Recording Area Annual Totals

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

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Just outside recording area - LRP's breed successfully


Well they said it wouldn't last and with temperatures during the preceding two days hovering between a sweltering 30 and 32 degrees fahrenheit, it was of no real surprise that the storms arrived. Electric storms, coupled with heavy rain, and enough to fell an old Scot's Pine in Gerrards Cross. As such, my birding was very much curtailed today and I just got out to check some relatively local breeding LITTLE RINGED PLOVERS........


Despite the recent rains, the water level remained very low and as such, both Lapwing and LITTLE RINGED PLOVERS were doing well. I was delighted to see one of the two pairs now accompanying two little chicks, running around haphazardly about the muddy edge. This is the first time I have recorded this species breeding here

The two pairs of Lapwing were also still present and looked as though they were still sitting; no young were noted

Most importantly, the HOBBY family were doing well, the adults now flying in food every 40 minutes or so

The lake also held 1 Mute Swan and a few Coot (1 still sitting) with the surrounding area yielding 2 Stock Doves, Swallow, singing Common Chiffchaff and Common Treecreeper

Monday, 27 June 2011

More tetrad work (Hawridge Area - SP 94 06)


Unbearably hot again today, with temperatures soaring in the sunshine to 32 degrees C. Cloud did gather in the afternoon but apart from a few spots of rain, it remained dry.

It was too hot to birdwatch really but I did manage about six hours in the field........


The local Common Swift population has now risen to 13 birds, with the addition of 5 screaming youngsters. Near Chalfont and Latimer railway station, I saw a female Eurasian Sparrowhawk with prey disappearing into the trees.


Following Paul's email of yesterday, I decided to have a look for his Common Crossbill family. Frustratingly, there was no sight nor sound of them in the pine belt, although several were seen in Broxbourne Woods today. There was a lot of activity in the wood, with post-breeding families of Nuthatch, Common Treecreeper, Great Tit, Blue Tit, Goldcrest, Blackcap, Robin and Wren; also Great Spotted Woodpeckers.

It was the butterflies that really stole the show though with two SILVER-WASHED FRITILLARIES (one flying around the logpiles by the entrance and another on territory by the sharp bend 700 yards into the wood), 2 WHITE ADMIRALS, a MARBLED WHITE, a RED ADMIRAL, numerous Speckled Woods and Large Whites, a handful of Small Heaths and dozens of Meadow Browns.


My latest tetrad survey, dominated by the rich woodland strip of Hawridge Common. A very productive area with 26 species recorded -:

Common Buzzard (1 flew over Cholesbury Lane)
Woodpigeon (60 or so in fields by the common and nesting observed)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (1-2 ranging widely on the common)
European Barn Swallow (1-2 pairs nesting in barn at 'The Limes')
Eurasian Skylark (a large crop field to the east of the common held no less than 5 singing males with one bird tending young)
Robin (pair with young on Hawridge Common, and another pair at 'Barncroft')
Wren (two singing males on Hawridge Common, 1 by Church Lane, 1 behind Flint Cottage and another at the north end of the common)
Common Blackbird (two males in the gardens and woodland edge in Cholesbury Lane, another male in the scrub opposite May Cottage, a singing male by Stoney Lane and another by the Rose & Crown)
Song Thrush (2 singing males within 40 yards of each other on Hawridge Common with another less than 70 yards away and a further bird by the road at the north end)
Blackcap (singing male in scrub opposite May Cottage, another near Field View, another near Stoney Lane, another by Church Lane)
Common Whitethroat (a singing male in the young plantation area east of the common)
Common Chiffchaff (several singing males on Hawridge Common with one in trees opposite May Cottage, another by Stoney Lane, another in tall trees behind Flint Cottage and a bird at the extreme north end by the road)
Coal Tit (1 at the north end of Hawridge Common)
Blue Tit (two family parties noted on Hawridge Common)
Great Tit (adults and juveniles along Hawridge Lane)
*MARSH TIT (pair on Hawridge Common near Willow Tree Cottage)
Long-tailed Tit (pair on Hawridge Common)
Nuthatch (family party of 5 birds on Hawridge Common)
Common Treecreeper (1 present on the common)
Jackdaw (colony of hole nesting birds on Hawridge Common, with three holes occupied and some fledged young in the vicinity)
Common Magpie (2 different birds noted on Hawridge Common)
Jay (pair present on Hawridge Common)
Chaffinch (singing male in garden along Cholesbury Lane with another by Willow Tree Cottage)
Goldfinch (pair in gardens along Cholesbury Lane, another pair on Hawridge Common)
Greenfinch (singing male in tall conifer in garden of 'Field View' and another in hedgerow by the young plantation east of the common)
Yellowhammer (two nesting pairs in large cereal field east of common)

