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

Friday, 1 August 2014

RED-BACKED SHRIKE has a larder

The male RED-BACKED SHRIKE is still present on Quainton Hill, frequenting the hedgerow that leads west across the West Slopes, some 150 yards west of the transmitter mast. It is feeding well and has a larder in hawthorns below the dead Elder, including within it the remains of a dead Common Shrew and Long-tailed Field Mouse. I suggest it has been present a lot longer than 3 days - the day Tim Watts first espied it.

DIRECTIONS: park in Quainton village and follow the footpath up towards the transmitter, traversing first the sheep field then the grass field before finally the steep section through the field currently being grazed by cattle. It will take you about 20 minutes and is an arduous trek. Once at the transmitter, continue north to the obvious gate 200 yards further on, before skirting back along the top trail bordering the West Slopes.

I obtained this 'new' selection of images this morning........

In addition to the Red-backed Shrike, other migrants present on Quainton Hill include at least 8 COMMON REDSTARTS, Lesser Whitethroat and a few Willow Warblers, as well as the resident COMMON RAVENS (see images below)