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

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)