Recording Area Annual Totals

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

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

22-23 AUGUST

Hobby - my first in the District this year

The family of RUDDY DUCKS still doing well; all 6 juveniles still growing well

Shardeloes Lake

Great Crested Grebe - all 7 birds present - 3 adults and 4 juveniles
Mute Swan - all 6 still present
Canada Geese - 20
GADWALL - 5 still present
*NORTHERN SHOVELER - now TWO birds present
Tufted Duck - 3 females

Stock Dove
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER** - 12 birds present in Willows at west end.
Reed Bunting - 1 male


A HOBBY (my first in the District this year) flew over Little Chalfont shopping centre and then my house at 1312 hours.

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

OSPREY flies over Latimer - 18 August 2008

Osprey 'Beatrice', trapped and satellite-marked in Moray (Roy Dennis)

Beatrice's Details: Is a neighbour of Logie (another satellite-tracked Osprey); she is the breeding female at nest B16 near Forres in Moray and is colour ringed green 5B. This year, she was first seen at Logie's nest on 1st April, with a young male osprey 'red 7J', but quickly moved back to her own nest, when her mate returned from Africa.

Green 5B was ringed as a chick in Strathdon, Aberdeenshire on 8th July 2000 by Ian Francis and Stuart Rae. She was one of three chicks. She arrived at nest B16 in 2003 but by the time a new mate settled in, it was too late to breed. She reared one chick in 2004, and two chicks each year 2005-2007, and has another two young this year. Her mate has been the same bird - which I ringed 'ochre TK' on Forestry Commission land near Elgin in 1998.

We caught the female osprey in the evening 9th July using a decoy and a dho gaza net. She was in very good condition weighing 1862 grams: her wing length was 546mm and tail 235mm. Her ring number was BTO 127049. We fitted a GPS satellite transmitter and the released her, she flew straight to her favourite perch, a tall larch tree next to her nest.

On 18th August 2008, an hour after this adult female Osprey had flown south over Dagnall, she flew at 47 km/hr over Latimer and my Little Chalfont house at midday. It represented the 96th species recorded in the District this year.

See for the complete return migratory story of this Osprey

Monday, 18 August 2008

16-17 AUGUST

Spotted Flycatchers increased again to 12 birds on Sunday 17 August


Shardeloes Lake (1220-1320)

Great Crested Grebes - 6 still present
Little Grebes - 8 present
Mute Swans - family group of 6 still present
Canada Geese - 3
GADWALL - pair including a drake moulting out of eclipse
Common Buzzard - 2
RED KITES - 5 in area including two juveniles
Green Woodpecker
COMMON SWIFTS - 3 present
Pied Wagtail (10 remaining on cricket field)
Song Thrush
WILLOW WARBLER - 3 at the west end
Goldfinch - 6+ including juveniles

Lower Weedon Hill Farm

Common Buzzard and Meadow Pipit


Shardeloes Lake (1500-1700)

No sign of the HOBBY present since Friday and seen earlier in morning (Graham Smith). This represents the first record of this species in the Amersham District this autumn, with the only summer record that at Shardeloes on 29 June (per Jonathan Baines).

Great Crested Grebes - 2 adults and four juveniles
Little Grebe - 6
Grey Heron
Mute Swans - 6
GADWALL - 5 present, with two drakes
*NORTHERN SHOVELER - single eclipse-plumaged bird present with Mallards
*NORTHERN POCHARD - 1 adult drake present
Common Kestrel
Common Buzzards - 4+
Coots (32) and Moorhen (17)
Black-headed Gull - 2 adults
Lesser Black-backed Gull - 4 over
House Martin - 16
MISTLE THRUSH - high count of 47 birds, mostly juveniles
Blackcap - 2
WILLOW WARBLER - 5 at the west end, juveniles in sub-song
Common Chiffchaff - 3
Long-tailed Tits - 11
*SPOTTED FLYCATCHER - another big increase to 12 birds
Greenfinch - 6 (4 juveniles)
Goldfinch - 10

Latimer Long Lake

Little Grebe (adult), Mute Swan (19 adults), Canada Geese (47) and Tufted Duck (9).
Mistle Thrush - 6

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Kites flying high as strong winds set in

(heavy showers throughout the day, with a strong WSW wind, gusting to force 6 at times; 13 degrees centigrade)

RED KITES were the order of the day with large numbers seen as farmers begin ploughing up stubble. Otherwise very few new arrivals.