Lee G R Evans

Local Orchids in bloom

A nice spread of orchids on show at the moment in the Amersham Recording Area - the Frog Orchids at Pulpit Hill and the huge numbers of Common Spotted Orchid I found at Newsets Wood last week - all pictured by Acegooner Chris Pontin

Friday, 24 June 2011

The BELLINGDON area - SP 93 05


The rain started again this evening - about 1700 hours - but before that it had been a bright sunny day. I finished off another tetrad today - SP 93 05. A few nice bits, including 2 singing Skylarks and my first Common Starlings in the north of the Recording Area......

Some nicely vegetated lanesides, a couple of small plantations and some productive farmsteads dominate this tetrad, with 29 species recorded.....the best tetrad so far in the north

Woodpigeon (large numbers present and good numbers nesting)
Stock Dove (1 by Wood Farm Cottage)
Feral Pigeon and Fan-tailed Doves in gardens near Asheridge Farm
Great Spotted Woodpecker (2 visiting nut feeder near Asheridge Farm)
Green Woodpecker (1 in the horse paddocks by Asheridge Farm)
Eurasian Skylark (singing male over field east of Wood Farm and another in cereal field 250 yards SE of Hunters Oak)
Pied Wagtail (male collecting food in horse paddocks near Asheridge Farm)
European Bank Swallow (breeding at Bank Farm with 6 birds over the horse paddocks near Asheridge Farm)
Wren (singing male near Asheridge Farm and another at Six Acres garden)
European Robin (pair present at The Old Farmhouse at Bank Farm)
Dunnock (pair in garden near Asheridge Farm)
Common Blackbird (breeding pairs by Wood Farm Cottage, Hunters Oak, Six Acres Garden, Wood Farm and in gardens along Chesham Road)
Song Thrush (singing male west of Bank Farm, another in scrub opposite 'Hunters Oak' and another in gardens along Bank Green)
Mistle Thrush (3 in flight over Southview)
Blackcap (singing male by Wood Farm entrance and another 200 yards beyond Hunters Oak)
Common Chiffchaff (singing male in lane 200 yards beyond 'Hunters Oak' and another in trees near Southview)
Blue Tit (at least 5 roving family parties, with 10 or more juveniles at feeders by Asheridge Farm)
Great Tit (at least 5 at feeders by Asheridge Farm)
Long-tailed Tit (pair in scrub near Hunters Oak)
Carrion Crow (5 in paddocks near Asheridge Farm)
Jackdaw (4 in wood near Southview)
Common Magpie (1 by Wood Farm Cottage and a pair by Southview)
Jay (2 in coppice near Southview)
Common Starling (adult visiting bird feeder near Asheridge Farm and a family party of 2 adults and 2 juveniles at Bank Farm)
Chaffinch (5 birds at feeders near Asheridge Farm, pair near Southview, another pair in gardens along Bank Green and 3 singing males in gardens along Chesham Road and Cedar Grove)
Goldfinch (pair nesting in garden adjacent to Asheridge Farm and another pair at Bank Farm)
Greenfinch (single in Five Elms garden in Bank Green)
Linnet (female on wires at Bank Farm)
House Sparrow (8 birds visiting peanut feeder in garden adjacent to Asheridge Farm)
Yellowhammer (pair in hedgerow by Bank Farm)

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

More tetrad work and more nesting FIRECRESTS.........


Some hefty rain showers moved through the Chilterns late morning but gave way to clear, bright and quite warm conditions this afternoon. Once the rain had passed, I resumed more work on my tetrads...

At one site, I recorded more nesting FIRECRESTS - a female feeding noisy fledged young - and two additional singing males. Once again, this is a site with few conifers but with an awful lot of Holly, ivy and understorey. At least three singing males had been present in the area during two visits in early spring.

This same tetrad also yielded BULLFINCH, a singing male Song Thrush, Nuthatch, Common Buzzard and Wren - all additional species.

This is a very productive tetrad with some excellent habitat and many farmsteads - hence an impressive list of species recorded totalling 24....Song Thrushes were in good supply...

