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, 28 November 2012

Mute Swan 677

Yesterday, I reported on a colour-ringed Mute Swan I saw at Watermead Park in Aylesbury

Today, its ringer Mike Reed, sent me some intriguing information

The bird was ringed as an adult in Apsley, Hemel Hempstead, on 5 May of this year, 206 days ago, and had moved 26 kilometres from there. It was accompanying two youngsters, so had presumably nested there or in Aylesbury. Interesting stuff

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Serious M25 accident

At around 1330 hours, I got called out for this terrible accident on the anti-clockwise M25 - a heavy goods vehicle had driven in to the bridge pillar at Denham and completely disintegrated. Sadly, the driver was killed instantly. Traffic was at a standstill for over 5 hours, with complete gridlock in all surrounding areas.

The Watermead Floods

The Watermead Lake MUTE SWANS

Adult Mute Swan 677

The WAXWING show

Record number of COOT at Shardeloes


Lots of rain again today and then, after it had moved through, an increasing and very cold Northerly wind set in


What I believe was a record number of Coot present on the lake - no less than 202 birds

Not much else to speak of though - the resident pair of Mute Swans, 8 Mallard, 8 Gadwall, 3 Tufted Duck, 6 Little Grebes and 2 Grey Heron.


I was present from 1055 to 1134 when 27 BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS repeatedly flew in and out of the tall tree. Now comprising at least 5 first-winters but berries disappearing fast - concentration is now on the third tree and more precarious to view; also several Fieldfares today and a lone Redwing, sadly the latter getting run over.


All around Watermead was sodden and flooded - never seen it like that before - the Fitness Centre was completely surrounded by water. I did a count of the birds present, comprising 8 Great Crested Grebes, 6 Mute Swans, 218 Atlantic Canada Geese, 1 Greylag Goose and 74 Mallard. One of the adult Mute Swans was ringed - orange '277'.

Nearby, on flooded fields, 8 Common Magpies and 5 Meadow Pipits noted

On the WENDOVER BYPASS (BUCKS), a female Bullfinch flew across the road

Just over the border

Just over the border in Berkshire, Queen Mother Reservoir currently has a juvenile LONG-TAILED DUCK and a first-winter RED-NECKED GREBE...

Just look at these luscious shots from Mike McKee.......

Queen Mother is accessed by permit only - membership through the Berkshire Bird Club

Monday, 26 November 2012

And they are now up to 31

And now up to 31 WAXWINGS on Gatehouse Way, Aylesbury - and more smashing shots, these from TONY HOVELL

Sunday, 25 November 2012

And another excellent selection from CHRIS HINTON

waxwings UP TO 23

The Aylesbury Gatehouse Way WAXWING flock increased to 23 birds today and with blue skies, photographers such as JOHN FOSTER were busy.........

Some cracking shots John....

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Ageing the Aylesbury WAXWINGS

Michael Stallman has very kindly emailed me these two excellent images from Gatehouse Way in Aylesbury, allowing me an opportunity to write a short piece on ageing Waxwings.

The bird in the lower image is an ADULT MALE, typified by its broad pale yellow terminal tail-band and sharply defined black throat patch. Males also have more striking red waxing on the wing. Adult females have a much narrower yellow tail band and a relatively poorly-defined black throat patch. Both adults have clearly visible white tips to the primaries.

FIRST-YEARS, such as the bird in the top image, have a very thin yellow terminal tail-band and lack the white primary tips, possessing just pale fringes to the outer webs.

Today's highlights

Well, it virtually rained all day......

At least 16 WAXWINGS remained in Aylesbury today, with a first-winter CASPIAN GULL and first-winter MEDITERRANEAN GULL at Spade Oak

Yesterday, a SHORT-EARED OWL flew west over Calvert Sailing Lake (per Warren Claydon)

Friday, 23 November 2012


Still 20 WAXWINGS in Aylesbury this morning (Simon Gardner's excellent images above) and a further 12 alongside the A422 near Astwood this afternoon in the extreme north of the county  

Thursday, 22 November 2012