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, 31 May 2012

A productive second half of May

A SANDERLING was at Spade Oak Pit, Little Marlow, on 18 May (Adam Bassett et al), the same day a BLACK TERN appeared at Willen South Basin (Rob Hill). Next day, Rob and Lucy discovered a CATTLE EGRET at Manor Farm and this bird remained in the area and at Haversham Mill for three days.

A female RUFF paid a 3-day sojourn at College Lake from 20-22 May, where the pair of COMMON SHELDUCKS fledged 11 young. A TURNSTONE was at Caldecotte Lake on 21 May (Peter Lyons), the same day a MARSH HARRIER appeared at Gallows Bridge (Jackie Newcombe) and a superb first-summer male RED-FOOTED FALCON was besides the Jubilee River 400 yards of Marsh Lane Weir (and still present until late morning next day).

On 26 May, Rob and Lucy had a pair of GARGANEY, 2 COMMON GREENSHANKS and a SANDERLING at Manor Farm, whilst a single GREENSHANK was at Spade Oak on 29 May.

Friday, 11 May 2012


Two passage TURTLE DOVES the highlight, over water heading west and just as it looked like they were going to land in pollarded willows, they gained height and headed off into Northants airspace.

Two Hobby's, two Dunlin and a Ringed Plover also on site, other usual waders, Still four Wheatear on North Shore, two females, two males today along with a handful of Yellow Wagtails.

Chris Gleadell

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Rain, rain - go away rain

Little in the way of news - 9 Dunlin at Manor Farm, at least 3 Hobbies at College Lake and the singing male COMMON NIGHTINGALE thundering through the night at Bledlow Pavillion

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Make the most of 'our' NIGHTINGALE

We made it !

With Phil Tizzards counts of yesterday, I have now logged 2,062 Rook nests in the county this year, with some still to census, particularly between Stokenchurch and Marlow Bottom. It is a lot more difficult to count nests now though, as the foliage is encroaching fast; also, many young Rooks have now fledged the nest and seemingly pairs only have one brood per year

I am particularly indebted to all of you that have taken part - many thanks indeed

Just to reiterate about 'our' NIGHTINGALE at Bledlow, this is a real treat and should be savoured by all of you that can get down. Common Nightingale has decreased as a breeding bird in Britain by 92% and is a species in real trouble - in Bucks, we are lucky now to get two songsters per year (27 years ago when I first moved to Bucks, I would easily annually log 20 !)


Park sensibly and courteously in the vicinity of the Lions pub in BLEDLOW VILLAGE and take the diagonal public footpath across the oilseed rape field to the railway. The bird is in the thicket immediately behind the cricket club pavilion in line with the blue 15mph sign on the railway track and is perfectly audible at 100 yards or from the car parking area next to the pavilion. You can feel the reverberations as it thunders into full song. Obviously early mornings or evenings are best

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Another NIGHTINGALE - this one in Milton Keynes

At 1215 today I listened to a Nightingale beside the Abbey Hill Golf Course - for those who use the course it was in the shrubery to the left of 11th fairway. It appeared later in the bushes to the left of the 18th green (Tony Wood)


On Saturday (5 May), Richard Billyard's 2 WHINCHAT remained at Kimblewick, whilst 4 were 400 yards east of canal bridge 14 at Broughton Trout Pools (LGRE) and one briefly on the spit at Marlow. This latter site also yielded a WHIMBREL and up to 20 WHEATEARS (Mike Wallen). A female COMMON REDSTART was seen at Stowe (Phil Tizzard), with the BAR-TAILED GODWIT still at Sherington Bridge Floods (Simon Nichols).

Five WHIMBREL remained at Gallows Bridge, as did the COMMON NIGHTINGALE at Bledlow but highlight of the day were a party of 3 COMMON CRANES that flew NNE along the line of the A404 Marlow Hill mid afternoon (Chris Heard).

On Sunday, a drake COMMON SCOTER and BLACK TERN were at Willen Lake South Basin.

