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

Monday, 16 July 2012



Another day of rain. All day again it seems, but not with the intensity of recent weeks

Thanks to Graham Smith and Simon Nichols, I was finally able to add EUROPEAN TURTLE DOVE to my Bucks Year List. In fact, they were the first I had seen in the county since 2010 - that's how bad it has got.

I managed two 'purring' males, side-by-side, on wires between thick transects of woodland at SP 930 162. Easily audible but much harder to see - keeping in the main to tall Ash trees.

Take the public footpath from Cheddington Road in Pitstone just NW of ''Autumn Leaves'' and continue for about 250 yards to the metal gate to the left of the gravelly footpath. Literally another 50 yards beyond the gate is a narrow clearing with wires running away down it - this is where both doves kept continually returning to. This was like the territory border line, with both birds returning to the tracts of woodland either side.

I also stumbled on a Sparrowhawk's nest here - noisy chicks being fed in the nest. Quite a few COMMON CROSSBILLS in the area too - at least 7 flying over.


Nothing new to report on but some breeding success still worthy of merit.......

Wader-wise, adult OYSTERCATCHERS still busily feeding the two healthy chicks buy one sadly being left to fend for itself and looking in bad shape. A Carrion Crow was taking an unhealthy interest in it.

Two adult LITTLE RINGED PLOVERS still, yesterday's adult summer DUNLIN still (working it's way along the bund edge), 2 juvenile Common Redshank and 3 baby Lapwings still.

All 3 juvenile COMMON SHELDUCKS still with both parents, Mute Swan pair, 144 moulting Atlantic Canada Geese, 6 Common Teal and the continuing lone Great Crested Grebe

Common Terns feeding two small young on the West Island spit, with 45 Common Swifts overhead


The pair of BULLFINCHES still present in the garden and eating large numbers of white sunflower hearts


Once Pete Davis had confirmed that the bird was still there, JT and I drove up to Holland Haven to meet our good friend Chris Baines. After a week of dipping, I had some better luck - and the adult PECTORAL SANDPIPER was feeding between the islands at the far side of the main shallow scrape. Although quite mobile, it was still there when we departed the site in the rain at 1500 hours. It was a large individual so most likely a female.
Other waders present included 45 Pied Avocets, 1 summer-plumaged Dunlin, 5 Oystercatchers, 2 Common Redshanks and a Green Sandpiper, whilst also noted were adult Little Egret, adult Sandwich Tern, 40 Common Swift and 5 Sand Martins