Woodpigeon (fairly abundant and breeding)
Stock Dove (one flew over Little Braziers Farm)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (pair fledged from wood NE of the brick company)
European Barn Swallow (pair nesting in barns at Braziers End Farm, with another in horse sheds by Kiln Farm)
House Martin (two nests and a new site for my Recording Area - at The Old Orchard)
Pied Wagtail (adult male feeding in front of Kiln Cottages)
European Robin (singing male in wood by Ray's Hill)
Common Blackbird (good numbers noted, with two pairs at Braziers End House, a pair on Ray's Hill, a pair by The Full Moon pub, adults and fledged juveniles at Bowmore Farm, breeding pair at Kingston Cottage, singing male by HG Matthews, breeding pair in Kiln Meadow gardens, breeding pair at Bellingdon End Farm)
Song Thrush (singing male in Cholesbury in scrub opposite 'The Row', another in Kiln Meadow garden and another by Kiln Cottages; yet another singing male at Bellingdon End Farm and a nesting pair in the vicinity of Wood Farm)
Dunnock (two singing males in grounds of Braziers Well, another pair at 'The Row' in Cholesbury)
Wren (singing male in wood by Ray's Hill, another by HG Matthews)
Blackcap (female in front garden of Little Braziers Farm)
Common Chiffchaff (singing male in trees by Kiln Meadows
Goldcrest (singing male by Chesham Road adjacent to Kiln Cottages)
Blue Tit (adults and young by cowshed at Ray's Hill)
Great Tit (pair with fledged young at Braziers End Farm, as well as near cowshed)
Long-tailed Tit (fledged young with adults at Ray's Hill near cowshed)
Chaffinch (singing male in coppice by Braziers End, another in trees by HG Matthews Brick Manufacturers, a male in Kiln Meadow garden and a singing male at Bellingdon End Farm, a singing male by 'Little Cherries)
Goldfinch (pair nesting at Kiln Cottages)
Greenfinch (pair at Little Braziers Farm)
House Sparrow (pair nesting at the Rock House on Ray's Hill, part of the The Gables built in 1905)
Common Magpie (noted along the hedgerows north of Braziers Well, in Cholesbury)
Carrion Crow (several adults with young in fields)
Jackdaw (2 birds feeding with horses by Braziers End Farm, adults and fledged young at Kingston)

Some wonderful grass meadows south of Cholesbury at SP 932 069 harbouring Small Tortoiseshell and Marbled White butterflies and over 130 Meadow Browns. There were also many Ladybirds to be found.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011


A very poor tetrad birdwise but noteworthy in its exceptional colony of Common Spotted Orchids.

Woodpigeon (present and breeding)
European Barn Swallow (nesting at Asheridge Farm)
Common Blackbird (nesting at both Wood Farm and Asheridge Farm as well as in Newsets Wood)
Common Magpie (pair by Newsets Wood)
Blackcap (singing male by Newsets Wood)
Great Tit (juvenile in Newsets Wood)
Chaffinch (male singing at Asheridge Farm)
Yellowhammer (singing male in hedgerow NE of Threegates Farm)

Common Spotted Orchid (an impressive spread of over 450 spikes by the small pond in Newsets Wood)

SP 92 06

More open farmland either side of Oak Lane with an extensive sward of woodland at Widow Croft. A total of 18 species noted -:

Red-legged Partridge (calling male in crop south of Oak Lane)
Moorhen (pair bred on small lake at rear of 'Woodlands' with one tiny youngster feeding out in the open on the lawn)
Woodpigeon (several pairs nesting in Widow Croft)
Eurasian Skylark (singing male over crop NE of 'Woodlands with another south of Widow Croft')
European Robin (pair feeding young at 'Woodlands')
Common Blackbird (at least 3 pairs nesting in Widow Croft, three juveniles at Woodlands, nesting birds in Buckland Common
Song Thrush (two singing males in Woodside Wood with two separate adults seen carrying food)
Wren (singing males in Widow Croft, Woodside Wood, another in 'Woodlands' and another in back gardens at Buckland Common)
Blackcap (singing male in Woodside Wood)
Common Whitethroat (adults feeding young by Oak Lane opposite Widow Croft)
Common Chiffchaff (singing male in Widow Croft)
Blue Tits (adults and young in Widow Croft)
NUTHATCH (family party in tall trees of Widow Croft opposite 'Woodlands')
Carrion Crow (pair feeding two young in field at Buckland Common)
Common Magpie (pair in Buckland Common)
Jay (1 in Woodside Wood)
Jackdaw (19 flew over Widow Croft)
Chaffinch (singing male in Buckland Common and another pair near Oak Lane)

