Recording Area Annual Totals

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

Wednesday, 27 January 2010



Up until early afternoon, it was freezing, with a raw wind keeping temperatures below 3 degrees C. Then, as the afternoon progressed, a 'warm front' crossed the region bringing overcast conditions and light rain, and a rise of four degrees.

I spent the day local, primarily with the aim of censusing the Mandarin Duck population in South Bucks.


Again, no sign of the Great White Egret in a very extensive search but 7 LITTLE EGRETS seen, with 1 in the stream by Bois Mill Lake, 2 around Latimer Bridge, 2 by Chenies Bottom Bridge with one fishing on the river inside Mill Farm House garden and a 7th at the Crestyl Watercress Beds.

A GREEN SANDPIPER was also showing well for a second day at the Watercress Beds, the first COMMON SNIPE of the year also being seen by JT yesterday.

Mute Swans (6 adults on the river at Chenies Bottom, with another adult at Latimer Bridge, a territorial pair on Bois Mill Lake and a further adult close to the cressbed)
Grey Heron (2)
COMMON TEAL (2 at Church Covert LNR - the only reliable site for this species in the valley)
Mallard (4 at Church Covert LNR)
Red Kite (1)
Common Kestrel (1 hunting over Mill Farm Meadow)
Moorhen (8 at the Watercress Bed)
WATER RAIL (1 in Church Covert)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (2 at the orchid reserve)
Green Woodpecker (1 at Church Covert)
Wren (2)
Common Blackbird (6 in the hedgerow bordering the cressbed)
Redwing (just 1 noted - in Church Covert)
Common Magpie (9 together at Church Covert)
Long-tailed Tit (7)

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

First dead Badger of year in valley


With a raw easterly wind blowing, temperatures dropped considerably this afternoon, and by dusk had decreased from 5 degrees to just 1.5 degrees C. Blue skies predominated, along with prolonged winter sunshine.

Did my late January counts of the Chess Valley and Tring Reservoirs, with the Wilstone gull roost highlighting..........


There was no sign of the Great White Egret again but LITTLE EGRETS numbered 5, including one showing well in the roadside stream by Bois Mill Lake and two in ditches close to the road just east of Latimer Bridge.

Sadly, yet another BADGER was run over last night on Latimer Road, one from the regular sett, killed at SU 993 987.

At Chesham Fishing Lakes along Waterside, 2 adult Mute Swans have moved in, with 8 Mallard, 10 Tufted Ducks and 28 Coot for company and an impressive 7 adult drake NORTHERN POCHARDS. A stolen Astra has been driven on to the site and burned out.

Saturday, 23 January 2010

WATER RAIL shows by bridge


A dry day, but overcast and still rather cold - temperatures in the afternoon struggling to a high of 7 degrees centigrade. Light winds.

A relatively local day, with a morning search for the Chess Valley GWE, a visit to Forest Hill for the Rosy Pastor and a failed attempt at the regular Merlin. Water Rail was the bird of the day, with no less than 8 seen.


At Latimer Bridge, LITTLE EGRETS tallied 4 (with 8 in the valley all told - per Ben Miller, Mike Ilett), with 11 Mute Swans including an adult and two first-winters just west of Latimer Bridge, an adult and first-winter and two adults in the Church Covert area and four adults east of Chenies Bottom Bridge. My visit at the latter site coincided with a shoot, with most birds flying out, but Grey Wagtail and 2 Greenfinch were encountered.

At Sarratt Mill House, 9 Moorhens were on the lawn, with Stock Dove and Nuthatch within the grounds, with 1+ RING-NECKED PARAKEET in the area.

A WATER RAIL was seen in the shallow stream just east of the bridge - my first of the day (Lee G R Evans/Joan Thompson).

