Recording Area Annual Totals

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

Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Very quiet recently, with a Cormorant present on Chesham Lake on 24-25, 7 Long-tailed Tits on my garden feeders on 25, a Coal Tit here on 27-28 and Jays widespread in the vicinity.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008



The first parish SISKINS of the autumn arrived today - two vocal birds flying over my Little Chalfont garden early afternoon

(Male Siskin - Mike Lawrence)


A GREAT SPOTTED WOODPECKER visited one of my feeders again this morning, remaining in my Little Chalfont garden for 20 minutes.

Tuesday, 16 September 2008


Although just outside the Amersham Recording Area, two different WRYNECKS are currently showing well within six miles of the boundary - one in gardens in Prestwood Village (Bucks) (brilliantly photographed by Mike Collard above) and another at Pinner Park Farm (Middlesex) (Darren Robson)
The latter is present for its second day and is showing well in the hedgerow bordering the lane just beyond the farm or in the gardens adjacent to the entrance (Pinner Park Farm is accessed from the A404)


Blue, Great and Long-tailed Tits all in one large mixed flock, along with a Nuthatch. The resident Common Kingfisher (all images by kind courtesy of Mike Lawrence)

(A very grey, cloudy day, with a light easterly wind and relatively cool temperatures - just 8 degrees C at 1700 hours this evening)

After enjoying fabulous views of yet another WRYNECK for just under an hour late afternoon (at Pinner Park Farm, Middlesex - TQ 135 905), I made my way back home to check several local sites.

CHESS RIVER VALLEY (from Chenies Bridge to Long Water)

Little Grebe - CONFIRMED BREEDING - 5 seen, including two fledged young, one calling to its parent
Mute Swans - 15 adults
Tufted Duck - 1 drake
Coot - 29
Moorhen - 18
HOUSE MARTINS - 35 feeding over the river at Latimer Bridge
Mistle Thrush - 5
Jay - 3+
Jackdaw - 8 by Chenies Bridge
Goldfinch - 12


Great Crested Grebe - just 1 juvenile remaining
Little Grebe - 12+ including 2 juveniles
Grey Heron - 2
Mute Swan - adult with 4 cygnets
*COMMON TEAL - 1 female
GADWALL - high count of 12 birds (just 3 females)
Tufted Duck - 1 female
RUDDY DUCK - 4 juveniles
Common Coot - impressive count of 95 birds

LITTLE OWL - 2 calling, one by the lane and another in the orchard
Rook - 17
COMMON CHIFFCHAFFS - 6+ (1 in hedgerow by cricket field with 5 alongside lake)
Goldcrest - 4+
Long-tailed Tits - 18+
Blue & Great Tits - several associated with above


After an absence of at least 5 months, the first MEADOW PIPITS of the autumn arrived in Chesham today, with a strong overhead passage across Hill Farm and the McMinns yard (per Chris Pontin)


Four Goldfinches visited the garden today, whilst 4 BARN SWALLOWS flew south over early morning.


WRYNECK, Prestwood village, South Bucks, 12-15 September 2008
Plates 1-2 taken by Rose Collard
Plates 3-8 taken by Terry Underdown
Just outside the Amersham Recording Area in Prestwood village, Ross Collard (Mike's son) discovered a WRYNECK in their back garden on Friday 12 September. The bird was feeding on ants on the patio and remained for just three or four minutes before flying off. Rosie was able to get excellent views of it but by the time Mike had come downstairs and understood the garbled messages being shouted at him, he got on to it for just a few seconds. It did not show again that day.
On Saturday 13th, Mike had to visit Manchester to watch his beloved team play football. Meanwhile, Rose relocated the bird on the front garden early afternoon and obtained some good photographs (see plates 1 and 2). Once again, its visit was brief, but later in the afternoon Dave Parmenter also glimpsed it.
It was a much different story on Sunday 14th. Rosie again relocated it late morning, this time in a neighbour's garden across the road. It was a glorious day, with warm sunshine and no wind, and thus ideal conditions for feeding. It was feeding on the short grass beneath some Apple trees and remained long enough for Warren Claydon to connect and a few other local observers.
Within a short time indeed, a sizeable contingent of local birders gathered and after two hours or more of searching, a blank was drawn. Then, a beaming Terry Underdown and wife appeared in the lane, declaring that the bird had spent some time feeding amongst their rockery in front of the windows and Terry had photographed it (see above !). We all piled in to the back garden (after being kindly invited) but alas the bird had once again flown. Frustrating or what.
By 1500 hours, interest was beginning to wane and instead of searching, attention turned to sunbathing and drinking. We were all chatting away and laughing when Mike Collard suddenly exclaimed ''I suppose I better check the back garden again''. He stood up and turned to walk and suddenly said ''I've got it''. A few seconds later he quietly repeated ''I've got it''. It was not until a third 'I've got it' that anyone took notice, and there, right in front of where I had been looking for half an hour was the WRYNECK - feeding out in full view on Mike's front lawn.
Instead of taking advantage of the warm sunshine, the bird had decided to feed in the shade and was prodding its bill in the damp soil to retrieve food matter. From 1513-1547 hours, the bird showed almost continuously, moving to the upper bank of Mike's lawn and then on to the side of his house, where it could be seen feeding on ants. It showed exceptionally well, affording admiring views from a procession of visitors, including many neighbours from up and down the lane. Birders included Rob Andrews, Graham Smith, Peter Garner, Jim & Sue Rose, Ed Griffiths, Henry Mayer-Gross, Ashley Stowe and Dave Horton. It then disappeared into a neighbours garden.
There was no sign during the next hour but was then relocated in another garden, where it showed intermittently up until 1800 hours. By the end of the day, some 40 or so observers had connected.
On 15th, it showed just very briefly (Rose Collard).
A huge thankyou to Mike and Rose for releasing the news and for welcoming many of us into their garden and house during its stay and for arranging special access to many of their neighbour's gardens. First-rate.

Friday, 5 September 2008



Three BULLFINCHES were present in scrub at the east end of the 'McMinns' plot

Tuesday, 2 September 2008

LITTLE GREBE - confirmed breeding in 2008


(heavy rain overnight continued to about mid morning, giving way to much clearer conditions. The WSW wind increased throughout the afternoon, with further storms in the evening)

The resident family of RUDDY DUCKS are all still doing fine - the 6 juveniles growing well


Up to 100 Barn Swallows gathered late evening


Great Crested Grebes - all 7 present
*LITTLE GREBE - CONFIRMED BREEDING - two very noisy, 'cheeping' juveniles with single parent
Mute Swans - family of 6 still present
Canada Geese - 29
Gadwall - 1 drake
Tufted Duck - 1 female
Coots - 56
Black-headed Gull - 4 on cricket field
**HOUSE MARTINS - large swirling feeding mass at dusk involving at least 138 birds