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

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

MEALY REDPOLLS still in Back Wood

An enjoyable walk around Backwood this afternoon, mainly because I managed to [probably] relocate 2 of the flammeas seen earlier in the year by Simon & Andy.

Both were classic, well-marked birds from the pale end of the spectrum, and could be easily picked out from the accompanying cabaret. Both birds looked pretty much the same, although one of them, which I watched for about 30mins, had slightly less prominent flank streaking and a plainer rump than the other. It also had one single, fairly prominent black utc, which made me think of exilipes. But I've done a bit of research at home, and exilipes would have a needle-thin utc streak, more buff-toned face contrasting with the white breast and flanks, a smaller red "poll" on the forehead, even less flank streaking (often plain flanks), and that "pushed-in" bill look (this bird had a larger bill than that).

These two birds were with a very large finch flock, about 140+ Siskin and 40+ Lesser Redpoll. For those who know Backwood, they were in the large stand of alders at the east end corner of the large field at the back of the pond - SP 912331. For those with an hour or two to spare, an excellent chance to study Redpolls, and maybe dig out an Arctic!

Also 1m Mandarin on the pond, a couple of Buzzard, and a few more Siskin (bringing the total in the wood to a min. of 157).

At Linford at dusk, 2 Barn Owls, a pair of Goldeneye, 1 singing Cettis, and 350+ Fieldfare in the pre-roost there (Rob Hill)