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

Friday, 3 June 2011

SAND MARTINS numbers holding up; HOBBY at last


Another gorgeous day, high pressure firmly in charge - wall-to-wall sunshine, clear blue skies and temperatures in the mid 70's

(Permit access only)

Some 25 House Sparrows were present in and around Castleman's Farm, whilst Pied Wagtails were busy feeding young in this vicinity. A further pair of Pied Wagtails were nesting at Lillyfee Woodcarving Studios.

The reason for my visit today was to do an inventory on the burrow-nesting SAND MARTINS in the sand quarry and to see if numbers were holding up. A grand total of 208 occupied burrows were located, with two colonies of 32 and 17 at the north end and three colonies of 24, 55 and 79 within 50 metres of each other at the main breeding 'wall'.

The quarry was very quiet birdwise other than the martins, with one wing-moulting Lapwing flying over, 23 Red Kites, 5 Linnet and several Common Whitethroats on the periphery.


For the second year running, a pair of HOBBIES was nesting in the vicinity - belatedly my first in the county this year.

With the water level so low and an island formed, I was most surprised to find a breeding pair of Lapwing, whilst the lake itself held a single Mute Swan, a drake Tufted Duck and 12 Coot. A male Common Chiffchaff was singing from the woodland belt where breeding proof was confirmed for Stock Dove (pair), Great Spotted Woodpecker, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap and Blue Tit. A pair of Barn Swallows was also in the vicinity.