FRIDAY 21 JANUARY
After a sharp frost, another cold day with clear blue skies and sunshine. Beautiful birding conditions.
CHAFFINCH HOUSE, LITTLE CHALFONT (BUCKS)
Five 'fat' Woodpigeons now resident in the garden, 1 SONG THRUSH still (since early December), 3 Goldfinch, 4 Coal Tits and 2 Robins (incidentally sharing the same birdtable together - a rare sight)
HOGBACK WOOD, BEACONSFIELD (BUCKS) (SU 928 913)
Hogback Wood lies on the extreme western fringe of Beaconsfield and is a relatively small area of mixed deciduous and conifer woodland. What is has got is an enormous amount of Holly and it is this habitat which I feel is attracting the increasing number of FIRECRESTS - a species which is now resident in the Chiltern woodlands. This same habitat proves extremely productive for Firecrests in the New Forest in Hampshire.
Thanks to local birder Wally Smith, I eventually (after over two hours of searching) tracked down 3 wintering FIRECRESTS and a single Goldcrest. They were favouring an area of dense Holly scrub about 85 yards in from the gardens, accessed by walking down the main ride at the end of Woodside Road for 100 yards (parallel with the railway line) and then turning right by the crater and climbing up the slope for a further 35-50 yards where it meets the Holly. In fact, it is almost like a 'tunnel of Holly' here and extends for about 60 yards and this was by far the favoured area. Although they were largely silent today, they could be located by their distinctive calls.
I also recorded 8 Redwings, 10 Common Blackbirds, Nuthatch, 5 Coal Tits, 15 Blue Tits, 11 Great Tits, 4 Wrens, 2 Common Magpies, 2 Jays, 2 Robins, 8 Long-tailed Tits and Great Spotted Woodpecker in the wood.