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, 9 January 2014

PINTAILS at Linford

After completing my Birdwatching review of the month, I set forth into the northern part of the county in search of birds. It had been the first complete day without rain in over two weeks and was fairly mild at 8 degrees C. There was some long spells of winter sunshine.
A Eurasian Sparrowhawk whipped across the A509 at SHERINGTON whilst at EMBERTON PARK LAKES (SP 8850), the 20 GOOSANDER were still present. The Ouse was terribly swollen and had burst its banks, flooding over into the park (see pic) and surrounding fields. Other waterbirds present included 22 Mute Swans, 26 Atlantic Canadas, a single Greylag Goose, the injured Barnacle Goose, 42 Mallard, 8 Gadwall, 16 Tufted Duck, 2 Northern Pochard, just 2 Coot, 6 Moorhen and a Little Grebe, whilst the flooded fields had attracted 46 Common Starlings, 96 Fieldfare and 38 Redwings; Reed Bunting (pictured), Wren, Grey Heron, 140 Black-headed Gull, 3 Woodpigeon and Common Magpie all recorded too.

My best shots of a Greylag Goose thus far

A lot of Fieldfare about

...and severe flooding in the park

I then drove north into NORTHAMPTONSHIRE, birding the eastern pit complex of EARLS BARTON GP at MARY'S LAKE (SP 89 64). The long-staying GREAT WHITE EGRET was showing very well feeding along the well-vegetated edge of the gravel pit immediately south of Mary's Lake, whilst all 3 juvenile LONG-TAILED DUCKS were together on the main lake.
22 Mute Swans, Grey Heron, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 3 Pochard, 39 Tufted Duck, an impressive raft of 18 Common Goldeneye (the drakes in head-throwing back display), redhead GOOSANDER (roosting on the north bank of Mary's Lake), Coot, Moorhen, Sparrowhawk and 2 Bullfinch were also recorded.

 Back in NORTH BUCKS at LINFORD NR, just 2 NORTHERN PINTAIL (a pair) remained with 238 Eurasian Wigeon from Near Hide, but there was no sign of any black-capped tits at the feeding station at Woodland Hide. Again, site in heavy flood, but 22 Mute Swans (including a family party of 7), 234 Greylag Geese, 64 Teal, 14 Gadwall, 2 Shoveler, 72 Coot, 2 WATER RAIL, 3 Grey Heron, 84 lapwing and a Common Buzzard all noted, with a large roost of Fieldfare (240) and Redwing (80) at dusk