SP 91 05

Centred on Arrewig Farm, Barn and Cottages, this is another rural tetrad dominated by open farmland but featuring Chesland and Cindry Bottom Woods. Not so good as the neighbouring tetrad though with just 16 species encountered -:

Common Pheasant (noted in fields north of Arrewig Lane)
Red-legged Partridge (pair in quarry working area just west of Autumn Cottage Farm)
Woodpigeon (numerous; nesting)
European Barn Swallow (pair nesting in barn at Threegates Farm)
Pied Wagtail (male gathering food near Threegates Farm and disappearing in buildings there)
Dunnock (pair breeding at Corfield Cottage)
Wren (singing male in Chesland Wood and another in Bray's Wood)
Common Blackbird (pair feeding young at east end of Arrewig Lane and another in Chesland Wood)
Common Chiffchaff (singing male in Bray's Wood, another in trees just east of Corfield House, another in Chesland Wood)
Blue Tit (adults and fledged young at north end of Bray's Wood)
Great Tit (adults with fledged young in scrub opposite Threegates Farm)
Common Magpie (gathering of 5 birds along Arrewig Lane)
Blackcap (singing male along Arrewig Lane)
Chaffinch (male singing in hedgerow near Autumn Cottage Farm and pair in scrub opposite Threegates Farm; a further male in Bray's Wood)
Goldfinch (nesting at Arrewig Farm)
*BULLFINCH (vocal pair - in fact the male was in full song rarely heard these days - in hedgerow bordering Arrewig Lane SE of the farm complex)



The longest day of the year. In fact, a better day than of late, with dry weather throughout, with some long sunny periods and warm temperatures. Carried on with my fieldwork today, covering four more tetrads, most noteworthy being a cluster of BULLFINCH sightings.......


A tetrad dominated by open farmland, with Dundridge Manor to the east being the only settlement. Lady Grove was a mixture of trees but had substantial amounts of Holly. A total of 19 species was noted - higher than average -:

Literally only yards from the square and just north of the Recording Area was St Leonard's Churchyard (SP 910 071) where a pair of SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS were busily feeding young.

I followed the Chiltern Way footpath and fully explored the tetrad, Lady Grove harbouring a nesting pair of COMMON BUZZARDS.....

Common Pheasant (present in crops)
COMMON BUZZARD (pair feeding young in nest in tall Larch tree in Lady Grove)
Woodpigeon (numerous, with gathering of 45 in one field)
Green Woodpecker (single seen in flight)
European Barn Swallow (pair nesting in the grounds of the White Lion)
Eurasian Skylark (singing male in barley crop 250 yards south of Dundridge Manor)
European Robin (pair present by the White Lion pub)
Wren (pair present at Dundridge Manor)Blackcap (singing male in Ashen Grove)
Carrion Crow (nesting in Lady Grove)
Jay (adult with recently fledged young in narrow tree belt SW of Dundridge Manor)
Common Blackbird (pair feeding young in Ashen Grove, with another pair in the grounds of Dundridge Manor and another in the garden of The White Lion)
Common Chiffchaff (adult feeding young in fir plantation near Dundridge Manor)
Blue Tit (adults with fledged young at Dundridge Manor)
Chaffinch (pair with young in grounds of Dundridge Manor)
Goldfinch (pair nesting in tree close to the White Lion pub)
Linnet (female on wires opposite the White Lion)
*BULLFINCH (pair frequenting the trees along the access drive to Dundridge Manor and later seen acting suspiciously in the hedgerow opposite)
House Sparrow (the most northerly birds in my Recording Area with a colony of at least two pairs nesting in the heavily ivy-covered walls of The White Lion public house; they were commuting back and forth to the allotments alongside Springhall Hill)

13 JACKDAWS in the garden

Just had 13 JACKDAWS (including both adults and juveniles) in the garden - feeding on the wild bird seed on the tables; also 2 Goldfinches still

Monday, 20 June 2011

More Tetrad Work - SP 90 06 - 'new' FIRECREST colony


Well, the Summer Solstice is almost here again - for another year. The weather however, remains more like April's, with heavy showers then bright sunshine.


During a drier interlude this afternoon, did a trek round from the car park to Gallows Hill and back again but failed in my quest to hear either of the calling Common Quails that Johnne Taylor had heard at 1400 hours yesterday afternoon. In fact, very little of note, apart from 65 Linnets (in two groups - 38 and 27.


