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, 8 July 2013

QUAIL at Pitstone Hill

Did a spot of butterflying most of the day with local expert ROGER KEMP (author of an excellent DVD on UK butterflies) but sadly no Purple Emperors out yet at the regular hotspot...

FINEMERE WOOD was alive with butterflies though and although we missed 2 White Admirals, we did see 7 SILVER-WASHED FRITILLARIES, 4 Small Tortoiseshells, 3 Brimstone, 9 Small Skipper, 28 Large Skipper, 70+ Marbled White, 400+ Ringlet, 22 Small Heath, 150 Meadow Brown and a Large White; birds noted included a PEREGRINE on a pylon, 8 Yellowhammers, a male BULLFINCH, Nuthatch, Jay and 3 separate family parties of MARSH TITS

Checked out Woodham Industry, a neighbouring disused railway site, Calvert and Hillesden for European Turtle Dove but no sign

This evening, accompanied by Chaz Jackson and an Amersham birdwatcher, enjoyed excellent views of a COMMON QUAIL at Pitstone Hill, in the large barley field adjacent. This bird had originally been heard by Rob Andrews last night - and earlier today by Graham Smith. It came to within 10 feet of us three as we stood at the edge of the barley. The same field also yielded 3 jangling male CORN BUNTINGS, at least 22 Skylarks, a family party of 5 Common Whitethroats and 4 Yellowhammers, whilst the hill itself held freshly emerged DARK GREEN FRITILLARIES.