Shardeloes Lake (0950-1040)

There was no sign of yesterday's Pied Flycatchers nor of many of the warblers that made landfall during the rain. In fact, just 1 SPOTTED FLYCATCHER remained, commuting between a large Oak and the main lake.

Significant, however, was a major fall of PIED WAGTAILS - 15 was present on the cricket field, including 4 adult males. Also, the first SAND MARTINS of the autumn (in the Amersham District) and impressive COMMON SWIFT numbers

Great Crested Grebe - 4 still (1 adult with 3 juveniles)
Mute Swans - family party of 6
Common Kestrel - first-year male and adult female
Great Spotted Woodpecker
House Martins - 42
SAND MARTIN* - 2 juveniles
Mistle Thrush - 25 mainly juveniles
Goldfinch - 4 juveniles
Reed Bunting - 2 (male and juvenile)

Penn Bottom/Winchmore Hill

A farmer was ploughing his stubble field opposite 'The Old Barn' entrance just west of Charcoal Grange at SU 918 947 at midday, attracting 6 RED KITES (including 2 juveniles) and 5 adult Lesser Black-backed Gulls. Nearby, a slurry field at Winchmore Hill (400 yards east of Pennstreet Farm at SU 928 953, attracted 3 more RED KITES, as well as 134 Jackdaws, 73 Rooks, 23 Carrion Crows and 31 Common Starlings.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

PIED FLYCATCHERS forced down by rain


The undoubted highlight was the discovery of 3 PIED FLYCATCHERS - the first record for the area (127).

Shardeloes Lake

A torrential shower lasting half an hour or more instigated a 'mini fall' of passerines and hirundines at Shardeloes Lake late afternoon, including many warblers and flycatchers. Pride of place went to 3 juvenile PIED FLYCATCHERS. As I approached the far west end of the lake, I heard a familiar call - a persistently, repeated, short metallic (and rather sharp) 'wit'. A bird darted out of the lakeside bushes and flew to the Willows at the back of the pool and had obvious white in the wing and tail. I raised my bins and was amazed to see a PIED FLYCATCHER on an exposed perch. It was rather creamy-yellow on the upper breast, whiter below and on the chin and throat, unstreaked and rather brownish on the upperparts. It sat there for several minutes and was seen to have two faint whitish wing-bars and a broad area of white on the tertials. It was also very black and white in the tail. It was still very anxious, calling loudly and opening and shutting its wings repeatedly.

As I panned around the bushes adjacent, I realised that the Willows and other bushes were full of birds and over the next 15 minutes or more, some 11 or more SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS were darting in and out of the bushes and a further juvenile PIED FLYCATCHER. I immediately telephoned RBA of my find (at 1710) and also contacted MC, RDA, DC, and other local birders I knew that would be interested, as well as BKM and SN. Both birds darted in and out of the bushes throughout a period of lighter rain, commuting between three Willows on the side of the lake and the main block of vegetation at the west end of the lake. At 1725 hours, a third PIED FLYCATCHER came into view, with all three birds perched above each other on some bare twigs protruding from the upper parts of the bushes. From thenon, one or other was in view for the next 20 minutes before the sunshine came out, and all of the flycatchers then dispersed widely. The loud 'pink pink' call could still be heard from the vegetation for some while thereafter, as well as the distinctive clicking call, and at least one bird travelled along the hedgerow towards the cricket pitch. Although one juvenile was still on view when Mike and Rose Collard finally arrived, the weather soon deteriorated, and heavy (occasionally torrential) rain once more set in. I last heard the calls at 1748 and it seems likely the birds moved on (as is very often the case with inland ficedulas). [Interestingly, 2 Pied Flycatchers were at Abney Park Cemetery in Central London 1345-1400 hours today indicating a marked overland movement].