Resumed my tetrad work, concentrating on an exhaustive check of SP 90 06. Some very nice habitat in this square and an intensive search revealed the presence of several breeding/territorial FIRECRESTS. Along with Steve Rodwell, intense coverage by the two of us has revealed outstanding numbers of this rare breeding bird in the county, with a total of 77+ singing males located (up from 63 of last year). I have still many territories to check this year.......

A total of 18 species identified......

Common Pheasant (numerous birds along the entrance track and in the field adjacent at Chambers Green Farm)
Woodpigeon (common as a breeding species in both Baldwin's and Stonehill Wood)
European Robin (pair nesting in Stonehill Cottage garden, where the owners of this 1902 built country house are very birder-friendly)
Wren (male singing in Stonehill Cottage garden)
Common Blackbird (nine birds noted with breeding confirmed in Stonehill Wood and in Arrewig Lane)
Song Thrush (singing male in Stonehill Wood)
Carrion Crow (pair nesting in Baldwin's Wood and a further pair by Chambers Green Farm)
Common Magpie (two birds by Brun Grange)
Common Whitethroat (pair feeding young in Rape field opposite the entrance to Chambers Green Farm)
Common Chiffchaff (singing male in garden of Ashfield House and an adult feeding young in the hedgerow just west of Stonehill Cottage))
Goldcrest (at least 4 singing males in belt of Scots Pine)
**FIRECREST (new colony located in Douglas Fir stand involving 6 individuals with an additional singing male in Holly and dark understorey at a separate site)
Blue Tit (successfully bred in nestbox in garden of Stonehill Cottage)
Coal Tit (one present at the east end of Stonehill Wood)
Chaffinch (singing male in woodland belt at Chambers Green Farm and a pair at Old Bruns Farm in Arrewig Lane)
Goldfinch (pair at Ashfield House garden)
*BULLFINCH (a cracking adult male in the meadow opposite the entrance to Chambers Green Farm)
*Yellowhammer (a singing male in Brunsgreen garden and a female acting suspiciously in the hedgerow just west of Stonehill Cottage)


Along the Chesham Road in Chartridge, a pair of Moorhen was with 4 well grown youngsters in front of Wayside House.


An adult LAPWING flew south


Two hamlets feature in this tetrad - the picturesque Kingswood centred around The Old Swan Freehouse and the eastern extension of Lee Gate - 12 species noted.....

Woodpigeon (several pairs breeding)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (in flight over gardens in Chesham Lane)
Common Blackbird (two different pairs nesting in Kingswood
Song Thrush (1 by Kingsvale Farm)
Dunnock (pair in Kingswood)
Blackcap (singing male at road junction and another in Fairleigh garden at east end)
Common Chiffchaff (anguished parent attending small young in scrub just north of road junction south of Kingswood)
Great Tit (1 at feeders at Kingswood Cottages)
Blue Tits (several birds including fledged young at feeders at Kingswood Cottages)
Chaffinch (male by Oak Cottages, with another by The Old Swan, with two further males in Pooch Park, opposite Elmwood Exclusive Hotel for Dogs)
Goldfinch (pair nesting in garden of Old Chelsea Cottage)
Common Magpie (juvenile in Kingswood and pair with young by Chesham Lane)


Tetrad centred on hamlet of Lee Gate and surrounding famland. To the northeast is Lordlings Wood, a very nice mature woodland with open clearings. 11 species recorded......

Common Pheasant (several in vicinity of barns in Lee Gate)
Common Kestrel (male hovering just north of Lee Gate village)
Woodpigeon (several pairs)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (adult in Lee Gate)
Wren (singing male in Lee Gate)
Dunnock (two breeding pairs in Lee Gate and another pair in Lordlings Wood)
European Robin (pair feeding young in Thorndon Lodge garden)
Common Blackbird (pair feeding young at Thorndon Lodge on Chesham Lane with two more breeding pairs in Lee Gate)
Common Magpie (juvenile in field by Lodge)
Blackcap (male singing in Lee Gate and another in Lordlings Wood)
Common Chiffchaff (singing bird by Chesham Lane and another male in Lordlings Wood)


Dense coniferous forest with some deciduous interspersed with arable farming; 12 species

