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, 16 June 2011

LGRE Diary Notes Thursday 16 June


A belt of heavy rain crossed the Chilterns area this morning but cleared up early afternoon. It then brightened up and remained sunny and clear until evening - quite warm too.

Undertook survey work this afternoon, mapping out all of the breeding birds of the Amersham Recording Area for 2011.........


There was no sign whatsoever of any Peregrines in the nesting chamber on the east side of the town hall nor roosting on the building. Only last week I checked another local pair and that nestbox held four very well-grown juveniles standing at the front of the chamber. This pair has fledged 11 young in just three years.....


One of the EURASIAN CURLEWS (a long-billed bird so probably a female) was aggressively mobbing anything that flew over the main grassy meadow visible from the hides so I am assuming she is protecting fledged young.

In front of the first hide, on the scrape, a single adult LITTLE RINGED PLOVER was attending just a single young on the closest shingle island; also Atlantic Canada Geese with 8 goslings.

The pools behind the hide held YELLOW WAGTAIL (a male carrying food), 2 singing male Reed Buntings and several Linnets

SP 86 06 Smalldene Farm, SW of Wendover (Buckinghamshire)

A tetrad of mainly open farmland, with a few farmsteads and scattered deciduous woodlands. A total of just 15 species found -:

Feral Pigeon (pair nesting in the barns at Grove Farm)
Woodpigeon (pair nesting at Smalldene Farm
Stock Dove (5 birds feeding in an open short cereal field)
European Barn Swallow (1-2 pairs nesting in the barns at Grove Farm)
European Robin (breeding pair at Smalldene Farm)
Common Blackbird (breeding pairs in the wood beyond Smalldene Farm and another pair in Upper Bacombe Wood)
Wren (just one family group encountered - adults feeding 5 young in wood by low-lying vegetation)
Blackcap (male singing from trees just along footpath from Smalldene Farm, with another just yards away and another in the next belt of woodland to the NW)
Common Chiffchaff (male singing from trees 50 yards from Smalldene Farm)
Great Tit (fledged juveniles on the feeders at Smalldene Farm with an adult in one of the woodland belts)
Blue Tit (at least 6 juveniles feeding on bird feeders by Smalldene Farm with nesting birds in an old stand of woodland to the NW)
Carrion Crow (13 birds seen, mainly in the open grassy fields, including begging juveniles)
Rook (none nesting in square that I know of but both adults and fledged juveniles at Grove Farm - 18 in total)
Chaffinch (family party in woodland towards the west side of the square and a singing male)
Goldfinch (3 in flight over meadow)
Red Fox (showing well inside one of the older stands of woodland)

SP 86 05 - Dunsmore and Little London Villages - Buckinghamshire

Another tetrad dominated by rural landscapes, with a picturesque village to the SW and Little London on the eastern flank - plenty of open farmland and the odd tract of deciduous woodland. A better tetrad with 17 species located -:

Common Pheasant (two females noted in barley)
Moorhen ( present on the tiny village pond at SP 862 052, with a pair brooding 2 or more small chicks on the nest and a well grown juvenile closeby)
Woodpigeon (nesting in gardens in Dunsmore village as well along the track west of the village and at Wendover Lodge)
European Barn Swallow (3 nesting pairs in outbuildings at Lower Little London Farm)
European Robin (nesting pair at Dean House, with at least 3 more in Dunsmore hamlet and another at Wendover Lodge)
Common Blackbird (pair nesting in the garden of Dean House, with 4 different singing males in gardens as I approached the north side of Dunsmore; another pair west of the village and two breeding pairs at Wendover Lodge)
Common Chiffchaff (singing male in Dunsmore village)
*Common Whitethroat (singing male in meadow just SSW of Little London hamlet)
*Goldcrest (a singing male in conifers opposite the pond and a pair with fledged young in the conifer belt by the access road to Wendover Lodge))
Blue Tit (pair fledged from nestbox at Dean House)
Wren (male singing at Dean House)
Dunnock (singing from hedgerow at Small Dean House and nesting in Dunsmore)
Carrion Crow (adult in meadow behind Small Dean House)
Common Magpie (pair present on the southern outskirts of Dunsmore village; local numbers controlled by owner of Dean House)
Chaffinch (6 different singing males in Dunsmore village and another pair at Wendover Lodge)
Goldfinch (pair breeding in garden at Wendover Lodge)
Greenfinch (singing male in conifers in garden of 'Chequermate' and nesting pair in Little London)

SP 87 06 - London Road - Buckinghamshire

Largely cereal farmland, with thick vegetation bordering the lane to Little London and a stand of woodland to the east of the London Road. An impressive Wild Poppy field just north of the houses. A total of 13 species recorded -:

Woodpigeon (11 in field north of Hogtrough Lane and 35 more in crop SSW of Boswell's Farm)
Stock Dove (a pair in the stand of trees bordering the no through lane leading off from the Wendover bypass roundabout)
Carrion Crow (1 by Boswell's Farm)
Common Magpie (pair in the thick vegetated lane near Grove Farm)
European Barn Swallow (nesting in barns to south of Hogtrough Lane - 2-3 pairs - including a very russet individual on the underparts)
House Martin (certainly no nesting birds but a single over barns along Hogtrough Lane)
Wren (singing male by Dunsmore Lane)
European Robin (pair feeding young along the lane and another in the barn by the allotments in Hogtrough Lane; also nesting at Boswell's Farm)
Mistle Thrush (a single bird flew towards tall trees in Hogtrough Lane)
Common Chiffchaff (pair feeding several young in scrub west of the lane opposite track to the railway)
Blue Tit (2 birds noted along Hogtrough Lane)
Chaffinch (singing males by the farm in Hogtrough Lane as well as at Boswell's Farm)
Greenfinch (male singing from tall trees along Hogtrough Lane)
Goldfinch (pair seen along Hogtrough Lane)

To the north of the square, over Boddington Hill, a Red Kite, pair of Common Buzzards and 170 Common Swifts.

SP 87 05 London Road - Buckinghamshire

Another rural tetrad with some nice well vegetated gardens bordering London Road north of Dunsmore Road and paddocks to the north of Rocky Lane. An interesting 'Christmas Tree' plantation to the north of Dunsmore Road. 15 species recorded -:

Common Kestrel (a female hovering for food by the horse paddocks in Rocky Lane)
Woodpigeon (nesting pairs in the London Road gardens)
Common Magpie (pair in garden along London Road)
European Barn Swallow (several pairs breeding in the barns of the horse stables north of Rocky Lane and at The Laurels)
European Robin (nesting in at least one garden along London Road)
Common Blackbird (nesting in hedgerows bordering the railway line behind gardens in London Road and 2 males in the Xmas Tree Plantation)
Song Thrush (a singing male utilising a tall dead tree in the disused plant yard east of London Road and another in the young conifers north of Dunsmore Road)
*Common Whitethroat (singing male in hedgerow and from tall trees along Dunsmore Road - seen also in conifer plantation - with another just north of the 'Firecrest' public house car park)
Blue Tit (fledged juveniles in gardens along London Road)
Long-tailed Tit (a family group in hedgerow opposite 'The Laurels')
Chaffinch (pair present in garden of 'The Laurels' and a male singing at 'The Firecrest' pub car park)
Greenfinch (two pairs present in back gardens along London Road, the males utilising tall conifers from where to sing)
Goldfinch (nesting in cherry trees along Rocky Lane)
Linnet (5 in the grounds of the disused plant yard east of London Road, a pair on wires along Dunsmore Road and family party in young conifer plantation north of the road)
*Yellowhammer (singing male in young Xmas Tree plantation north of Dunsmore Road)