Shooting in the valley.......and again no sign of the GWE

I've done an extensive search of the Chess Valley over both the last two days, with no sign of the Great White Egret. I have seen the following;

6, probably 7 and possibly 8 LITTLE EGRETS this afternoon
COMMON RAVEN over Sarratt Bottom
A BLACKCAP calling from a riverside garden Chenies Bottom
Singles or pairs of vocal SISKIN over on three occasions today
3 Red Kites and 2 Common Buzzard

Ben Miller

Friday, 22 January 2010

Rain stops play

Heavy rain fell across the region virtually all day, hindering any chances of quality birding. Ben Miller came down and searched the Chess for a brief period but failed in his quest to find the Great White, although he did see at least 4 Little Egrets, indicating that birds are still returning.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

GREAT WHITE EGRET reappears on the Chess


A reasonable day by recent standards with some long spells of sunshine and clear spells

The Chess Valley GREAT WHITE EGRET reappeared today in the Hertfordshire section of the river and was standing in deep water not far from the Water Vole watchpoint. Interestingly, the bird has a small metal ring on its left leg but no colour rings. It also has very dark (black) legs with just a slight amount of paleness to the tibia but is very skittish, so most likely just a winter-plumaged European bird rather than a Nearctic visitor. This is the same individual that spent three weeks in the Recording Area just before Christmas, which frequented the Chess and Misbourne Valleys from 27 November to 18 December and was also seen in Berkshire.

The three LITTLE EGRETS were still present, along with the resident pair of COMMON RAVENS (the male in full display), whilst the wintering GREEN SANDPIPER and 20 SISKINS were again just east of Chesham Fishing Pits (per Chris Pontin)

The valley also saw a severe car accident at the Stoney Lane junction (the 18th accident on these crossroads since 18 December) with two vehicles colliding, the van rolling over on to its roof. Paramedics were attending one seriously injured driver, with four road traffic cars attending.


Still partly frozen but a dusk visit revealed the return of all 5 Mute Swans (including the three surviving first-winters), 6 Mallard, 21 Gadwall, 44 Coot, 8 Moorhen and a hefty increase of 27 Tufted Duck and 9 Northern Pochard. A Song Thrush was also seen.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Recent reports from Shardeloes

On 16 January, 5 Mandarin, 15 Reed Buntings and 4 Bramblings were reported at Shardeloes Lake.

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Just out of area - urban roosting PEREGRINE in Hemel


Temperatures took a slide again and dropped by a couple of degrees (to 7 degrees C). It was also very misty again, although a cold and freshening SE wind started to set in. It remained dry. Once again, I spent my day birding locally, with just a few highlights, primarily three JACK SNIPE and a very showy 'urban' PEREGRINE.


Rooks have returned in reasonable numbers, with 42 probing the soft grassy field to the north of the rookery this morning, with 110 Black-headed Gulls loafing nearby.


Four adult Mute Swans now present on the main lake, along with 11 Embden Geese, 3 Muscovy Ducks, 22 Atlantic Canada Geese and 68 Mallards.


The North Chesham flock of Jackdaws numbered 36 today.


Following a call from local birder Dan Forder, I drove down to Hemel town centre, where he had discovered an adult PEREGRINE roosting on a building. I got there at about 1530 hours and the bird was still there and showing very well, roosting on the lower roof of the building to the SE of the town centre roundabout at TQ 055 063. It was clear from the visible droppings that this was a regular roost site for this beautiful bird and yet another example of the urban preferences this species has now acquired. The bird was very easy to see with the naked eye and many shoppers took an interest as I looked up at it. Dan was able to obtain an excellent selection of images, which I have reproduced above.

Monday, 18 January 2010

LITTLE EGRETS back on the Chess

Three LITTLE EGRETS were back on the River Chess this afternoon, feeding between the Latimer and Chenies Botton bridges. A Mistle Thrush was feeding on the green south of the A 404 directly opposite Elizabeth Avenue.

Chaffinch House feeders held 1 Goldfinch this morning, along with 9 Eurasian Collared Doves.

Saturday, 16 January 2010

Snows all gone

Following heavy rain overnight and all this morning, and strong southerly winds raising the temperature to 7 degrees C, most of the snow of the past week has now melted.

Thursday, 14 January 2010

TAWNY OWL calling at dusk


A thaw is now taking place, with temperatures today creeping up to 3 and 4 degrees C. It also rained for much of the morning, washing some snow away, and also became rather foggy in some areas.

I spent today in East Sussex, where the striking feature was the huge numbers of winter thrushes all along the South Coast. REDWINGS were the most abundant (photographed above by Ashley Stow) where, for example, I recorded 100 in Seaside Park, Eastbourne, and at least 250 on Magdalen Road School Playing Fields in Bexhill-on-Sea. The cleared snow on the latter also supported 18 Fieldfare, a Mistle Thrush and 3 Lapwings.


