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, 21 February 2011

BLACK-TAILED GODWIT and ICELAND GULL both still at Spade Oak, with CURLEW and DUNLIN at Upper Ray


Another very dull and dreary day with continuing SE winds and light drizzle. Temperatures remained low too.

I spent the day locally again today, still working on increasing my Buckinghamshire Year List. It was a productive day for waders.....


Kevin Duncan and I had a good look through the birds present at Spade Oak this morning, the highlights being the continuing ICELAND GULL and the BLACK-TAILED GODWIT left over from yesterday. The full list was as follows -:

Great Crested Grebe (6)
Grey Heron (15 birds on the island including at least 6 pairs actively nesting, with a further 4 active nests on the two smaller islands where they were forced to nest initially last year)
Sinensis Cormorant (an incredible 24 active nests on the main island)
COMMON SHELDUCK (pair still present)
Common Teal (12 but no sign of yesterday's 3 Pintails)
Eurasian Wigeon (24 remaining)
Gadwall (10)
Shoveler (5)
Tufted Duck (32)
Northern Pochard (81, mostly all asleep around the islands)
Lapwing (494 on the spit)
**ICELANDIC BLACK-TAILED GODWIT (single winter-plumaged bird feeding voraciously on the spit and showing well - my first in the county this year and 101st species.
Black-headed Gull (350)
Common Gull (29)
Argenteus Herring Gull (15)
Lesser Black-backed Gull (22)
Great Black-backed Gull (3)
**ICELAND GULL (the 2nd-winter showing extremely well from midday until at least 1300 hours, preening and bathing. The bird retains a completely dark eye and a pale pinkish-grey base to the blob-tipped bill but is now quite extensively pale grey on the mantle and in the scapulars. Otherwise, it is very bleached white, especially on the primaries)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk (1)


Was banking with the weather as it was to be in with a chance of the Water Pipit but a work party was trimming the hedgerow on the East Bank and creating too much noise; likewise no sign of the female Goosander.

Great Crested Grebes had well increased, with 19 birds present, with two adult drake Common Goldeneyes in place, along with 3 Mute Swans, and 2 Goldcrests and 4 Long-tailed Tits in the Poplar plantation


Further evidence of Great Crested Grebe movement was my first ever record on the Trout Lakes - an adult in breeding plumage gracing the smaller lake with the islands. There were also 16 Wigeon present, along with a drake Gadwall and 10 Common Teal, a pair of Canada Geese and a Grey Heron but still no Jack Snipe.


The flooded meadows at the extreme west end of the reserve were highly productive with no less than 740 Lapwings present, several European Golden Plover, a flock of 5 EURASIAN CURLEWS (including 3 males) and a single DUNLIN; also 74 Common Teal and 56 Eurasian Wigeon on the floods and in the hedgerow by the farm, 130 Fieldfares, 25 Redwing, 15 Chaffinches and a Reed Bunting.

At the east end, 2 Brown Hares were in the 'Peregrine Field', with a male Sparrowhawk roosting on one of the surrounding hedgerows and 3 Red-legged Partridges and 3 Linnets in an adjoining crop field.

Yet another dead Badger was seen nearby, on the verge of the eastbound A41 at SP 667 197

A total of 117 species has now been recorded in Buckinghamshire this year, compared to 119 in Hertfordshire and an exceptional 132 in Bedfordshire