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

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Alba Wagtails turning up the heat - and passage MEDS


The biting NNE wind continues, making it feel several degrees below freezing. Bright though, with long clear periods and sunny spells.

More Target Birding today and eventually a bagful of WHITE WAGTAILS......

Being a nice bright morning, I chose CHURCH WOOD RSPB, HEDGERLEY (BUCKS) as my first destination of the day, hoping once more for a Lesser Spotted Woodpecker. Five others also had the same idea, including Haslemere's Graham Smith. In fact, Roger Morton had seen a female at the site on 23 March, but despite a long vigil, nothing was seen or heard.

Highlights included a flyover COMMON CROSSBILL and SISKIN, along with 1-2 Nuthatches, 3 Great Spotted Woodpeckers, Green Woodpecker, Common Treecreeper, 80 Redwings and nesting Blue Tits.

Graham and I then relocated to a much colder and bleaker landscape of SPADE OAK PIT (LITTLE MARLOW), where I eventually located a single male WHITE WAGTAIL amongst 14 migrant Pied Wagtails on the spit. An adult summer MEDITERRANEAN GULL was also amongst the loafing gulls, as well as 3 Great Black-backed Gulls. A flock of 8 Egyptian Geese was on the water meadows whilst numbers of Teal, Shoveler and Gadwall still remained.

Following a call from Dave Cleal, early evening saw me return to a field being ploughed in DORNEY REACH, opposite Oak Stubbs Lane. A party of 4 adult summer MEDITERRANEAN GULLS were just departing as I arrived (calling loudly) but more impressive was the migrant Alba wagtail flock, no less than 59 birds - 54 Pieds and 5 nice WHITE WAGTAILS. Many passage pipits feeding there too, including a very scruffy transitional WATER PIPIT and at least 45 Meadows - 14 Fieldfares too