Recording Area Annual Totals

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

Monday, 20 May 2013



With a northerly wind blowing, temperatures pegged back a little today. The rain kept away, as did the sun.

With nothing happening other than in Northumberland and further north in Scotland, all my efforts concentrated solely on local birding. When Adam Bassett found 2 SANDERLING at Spade Oak, that's where I finally ended up..........

I spent most of the morning searching for Spotted Flycatcher but after checking three regular sites, it certainly seemed that they are yet to arrive....LITTLE MISSENDON producing just 3 Gadwall and a singing Song Thrush in the church area of the Misbourne, DROPMORE nothing of interest and ST MARY'S CHURCH, WENDOVER, similar.

Rather belatedly, my first Brown Rat of the year was an animal that ran across the A40 at the very west end of BEACONSFIELD at SU 923 898

Arriving at SPADE OAK GRAVEL PIT (LITTLE MARLOW) at the same time as Graham Smith, we both joined Adam moments later, with his 2 SANDERLINGS (one in pretty good nick and the other a step up from winter plumage) still showing well on the end of the spit. In fact, they seemed quite settled, and were still present 90 minutes later when I left at 1500 hours. In the meantime, a succession of observers came and went, including Mike & Rose, John Edwards and Dick Seekins. Although distant, I managed to get some identifiable images (see my Buckinghamshire Birding website).

Otherwise, 2 migrant TUNDRA RINGED PLOVER, a LITTLE RINGED PLOVER, 6 Common Shelducks, Common Kingfisher, 40+ Common Swifts and a nice HOBBY, as well as 2 Roe Deer feeding on Willow trees (see pix).

Along CHERRY LANE by FARTHINGS STABLES in WOODROW, 4 LAPWING were commuting between here and cereal fields the opposite side of Amersham Road.

Sunday, 19 May 2013

SWIFTS return to Little Chalfont


A beautiful evening with the day's heavy cloud clearing away to leave a clear blue sky. Quite warm too at 17 degrees C.........

Arriving home from work at 1700 hours, I was pleased to see that my COMMON SWIFTS had arrived during the day - 8 birds noisily wheeling around CHAFFINCH HOUSE - the first of the year. Earlier, I had seen a RING-NECKED PARAKEET at Chenies

I then had to make the daily commute to GYPSY LANE EAST, a journey of some 76 miles round-trip, this time to see a CURLEW SANDPIPER found by Andy Impey at 1515 hours........

And it was not good news when I arrived there at 1855. Pip, Darren Thomas and others had been searching for over half an hour and had seen nothing - seemingly the bird had moved on. Knowing that Andy Plumb and Stuart Warren had been watching the bird as recently as 1755, I phoned both of them to get the lowdown. Apparently the bird had been difficult and was skulking for much of the time, some observers leaving the site after only seeing the head and bill ! This was encouraging, even though everyone else had given up. I concentrated my efforts on the back pool and eventually located the bird, sheepishly feeding amongst vegetation on the near edge. It was very difficult to see and only really showed when it was attacked and chased by Lapwings, forcing it out into the open. It was very distant - perhaps 300 yards - but I did take these record images as it fed alongside a Common Redshank.

Placing the bird back on RBA, both Darren and Pip returned, whilst Martin Stevens, Matt Burgess and Barry Squires also turned up. It remained on view until at least 2015 hours when I departed

Not much else on offer other than Ringed and Little Ringed Plovers, 4 Shoveler, 8 Common Shelduck and 6 Gadwall; Greylag Geese broods were everywhere totalling over 60 birds - yuck!

Today's CURLEW SANDPIPER at Broom, taken at 300 yards range

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Devastating the Railway Sidings

Throughout our area, London Underground are devastating all trees and vegetation surrounding the railway line, apparently in the name of health and safety. At least one long-standing Rookery has been felled and countless other territories of birds destroyed

Unseasonal Weather

Another heavy thunderstorm arrived tonight bringing another deluge of rain. Temperatures also remained unseasonally low at just 6 degrees C

Waterside JACKDAWS in the rain


Two pairs of Atlantic Canada Geese have bred, with one family of 14 (pictured above) and another of 8

One of the few Coot nests this year on site

Last year's Western Reed Warbler nest; just 1 singing male at present

A view over the lake just before this evenings storm arrived

Waterside MUTE SWANS in peril

At the beginning of the month, this female MUTE SWAN at Waterside (Chesham) had laid eight eggs. Last weekend, four eggs hatched and cygnets appeared to be doing well. Then, winter returned with a vengeance, and this evening just ONE cygnet is surviving. Climate change is having serious repercussions with our breeding birds