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, 7 July 2014

SPOONBILL back again

My first port of call, in another day of tetrad surveying, was SPADE OAK GRAVEL PIT (LITTLE MARLOW), where Adam Bassett had again relocated an adult breeding-plumaged EURASIAN SPOONBILL there. The bird was typically sleeping on the spit but did awake on the odd occasion, before flying off east just before midday.

Not a bad list of species for early July, highlights being the Little Egrets (two nests have fledged a total of 4 young on the island), both Australian Black Swans still, 4 Mute Swans, 17 Greylag Geese, family party of 9 Egyptian Geese, 41 Tufted Duck, 2 Northern Pochard (adult drake and a juvenile), 55 Coot, 12 Great Crested Grebe, 23 Common Tern (including quite a few fledged juveniles), 55 Herring Gull, 2 YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS (an adult and first-summer), 115 Black-headed Gull, 275 Lapwing, 1 Little Ringed Plover, 1 Common Swift, Stock Dove, Grey Wagtail, Western Reed Warbler and a male Bullfinch.

The 3 juvenile Little Egret from one nest

The rest of the day was taken up surveying NW of MARLOW, with Coal Tit, Common Buzzard and Red Kites in PULLINGSHILL WOOD (SU 8286), a pair of House Sparrows at 'The Hatchet' in BOCKMER END (SU 8186), 77 Rook and 2 Stock Dove at BOCKMER HOUSE (SU 8086) and HOMEFIELD WOOD yielding numerous FIRECRESTS, at least 12 SILVER-WASHED FRITILLARIES, breeding Coal and Marsh Tits, 25+ Wren, Nuthatch and several family parties of Common Chiffchaff and Blackcap.

More House Sparrows were to be found in LOWER WOODEND (SU 8187), along with Stock Dove and a singing male Yellowhammer, a Sparrowhawk in HOLME WOOD and up to 8 Skylarks by CHISBRIDGE FARM (SU 8088). MARLOW COMMON (NORTH) harboured a typical selection of woodland species.

A total of 43 active SAND MARTIN burrows was located in SPRINGFIELD FARM QUARRY, whilst searching for Dave Cleal's male Common Redstart on DORNEY COMMON after the rain, yielded 3 LITTLE RINGED PLOVERS on the flood.