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

Friday, 16 November 2012

KNOT touches down in fog at SPADE OAK


It was pretty foggy early on so my visit to the hills was delayed. However a NUTHATCH in the garden more than compensated for it - being the first record for this year

At around 1030 hours, I did finally get to IVINGHOE HILLS but it was pointless - the fog was much thicker here and had hardly cleared at all

Anyway, Tony Revell discovered a RED KNOT at MARSTON VALE MILLENIUM PARK (BEDS) and gave me a good excuse to change location. Of course it was gone before I got there (Martin Palmer and Andy & Melissa Banthorpe getting there before me and dipping) but I did stumble in to a nice HAWFINCH as I wandered towards the hides, undulating over and calling as it headed from the Park over the line of Poplars and away beyond towards the test track. There were a large number of winter thrushes present too, particularly Fieldfares. A single OYSTERCATCHER was a surprise sight on the Pillinge (replacing the Knot that was present for perhaps just ten minutes) but as I sat in the hide, Adam Bassett contacted me to say a RED KNOT had just dropped down into SPADE OAK PIT, LITTLE MARLOW (BUCKS) with a Dunlin - Was it the same bird?

I had a half-hearted look for Penduline Tits then departed south......

I met up with Adam, Dave Cleal and Jackie at SPADE OAK some 40 minutes later but as suspected the Knot was long gone - it had only made landfall about 15 minutes (although none of the aforementioned observers had seen it fly off) - the DUNLIN was still there though !

Not a great deal of interest, with low duck numbers noted, but did count 7 Great Crested Grebe, 54 island-roosting Sinensis Cormorants, 52 Wigeon, 11 Teal, 13 Shoveler, 10 Pochard, 638 Lapwing, 13 Common Snipe, Common Kingfisher and a single LESSER REDPOLL. An adult Mute Swan was dead besides the spit.

I left Alan Stevens scanning as Malcolm, Adam, Jackie and I departed and less than ten minutes later, the first-winter CASPIAN GULL came in at 1513 hours