FRIDAY 23 JULY
Negligeable wind, coming from a northerly direction. Still very warm but very overcast and few bright periods. Checked out a few local sites......
CASTLEMAN'S FARM HOUSE (SU 924 877)
Colony of House Sparrows by farm buildings.
SPRINGFIELD FARM SAND QUARRY, BEACONSFIELD (BUCKS) (SU 930 895)
I returned to this site after Dave Cleal and I discovered a huge breeding colony of SAND MARTINS earlier in the month. Visiting today, I was concerned for the second broods, as work was ongoing on extracting sand just 75 yards away. I contacted the RSPB and Mark Thomas very kindly telephoned the owners of the site for me and arranged a meeting. The Site Manager was a certain Brian Stevens and I was soon overwhelmed by the incredible interest and concern that was shown for the Sand Martins. He very kindly accompanied me and took me on a tour of the site and in all, 174 nest burrows were located - 137 of which were still active. On my previous visit to the site - at dusk on 14 July - I had counted an incredible 405 Sand Martins at the site, making it far and away the largest colony in the county. The future of the Sand Martins was safeguarded and I really must thank Brian for his interest and hospitality.
Other species recorded during an hour-long survey included 4 Atlantic Canada Geese, 24 Red Kites, a fresh juvenile Common Buzzard, 43 Argenteus Herring Gulls, 7 YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS (third-years and older), 77 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, Green Woodpecker, European Barn Swallow, Magpie, Chaffinch, Goldfinch, 5 juvenile Great Tits, Linnet and male Yellowhammer.
RED BARN FARM, A355 AMERSHAM ROAD (BUCKS) (SU 955 933)
Successful breeding record of European Barn Swallow - pair feeding young on wires at farm
BOVINGDON BRICK PITS (HERTS) (TL 005 028)
This Boxmoor Trust Reserve lies between Pudds Cross and Bovingdon Green and is an area of overgrown brick pit workings now covered in Elder and bramble scrub.
Species noted included Song Thrush, Common Blackbird, Wren, Carrion Crow, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Nuthatch, Common Whitethroat (3 fledged broods), Blackcap (2 broods), Common Chiffchaff (15+), Linnet (3), Bullfinch, Dunnock, Robin, Greenfinch, Common Buzzard and Great Spotted Woodpecker (juvenile)
CHILTERN FARM, SHANTOCK LANE (TL 007 020)
Male Pied Wagtail on farm buildings
RIVER CHESS, CHENIES BOTTOM (BUCKS)
A male Grey Wagtail showing well at the bridge