All three individuals were very similarly plumaged, with the greater coverts obviously white-tipped. All were very fresh-plumaged, with a wash of yellowish-buff across the upper breast. I believe that they were all juveniles.

Associating with the flycatchers were at least 7 juvenile WILLOW WARBLERS, 15 Common Chiffchaffs, several Blackcaps and 3 LESSER WHITETHROATS (all on passage) whilst the rain also saw the arrival of 19 COMMON SWIFTS, 37 House Martins and 3 Barn Swallows.

Otherwise, 5 Great Crested Grebes were counted (2 adults and just three juveniles - an adult and juvenile were missing), all 6 Mute Swans (family party), 3 GADWALLS (2 drakes and a female), a female Tufted Duck, 2 Common Kestrels, Common Buzzard (worn adult) and COMMON KINGFISHER.

Two Mistle Thrushes and 9 Pied Wagtails (including 4 adult males) were feeding on the cricket pitch, whilst a female BULLFINCH flying overhead was the first in the entire area all year.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Corvid gathering


At Hyde Heath this afternoon, in the large stubble field bordering Copperkins Lane and north of Weedonhill Farm (SU 945 998), 163 corvids had gathered, including 120 Jackdaws, 31 Rooks and 12 Carrion Crows, as well as 2 STOCK DOVES (the only birds noted in the area, apart from those nesting in Shardeloes Park), 48 Woodpigeons and 2 juvenile Chaffinches.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

Latimer Place Long Lake

Driving rain and strong SW winds set in during the afternoon and a visit to Long Lake (pictured here) was lacklustre.

18 Mute Swans were present (including the first-summer pictured; LGRE), 11 Tufted Ducks, 37 Coot and 17 Moorhens.

A total of 37 Rabbits was feeding on the grass field below Latimer House, indicating a return to former numbers.

Common Buzzards bred in the Chess River Valley, with two adults and a juvenile over Turveylane Wood, NW of Chorleywood.


(To 28 August 2008)

127 Species recorded 1970-2008, including 96 in 2008, with 62 breeding

(b - represents breeding)

1) Great Crested Grebe (b)
2) Little Grebe (b)
3) Continental Cormorant
4) Little Egret
5) Grey Heron
6) Mute Swan (b)
7) Greylag Goose
8) Greater Canada Goose (b)
9) Mandarin Duck (b)
10) Mallard (b)
11) Gadwall
12) Shoveler
13) Eurasian Wigeon
14) Common Teal
15) Pochard
16) Tufted Duck (b)
17) Goosander
18) Ruddy Duck (b)
19) Red Kite (b)
20) Common Buzzard (b)
21) Eurasian Sparrowhawk (b)
22) Common Kestrel (b)
23) Common Pheasant (b)
24) Moorhen (b)
25) Coot (b)
26) Lapwing
27) Green Sandpiper
28) Common Sandpiper
29) Common Snipe
30) Black-headed Gull
31) Common Gull
32) Herring Gull
33) Lesser Black-backed Gull
34) Stock Dove (b)
35) Woodpigeon (b)
36) Collared Dove (b)
37) Tawny Owl (b)
38) Barn Owl
39) Little Owl (b)
40) Common Swift (b)
41) Common Kingfisher (b)
42) Green Woodpecker (b)
43) Great Spotted Woodpecker (b)
44) Skylark (b)
45) Sand Martin
46) Barn Swallow (b)
47) House Martin (b)
48) Meadow Pipit (b)
49) Pied Wagtail (b)
50) Grey Wagtail (b)
51) Wren (b)
52) Dunnock (b)
53) Robin (b)
54) Song Thrush (b)
55) Redwing
56) Mistle Thrush (b)
57) Blackbird (b)
58) Fieldfare
59) Sedge Warbler
60) European Reed Warbler (b)
61) Garden Warbler
62) Blackcap (b)
63) Lesser Whitethroat
64) Common Whitethroat (b)
65) Willow Warbler
66) Common Chiffchaff (b)
67) Goldcrest (b)
68) Firecrest
69) Spotted Flycatcher (b)
70) Great Tit (b)
71) Coal Tit (b)
72) Blue Tit (b)
73) Marsh Tit (b)
74) Long-tailed Tit (b)
75) Nuthatch (b)
76) Common Treecreeper (b)
77) Magpie (b)
78) Jay (b)
79) Jackdaw (b)
80) Rook (b)
81) Carrion Crow (b)
82) Common Starling (b)
83) House Sparrow (b)
84) Chaffinch (b)
85) Brambling
86) Linnet (b)
87) Lesser Redpoll
88) Goldfinch (b)
89) Greenfinch (b)
90) Siskin
91) Bullfinch
92) Reed Bunting (b)
93) Yellowhammer (b)
95) Hobby

