Recording Area Annual Totals

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

Wednesday, 30 December 2009


Up to 8 GOLDFINCHES present all morning in the garden, despite the constant rain.

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Snow now finally gone

Well, the last of the snow has finally gone this morning but nevertheness, Little Chalfont is still very cold and wet - it has been sleeting all morning.

Goldfinches are still visiting the nyger whilst the SISKIN flock at Chesham Fishing Lakes has now increased to 21 birds. A flock of 6 Pied Wagtails at Halifax Flats in the village was noteworthy.

Friday, 25 December 2009

Happy Christmas from a very snowy Little Chalfont

Christmas Greetings from Little Chalfont and Coleshill (Lee Evans and Ashley Stow)
2009 has been the best ever birding year in the Amersham Recording Area

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

LESSER REDPOLL still present

The male and several first-winter LESSER REDPOLLS were still present in the garden today as the deep snow (which first fell last Thursday) started to melt and temperatures for the first time in a week rose above freezing.
Between Amersham and Beaconsfield, large numbers of birds are being killed on the road, mainly Redwings.

BRAMBLING numbers on the increase

19 December: The number of BRAMBLING roosting in Penn Wood has now increased to 50 with the onset of severe weather.

2 seen at the northern end of the paddock between 15:00 and 15:20 and 48 seen just west of The Penna (crosspaths) between 15:35 and 15:45. The ones near The Penna were using trees both sides of the rhododendron ride and, on the south side in the larch the Brambling were conveniently grouped separately from the Chaffinch.

Also noted: c100 Greenfinch at the roost area south end of the paddock.

Nothing seen at the holly roost area in the SE section of the wood. Most Redwing seem to have now moved on.

Additonally: 1 Lesser Redpoll at southern end of paddock. Bullfinch seen in two regular areas and heard in two other usual areas (three of these areas are adjacent to the main southern pathway and the other is at the east end of the rhododendron ride). Nuthatch calling in various places. (Kevin Holt)

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

GREAT WHITE EGRET in the Misbourne

The GREAT WHITE EGRET moved from the Chess River Valley to the Misbourne Valley and was still present, showing well in the stream SE of Kennel Farm until at least 18 December. It roosted in trees by the railway line by Deep Mill Lane Pond most evenings but moved to Tringford Reservoir as severe weather moved in.

Up to 7 LITTLE EGRETS still remain in the area, and single BARN OWLS have been seen close to Latimer Bridge and by Hundridge Manor (Chris Pontin)

The severe weather has seen a serious upsurge in garden visitors, with a LESSER REDPOLL on 20th, up to 61 House Sparrows daily, numerous Goldfinch, Greenfinch, Chaffinch and Dunnock, up to 3 MARSH TITS (moving widely throughout the village), several Jays, frequent Red Kites and Common Buzzard (the latter even eating my outdated potato saad and creamy coleslaw), up to 12 Common Blackbirds, 35 Redwings, several Fieldfare and an adult male Pied Wagtail.

Friday, 11 December 2009

Marked increase in GADWALLS

(1400-1600 hours)

Temperatures have plumetted with the cold NE winds making it feel quite raw. It was another fine day though, with prevailing blue skies after the mist had lifted.

Little Grebes (12)
Grey Heron (2)
Mute Swan (both adults and three surviving first-winters)
Mallard (5)
GADWALL (marked increase, with at least 27 birds present)
Tufted Duck (10 including 4 drakes)
Northern Pochard (1 drake present)
Coot (decrease; just 72 present)
Black-headed Gull (313)
Common Gull (2 adults)
Lesser Black-backed Gull (1 adult)

STOCK DOVE (high count of 42 birds on the stubble)
Common Buzzard (1)
Red Kite (2)
Common Kestrel (1 male)
Mistle Thrush (1)
Song Thrush (1)
Long-tailed Tits (8)

JACKDAW and ROOK mixed roost (I counted the Rooks and Jackdaws arriving to roost in Hundred Acres Wood from 1500 hours - 137 of the former and 378 of the latter)

Wren in garden

The WREN is a scarce visitor to my garden but today one spent 20 minutes with us, hoppingabout the ground. A single GOLDFINCH has also been present, along with 37 House Sparrows.

