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

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Local Mega: SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF at Manor Farm

Matt Slaymaker discovered a SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF at Manor Farm, Old Wolverton, on Tuesday - the bird still present with up to 5 colybitta today........further details and pictures here -

Tuesday, 19 November 2013


A GREAT WHITE EGRET was present at Calvert Sailing Lake for a short while today (Warren Claydon, Tim Watts)

Saturday, 16 November 2013

Local Mega - First-winter PALE-BELLIED BRENT GOOSE at Little Marlow

Just before midday, I met John Hoar at LMGP who told me that he had seen a lone Brent Goose about 45 minutes earlier in a newly sown crop field just to the north of the pit, north of the Marlow Road.  He said that it had flown off south and he hadn’t seen it again and thought it might have come into the pit, which it hadn’t.  I checked the fields adjacent to the pit with no success, so decided to revisit the original location accessed just north of the farm shop at Emmetts Farm.  I quickly found a lone Brent Goose in the second field NE of the farm, but it was very distant.  Shortly later, a low flying Red Kite flushed it and it flew off south towards the Marlow Road, but then doubled back and landed a field closer to me, though still quite distant.  The paleness of the flanks was always quite obvious, as was the clear demarcation of the black neck to the paler upper breast, so I immediately thought that this might actually be a Pale-bellied Brent as opposed to the more regular Dark-bellied birds – Dave Cleal also thought this.  I was struggling to remember the actual variability that Dark-bellied might show, so took some distant record shots – Graham Smith turned up and had a text that said one of the key features was lack of dark belly between the legs – this bird appeared to have a white belly in this region from what I could see.
On returning home after school pick up and children ferrying, a quick look at my downloaded records and a few google images and Collins, it appears that this bird probably is a Pale-bellied Brent – I will upload them to the Bucks website, but the bird was distant, so they are heavy crops.  It was too distant to even be sure if it was adult or juvenile, but the images appear to show an adult bird.  I understand from Mike Collard that he could not locate the bird at 2:30pm which coincided with shooting in the area, but hopefully it will be relocated (Adam Bassett)


Tuesday, 12 November 2013

WILLOW TIT still in residence at Linford NR but bring your own food

I travelled up to Linford Nature Reserve yesterday in the hope of photographing the resident WILLOW TIT but little did I realise that you have to take your own food, as the feeders in front of the Woodland Hide where it resides were empty. As a result, I failed miserably, coupled with the lack of food and the continuous drizzle. The Willow Tit came by on a number of occasions, always announcing its arrival by its nasal calling, but failed to visit the table; a couple of MARSH TITS arrived briefly but even they were a nightmare to photograph. As it was, I got reasonable images of Blue Tit, Great Tit, Robin, Dunnock, Chaffinch and Grey Squirrel!

In addition, other species noted included a first-winter MEALY REDPOLL, 140 Fieldfare and a pair of Bullfinches whilst the Black Swan Lake by the entrance held 3 COMMON GOLDENEYES.