Recording Area Annual Totals

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

Friday, 16 May 2014


Another glorious day with temperatures even higher than yesterday's - 23 degrees C at one point this afternoon
Following a call from Steve Blake, astounded to see a family party of COMMON GOLDENEYE at SPRINGWELL LAKE (situated adjacent to the Stockers Lake complex) with Geoff Lapworth, John Edwards and JT mid morning, the first-ever such occurrence I have witnessed in Southern England (Goldeneye primarily being a breeder on the Scottish lochs). At the time (0930 hours), the female was accompanying 7 small ducklings (see pix below) but sadly by midday, just 4 remained (survived), after 3 were observed being taken by Pike. An amazing record and one of less than five such occurrences away from Northern England and Scotland.

A reasonable selection of birds encountered at SPRINGWELL, with the Mute Swans with just 1 surviving cygnet, 8 Greylag Geese, 12 Tufted Duck, drake Pochard, Coots with young (6 nests), 2 Common Tern, Stock Dove, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 singing Western Reed Warbler, 2 Common Chiffchaff and a single male Garden Warbler.
I then made a visit to TOTTERNHOE KNOLLS where the undoubted highlight was a purring male EUROPEAN TURTLE DOVE - my first of the year. A total of 11 MAN ORCHID spikes was also apparent, while Great Spotted Woodpecker, Common Whitethroat (3), Blackcap, Common Chiffchaff, Goldfinch and Greenfinch complemented the list.

Nearby, 2 CORN BUNTINGS were along WELLHEAD ROAD - one of the few reliable sites left for this declining species in the area.


At MILL FARM MEADOWS (CHESS VALLEY), 5 male Common Whitethroats were on territory, with another at neighbouring FROGMORE MEADOW, as well as 3 singing male GARDEN WARBLERS

Stock Doves at dusk

Mayflies at dusk on the Chess


The hottest day of the year so far with wall-to-wall sunshine sending the afternoon temperatures soaring to 22 degrees C. As a result, I concentrated on butterfly transects....
In ASHLEY GREEN ROAD, between CHESHAM and ASHLEY GREEN (SP 9704), a singing male Common Whitethroat in the hedgerow opposite the former Peugeot garage and another dead Badger in the same area. In ASHLEY GREEN VILLAGE (SP 9705), Wren, Jackdaw and Collared Dove.
BISON HILL (WHIPSNADE) has seen its best-ever year for emerging butterflies, quite possibly due to the extensive scrub clearance on the Chiltern slopes. Today, butterflies were everywhere, with transects producing 84 DUKE OF BURGUNDY, at least 105 DINGY SKIPPER, 76 GREEN HAIRSTREAK, 4 Orange-Tip and 5 GRIZZLED SKIPPER. Birdlife included 4 singing male Common Whitethroat, a singing male Garden Warbler, 2 Willow Warbler, Yellowhammer, 2 Linnet, Green Woodpecker and singing Robin.
In the DUKE GULLY on IVINGHOE, a further 17 DUKE OF BURGUNDY counted, as well as several GREEN HAIRSTREAK and DINGY SKIPPER - Meadow Pipit displaying, 2 Linnet and singing male Common Whitethroat.
in CHURCH END, PITSTONE, at least 8 House Sparrow, Wren and Common Chiffchaff, with neighbouring PITSTONE MEADOW harbouring Bullfinch (pair), Green Woodpecker, Blackcap and 5 Skylark, as well as 3 SMALL BLUE butterflies, 12 DINGY SKIPPER and 4 GREEN HAIRSTREAK.

Little Egret on RIVER CHESS just east of BOIS MILL and up to 3 BADGERS visiting/residing in my CHAFFINCH HOUSE garden every night

Monday, 12 May 2014

Eating me out of house and home...

I have four pairs of COMMON STARLING currently nesting in the garden and they are flying backwards and forwards to the birdtable virtually non-stop. They are obsessed with taking the dried mealworms and energy pellets back to the baby birds in the nest....

And add that to the garden full of BADGERS that appear from 11pm each night, it's a full time job keeping the feeders stocked

Sunday, 11 May 2014

Little in the way of local bird news.....

Very little in the way of local bird news other than that 2 COMMON SWIFTS arrived back ten days earlier than normal to my house on 9 May...

Saturday was brightened up though by the annual Hyde Heath classic car show and villager fete and despite the weather (heavy showers), over 500 people turned out...

A great day on the green despite the weather