BARN OWL delight

A BARN OWL flew across the Chesham to Great Missenden road by Hundridge Manor last night (per Chris Pontin) - the first record in the Recording Area for over a year.

Penn Wood update

Over the past week or so I found little increase in Brambling numbers and the Greenfinch and Redwing roosts had also remained fairly static. However, yesterday Thursday 10th, there was a difference.I found 12 BRAMBLING at the northern end of the paddock at 15:20 and then moved to the southern end where the Greenfinch flock numbered about 200 (at least 220 birds when Chaffinch included). By 15:40 I checked the "old" roost area just west of The Penna crossroads and found 15 further BRAMBLING. This, and neighbouring areas, have been infrequently used over the past two years.

So perhaps this is a sign of better things to come this winter? Or maybe not!

was unable to comfirm whether the Redwing roost at the Holly stands in the southeast corner of the wood still had c170-200 birds. When I arrived there at 16:05 a few were dropping to roost but no larger groups appeared and I heard no roost chattering as had previously occurred.

Along the full length of the main rhodedendron ride many parts have been severely cut back as part of general maintainence. This has resulted in several sections where the rhodendron now shows an open side to the pathway. This could discourage birds from roosting in previously favoured spots. There is also additional maintainence to some other paths, previously bordered by small birch or brambles.Kevin Holt

Thursday, 10 December 2009

Parakeets enjoying the sun


A pair of RING-NECKED PARAKEETS was enjoying the sunshine and taking up territory by a hole in a dead tree, 50 yards west of the Conference Centre.

The lake held 9 Mute Swans, 2 Little Grebes, 13 Tufted Ducks, 43 Coot and 17 Moorhens, whilst 123 Canada Geese were feeding in the field adjacent.

Just 1 LITTLE EGRET was east of Bois Mill, with the woodland surrounding Latimer Hall harbouring 2 Mistle Thrush, 9 Common Starlings, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 22 Redwings, 11 Goldfinch, 1 Song Thrush and a Nuthatch.

The 4 Mute Swans (2 adults and 2 first-winters) remain on Bois Mill Lake, with Chesham Fishing Lakes yielding the continuing Great Crested Grebe (the only wintering bird in the Recording Area), an adult Mute Swan, 11 Tufted Duck, just 1 drake Pochard, 34 Coot and a Song Thrush

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Very Quiet

Little of note of late in the 'valley', just 3-4 wintering LITTLE EGRETS - a single Song Thrush today in Flaunden and 15-20 Redwings still in Little Chalfont village.

Friday, 4 December 2009

'Ratty' is multiplying along the River Chess

James Hunter obtained these fabulous images of WATER VOLES.
The population of one of the UK's rarest mammals - the WATER VOLE - has increased dramatically along the River Chess, so much so that over 300 are now resident between Chesham and Chorleywood (results from a survey recently conducted by the Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust). This is a three-fold increase in two years and is a credit to the restoration work done by the Chiltern Chalk Streams Project.

Escaped American Mink have been controlled on this section of the river and bank-side vegetation has been dramatically restored providing a safe home for the voles.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

RED KITE visit in afternoon

A single RED KITE took an interest in the garden for a while, circling low for a few minutes and swooping low onto the lawn twice before flying off

Chaffinch House

Two inquisitive JAYS were a welcome visitor to the garden late morning, whilst other species present included 2 Coal Tits, 5 Dunnocks, 2 Common Blackbirds, a single Goldfinch, 8 Chaffinches, 36 House Sparrows and a continuing Woodpigeon.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Sarratt Bottom

The adult male BLACK REDSTART was still present by Valley Farm today.

OSPREY details

The OSPREY last observed in the Chess River Valley on 21 November, was Osprey 1366501 left leg Blue with white mark 'MB' ringed on 27 July 2009 at a site on Loch Lomond, Stirlingshire. The nest contained a late brood and two young fledged (David Anderson, Conservation Manager, Forestry Commission Scotland, Cowal & Trossachs Forest District)