Recording Area Annual Totals

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

Saturday, 30 May 2009

BADGER surprise

Carmel and I had to visit Tesco's supermarket in Old Amersham after midnight to stock up on cat food for the next 15 days and for me to buy supplies for the marathon Turkey trip I am about to embark upon.

Much to our surprise at 0056 hours, an adult BADGER ran slowly across London Road East (the A355) just to the east of the superstore and the Chequers public house and progressed to feed on the verge in full view at SU 966 371 before running off up one of the house drives. We are always thrilled to see Badgers in our area and fortunately, despite the high number of road kills, they are still relatively abundant here (Badger image by kind courtesy of S.G.Davis)

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

MUTE SWANS hatch all six eggs

Adult male Mute Swan, Long-tailed Tits and House Martin (Mike Lawrence)


After Graham Smith's concerns last week, I am pleased to announce that all 6 eggs hatched today and Shardeloes can now boast the presence of 6 cygnet Mute Swans, one more than last summer (four of which survived into 2009).

Also noted this evening -:

GREAT CRESTED GREBE (resident pair showing well, swimming together)
Little Grebe (4 adults - 2 pairs, still whinnying)
Canada Geese (6 females with creche of 12 goslings; another female with 5 goslings)
Mallard (4 family parties; 25 ducklings in total)
GADWALL (pair)
Tufted Duck (10 - 5 pairs)
Coot (25 - only 1 small young noted)

Long-tailed Tits (feeding flock of 17 birds, mostly juveniles)

Garden Visitors

Two JACKDAWS visited the bird table this morning, whilst a GREY HERON flew west over Chaffinch House

Monday, 25 May 2009

Breeding Successes - first 'baby' Common Starlings on wing

Eight Goldfinches (including a family party of 5 birds) was noted along Chesham Vale, with 3 COMMON SWIFTS and a RED KITE over Chesham itself.

Common Starlings have successfully bred in Little Chalfont, with at least two juveniles fledged (since 23rd May). A pair of Robins is busily feeding young in my garden.

COMMON SWIFT numbers now up to 15

The number of COMMON SWIFTS wheeling around in one noisy cluster has now risen to 15 by my house in Little Chalfont. Lincolnshire supremo Graham Catley obtained these brilliant images of the species

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Further Breeding Bird Survey Work in the Recording Area


CHESHAM AREA (breeding bird survey)

SP 97 00


Sadly, after several weeks incubating three eggs, the three Mute Swan cygnets drowned after being swept over the weir; on a more positive note, the Coot pair now have four fledged and growing young.


Common Buzzard (single)
RED KITE (2 birds, behaviour suggests breeding)
Common Pheasant (1 male)
Woodpigeon (4 nesting pairs; flock of 57 nearby)
European Collared Dove (1-2 pairs nesting at farm)
BARN SWALLOW (1 pair nesting in Hill Farm barns)
Pied Wagtail (pair breeding in barns - feeding young)
Common Blackbird (3 pairs nesting; male singing again - second brood)
Robin (pair)
Wren (2 singing males)
Dunnock (2 nesting pairs)
Magpie (pair)
Rooks (feeding flock of 62 birds all visiting from nearby Rookery)
Jackdaws (34 with above; 5 active nests on chimney pots in Hill Farm Road)
Chaffinch (2 singing males; additional 3 nesting pairs)
LINNET (2+ birds)
Blue Tit (fledged family of 5)
*YELLOWHAMMER (pair in hedgerow 200 yards east of Hill Farm - very scarce in area)

Large White Butterflies (40+)


GREAT CRESTED GREBE (pair on larger lake; no sign of recent pair on the smaller lake)
Mallard (2 drakes)
Tufted Duck (5 - 3 drakes)
Coot (15 - 3 small young being fed)
Moorhen (1)
Red Kite (overhead)
Wren (2 singing males)
Dunnock (2 pairs)
Song Thrush (2)
Common Blackbird (3 pairs)
Magpie (1 pair)

*WESTERN REED WARBLER (2 singing males, both in reedbeds on the south side - in SW corner at SP 969 003 and 50 yards along at SP 971 003)
Common Chiffchaff (singing male)
Blackcap (male singing)
Chaffinch (2 singing males)
Goldfinch (1)
Great Tit (fledged family of 5)

Orange Tip


A group of 8 COMMON SWIFTS congregated over my house in the evening

REED WARBLER at Shardeloes Lake

A WESTERN REED WARBLER was at Shardeloes Lake this evening; also 3 GADWALL (2 drakes) (per Graham Smith)

Thursday, 21 May 2009


Common Coot (Tim Watts) - successful breeding has taken place at Shardeloes Lake of numerous pairs.