Common Buzzard (single pair feeding young in conifer nest)
Woodpigeon (several nesting pairs)
Stock Dove (single pair in tall trees in an open clearing)
*Eurasian Skylark (a single singing male in cereal crop immediately west of Brunsgreen)
European Barn Swallow (gathering of 18 birds hawking for insects over cereal crop west of Brunsgreen, where nesting was suspected in barns at back of farm there)
Common Blackbird (pair nesting in woodland)
Song Thrush (two singing males)
Common Magpie (gathering of 7 birds - including some tatty juveniles - in fields north of Kinsash)
Common Chiffchaff (single singing male)
Goldcrest (family party by one of the trails at the south end of the tetrad and a colony of nesters involving 5 or 6 males in tract of Scot's Pine)
Long-tailed Tit (family party in hedgerow by clearing)
Coal Tit (adults and juveniles in hedgerow with Long-taileds)


Chesham Lane cuts across this tetrad, with one large tract of forest to the north and extensive farmland in the south, where Eurasian Skylarks were found Otherwise a very poor tetrad with just 7 species found

Woodpigeon (several pairs)
Carrion Crow (6+)
*Eurasian Skylark (singing males in cereal crops either side of King's Lane)
Common Blackbird (two breeding pairs in Kingsash hamlet and another pair in the woodland to the north)
Blue Tit (single by lane just north of Kingsash with a family party in Kingsash itself)
Goldfinch (pair nesting in the garden of 'The Cottage' with another pair at Kings Ash Farm)
Greenfinch (pair in Kinsash hamlet)

Continuing tetrad work - all Saturday 18 June

18/6 A day of heavy showers, some prolonged, and sunny periods...

I then concentrated on further intensive tetrad work covering SP 88 06, SP 89 06, SP 90 06, SP 88 05, SP 89 05 and SP 90 05. Highlight was finding another new colony of breeding FIRECRESTS......

This tetrad is dominated by dense forest, The Ridgeway Path dissecting across it. Just a couple of settlements - Concord House being one of them - and some open arable farmland. With the trees being planted so close together, the forest itself is very poor for birds, sio very low densities....Just 10 species recorded...

Common Pheasant (male near Boswells Farm)
Woodpigeon (several nesting pairs)
European Robin (pair in garden at the start of The Ridgeway Path)
Common Blackbird (two pairs)
Song Thrush (singing male)
Blackcap (just 1 singing male noted by Ridgeway Path)
Goldcrest (2 singing males and family party in usual area by first house but no sign of Firecrests this year; another tiny colony of two pairs at the extreme east end of the tetrad)
Blue Tit (several family parties noted)
Coal Tit* (successful breeding with a family party in the conifers close to the first house, with an additional singing male by The Ridgeway)
Carrion Crow (single nesting pair)
Brown Hare (a single by Concord House)

Friday, 17 June 2011

SP 87 05

SP 87 05 London Road - Buckinghamshire

Another rural tetrad with some nice well vegetated gardens bordering London Road north of Dunsmore Road and paddocks to the north of Rocky Lane. An interesting 'Christmas Tree' plantation to the north of Dunsmore Road. 15 species recorded -:

Common Kestrel (a female hovering for food by the horse paddocks in Rocky Lane)
Woodpigeon (nesting pairs in the London Road gardens)
Common Magpie (pair in garden along London Road)
European Barn Swallow (several pairs breeding in the barns of the horse stables north of Rocky Lane and at The Laurels)
European Robin (nesting in at least one garden along London Road)
Common Blackbird (nesting in hedgerows bordering the railway line behind gardens in London Road and 2 males in the Xmas Tree Plantation)
Song Thrush (a singing male utilising a tall dead tree in the disused plant yard east of London Road and another in the young conifers north of Dunsmore Road)
*Common Whitethroat (singing male in hedgerow and from tall trees along Dunsmore Road - seen also in conifer plantation - with another just north of the 'Firecrest' public house car park)
Blue Tit (fledged juveniles in gardens along London Road)
Long-tailed Tit (a family group in hedgerow opposite 'The Laurels')
Chaffinch (pair present in garden of 'The Laurels' and a male singing at 'The Firecrest' pub car park)
Greenfinch (two pairs present in back gardens along London Road, the males utilising tall conifers from where to sing)
Goldfinch (nesting in cherry trees along Rocky Lane)
Linnet (5 in the grounds of the disused plant yard east of London Road, a pair on wires along Dunsmore Road and family party in young conifer plantation north of the road)
*Yellowhammer (singing male in young Xmas Tree plantation north of Dunsmore Road)

SP 86 05

SP 86 05 - Dunsmore and Little London Villages - Buckinghamshire

Another tetrad dominated by rural landscapes, with a picturesque village to the SW and Little London on the eastern flank - plenty of open farmland and the odd tract of deciduous woodland. A better tetrad with 17 species located -:

