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

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

More Tetrad Work - LGRE


The longest day of the year. In fact, a better day than of late, with dry weather throughout, with some long sunny periods and warm temperatures. Carried on with my fieldwork today, covering four more tetrads, most noteworthy being a cluster of BULLFINCH sightings.......


A record number of 13 Jackdaws visited the garden together today, all cramming on to the bird tables taking seed. The flock consisted of both adults and juveniles.


A tetrad dominated by open farmland, with Dundridge Manor to the east being the only settlement. Lady Grove was a mixture of trees but had substantial amounts of Holly. A total of 19 species was noted - higher than average -:

Literally only yards from the square and just north of the Recording Area was St Leonard's Churchyard (SP 910 071) where a pair of SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS were busily feeding young.

I followed the Chiltern Way footpath and fully explored the tetrad, Lady Grove harbouring a nesting pair of COMMON BUZZARDS.....

Common Pheasant (present in crops)
COMMON BUZZARD (pair feeding young in nest in tall Larch tree in Lady Grove)
Woodpigeon (numerous, with gathering of 45 in one field)
Green Woodpecker (single seen in flight)
European Barn Swallow (pair nesting in the grounds of the White Lion)
Eurasian Skylark (singing male in barley crop 250 yards south of Dundridge Manor)
European Robin (pair present by the White Lion pub)
Wren (pair present at Dundridge Manor)Blackcap (singing male in Ashen Grove)
Carrion Crow (nesting in Lady Grove)
Jay (adult with recently fledged young in narrow tree belt SW of Dundridge Manor)
Common Blackbird (pair feeding young in Ashen Grove, with another pair in the grounds of Dundridge Manor and another in the garden of The White Lion)
Common Chiffchaff (adult feeding young in fir plantation near Dundridge Manor)
Blue Tit (adults with fledged young at Dundridge Manor)
Chaffinch (pair with young in grounds of Dundridge Manor)
Goldfinch (pair nesting in tree close to the White Lion pub)
Linnet (female on wires opposite the White Lion)
*BULLFINCH (pair frequenting the trees along the access drive to Dundridge Manor and later seen acting suspiciously in the hedgerow opposite)
House Sparrow (the most northerly birds in my Recording Area with a colony of at least two pairs nesting in the heavily ivy-covered walls of The White Lion public house; they were commuting back and forth to the allotments alongside Springhall Hill)

Centred on Arrewig Farm, Barn and Cottages, this is another rural tetrad dominated by open farmland but featuring Chesland and Cindry Bottom Woods. Not so good as the neighbouring tetrad though with just 16 species encountered -:

Common Pheasant (noted in fields north of Arrewig Lane)
Red-legged Partridge (pair in quarry working area just west of Autumn Cottage Farm)
Woodpigeon (numerous; nesting)
European Barn Swallow (pair nesting in barn at Threegates Farm)
Pied Wagtail (male gathering food near Threegates Farm and disappearing in buildings there)
Dunnock (pair breeding at Corfield Cottage)
Wren (singing male in Chesland Wood and another in Bray's Wood)
Common Blackbird (pair feeding young at east end of Arrewig Lane and another in Chesland Wood)
Common Chiffchaff (singing male in Bray's Wood, another in trees just east of Corfield House, another in Chesland Wood)
Blue Tit (adults and fledged young at north end of Bray's Wood)
Great Tit (adults with fledged young in scrub opposite Threegates Farm)
Common Magpie (gathering of 5 birds along Arrewig Lane)
Blackcap (singing male along Arrewig Lane)
Chaffinch (male singing in hedgerow near Autumn Cottage Farm and pair in scrub opposite Threegates Farm; a further male in Bray's Wood)
Goldfinch (nesting at Arrewig Farm)
*BULLFINCH (vocal pair - in fact the male was in full song rarely heard these days - in hedgerow bordering Arrewig Lane SE of the farm complex)

More open farmland either side of Oak Lane with an extensive sward of woodland at Widow Croft. A total of 18 species noted -:

Red-legged Partridge (calling male in crop south of Oak Lane)
Moorhen (pair bred on small lake at rear of 'Woodlands' with one tiny youngster feeding out in the open on the lawn)
Woodpigeon (several pairs nesting in Widow Croft)
Eurasian Skylark (singing male over crop NE of 'Woodlands with another south of Widow Croft')
European Robin (pair feeding young at 'Woodlands')
Common Blackbird (at least 3 pairs nesting in Widow Croft, three juveniles at Woodlands, nesting birds in Buckland Common
Song Thrush (two singing males in Woodside Wood with two separate adults seen carrying food)
Wren (singing males in Widow Croft, Woodside Wood, another in 'Woodlands' and another in back gardens at Buckland Common)
Blackcap (singing male in Woodside Wood)
Common Whitethroat (adults feeding young by Oak Lane opposite Widow Croft)
Common Chiffchaff (singing male in Widow Croft)
Blue Tits (adults and young in Widow Croft)
NUTHATCH (family party in tall trees of Widow Croft opposite 'Woodlands')
Carrion Crow (pair feeding two young in field at Buckland Common)
Common Magpie (pair in Buckland Common)
Jay (1 in Woodside Wood)
Jackdaw (19 flew over Widow Croft)
Chaffinch (singing male in Buckland Common and another pair near Oak Lane)

A very poor tetrad birdwise but noteworthy in its exceptional colony of Common Spotted Orchids.

Woodpigeon (present and breeding)
European Barn Swallow (nesting at Asheridge Farm)
Common Blackbird (nesting at both Wood Farm and Asheridge Farm as well as in Newsets Wood)
Common Magpie (pair by Newsets Wood)
Blackcap (singing male by Newsets Wood)
Great Tit (juvenile in Newsets Wood)
Chaffinch (male singing at Asheridge Farm)
Yellowhammer (singing male in hedgerow NE of Threegates Farm)

Common Spotted Orchid (an impressive spread of over 450 spikes by the small pond in Newsets Wood)