At dusk, a female TAWNY OWL was calling from tall firs at Milk Hall at SP 977 000

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Another deluge of heavy snow for the region with both hills hit bad; GREEN SANDPIPER still on the Chess

Green Sandpiper (Josh Jones)


Another bout of heavy snow fell overnight, once again leaving roads in this area extremely treacherous. Snow continued falling until early afternoon but then petered out, with temperatures remaining stable at 2 degrees C. Both Bell Lane and Stoney Lane hills were particularly bad. I managed to get out and check a few sites - two of which were outside the Recording Area.


A SONG THRUSH feeding on the apples was a first in the garden for this year.


There was no sign of the two male Firecrests in their usual area. In fact, small birds were very hard to come by in the snow-covered woodland. A Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker seemed to be feeding in tandem, whilst 15 Redwing and a Song Thrush were feeding in the thawing leaf litter beneath the larger bushes. A couple of Jays were also noted.


Where have all the Mandarin Ducks gone? None to be found whatsoever but hardly surprising considering the conditions. The biggest surprise was a pair of EGYPTIAN GEESE flying over - my first of the year (125), whilst 9 Mallard were on the lower pond. A LESSER REDPOLL was noted, as well as 2 Coal Tits.

The number of dogs being lost of late in the snow is alarming, two desperate owners returning for a second day in hope of reuniting. Perhaps the snow cover affects the senses.


The adult drake SMEW was showing very well at the north end of the lake (present for its 4th day), the ice-free location also harbouring 22 Great Crested Grebes, 16 Gadwall, 34 Tufted Ducks and 56 Coot. A Sparrowhawk flew over, with a COMMON KINGFISHER fishing on the river.


Very bizarrely, a Great Spotted Woodpecker was feeding at the side of the busy A413 opposite the Water Hall, seemingly attracted to the slush and salt. I have never seen such behaviour before in this species.


The wintering GREEN SANDPIPER was showing very well from Latimer Bridge, feeding on the floating vegetation, along with the single LITTLE EGRET and 2 Little Grebes.

The river on the west side of the bridge supported the continuing first-winter Mute Swans and 9 Tufted Ducks, whilst 6 adult COMMON GULLS were among Black-headed Gulls standing on the ice.

A total of 3 Common Buzzards were overseeing the valley, perched in tall trees, with a single Sparrowhawk also seen. Latimer Hall grounds held Great Spotted Woodpecker, Mistle Thrush, Song Thrush and displaying Stock Dove, with the ice-free part of Great Water holding 8 adult Mute Swans and 39 diving duck (12 Tufted Duck and 27 Northern Pochard).

There was paw evidence of Badger activity at the large sett.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

LITTLE EGRET survives the cold


Temperatures hovered once more around 2 degrees C causing the snow to thaw in some parts. It remained grey all day and a SE wind started to pick up.

Birding in and around Amersham was hard-going, with the Chess River Valley harbouring just 1 surviving LITTLE EGRET (just east of Latimer Bridge) and 14 Atlantic Canada Geese. Small birds were virtually non-existent and all of the water bodies are still frozen solid.

All of the birds seem to be concentrated in the conurbations and a walk around Little Chalfont village revealed the presence of 25 Woodpigeons (a further 82 were together in Chenies village, pushing the snow aside in the fields with their feet), 17 Eurasian Collared Doves, 7 Wrens, 17 European Robins, 32 Common Starlings, 24 Common Blackbirds, 8 Dunnocks, 5 Blue Tits, 2 Great Tits and a scattering of isolated Redwings and Fieldfares.

In Chesham, the single EDIBLE DORMOUSE is still awake and lively.

All images by kind courtesy of Ashley Stow

Monday, 11 January 2010

A lack of Blackcaps but wildfowl numbers returning


Temperatures climbed to 2 degrees C today, inducing a very slight thaw. Ice remains instilled on most bodies of water though and birds are still struggling.


A Common Kestrel was on the outskirts of Old Amersham, whilst I failed to locate the two Blackcaps by the Lodges. The open water at the west end of the main lake had increased somewhat but the 5 Mute Swans were nowhere to be found. The lonely single Atlantic Canada Goose was still present, along with 5 Mallard, 28 GADWALL, 6 NORTHERN POCHARD, 12 Tufted Ducks, 49 Coot and a single Little Grebe. I managed to successfully entice the birds over and fed them.

Raptors included single Red Kite, Common Buzzard, Common Kestrel (male) and Eurasian Sparrowhawk, whilst the resident pair of Stock Doves were displaying. A Green Woodpecker was also seen, as well as a charm of 18 Goldfinches.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

And BLACKCAPS at Shardeloes too

Rose and I were at Shardeloes Lake early this morning. Rose picked up a pair of BLACKCAPS on the hedgerow of the snowy approach road and we were heartened to see at least three Wrens still routing around (Mike Collard).

Chorleywood BLACKCAP

A male BLACKCAP was on Shire Lane in Chorleywood on Saturday and today. It was in with a group of 15 Redwings feeding on berries in front of the paper shop on Money Hill Parade (per Simon Colbeck)

Saturday, 9 January 2010

BARN OWL again

The Hundridge Manor BARN OWL was once again hunting over the Chesham road at dusk (per Chris Pontin)



Still the same amount of lying snow and another sharp frost. Although the main roads are clear, the side and minor roads remain incredibly treacherous. A biting NE wind started to pick up during the afternoon.


Refuelled all of the feeders, including the Sunflower Seed, Nyger and Peanut, with large numbers of common birds continuing to visit, including 6 Goldfinches, 35 House Sparrows, 5 Common Blackbirds, 5 Dunnocks and 3 Chaffinches. Highlight was a beautiful FIELDFARE.


An exceptional 96 RED KITES were swooping down on rubbish just south of the main contractor buildings adjacent to the A40, as well as 475+ Common Starlings.

(1400-1600 hours)

A deep snow covering but an excellent variety of species encountered, including COMMON CROSSBILL - a major rarity in my Recording Area.

Both Red Kite and Eurasian Sparrowhawk (male)
Wren (3)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (a belated first for the year)
Coal Tit (3)
Long-tailed Tit (16)
Chaffinch (33)
*BRAMBLING (a minimum of 83 birds roosted, mainly males, all within 200 yards either direction of the Penna and along the main Rhododendron ride - easily my highest count of the winter)
GREENFINCH (167 in the main conifer roost - which also included 15 Brambling)
LESSER REDPOLL (5 noted including 3 males)
Bullfinch (3 roosting in the Rhododendron Tunnel 200 yards east of the Penna)
**COMMON CROSSBILL (5 noted including 3 adult males in tall pines along the main ride, 150 yards west of the Penna)


Completely frozen but sadly, the family group of 5 Mute Swans and a single Atlantic Canada Goose was standing on the ice - starving. Four Moorhen also appeared to be 'burrowing' into the snow at dusk

Friday, 8 January 2010


With deep snow still lying and much of the region experiencing temperatures of minus 7 degrees overnight, a GREEN SANDPIPER was an unexpected find - feeding in the inlet stream at the side of Chesham Fishing Lakes. A flock of at least 40 SISKINS were also in the area (Chris Pontin)

Thursday, 7 January 2010

One of our three pairs of COMMON RAVEN year-ticked...

The garden is still a hive of activity at the moment with a good variety of species, all 5 of the common Thrushes are still feeding on Pyracantha berries with plenty to see them through the Arctic conditions. A newly erected bird feeder outside the living room window is attracting 3 Robins, a single Coal Tit with both Great and Blue Tit in good numbers. The stars of the show are definitely 2 Nuthatches which have been plucking sunflower hearts out of the feeders all day, both birds arrive at the same time with one taking food and the other sitting on the window sill waiting to feed and giving amazingly close views only inches away. A charm of 8 Goldfinches have found the feeder and spend more time arguing amongst themselves than they do feeding but again give fantastic views so close to the window, a few Greenfinch have also homed-in on the feeder and a male Siskin visited once early morning but hasn't been seen since. Both Green and Great Spotted Woodpecker have bee n seen around the garden as have 2 Jays, 2 Magpies, 5 Starlings and a few days ago I watched 4 Wrens disappearing into a hole in a Chestnut tree to roost. Worryingly I haven't seen or heard from either of our 2 regular Goldcrests for sometime.

I took a walk across the fields from Coleshill alongside Gore Hill and towards the Amersham Bypass late afternoon today, the hedgerows that usually hold good numbers of Tits and Finches were deserted and apart from a few Redwing and a solitary Fieldfare there was nothing about. A good thick layer of snow covering the landscape made traversing the hilly footpaths slow work and a quick stop to view the hills over Amersham and catch my breath enabled me to spot 2 COMMON RAVENS near the A355. I heard a "Kronking" call and looking east over the A355 I picked up a single Raven coming from the direction of Roger's Wood, it continued across the A355 and towards me being joined by another Raven that was sat in one of the pylons. As both birds met they interacted by calling and tumbling together before regaining height and then heading off South-West over Coleshill, the light was starting to fade so presumably they were heading off to roost (Ashley Stow)

We now have at least three pairs of Common Raven in the Amersham Recording Area - this species really is doing well.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Unseasonal GLIS-GLIS

Most unusual was an EDIBLE DORMOUSE out and about in Chesham (per Chris Pontin) - a remarkable record considering the temperature at the moment.

Deepest snow covering since 1980

Little Chalfont saw a deluge of snow overnight, with accumulations in some parts reaching eight inches. This is the deepest snow I have ever seen in this area and it is as far back as 1980 when such an amount fell from the sky. As I write, it is minus 6 degrees and freezing sharply.

The Chess River Valley on recent days - SHOVELER highlight

Tuesday 5/1/10

Upper fishing lake at Latimer about 11.00 hrs. 50% covered in ice. 35 Common Pochard, about 55 Coot all together in a small group on the bank, about 20 Tufted Duck, 2 Little Grebe, 4 Male and at least 2 female SHOVELER on the river where it enters the lake. It is very unusual to see Shoveler on the fishing lakes and I can only assume that their normal habitat was frozen. 2 Kestrel, 2 Red Kite and 2 Common Buzzard, single Green and GS Woodpeckers also about 150 Canada Geese in the bean field.

Wednesday 6/1/10

Walked down to the River Chess at about 11.00 hrs through deep soft snow and saw nothing of note other than quite large flocks of both Redwing and Fieldfare flying high in a southerly direction.

At home there was much activity in the garden with about 10 Blackbirds, 30 Goldfinch, 36 Chaffinch, 2 Song thrush, 1 Pied Wagtail, Great & Blue Tit, two redwing and Fieldfare until 15.50hrs when a flock of 40 Fieldfare descended. All our garden berries had disappeared before Christmas and there was compete mayhem for several minutes as the Fieldfare fought and chased each other off some apples that had been put out.

Happy New Year to you

Regards Stuart & Lesley

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

SNOW back with a vengeance

Following the coldest winter since 1995, snow returned to the Chilterns with a vengeance this evening and as I write at 2300 hours, my drive is currently covered by a new four inches of covering. It is still snowing very heavily.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Fabulous roadside TAWNY OWL in Hyde Heath

Then, much later on overnight (Sunday 3 January), and driving into Chesham Bois at 0250 hours, a fabulous TAWNY OWL was perched just above Copperkins Lane at SU 952 997, looking down on another glistening ice-covered road, and affording Carmel and I astounding views.

Hyde Heath village also attracted 2 LESSER REDPOLLS to Paul Keene's garden

Saturday, 2 January 2010

Beaconsfield FIRECRESTS

At least two male FIRECRESTS remain in Hogback Wood, to the west of Beaconsfield, favouring the Holly thickets behind the gardens (Graham Smith)

PENN WOOD sightings

Thursday 31 December (15:15 to 16:00) Greenfinch roosts numbered 260+ in total! 110 at the southern end of the paddock and 150+ at the holly area in the SE corner of the wood. BRAMBLING totalled 60 at the northern end of the paddock, 2 at the southern end with the Greenfinch, 3 at the holly roost with the other Greenfinch and 49 just west of the The Penna intersection.

Friday 01 January (15:15 to 16:00) Only 100 Greenfinch noted; 60 at south paddock area and 40 at SE holly (but sounded as though many more were already roosted). BRAMBLING up to 65 with 3 at paddock north and 62 west of The Penna.

On both days the Brambling near The Penna were grouped mainly in one beech to the north side of the rhododendron ride, but others tucked in a little further west amongst oak and beech (Kevin Holt)

Friday, 1 January 2010

A New Year just begun


The cold weather of the last two weeks continued today with a hard frost overnight and temperatures by day struggling to just 1 degree. It was clear and dry though throughout and very pleasant. Having finally got to bed at 0500 hours, I shamefully failed to get out today before midday.

The surprise of the day was the relocation of the Middlesex BROWN SHRIKE - after last being seen prior to the cold snap on 18 December 2009. As a result, Staines Moor was my first port of call.......

My first species of 2010 was Common Buzzard - a pair soaring over the M25 just south of Junction 17.


The ASIATIC BROWN SHRIKE was proving typically popular and arriving just after 1210 hours, I met Lester Mulford and his sister (sadly his mum of 105 years of age passed away just recently), Ron & Simon King, Steve Webb, John Dixon, Franko & Oliver, Dave Morris, Ian & Chris Williams, Gary Howard & family and Peter Alfrey amongst others.

The footpath down from Hithermoor Road is still incredibly muddy, despite the ice, and it remains a challenge to get to the boardwalk without getting totally caked in mud. I did finally make it relatively unscathed and for about five minutes enjoyed good views of the long-staying Asiatic vagrant as it moved along the Hawthorns bordering the east side of the river. It had been feeding on earthworms on the ground in the sparsely vegetated area on the left just after the boardwalk and showing very well but after being the centre of attraction for several hours, decided to revert back to its skulking nature and disappeared at about 1300 hours (and failing to reappear in the next two hours).

Andrew Moon had managed to get these superb images of the bird just prior to its disappearance on 18 December and shows how much buff on the underparts the bird now has acquired.

In addition to the shrike, Staines Moor provided me with a long list of 2010 additions, including LITTLE EGRET (single feeding in the stream), Sinensis Cormorant, Lapwing (15 flew north), Common Redshank, Common Snipe (2), Black-headed Gull, Woodpigeon, Eurasian Collared Dove, Ring-necked Parakeet (a noisy individual in one of the fir trees in a Hithermoor Road garden), Green Woodpecker, Meadow Pipit, Pied Wagtail, COMMON STONECHAT (5+), Song Thrush, Common Blackbird, Redwing, Fieldfare (15), European Robin, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, Carrion Crow, Jay and Common Magpie. Year List now stood at 27 species.

A Common Kestrel by Junction 17 of the M25 heralded my return to home ground - and for the rest of daylight hours I checked out a number of local sites, accumulating an eventual total of 56 species.


A slow drive along the lane, checking the paddocks and gardens, yielded Jackdaw (25), Common Blackbird, REDWING, Great Tit, Chaffinch, European Robin, Common Starling (4 birds) and Feral Pigeon (8).


There was no sign of the pair of Common Stonechats present in December 2009 but a single LITTLE EGRET was perched in the tall Oak tree by the Chess river. The Mill Water Meadows held 2 Moorhens,Magpie, Common Blackbird and Robin, whilst the Mill House Chalet Gardens a Blue Tit. A COMMON KINGFISHER was showing well and fishing on the west side of the house.


A further LITTLE EGRET was just east of Latimer Bridge, with 20 Atlantic Canada Geese on the meadow. A first-winter Mute Swan, several Coot and Moorhen and 7 Tufted Duck were just west of the bridge, with Coal Tit, Goldfinch, Chaffinch, a single Song Thrush, Nuthatch, 2 Greenfinch, Stock Dove and a Mistle Thrush in Latimer House grounds and the unfrozen Great Water harbouring an excellent selection of wildfowl, including 1 Little Grebe, 12 Mute Swans, 24 Tufted Duck, 26 Northern Pochard and 65 Coots.


Near Ivy House Farm, the Rooks had returned to the wood above (20+), with 3 House Sparrows in the front gardens adjacent to Hill Farm Road.

At the Chesham Fishing Lakes, most of the water was iced over and standing on the ice were 24 Coot, the resident Mute Swan, a pair of Mallard, an adult Common Gull and 25 Black-headed Gulls. A Grey Heron flew over, as well as my first Red Kite of the day, and Dunnock was also added to the Year List.


At the west end of School Lane, 3 female Common Pheasants and a male Bullfinch were noted.

Shardeloes Lake was largely unfrozen and held 4 Little Grebes, 20 GADWALL, 6 Tufted Duck, 5 NORTHERN POCHARD (drake and four females) and 48 Coot. Two Common Gulls (both first-winters) were with the Black-headed Gulls present.


I arrived too late to see the 65 BRAMBLING that roosted (per Kevin Holt) but did add GOLDCREST (3 birds), Nuthatch and Coal Tit.

Nearby in Brook Wood, the RED KITE roost of November-December had ceased and just one mobile individual was noted. Two Common Buzzards roosted, a flock of Long-tailed Tits appeared just prior to dusk and two TAWNY OWLS began calling just as it got dark at 1627 hours.