Compared to most recent years, when for example I recorded 165 species in the county in 2011, 187 in 2012 and 173 in 2013, this has been a particularly poor one with just 157 species recorded by mid December - one of my worst years on record


It's all over - 2012 has come to an end. I managed a total of 187 out of the 198 species recorded all told in Buckinghamshire - 94% of the total - probably my highest-ever annual tally.

The current record is 191 species achieved in 2006 and held jointly by both Rob Hill and Simon Nichols

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

A splash of colour

Another day dominated by heavy rain, resulting in ever more flooding and sodden ground everywhere; drier interludes later and temperatures at around 9 degrees C.
More local birding today, concentrating mainly in Hertfordshire.......
Once the torrential downpours had ceased, I wandered down to BURNHAM BEECHES NNR (BUCKS) to photograph MANDARIN DUCKS, just 12 being present today (7 drakes). Also 18 mallard, 1 Moorhen, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Nuthatch, Coal Tit, Long-tailed Tit, Chaffinch, LESSER REDPOLL and some very confiding Carrion Crows, one partially albinistic.
My first Eurasian Sparrowhawk of the year dashed across the A412 near WEST HYDE where on LYNSTERS FIELD, the escaped Cackling Goose was still present with 70 Atlantic Canadas. At neighbouring STOCKERS LAKE, wandering the Colne on the northern flank failed to yield any of the wintering Chiffchaffs - just the Australian Black Swan still, a Great Spotted Woodpecker and 6 Wrens of note.
Over at TYTTENHANGER, the TREE SPARROW population was holding up well, with 24 at one site and 8 at another, as well as 6 Reed Buntings, 2 Yellowhammers, 8 Red-legged Partridge, 5 Meadow Pipits, 10 Chaffinch, 8 House Sparrow, 4 BULLFINCH, 2 Common Blackbirds and 8+ Common Magpies.
The rest of the day was spent at GREAT HARDMEAD LAKE, AMWELL NR, where neither the Bittern or female Bearded Tit put in an appearance. Highlight was the juvenile drake SMEW, hiding beneath the undergrowth of the island opposite Gladwin Hide - one of only two birds seen in the county this January and one of the worst winters overall for the species.
Otherwise, 5 Great Crested Grebe, 1 Little Grebe, 28 Sinensis Cormorant, 7 Mute Swans, 26 Atlantic Canada Geese, 2 Greylag Geese, 15 Mallard, 66 Gadwall, 41 Wigeon, 30 Teal, 16 Shoveler, 22 Tufted Duck, 4 Common Goldeneye, 114 Coot, 82 Lapwing, Water Rail, 54 Great Black-backed Gulls (in roost), 2 Jay, Marsh Tit, Coal Tit, 9 Long-tailed Tit, 6 Greenfinch and 5 Reed Bunting.


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