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

Rowsham fields harbour fall of WHEATEARS and first COMMON REDSTART of year

A bitterly cold walk around the fields this evening was livened up when I noticed a couple of Wheatears. I then noticed more in the adjacent field so approached for a closer look. The few turned into 7 definites, possibly 9. Whilst admiring these I then heard a repeated 'huet' and pretty much instantly recognised it as a calling COMMON REDSTART. I couldn't see it for ages and then just the briefest of glimpses as it flicked out of some bushes and back in again. Definitely of the Common variety and probably a male but couldn't be 100%. The incredible thing is that it was in exactly the same 30 metres of hedge that the first male of last Summer/ Autumn's birds turned up in. The weather deteriorated and the bird became silent, I ran the last bit to home as a hailstorm arrived.

Unfortunately this bird is miles from the nearest footpath on private land, it is not where birders enjoyed many last Autumn. I'm not sure I'll have chance to check it out tomorrow, maybe Friday morning. If its there I'll try and arrange access (Mike Wallen)