Recording Area Annual Totals

97 Species in 2013, 99 in 2012, 94 in 2011, 108 species were recorded in 2010;

Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Garden feeders paying dividends

More evidence of continuing spring passage today when my CHAFFINCH HOUSE garden feeders in LITTLE CHALFONT were visited by a SISKIN and a male LESSER REDPOLL, the 4th of the latter to be seen in recent days. Goldfinch numbers were high too at 16, while the female BLACKCAP remained.

At BOIS MILL POND, 2 Little Egrets were about
Following a call from Dave Bilcock, I made my way to TRING RESERVOIRS, where in the horse paddock fields in MARSWORTH, a Barnacle Goose was present with 47 Atlantic Canada Geese. I am assuming that this is the same individual that visited the reservoirs last year - staying for just three days. The reservoir itself held 10 Great Crested Grebe, 6 Tufted Duck, 4 Pochard, 4 Coot and an impressive 96 Shoveler, with a Red Kite overhead.
Coot numbers continue to deplete, with very small numbers left at the three smaller reservoirs, whilst the WINGRAVE ROAD CEREAL FIELDS reaped nothing more than 450 Woodpigeons with again no sign of the 4 Grey Partridges.
Over at WILSTONE RESERVOIR, Mike Campbell & I were very pleased to connect with the EGYPTIAN GOOSE pair hiding in thick vegetation on the Drayton Bank. Despite the strong and quite freezing NW wind, the number of dabbling ducks that had arrived overnight was impressive, with 184 Shoveler being counted as well as 240 Wigeon. PINTAIL numbers had now increased to 8 (5 drakes).
I did another fruitless drive around ASTON CLINTON searching for Golden Plovers - HALTON AIRFIELD drawing a blank too. In HALTON itself, opposite TREE TOPS LAKE, 2 Little Egret were showing well in an open field - the lake itself harbouring 18 Mallard, 2 Coot & a pair of Canada Geese.
Along the WENDOVER ARM of the canal at THE WIDES, two more Little Egret were in attendance, with 8 Moorhen, 6 Coot, 18 Mallard and a pair of Mute Swan, the cob bearing the ring '4APA'. All 12 MANDARIN DUCKS were counted, 7 of them male.
Not too much to add from neighbouring WESTON TURVILLE RESERVOIR, although 3 Mute Swan (2 adults and a first-year), 6 Great Crested Grebe and 2 Pochard were new since my last visit; a Jay too.
A pair of Mistle Thrush were encountered in HUGHENDEN PARK, while at SPADE OAK GP, LITTLE MARLOW, the SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF was showing well along the west shore, flycatching in the sunshine. At least 4 collybitta Common Chiffchaff were also in the area, as well as a Goldcrest. Otherwise, not much else - the Australian Black Swan pair, 1 Common Shelduck, 4 Egyptian Geese and a showy Common Treecreeper. Adam's 2nd-winter Mediterranean Gull from earlier had flown off.
A Little Egret was an unusual visitor to DENHAM COURT LAKE, while at TROY MILL PIT (WEST HYDE), an impressive 448 Coot were click-counted. Additionally, Little Egret, 8 Mute Swan, 12 Great Crested Grebe, 68 Tufted Duck, 15 Pochard, 2 female Goldeneye and Common Kingfisher were noted, as well as 30 or so Ring-necked Parakeets in the area, largely attracted to Simon Buckingham's canalside pad. Mute Swan '843' was on the canal here too.

At the rear of BROADWATER SAILING CLUB and in vegetation overhanging the RIVER COLNE, the SIBERIAN CHIFFCHAFF I first found in November 2014 was still showing, as well as 6 Common Chiffchaff. A pair of Egyptian Geese were at Lynster's Farm.

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

LITTLE EGRETS at Chesham Moor

The female BLACKCAP and at least 2 BULLFINCHES remain in my Little Chalfont garden while 4 Coot have returned to Bois Mill Pond. An impressive 50 Tufted Duck was counted on Chesham Fishing lakes today (17/2), this site also yielding a singing male Coal Tit. With spring approaching, a lot of birds in song in fact, particularly Robins, Chaffinches & Song Thrushes.

At Chesham Millfields/Moor, 2 Little Egrets fishing and showing well, Grey Wagtail and Common Kingfisher

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Another pair of wintering COMMON STONECHATS

A pair of COMMON STONECHAT has been wintering in the Chess Valley since early January (per Jill Saunders) with both birds showing well today by the very muddy footpath through Mill Farm Meadow. A pair of COMMON RAVEN were honking and displaying overhead, with 30 Redwing also noted.

