1 JANUARY 2009 (NEW YEARS DAY)
Finally arrived home with Carmel at 0537 hours, after celebrating with a New Years Eve Party in Chesham. Although extremely cold, there was surprisingly no frost
CHAFFINCH HOUSE, LITTLE CHALFONT (0736 hours)
Dunnock, Common Blackbird, Woodpigeon, Common Starling and House Sparrow (15)
CHESS RIVER VALLEY
Carrion Crow (in Stoney Lane), Mute Swan (the 7 'cygnets' still together and surviving just east of Latimer Bridge with 2 adults on the west side), Wren, Blue Tit, Common Pheasant and Jackdaw
Canada Geese (60+ on Bois Mill Lake)
A single LITTLE EGRET was just east of Bois Mill
CHESHAM FISHING LAKES (SP 970 003) (thawed overnight)
GREAT CRESTED GREBE still present (only wintering bird)
Sinensis Cormorant (1 immature on the smaller pit)
Mute Swan (1 first-winter)
Pochard (11 still present - 9 drakes)
RED KITE overhead
*COMMON KINGFISHER (1 showing well)
Feral Pigeons (15)
SONG THRUSH (2)
Long-tailed, Blue & Great Tits
*SISKINS (2 birds still present in the tall Alders bordering the river)
HILL FARM (SU 972 008)
One shrub held 5 MIstle Thrushes and 3 Redwings whilst I could only locate 1 of the 10+ overwintering MEADOW PIPITS.
LATIMER ROAD, CHESHAM (SU 973 002)
On one small area of grass verge, 8 Common Blackbirds and 2 SONG THRUSHES were feeding
BLACKWELL HALL LANE (SU 981 997)
No Grey Wagtail but Rook and (unusually) 2 STOCK DOVES
The well-stocked gardens around the square, especially at 'The Lodge' (SU 016 984), yielded 3 JAYS (usually a hard bird to see on Jan 1) and several Coal Tits, whilst the Eurasian Collared Dove population numbered 15. House Sparrows (up to 15) were frequenting the hedgerow at SU 017 982), along with 2 Greenfinches and several Chaffinches whilst a gaudy pair of BULLFINCHES was by the pond and thicket at SU 016 979.
Some 74 Jackdaws were present in the village, many in pairs and already guarding their favoured chimney stacks.
SHARDELOES LAKE (0900-0930)
Mostly frozen, apart from the west end - little of note, with RED KITE (3), Black-headed Gull (29 on the cricket pitch), an adult Lesser Black-backed Gull, Rooks, just 48 Coots, a single pair of Gadwall, a single pair of Tufted Ducks, 3 Greenfinch and my only 3 Little Grebes of the day.
Both Common Buzzard and Red Kite were noted.
In the large 'frozen' field opposite Cherry Lane (at SU 930 961), a covey of 5 RED-LEGGED PARTRIDGES was encountered - a scarce species in the Amersham Recording Area.
GRANGE FARM AND ENVIRONS, WIDMER END (SU 882 968)
There was no sign of the pair of wintering Common Stonechats.
However, at least 4 RED KITES were in the area, a Common Kestrel and in the bushes around the farm buildings a superb selection of finches, including 5 male BULLFINCHES, 25 LINNETS, 9 Goldfinch, 12 Greenfinch and 35 Chaffinch.
Green Woodpecker was sighted, along with 3 Wrens, 5 FIELDFARES, 6 SONG THRUSHES (feeding together) and 10+ Common Blackbirds.
Yet another dead Badger - this time on the A355 just south of the M40 Junction 2 at SU 950 886)
HILLMOTT'S FARM WOOD
Complete blank on Little Owl; just Common Buzzard and another Jay !
RED KITE over A355. A single SONG THRUSH was feeding on the verge by the Mulberry Bush Public House at SP 956 941.
A further Common Kestrel was seen on the Great Missenden bypass.
UPPER WENDOVERDEAN FARM (SP 880 049)
In the slurry field immediately opposite Cobblershill Lane and Berryhill Farm & Nursery, another superb selection of birds: SPARROWHAWK (male perched on hedge), 47 LAPWING, 500+ Woodpigeons, 30 STOCK DOVE, 55 FIELDFARE, 25 YELLOWHAMMER, 211 Common Starlings, 100+ Chaffinches but no Skylarks.