Species Recorded in the Amersham District but NOT in 2008

95) Common Shelduck
96) Common Goldeneye
99) Northern Goshawk
101) Red-legged Partridge
102) Grey Partridge
103) Water Rail
104) Oystercatcher
105) Little Ringed Plover
106) European Golden Plover
107) Common Redshank
108) Common Greenshank
109) Woodcock
111) Great Black-backed Gull
112) Common Tern
113) Common Cuckoo
114) Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
115) Yellow Wagtail
117) Common Nightingale
118) Black Redstart
119) Northern Wheatear
120) Common Stonechat
121) Whinchat
123) Common Raven
124) Hawfinch
125) Common Crossbill
126) Corn Bunting

Wednesday, 6 August 2008

Wednesday 6 August

Common Starling numbers have built up today with a flock of 58 birds flying around the garden, including several juveniles.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008


ALL sightings attributed to LGRE unless otherwise indicated

(frequent heavy rain showers, particularly towards evening; SW4)

RUDDY DUCKS** - family group of 9 birds - ALL 7 young slowly growing

Little Chalfont: juvenile Great Spotted Woodpecker (present since 4th) on nut feeders for 20 minutes

Latimer Place and Long Lake (Chess River Valley)

Great Crested Grebe: 1 adult
Little Grebe: 2 adults
Mute Swan: 16 adults
Canada Geese: 27
Tufted Duck: 17 plus a female with 9 large young
Coot - 34 including 8 young
Moorhen - 22
Common Kestrel - 1 female
Green Woodpecker
Wren: 1 singing male
Jackdaws - 3

Sizeable frenzied feeding flock comprising 17 Long-tailed Tits, 6 Common Chiffchaffs, 4 Goldcrests and a single 'yellow' juvenile WILLOW WARBLER (my first in the Chess Valley since April).

Chesham Fishing Lakes

Great Crested Grebe (1 adult; presumably other adult sat on nest), 18 Mallard, 17 Coot, Blackcap (4), Common Chiffchaff and Long-tailed Tits (8+).

Shardeloes Lake (2000-2030)

Impressive number of HOUSE MARTINS (91) and COMMON SWIFTS (27) over lake due to heavy rain; also SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS have increased to 7 birds in lakeside bushes.

Great Crested Grebes - all 7 still present (3 adults, 3 first-winters & 1 juvenile)
Little Grebe: 2 adults
Mute Swan: family party of 6 birds
Coots: 47
Barn Swallow: 4 juveniles feeding with the House Martins
Mistle Thrush - 7
REED BUNTING: fledged juvenile from this year's nest

4 AUGUST 2008

6 Dunnocks and Great Spotted Woodpecker in garden

3 AUGUST 2008

33 House Sparrows in my Little Chalfont garden (including 9 adult males) - the largest number of birds recorded this summer

2 AUGUST 2008

Great Crested Grebe: 3 adults present, with one female with the tiny juvenile and the pair loosely associating with the three others, now moulted into first-winter plumage
Little Grebe - 5 adults (still no juveniles noted)
Grey Heron - 2
Mute Swan - adult pair with 4 cygnets
Mallard - 31 present
Gadwall - 1 female present
Tufted Duck - 2 adult females
Coot - 47
Great Spotted Woodpecker
Barn Swallow - 1 juvenile over
Mistle Thrush - 5
Common Chiffchaff
SPOTTED FLYCATCHER - 3 still present
Goldfinch - 4 adults

The family group of RUDDY DUCKS (adult pair and 6 surviving young) remain at a private site in the recording area