Friday, 4 May 2012

More waders

A WHIMBREL flew through Dorney Lake mid morning (Dave Cleal), with 4 still at Gallows Bridge and another at Spade Oak GP towards dusk (Alan Stevens). Two COMMON GREENSHANK landed briefly at Spade Oak (Wally Smith), with 2 DUNLIN at College Lake BBOWT (Francis Buckle).

WHINCHATS today included singles at Broughton Trout Pools (Mike Wallen) and Pump Lane, Marlow Bottom (Neil Wragg), whilst the singing male COMMON NIGHTINGALE continues in Bledlow (Mark McKeown)

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Another highly eventful day

The day began with a flock of 9 BAR-TAILED GODWITS briefly on the main marsh at College Lake BBOWT (Chris Trew). Tim Watts then had 4 WHIMBREL and a GREENSHANK at Gallows Bridge before Rob Norris found a nice male BAR-TAILED GODWIT at the Sherington Bridge Floods (seen later by LGRE and others). Simon Nichols then found a breeding-plumaged GREY PLOVER at Manor Farm, Old Wolverton, with 7 DUNLIN and 3 TUNDRA RINGED PLOVER there also (Chris Gleadell, LGRE).

Richard Billyard had another BAR-TAILED GODWIT and 3 WHINCHATS at his farm at Kimblewick, with 2 of the latter still present at the Pump Lane Horse Paddocks in Marlow Bottom (Rosalind Stevens).

At Bledlow, the singing male COMMON NIGHTINGALE remains (Dave Parmenter)

Birds galore - Wednesday 2 May

Mark McKeown heard a COMMON NIGHTINGALE singing constantly in Bledlow village from 1130 to 0200 hours this morning and again at 1100 hours. It was singing from the side of a railway cutting and was ranging 50-100 yards beyond the 15 mph sign on the railway line running west from the village (Park by the Lions pub and then walk diagonally across the oilseed rape field to the line and then 200 yards west beyond the cricket field). The bird was still singing early afternoon (Mike Collard, Adam Bassett, Warren Claydon) but became much more elusive by late afternoon (Dave Parmenter, LGRE).

A COMMON REDSTART was seen by the aquaduct at Ouse Valley park (Paul Dowdle), with a pair of RING OUZELS at the west end of Manor Farm Workings, Old Wolverton (Chris Gleadell). The latter site also hosted a LITTLE TERN for just 5 minutes at 1900 hours (Rob Hill) before departing east, with the 2 summer-plumaged DUNLINS still there.

Simon Nichols and Rob Hill had a summer-plumaged TURNSTONE on the ski-raft at Willen South Basin, with the 9 WHIMBREL still in residence at Gallows Bridge (Tim Watts) and the summer-plumaged BLACK-TAILED GODWIT at Dorney Rowing Lakes (Dave Ferguson). A further DUNLIN and a COMMON CUCKOO were at Spade Oak (Ben Miller), with two new WHINCHATS (a male and a female this time) in the northern section of the Pump Lane horse paddocks, Marlow Bottom (David Cox et al).

A flock of 5 LITTLE GULLS flew east through Manor Farm (Chris Gleadell), whilst later in the day, Rob Norris discovered a transitional-plumaged GREY PLOVER and 3 SANDERLINGS on extensive floodwaters to the NW of Sherington Bridge, NE of Newport Pagnell

Tuesday 01 May

WHIMBRELS included 9 at Gallows Bridge (Warren Claydon & Tim Watts) and 2 over Little Marlow GP (Adam Bassett), whilst the adult summer BLACK-TAILED GODWIT remains at Dorney Rowing Lakes Reserve Pool (Kevin Duncan)

Three ARCTIC TERNS were seen at Willen South Basin, with WHINCHATS including 2 males at Pump Lane Horse Paddocks, Marlow Bottom (Adam Bassett et al) and a male in the paddock in front of Bradwell Abbey, Milton Keynes (Simon Nichols)