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, 20 June 2011

Recencies - More Tetrad Work (LGRE)

17/6 Thanks to Graham Smith and his work colleagues was finally able to add LITTLE OWL to my 2011 Buckinghamshire Year List - a regular showing bird (certainly for the past four days) in tall Cedars close to Burnham Library....

18/6 A day of heavy showers, some prolonged, and sunny periods...

First off, went up to Lower Wingbury Farm, near Wing (at SP 875 210), where Ian had seen two European Turtle Doves 'gritting' in the yard late afternoon on consecutive days since 12 June. I put in over four hours but failed to locate them.......

This was a bird-rich farm though, with large numbers of Red-legged Partridges (30+), Red Kite (2), Common Buzzard (breeding), Goldcrest (singing male), Common Chiffchaff (singing male), Blackcap (3), BULLFINCH (2 pairs), Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Wren, Common Blackbird, Dunnock, Greenfinch with young, Great Spotted Woodpecker (single parents feeding single young both), Pied Wagtail and excellent numbers of Brown Hare.

I then concentrated on further intensive tetrad work covering SP 88 06, SP 89 06, SP 90 06, SP 88 05, SP 89 05 and SP 90 05. Highlight was finding another new colony of breeding FIRECRESTS......

This tetrad is dominated by dense forest, The Ridgeway Path dissecting across it. Just a couple of settlements - Concord House being one of them - and some open arable farmland. With the trees being planted so close together, the forest itself is very poor for birds, sio very low densities....Just 10 species recorded...

Common Pheasant (male near Boswells Farm)
Woodpigeon (several nesting pairs)
European Robin (pair in garden at the start of The Ridgeway Path)
Common Blackbird (two pairs)
Song Thrush (singing male)
Blackcap (just 1 singing male noted by Ridgeway Path)
Goldcrest (2 singing males and family party in usual area by first house but no sign of Firecrests this year; another tiny colony of two pairs at the extreme east end of the tetrad)
Blue Tit (several family parties noted)
Coal Tit* (successful breeding with a family party in the conifers close to the first house, with an additional singing male by The Ridgeway)
Carrion Crow (single nesting pair)
Brown Hare (a single by Concord House)

Chesham Lane cuts across this tetrad, with one large tract of forest to the north and extensive farmland in the south, where Eurasian Skylarks were found Otherwise a very poor tetrad with just 7 species found

Woodpigeon (several pairs)
Carrion Crow (6+)
*Eurasian Skylark (singing males in cereal crops either side of King's Lane)
Common Blackbird (two breeding pairs in Kingsash hamlet and another pair in the woodland to the north)
Blue Tit (single by lane just north of Kingsash with a family party in Kingsash itself)
Goldfinch (pair nesting in the garden of 'The Cottage' with another pair at Kings Ash Farm)
Greenfinch (pair in Kinsash hamlet)

Dense coniferous forest with some deciduous interspersed with arable farming; 12 species

Common Buzzard (single pair feeding young in conifer nest)
Woodpigeon (several nesting pairs)
Stock Dove (single pair in tall trees in an open clearing)
*Eurasian Skylark (a single singing male in cereal crop immediately west of Brunsgreen)
European Barn Swallow (gathering of 18 birds hawking for insects over cereal crop west of Brunsgreen, where nesting was suspected in barns at back of farm there)
Common Blackbird (pair nesting in woodland)
Song Thrush (two singing males)
Common Magpie (gathering of 7 birds - including some tatty juveniles - in fields north of Kinsash)
Common Chiffchaff (single singing male)
Goldcrest (family party by one of the trails at the south end of the tetrad and a colony of nesters involving 5 or 6 males in tract of Scot's Pine)
Long-tailed Tit (family party in hedgerow by clearing)
Coal Tit (adults and juveniles in hedgerow with Long-taileds)

Tetrad centred on hamlet of Lee Gate and surrounding famland. To the northeast is Lordlings Wood, a very nice mature woodland with open clearings. 11 species recorded......

Common Pheasant (several in vicinity of barns in Lee Gate)
Common Kestrel (male hovering just north of Lee Gate village)
Woodpigeon (several pairs)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (adult in Lee Gate)
Wren (singing male in Lee Gate)
Dunnock (two breeding pairs in Lee Gate and another pair in Lordlings Wood)
European Robin (pair feeding young in Thorndon Lodge garden)
Common Blackbird (pair feeding young at Thorndon Lodge on Chesham Lane with two more breeding pairs in Lee Gate)
Common Magpie (juvenile in field by Lodge)
Blackcap (male singing in Lee Gate and another in Lordlings Wood)
Common Chiffchaff (singing bird by Chesham Lane and another male in Lordlings Wood)

Two hamlets feature in this tetrad - the picturesque Kingswood centred around The Old Swan Freehouse and the eastern extension of Lee Gate - 12 species noted.....

Woodpigeon (several pairs breeding)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (in flight over gardens in Chesham Lane)
Common Blackbird (two different pairs nesting in Kingswood
Song Thrush (1 by Kingsvale Farm)
Dunnock (pair in Kingswood)
Blackcap (singing male at road junction and another in Fairleigh garden at east end)
Common Chiffchaff (anguished parent attending small young in scrub just north of road junction south of Kingswood)
Great Tit (1 at feeders at Kingswood Cottages)
Blue Tits (several birds including fledged young at feeders at Kingswood Cottages)
Chaffinch (male by Oak Cottages, with another by The Old Swan, with two further males in Pooch Park, opposite Elmwood Exclusive Hotel for Dogs)
Goldfinch (pair nesting in garden of Old Chelsea Cottage)
Common Magpie (juvenile in Kingswood and pair with young by Chesham L