Recording Area Annual Totals

93 Species so far in 2011 - January 2011 72 by March 21st - Common Chiffchaff 74 by March 28th - Wheatear & Meadow Pipit both added; 77 by April 5th 108 species were recorded in 2010; 92 by 4 September; 93 by 22 November

Thursday, 13 November 2014

The WINTER THRUSHES have finally arrived and a drake MANDARIN DUCK makes landfall in Lowndes Park, Chesham!

Continuing mild but largely damp and overcast
Restricted myself to the AMERSHAM AREA today and was very pleased to finally see the arrival of a few winter thrushes. Best bird though was a drake MANDARIN DUCK in Chesham - the first record for Lowndes Park Lake....
A single Jay made several forays to my bird feeders at CHAFFINCH HOUSE (LITTLE CHALFONT) but otherwise, little to speak of in the garden of late other than regular Goldfinch & Coal Tit and 2 flyover RING-NECKED PARAKEETS at 0930 on 10th.
Visited SHARDELOES LAKE for the first time in over a month, where waterbirds present included 3 Mute Swans (both adults and their single 2014 offspring), 156 Atlantic Canada Geese, 15 Mallard, 12 Gadwall, 1 female Tufted Duck, 18 Little Grebe, 3 Moorhen and just 44 Coot and 55 Black-headed Gulls roosting. There was a fair bit of Common Buzzard activity, and Red Kite, but highlights were the winter thrushes feeding on the lakeside trees and hawthorns, comprising of 12 Fieldfare, 35 Redwing, 5 Common Blackbird and 4 Mistle Thrush. Two Coal Tits were also here, as well as Blue Tit, Goldcrest and two parties of Long-tailed Tit totalling 14 birds; COMMON KINGFISHER, 2 Stock Dove and Song Thrush were also noted.

At BURY LAKE (CHESHAM), a pair of Mute Swans and 6 Coot were present (with 125 Jackdaws flighting over to roost), whilst at neighbouring LOWNDES PARK LAKE (CHESHAM), the roosting flock of Mallard (111 birds in total) was accompanied by a single drake MANDARIN DUCK - the first I have ever recorded at the site (since regular visits started in 1987) (see images below). Seven Muscovy Ducks were surviving, with just 30 Canada Geese, 5 Embden Geese, 6 Moorhen, 2 Pied Wagtails and a Goldcrest also noted. Woodpigeons were busy feeding on the shrubs.

Very quiet at CHESHAM FISHING LAKES (now under new management) (just 10 Coot & 25 Tufted Duck present) and at LATIMER GREAT WATER & PLACE (4 Mute Swans, 24 Coot, 8 Moorhen, 10 Redwing & 4 Song Thrushes) with the RIVER CHESS between NEPTUNES FALLS & LATIMER ROAD yielding an additional 8 Coot, 18 Moorhen, 2 Little Grebe, 2 Tufted Duck, Grey Heron and a large gathering of at least 50 Mallard. Three Song Thrush roosted in an evergreen close to the bridge, with Goldcrest, Green Woodpecker and 3 Wrens also logged

Monday, 27 October 2014

First local GREAT GREY SHRIKE in decades

Last Friday, a visiting Canadian birdwatcher chanced upon a GREAT GREY SHRIKE in the Misbourne Valley - showing well in isolated bushes within the hedgerows 200 yards south of the A413 about a third of a mile east of Old Amersham. This was the first record within the immediate Amersham Recording Area in several decades.....a corking record

Thursday, 9 October 2014


I witnessed a flock of 470 ATLANTIC CANADA GEESE present on Lowndes Park, Chesham, today - the largest number ever recorded in the area and Chess Valley. The single GREYLAG GOOSE was also still with them...

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

ROBINS return to garden for winter

This first day of October saw the arrival of not one but 2 ROBINS in my garden today - both singing to each other; also plenty of Jays on the move locally...

Monday, 29 September 2014

Hunts Green attracts 3 STONECHATS...

Don Stone had 3 COMMON STONECHATS in this area yesterday (Sunday 28 September) but there was no sign of them when I looked this morning. Plenty of birds though, including a migrant Grey Wagtail, 2 male Yellowhammer, Reed Bunting, 10 Linnet, a flock of 45 Stock Dove, 8 Meadow Pipit and a Red Admiral butterfly.

Monday, 15 September 2014

LINNET surprise

Yet another day of easterly winds, unusually warm, dry and partly cloudy...
Two House Martins flew west over CHAFFINCH HOUSE at around 0900 hours but otherwise, still extremely quiet on the garden front
Thanks to Steve Blake, I finally caught up with a COMMON STONECHAT in Hertfordshire today and after I finished my August Round-up of rarities for Birdwatching magazine, I made my way over to TYTTENHANGER GP....
The COMMON STONECHAT (a young male) was highly mobile and was commuting between the fenceposts along the east shore of the main birding pit and the hedgerow that borders the footpath. It did not allow close approach, the following shots being taken at distance...

Not much else of note other than a single migrant Meadow Pipit (see pic), Green Woodpecker, 7 Long-tailed Tits and a Common Chiffchaff, with 140+ Black-headed Gulls roosting on the pit, along with 1 adult Argenteus Herring and 7 Lesser Black-backed.

I then decided to walk the CHESS VALLEY - CHENIES harbouring a few House Sparrows, 4 Collared Doves, 2 Dunnocks and a singing Goldcrest. No sign of any chats in either the paddocks or ploughed fields but Red Kite and its youngster in trees by MOUNTWOOD FARM plus 3 Jays and a Green Woodpecker.

At the CRESTYL CRESSBEDS (SARRATT BOTTOM), Jay, Chaffinch, Green Woodpecker, 8 Moorhen, 2 Grey Wagtail, 4 Pied Wagtail and a Grey Heron noted, with at least 1 WATER VOLE on the tributary. Both RING-NECKED PARAKEETS were once again in the tree by the lane and VALLEY FARM HORSE PADDOCKS added more Pied & Grey Wagtails, the usual LITTLE OWL, another Green Woodpecker and 4 remaining Barn Swallows. Most outstanding however was a flock of 135 LINNETS feeding either side of the access track to the farm - the largest flock I have seen in the Recording Area since I first moved here in April 1987. A large percentage were juveniles, indicating a bumper breeding season.....

The rest of the Valley was relatively quiet, although a HOBBY flying high east over MILL FARM MEADOWS was one of a very few seen this year in the area.