Common Pheasant (two females noted in barley)
Moorhen ( present on the tiny village pond at SP 862 052, with a pair brooding 2 or more small chicks on the nest and a well grown juvenile closeby)
Woodpigeon (nesting in gardens in Dunsmore village as well along the track west of the village and at Wendover Lodge)
European Barn Swallow (3 nesting pairs in outbuildings at Lower Little London Farm)
European Robin (nesting pair at Dean House, with at least 3 more in Dunsmore hamlet and another at Wendover Lodge)
Common Blackbird (pair nesting in the garden of Dean House, with 4 different singing males in gardens as I approached the north side of Dunsmore; another pair west of the village and two breeding pairs at Wendover Lodge)
Common Chiffchaff (singing male in Dunsmore village)
*Common Whitethroat (singing male in meadow just SSW of Little London hamlet)
*Goldcrest (a singing male in conifers opposite the pond and a pair with fledged young in the conifer belt by the access road to Wendover Lodge))
Blue Tit (pair fledged from nestbox at Dean House)
Wren (male singing at Dean House)
Dunnock (singing from hedgerow at Small Dean House and nesting in Dunsmore)
Carrion Crow (adult in meadow behind Small Dean House)
Common Magpie (pair present on the southern outskirts of Dunsmore village; local numbers controlled by owner of Dean House)
Chaffinch (6 different singing males in Dunsmore village and another pair at Wendover Lodge)
Goldfinch (pair breeding in garden at Wendover Lodge)
Greenfinch (singing male in conifers in garden of 'Chequermate' and nesting pair in Little London)

SP 87 06

SP 87 06 - London Road - Buckinghamshire

Largely cereal farmland, with thick vegetation bordering the lane to Little London and a stand of woodland to the east of the London Road. An impressive Wild Poppy field just north of the houses. A total of 13 species recorded -:

Woodpigeon (11 in field north of Hogtrough Lane and 35 more in crop SSW of Boswell's Farm)
Stock Dove (a pair in the stand of trees bordering the no through lane leading off from the Wendover bypass roundabout)
Carrion Crow (1 by Boswell's Farm)
Common Magpie (pair in the thick vegetated lane near Grove Farm)
European Barn Swallow (nesting in barns to south of Hogtrough Lane - 2-3 pairs - including a very russet individual on the underparts)
House Martin (certainly no nesting birds but a single over barns along Hogtrough Lane)
Wren (singing male by Dunsmore Lane)
European Robin (pair feeding young along the lane and another in the barn by the allotments in Hogtrough Lane; also nesting at Boswell's Farm)
Mistle Thrush (a single bird flew towards tall trees in Hogtrough Lane)
Common Chiffchaff (pair feeding several young in scrub west of the lane opposite track to the railway)
Blue Tit (2 birds noted along Hogtrough Lane)
Chaffinch (singing males by the farm in Hogtrough Lane as well as at Boswell's Farm)
Greenfinch (male singing from tall trees along Hogtrough Lane)
Goldfinch (pair seen along Hogtrough Lane)

To the north of the square, over Boddington Hill, a Red Kite, pair of Common Buzzards and 170 Common Swifts.

Tetrad Work - SP 86 06


A belt of heavy rain crossed the Chilterns area this morning but cleared up early afternoon. It then brightened up and remained sunny and clear until evening - quite warm too.

Undertook survey work this afternoon, mapping out all of the breeding birds of the Amersham Recording Area for 2011.........

SP 86 06 Smalldene Farm, SW of Wendover (Buckinghamshire)

A tetrad of mainly open farmland, with a few farmsteads and scattered deciduous woodlands. A total of just 15 species found -:

Feral Pigeon (pair nesting in the barns at Grove Farm)
Woodpigeon (pair nesting at Smalldene Farm
Stock Dove (5 birds feeding in an open short cereal field)
European Barn Swallow (1-2 pairs nesting in the barns at Grove Farm)
European Robin (breeding pair at Smalldene Farm)
Common Blackbird (breeding pairs in the wood beyond Smalldene Farm and another pair in Upper Bacombe Wood)
Wren (just one family group encountered - adults feeding 5 young in wood by low-lying vegetation)
Blackcap (male singing from trees just along footpath from Smalldene Farm, with another just yards away and another in the next belt of woodland to the NW)
Common Chiffchaff (male singing from trees 50 yards from Smalldene Farm)
Great Tit (fledged juveniles on the feeders at Smalldene Farm with an adult in one of the woodland belts)
Blue Tit (at least 6 juveniles feeding on bird feeders by Smalldene Farm with nesting birds in an old stand of woodland to the NW)
Carrion Crow (13 birds seen, mainly in the open grassy fields, including begging juveniles)
Rook (none nesting in square that I know of but both adults and fledged juveniles at Grove Farm - 18 in total)
Chaffinch (family party in woodland towards the west side of the square and a singing male)
Goldfinch (3 in flight over meadow)
Red Fox (showing well inside one of the older stands of woodland)