A pleasantly warm day, with warm southerly winds, predominantly clear blue skies and some fluffy cloud.

(No sign of any Gadwall)

Little Grebe (1 whinnying)
GREAT CRESTED GREBE (male hunting for fish and calling frequently; female presumably on nest)
SINENSIS CORMORANT (single adult circled twice over lake before returning in Wilstone direction)
Grey Heron (first-summer still present)
Mute Swan (female on nest, male feeding, but no sign of last year's 3 offspring)
Canada Geese (successful breeding, with a total of 28 goslings being noted; 31 adult birds in total)
Tufted Duck (16 - 8 pairs)
*NORTHERN POCHARD (pair still present)
Coots (5 family groupings; 1 pair with 3 young, another two with 2 young and two with just single young)
Red Kite (1 adult)
Common Buzzard (pair displaying, with an additional adult)
*COMMON SWIFTS (25 hunting over lake)
Peid Wagtail (pair feeding young near entrance gate)
Blackcap (male in full song)
Chaffinch (3 singing males)
Magpie (pair near gate)

Recent Sightings

I have been away guiding on gruelling Wallcreeper Enterprise tours of the Western Sahara and Morocco and of the Scottish Highlands and Islands so have therefore had no time for local birding. Consequently, there has been no news for the area since I departed in early May

I am pleased to say that the first three baby Common Blackbirds from the first brood successfully fledged at Chaffinch House and the first young Great Tits are now visiting the feeders.

COMMON SWIFTS (8 birds) had returned to the village on 18 May.

Chris at McMinns watched what he believed to be either a BLACK or WHITE STORK drift slowly towards Chesham from over the Fishing Lakes at around 1645 hours on 20 May. Coincidentally, a possible White Stork was seen earlier drifting SE over Bourne End, near Maidenhead.

Sunday, 3 May 2009

A remarkable 4 drake RUDDY DUCKS in town


The wind veered Northwesterly overnight bringing cool winds and much cooler temperatures. The wind remained quite fresh throughout the day with fairly overcast skies and occasional sunny periods.


I was absolutely delighted to find 4 adult drake RUDDY DUCKS at one site in the Amersham District, raising hope that they may have a bumper breeding season.


The pair of Mute Swans still doing well, with the female still sat on the eggs


GREAT CRESTED GREBES: single pairs present on both lakes
Mallard - successful breeding with 1 female with 2 ducklings and another with four
Tufted Duck (5 present - 3 drakes)
*WESTERN REED WARBLER (singing male present for its third day in the 'Middle Reedbed' on the larger pit - Chris et al)
Reed Bunting (singing male)


An excellent selection of waterfowl present with confirmed breeding of GADWALL.

GREAT CRESTED GREBE (pair; male feeding with female incubating)
LITTLE GREBE (2 pairs nesting)
Grey Heron (first-summer by island)
Mute Swan (pair breeding - female sat on nest - with all 3 first-summers from last year's nest still present)
Canada Geese (16)
Mallard (8)
GADWALL (female with 7 small chicks by island; also a single drake, 2 separate pairs and group of 3 - female and 2 drakes)
Tufted Duck (28 present, a very high May count - including 11 females)
NORTHERN POCHARD (adult drake)
Coots (breeding success: 4 pairs with small young, one pair with 5, one with 3 and 2 with 2 each; additional 14 nests)
Moorhen (6 pairs nesting)

Green Woodpecker (male yaffling)
Blackcap (male singing)
Goldfinch (male singing)
Chaffinch (male singing)
Greenfinch (male singing)
Great Tit; Wren (2), Common Blackbird (4 pairs)


My garden pair of Common Blackbirds have successfully raised two chicks to flying stage; they are currently doing very well with both parents feeding them an entire Cottage Pie that Carmel gave them

House Sparrows still feeding chirping young, as are two pairs of Dunnock