Recording Area Annual Totals

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

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

The Chess Valley and Shardeloes - first local birding in over a month


Although continuing very mild, today was very dreary and grey with the first rain in quite a long time. Today was also my first opportunity in over a month to do some proper birding in the immediate local area. Undoubted highlights were seeing both Shoveler and Teal at Shardeloes and a good number of winter thrushes. Most concerning was the fact that the upper Chess had completely dried up - from Bury Lake in Chesham and Pednor to as far downstream as Waterside....


Two Pied Wagtails are wintering, whilst visiting the garden feeders today were 32 House Sparrows, 6 Goldfinches, 3 Greenfinches, a Coal Tit, 3 Great Tits, 20+ Blue Tits, 5 Common Blackbirds and 16 Collared Doves


My first visit in over a month and a noticeable drop in the water level. A total of 41 species was noted -:

Little Grebe (4 present at west end but no sign of the Great Crested)
Grey Heron (3 present, including 1 first-year)
Mallard (20)
*COMMON TEAL (9 present at west end - a scarce species here)
GADWALL (22 present)
*NORTHERN SHOVELER (single drake present, another scarce species here - reportedly present for at least three weeks)
Tufted Duck (just 2 females)
NORTHERN POCHARD (2 adult drakes)
Coot (128 present)
Moorhen (5 on the lake and a further 12 along the Misbourne)
*WATER RAIL (2 present at the west end)
Black-headed Gull (118+)
Common Gull (1 first-winter)
European Herring Gull (1 juvenile)

Common Buzzard (3)
Common Pheasant (4)
Woodpigeon (35)
Green Woodpecker (1)
Great Spotted Woodpecker (1)
Grey Wagtail (2)
European Robin (3 - two birds in full song)
Wren (2)
Common Blackbird (3)
Song Thrush (2)
Mistle Thrush (1)
Goldcrest (1)
Blue Tit
Great Tit (8)
Long-tailed Tit (11)
Chaffinch (8)
Goldfinch (9)
Common Starling (1)
Jay (2)
Carrion Crow (6)
Common Magpie (4)
Jackdaw (16)
Rook (a lot of activity at the Rookery with some nests being repaired)


The sole wintering Great Crested Grebe in the Recording Area - a first-winter - was present on the main lake, with a single Atlantic Canada Goose, 13 Mallard, 6 Tufted Duck and 8 Coot; a pair of Mute Swans was on neighbouring Pow Wow Lake and a male Song Thrush was in full song.


The main lake held 22 Mute Swans (with another pair on the Chess at Church Covert), 2 Little Grebes, 46 Tufted Duck, 40 Mallard and 38 Coot, whilst an adjoining field being ploughed attracted 250 Black-headed Gulls, 44 Common Starlings, 1 Skylark and over 430 Jackdaws.

Latimer Place grounds yielded 2 Song Thrushes, 15 Redwing, 1 Fieldfare and a Mistle Thrush.


The 2 wintering LITTLE EGRETS were noted - again in trees just east of Bois Mill - with a Common Buzzard feeding on earthworms in a field and 2 Little Grebes on the lake by the Granary/Dodds Farm at Chenies Bottom

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