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

CUCKOO finally makes it on to local list

On Monday evening, a COMMON CUCKOO was heard calling at Penn Street Farm - the first record in the Amersham Recording Area this year. This species was once common in this area.

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Waterside MUTE SWANS are alive and well


Another warm day, despite the wind veering west and dropping light. A few heavy showers but largely dry and clear and bright later.

Very little birding today but very pleased to relocate one local pair of Mute Swans that I could not account for....


The resident pair of Mute Swans were feeding their three cygnets this evening, whilst other breeding birds included a Moorhen on a nest and a pair of Stock Doves. Six pairs of Tufted Ducks were noted.

Nearby, at the bridge over the River Chess, I was absolutely delighted to relocate the Waterside breeding pair of Mute Swans - with both cygnets surviving well. I had been very concerned for their welfare following their disappearance a few weeks ago


Although the smallest of the baby Great Crested Grebes is still being tendered by the mother on the small lake, the two more mature juveniles have now left the site and disappeared. Father remains on the larger lake.

The 10 adult Atlantic Canada Geese have 8 goslings between them and two well-grown juvenile Coots are present.

A pair of Song Thrush was feeding young, two male Common Chiffchaffs were singing and 3 Western Reed Warblers remain.


The Common Swift numbers have now increased to 7.

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

GADWALL breeding success


A breezy day with the wind coming from the Southwest, with some heavy rain showers in between some long spells of warm sunshine.

Common Quail was the target of the day, along with Common Crossbill, whilst I took the opportunity to do some Corn Bunting surveying whilst over that way.........


The big news here was the successful breeding of GADWALL - a female accompanying 8 tiny ducklings.

2011 has been exceptionally early in terms of fledging and other breeding activity proven was of two very early juvenile Pied Wagtails.

Three adult Great Crested Grebes were present on the lake but with one female was two chicks, one considerably larger than the other. Of 22 Coots present, one pair were attending 3 small chicks and four birds were still sitting.

Also noted were Atlantic Canada Geese (8), a female MANDARIN DUCK flying towards the wooded island (so hopefully nesting), 7 Tufted Duck, an additional pair of GADWALL, female Grey Wagtail, House Martin, both Robin and 4 pairs of Common Blackbird feeding young, two very competitive singing male Song Thrushes and a singing male Blackcap.

There was no sign of any Mute Swans, which incidentally have bred on Chesham Pow Wow, raising three cygnets

Saturday, 4 June 2011


After reading your Birding Amersham Blog of 1st June Lesley and I today visited Dawes Common, Sarratt and the old clay pit area near Bovingdon brickworks to look for Spotted Flycatchers and Lesser Whitethroats.

We first went to Dawes Common and arrived at about 8.30hrs. We parked in the 3-car car park and almost immediately saw a Lesser Whitethroat on the edge of the wood which was calling very well. The wood was alive with birds and we quickly came across a number of Spotted Flycatchers. I could not like to say that there were two pairs but there were two or three birds that were very active. We also had Treecreeper, Great, Blue and Coal Tits all feeding young. When we returned to the car park at about 10.00hrs we could no longer locate any Lesser Whitethroat.

After Dawes Common we went to the old clay pits at Bovingdon. Although we had good numbers of Common Whitethroat and Chiffchaff we failed to pick up on any Lesser Whitethroat (Stuart Wilson)

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

RING-NECKED PARAKEET finally makes it on to Chaffinch House garden list as well as 2011 list


The ridge of high pressure became well established over southern Britain today bringing back clear blue skies, bright sunshine and temperatures just hovering below 70 degrees fahrenheit.....

Working in the garden today paid off dividends when I finally got one back on JT when my first-ever garden RING-NECKED PARAKEET flew over noisily 'sqwarking' as it went over rapidly. Perhaps eventually they will find the peanut feeders.......

Also happy to say that Common Swift numbers have now risen to 5 - so very slowly creeping up towards normal