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, 3 November 2011

Exceptionally late COMMON QUAIL at Rowsham

No, I kid you not, I haven't gone totally crazy !
Unbelievably one was accidentally flushed from under a bush/ hedge in Rowsham at about 10.20 this morning.
I was out walking the dog, who is a bit of a 'retriever' when she clearly smelt something under the edge of a hedge, she went around the back of this bit of hedge as I tried to pull her back thinking she was going for a Rabbit. A bird then flushed and broke out of the bush/ longish grass. My initial thought was a Redwing, seeing a brown bird with a strongly marked face pattern. It then came out within perhaps 4 ft of me and immediately turned away from me before rising and going over the 25ft hedge. As it did this it called, not its usual clear call but perhaps a quieter version, but definately 'bubbly'. The view of it was simply breathtaking, albeit for probably only 5 seconds. There is no doubt of the identification.

What on earth is one doing here in November ? I suppose its most likely a 'reverse' migrant and has arrived here on these strong Southerly winds.

Whichever way it was a stunning sight and an amazing record.

I have searched the adjacent field without success but it really is a needle in a haystack now.
Also 300 Fieldfare present (Mike Wallen)