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

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Bittern at Walton Lakes

10 February - Decided to finish my working week at Walton Lake today - not a bad decision as it turns out. A BITTERN was seen from observation platform. Flew in from back of reedbed and dropped into reeds behind me at about 16:20. Very clear view but it did not reappear. In previous years a bittern has tended to roost in the tallest reeds to the right of the platform. (Care - the platform was very icey today).

As if that wasn't good enough I also saw WATER RAIL and PINK FOOTED GOOSE. Two water rails showing very well on the ice. There is a 'mink raft' placed halfway up one of the channels in the reed bed and the two rails were very active around this. They appeared to be pecking at something on the raft but what they can have been eating I've no idea.Arriving back at the car park, I scanned the adjacent grazing area which held a very large flock of Canada and grey-lag geese. The Pink Foot was in amongst a sub group of Greylags which eventually joined the main flock.I've had worse days at Walton Lake! (Martin Kincaid)