Wendover, where a highly mobile flock of 14 WAXWINGS was commuting between Lionel Avenue (just off of the main road) and the Haglis Drive cul-de-sac.


Next off, at around midday, I relocated Anthony Dorman's flock in Hatfield, where a total of 124 WAXWINGS was flying in to five heavily laden Pink Rowans within the flat complex at the entrance to Hillfield. They were commuting between here and the tall Poplar trees on the adjacent Langmead. Not one appeared to be ringed.


I then moved north in to Bedfordshire, where I joined a large gathering enjoying the views in the supermarket car parks in the town. A total of 86 WAXWINGS was commuting between the Rowan trees by the Homebase store and the trees opposite the Waitrose store just 400 yards away. Again, no ringed individuals could be located. At times, the flock flew to within yards of observers and photographers and were constantly calling.


A quick stop in Leighton Street yielded a further 28 WAXWINGS, one of which was ringed - but only with a single metal ring.


I spent the last hour of daylight at Marsworth - overlooking the reedbed. A total of 88 CORN BUNTINGS eventually came in to roost (best count this winter so far) and at least 1 CETTI'S WARBLER has survived the freeze.

The wintering EURASIAN BITTERN flew from 75 yards from the causeway at 1614 hours and quickly out of view and the resident BARN OWL at 1630. At least 3 WATER RAILS were squealing (with two walking across the ice) and at dusk, a TAWNY OWL started hooting from trees at Tringford.