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, 3 April 2013

Didn't want to go out but forced to by a myriad of rare visitors


With the wind increasing further today, I really thought twice about going out, especially as then air temperature was marginally above freezing......

Anyhow, news of a drake Red-breasted Merganser spurned me on, and within 22 minutes, I was looking for it. Had I have been told that a boat was out on the water and flushing everything, I certainly wouldn't have bothered - and as it was I dipped the merganser and bagged just 15 BLACK-NECKED GREBE and 25 Shoveler

Whilst standing in what felt like a refridgerator, I took a call from an excited Laurie Bryant, whom had just stumbled upon a STONE CURLEW along the entrance track to GALLOWS BRIDGE BBOWT. I was a long, long way away but it was worth persuing........

Driving North along the A41 towards Aylesbury, I was frustrated at the high number of dead BADGERS - 9 in all - with yet another just east of Waddesdon

In an attempt to avert the gridlock of Aylesbury's ring-road roadworks, I took the STOCKLAKE route and was very pleased to see the flock of 17 ICELANDIC BLACK-TAILED GODWITS on the flash at SP 837 141, several adults in full breeding plumage (see my shots above).

I finally arrived at GALLOWS BRIDGE BBOWT at 1320 hours where both Laurie and Tim Watts had recently been watching the STONE CURLEW close to the access track. Laurie and I walked back from the car park towards the gate and flushed the bird from the grass on to the track and enjoyed some nice views of it before a car appeared at the gate. I fired off three shots before the bird flew and eventually settled over the back of the main pools in the first field. It then wandered stealthily about the long grass before being attacked by a Brown Hare and then flew the length of the field to land in the bare earth field just north of the access track. It then made its way to the far hedgerow before coming to rest - seemingly sunning itself in relative comfort from the wind for the next hour or more. It was an unringed individual.

Intriguingly, Laurie had relocated the Common Crane at Gallows Bridge on exactly the same date two years ago - so clearly a lucky man. Knowing too that he was regularly getting up to 9 Tree Sparrows in his KINGSWOOD GARDEN, I spent the next 90 minutes with him touring the immediate vicinity, logging 5+ LESSER REDPOLL, a migrant COMMON CHIFFCHAFF, male Yellowhammer, 20 House Sparrows, 11 Redwings and 23 Fieldfares.

A pretty eventful day