Four Little Egrets were along the Chess, with a pair of Mute Swans on Crestyl Cressbed and the Ring-necked Parakeet in Sarratt Bottom

Stonechat images will follow later this week

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

A pair of STONECHAT in Beaconsfield....

Highlights today (Tuesday 20 January) included this female BLACKCAP in my CHAFFINCH HOUSE garden in LITTLE CHALFONT - only the second winter record since 1987! Also 2 Bullfinches still visiting and the first 2 House Sparrows this year

Thanks to my good friend Don Stone, was able to add COMMON STONECHAT shortly later - a pair showing well in setaside adjacent to AMERSHAM ROAD in BEACONSFIELD (at SU 947 906); also a flock of 33 Meadow Pipits there

In RONALD ROAD, BEACONSFIELD opposite, a healthy population of at least 16 House Sparrows in gardens
Then, thanks to some very helpful advice from Adam Bassett, added 4 GREY PARTRIDGES - attracted to food at EMMETT'S FARM GAME CROP FIELDS in LITTLE MARLOW. A very attrictive area to birds with 4 Red-legged Partridges also noted, as well as 14 Stock Dove, 190 Fieldfare, 2 Song Thrush, 4 Greenfinch, 12 Chaffinch, 8 Red Kite and a further 20 House Sparrows around the FARM SHOP.
At SPADE OAK PIT nearby, 4 COMMON SHELDUCK on site, as well as a single injured Egyptian Goose, both Australian Black Swans, 6 Greylag Geese, 211 Teal, 126 Wigeon, 10 Shoveler, 72 Gadwall, 54 Pochard, an impressive 224 Tufted Duck, 46 Coot, 6 Great Crested Grebe, 38 Lapwing, 256 Black-headed Gull and 7 Redwing, whilst both Grey Heron and Sinensis Cormorant were both already nesting and displaying on the island.

Just south of MAIDENHEAD, BRAY LAKE held an incredible 452 Tufted Ducks, with 2 hybrid Tufted Duck/Pochards with them and the drake RING-NECKED DUCK pictured below. At least 90 Pochard, as well as 15 Gadwall, 10 Shoveler, 3 Great Crested Grebe and 8 Redwing

Monday, 19 January 2015

LITTLE EGRETS back at Bois Mill

At the meadow just east of BOIS MILL, 5 Little Egret were together today, sharing the brook with 2 Mute Swans; all 3 of the latter were still at CHESHAM WATERSIDE

Spent ages searching BERKHAMSTEAD GOLF COURSE & COMMON for both Lesser Redpoll and Siskin but failed in my quest - just Great Spotted Woodpecker, Coal Tit and 2 Jays - adjacent FRITHSDEN BEECHES adding Bullfinch (2), Common Buzzard, Nuthatch (2), Common Treecreeper (2), Jay (2), Redwing (26) and another Great Spotted Woodpecker
This herd of 47 Fallow Deer was opposite ASHRIDGE COLLEGE
A flock of 70 EUROPEAN GOLDEN PLOVER (and 2 Lapwing) were at WELL FARM, just SW of DAGNALL, whilst DOWN FARM near ALDBURY held 6 Yellowhammers and a Red Kite
No sign of any Grey Partridges around Horton Village but NE of SLAPTON BRIDGE, the GREAT GREY SHRIKE was still showing very well both sides of the Grand Union Canal just north of bridge 118 (see images below); a single Skylark and a few Redwings here too

At GUBBLECOTE, 68 Rook in the vicinity
While 3 Tree Sparrows have been at Long Marston and a drake Pintail at WILSTONE this weekend, all that was at the latter this afternoon were 1 Mute Swan, 377 Coot, 33 Great Crested Grebe, 7 Little Grebe, 270 Teal, 258 Wigeon, 36 Gadwall, 107 Tufted Duck, 120 Pochard, 130 Shoveler and the 3 female GOLDENEYE
At STARTOP'S END, 13 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Mute Swan, 93 Coot, 8 Teal, 13 Pochard, 22 Tufted Duck and the drake Gadwall, while on TRINGFORD, all 10 RED-CRESTED POCHARD remained, 188 Coot, 8 Mute Swans, 2 Little Grebe, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 2 Little Egret and a Song Thrush. In the cow field at the back, a single Meadow Pipit with 4 Pied Wagtails.
A Grey Wagtail and Bullfinch by the SEWAGE WORKS, where both a Reeve's Muntjac and Wood Mouse had been run over

Last knockings at the MARSWORTH ROOST failed to reap the Barn owl (seen Saturday evening), but 71 CORN BUNTINGS roosted (pitiful total for midwinter), just 3 Common Starlings, 4 squealing Water Rails, Green Woodpecker, 6 Shoveler, 2 Tufted Duck, 12 Pochard, 3 Great Crested Grebe, Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk