Recording Area Annual Totals

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

Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Breeding gets underway for many species and more migrants arrive


Talk about a topsy-turvy day in terms of weather. When I first started birding mid morning, the wind was in the west and the temperature was 9.5 degrees C. It was raining intermittently and activity was rather scant. Around lunchtime/early afternoon however, the wind switched to the SSW, the sun came out and temperatures recovered to 13.5 degrees C. Then, darkening clouds brought heavier rain, and between 1500 and 1900 hours, the temperature plummeted to a freezing 5 degrees C and the wind veered to a strong NNW.

Despite the conditions, I had a great day locally, with some nice finds and new additions - particularly Yellow Wagtail and House Martin - both firsts for the year.


I did a full inventory of the lower Chesham area, walking the trail from Watercress Cottage (SU 975 999), past the former Pow Wow Lake (SP 972 003), around the Chesham Fishing Lakes (SP 972 003), across to Hill Farm (SP 973 008) and back down to Milk Hall (SP 976 002).

GREAT CRESTED GREBES (both pairs present, the pair on the smaller lake now nesting)
CONTINENTAL CORMORANT (a near adult circled the fishing lakes)
Little Egret (none seen, looks as if the wintering population has now departed)
Mute Swan (single adult on Pow Wow Lake, the Waterside pair now deserted after heavy rain, a pair on Bois Mill Lake - not nesting - and three others east to Latimer Bridge)
Atlantic Canada Geese (pair on Pow Wow Lake, with 24 on Bois Mill Pond)
Mallard (5 drakes on the river, with 14 on the Fishing Lakes)
GADWALL (pair still present on Pow Wow Lake)
Tufted Duck (drake on Pow Wow Lake, with 16 - 9 drakes and 7 females - on the Fishing Lake)
Red Kite (3 in Hill Farm area)
Common Buzzard (nest found in Chessmount - SP 974 006)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk (female circling overhead of the valley)
Common Pheasant (2 males near Hill Farm)
Moorhen (9 birds in total)
Coot (9 on the larger of the two Fishing Lakes, one with an injured left leg, with 6 on the smaller)
Woodpigeon (large feeding flocks in the Hill Farm area, one of 45 and the other of 322)
Eurasian Collared Dove (pair at Hill Farm)
*SAND MARTIN (1 high over the Fishing Lakes, the first in the Recording Area this year)
*EUROPEAN BARN SWALLOW (pair hawking high above the Alders and Poplars by the Fishing Lake and a 'singing' male around the larger barn by Hill Farm - the first in the Recording Area this year)
Pied Wagtail (an adult male by the Pow Wow building)
Wren (2 singing males by Watercress Cottage, with another by the Fishing Lakes and 1 by Hill Farm)
Dunnock (pair displaying by Watercress Cottage, with two further singing males nearby, and further males in scrub by Cannon Mill Avenue and Hill Farm)
European Robin (just 1 singing male by the Fishing Lakes)
Song Thrush (1 in garden of cottage at corner of Holloway Lane)
Mistle Thrush (pair nesting in Chessmount Wood)
Common Blackbird (male by Watercress Cottage, with another in gardens on Cannon Mill Avenue)
*BLACKCAP (a singing male showing well by the smaller Fishing Lake, present in the area for over two weeks)
*COMMON CHIFFCHAFF (a marked arrival with two singing males within 40 yards of each other in scrub behind McMinn's Yard and a further male present along the Riverside Walk just beyond the Fishing Lakes)
GOLDCREST (a pair present in the tall evergreen in the garden of 85 Latimer Road, the male singing frequently)
Great Tit (singing males by Watercress Cottage, the Fishing Lakes and the Riverside Walk and 2 at the feeders by Milk Hall)
Blue Tit (singing males by McMinn's Yard and Fishing Lakes with 7 at the feeders by Milk Hall)
Long-tailed Tit (pair along the Riverside Walk)
Common Magpie (pair nesting in the tall Evergreen in garden of 85 Latimer Road)
Western Jackdaw (nesting colony in terrace chimneys opposite Fishing Lakes involving 13 pairs, with a further pair on the chimney stack of Watercress Cottage)
Rook (the Rookery above Ivy House Farm now has 21 active nests)
Carrion Crow (1 by Hill Farm)
Common Starling (1 on chimneys in Latimer Road)
House Sparrow (2 pairs in scrub behind Cannon Mill Avenue)
Chaffinch (5 singing males/pairs in the Fishing Lakes/Riverside Walk area, with another by Hill Farm)
LINNET (2 birds flew over the barns at Hill Farm)
Goldfinch (5 birds noted)
Greenfinch (displaying male in gardens along Latimer Road)
YELLOWHAMMER (2 singing males in hedgerows by Hill Farm)

BADGERS (the sett along the bridleway near Hill Farm was active)
MUNTJAC (a stag was feeding by Watercress Cottage)

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