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

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

More Rook surveying and more RING OUZELS

Male Ring Ouzel in Inkombe Hole today (Dave Hutchinson)


Well first thing there was another light frost and I had to scrape ice from the windscreen for the third day running. This was followed by another fine day (very unexpected considering the forecast) before another cold front reached the Chilterns just after 1800 hours, with cold winds increasing from the ENE

Checked out west Bucks this morning, mainly searching for ROOKERIES. Found two more sites - WESTFIELD FARM at MEDMENHAM along the Marlow Road at SU 797 847 (43 active nests) and then along London Road in STOKENCHURCH at SU 768 959 (54 active nests). Bizarrely, Richard Billyard also checked this latter site today.....

At NORTHLEIGH GARDEN CENTRE in OXFORDSHIRE, a singing male MARSH TIT was showing very well


At around 1800 hours, the wind freshened up from the ENE and a huge sleet shower moved across the Chiltern escarpment. New in today were 3 RING OUZELS in Inkombe Hole - a splendid adult male, a first-winter male and a female - all showing well on the upper slopes at the top end (car park end) and easily viewable from the new gate on the bridleway. A single male NORTHERN WHEATEAR was also with them, with yesterday's 3 still on the Beacon SE slope. I also had 2 Continental Song Thrushes on Steps Hill.


I was expecting big things with this evening's weather but nothing exciting. WILSTONE had the ever-present DARK-BELLIED BRENT, 4 Little Egrets, 5 Mute Swans, a drake Wigeon, a female Pochard, 18 Gadwall, 27 Shoveler, a COMMON TERN, 18 Black-headed Gulls, 5 Common Gulls, just 1 OYSTERCATCHER, an increase to 115 SAND MARTINS, 9 HOUSE MARTINS and 14 BARN SWALLOWS.

Very quiet at the other reservoirs - just 1 LRP of note on STARTOP'S

Great to hear my good friend Clive Byers chatting to Simon Mayo on Drivetime Radio 2 about woodpeckers and how they do not sustain brain injury when drumming/tapping