Bird Sightings

Seen an interesting bird?  Then let us know by submitting a record on our on-line database.  It is easy to do but if you need some instructions take a look at the Submit Sightings Page.  To view the latest sightings just click on the menu item for Latest Sightings.

Some birds are not uncommon in other parts of the country or around our coasts, but may be in Buckinghamshire.  If you want to see just how scarce a particular species is then take a look at the Bucks List.

Upcoming Club Events

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The Next Field Meeting

The next field trip is to the Wilstone Reservoir on Sunday 19th November 2023

Go to  for further details.


Wilstone Reservoir

Information on any future club events will be posted here and on the “Club Events” tab at


Little Crake - A Bucks First!

This Little Crake was found on 6th November at Linford Reserve by photographer Ken Sargent. Kent sent a photograph to the County Recorder who confirmed it as a Little Crake, a first record for the county! As it was too late to visit that day, plans were put in place to allow public access on 7th and hopefully subsequent days.

Local permit holders put out news and access details on social media and manned the gate, car park and hide. This allowed quite a few local and birders from further afield to visit the site.
The bird was relocated at 06:50 on 7th Nov.

The bird frequented a reed bed and was hidden from view for most of the time.
Views like this were few.

Temporary access was granted for a £5 donation on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. However please check social media or the bird information services for the latest situation. Note that the site is not open 24 hours a day and normally a permit is required for access. An annual permit can be purchased for £20 at :-

Pectoral Sandpiper at Dorney Common

Dorney Common again produced an excellent wader in the form of the seventh Pectoral Sandpiper for the county. The 14th August was rather a dull day with showers coming from the South-west. Dorney Common regular Dave Cleal found the bird on the flooded muddy area in the North East of the common and managed to get the two photos below before the bird flew off. It flew with many other birds and may have been spooked by a Hobby which flew overhead. It is likely that the bird flew into Berkshire which is immediately over the stream on the east side of the common.

The bird was also found independently at about the same time by Berkshire birder Chris Heard, although he was viewing from a different place to Dave.

Pectoral Sandpiper.

This is only the seventh record of this species in the county. The previous records are given below. Rather amazing that there are now three records of Pectoral Sandpipers at Dorney Common.

2014 Floodplain Forest Nature Reserve (formerly Manor Farm), 10th-11th August, 1 on 10th and 11th Aug.

2012 Dorney Common, 18th-23rd September, A juvenile on 18th and 23rd Sep.

1998 Little Marlow GP, 18th-23rd October, A juvenile from 18th until 23rd Oct.

1995 Willen Lakes, 13th September, 1 for about 30 minutes on 13th Sep.

1989 Linford GPs, 1st September, 1 on 1st Sep.

1988 Dorney Common, 28th September to 9th October, 1 intermittently between 28th Sep and 9th Oct. It spent much of it’s stay at nearby Slough STW (Berks).

One of the reasons for this and other waders to turn up at Dorney Common is the fact that the stream that runs along the east side of the common gets choked with plant growth and the stream overflows onto the common. This can leave an extensive area flooded which is often churned up by cattle. It attracts good numbers of ducks, geese and some waders.


Red-necked Phalarope at LMGP

This Red-necked Phalarope was found at Little Marlow Gravel Pit on 8th September 2022 by local birder Dave Ferguson. Dave only had binoculars with him and was unsure of which species of Phalarope it was. He very quickly put the news out and very soon a few local birders were on-site and were able to confirm the ID as a Red-necked.

Red-necked Phalarope (Four photos copyright Gary Watton)

The bird seemed unsettled as it frequently flew short distances but it kept returning to it’s favoured spot towards the SW corner of the lake. It did however remain until the following day at least.

Some photos of the previous birds can be found at this link.

Heavy rain was the feature of much of the afternoon. This may have deterred the bird from leaving. (photo copyright Dave Parmenter)
A short video clip taken by Jim Rose

There have been only eight previous records of this species in the county, most of them in the north of the county. This is the second sighting at Little Marlow, the first being on 7th June 2020.

White-rumped Sandpiper - A Bucks 1st!

Dorney Common regular Dave Cleal was checking out the flooded part of the common early afternoon on 21st July when he came across two waders which he initially thought were an adult and juvenile Dunlin. As usual these days he took some photos and sent them to a number of other birders. Adam Bassett, who was one of the recipients of the photos, decided that the non-adult bird looked very interesting and that a visit was needed! Once arriving on site it was soon confirmed as a White-rumped Sandpiper, which is the first record of this species in Buckinghamshire.

White-rumped Sandpiper – Dorney Common (photos copyright Dave Parmenter)

By the evening of the 21st July many local birders had seen the bird. At one time it flew over the grassy expanse of the common and landed. It was also seen to fly over nearby stream (the border with Berkshire) giving a few Berkshire birders a county tick!

The bird remained on site during the 22nd July allowing many more birders to twitch it. The Sandpiper remained until dusk and was thought to have flown off at this time.

Video copyright David Bevan

This is the first record of this species in Buckinghamshire and is also a first for Berkshire when it flew over the border.

Red-rumped Swallow - A Bucks 2nd!

With a moderate arrival of Hirundines on 27th April 2022, local birder Adam Bassett managed to pick out a superb Red-rumped Swallow flying over the lake at Little Marlow. He straight away put news out and within a very short space of time several birders were on site. The bird was quite elusive at times and the group of birders had to wait about 20 minutes before it was seen again. It was also easy to miss the bird in among the 50-100 Swallows, House Martins and Sand Martins that were present. Gradually more birders arrived on the scene and most birders managed to see the bird before it disappeared sometime before 10:30am.

The bird was extremely hard to photograph as it was constantly on the move. so please bear this in mind when viewing the record shots below. The video clip is well worth watching.

Red-rumped Swallow – Copyright David Bevan above and below
Photo above copyright Jim Rose
Video copyright David Bevan

Black-winged Stilt - A Bucks Rarity

Discovered at Newton Leys by local birder Jenny Baker at 8am on 27th April 2022, this Black-winged Stilt stayed and showed well to many admirers until 19:30 at least. It was not present the following morning.

Photos copyright Mark Rayment

There is an excellent article from Bir Guides about this sighting. Visit

This is only the 5th record for this species in the county following two at College Lake in May 2019.

To see previous photos of Black-winged Stilts in the county click on these links
or search in the Photo Gallery.

Blue-winged Teal - A Bucks First!

On 28th March 2022 local birder David Bevan was checking out the shallow pools at Marlow Low Grounds when he came across an unusual dabbling duck. Unsure of the ID he sent a still photo to a local birding group and this started a discussion and ended up with the various people involved visiting the site to see this interesting bird.

The original photo of the “Unknown” duck.

The bird remained on the same shallow pool for the rest of the day and news was put out that it was a Blue-winged Teal. Over twenty birders managed to see the bird before dark. The bird moved to an adjacent larger pool the following morning and was somewhat harder to view and continued to attract birders. At the time of writing (30th March) the bird was still present.

The bird is thought by some to be a female Blue-winged Teal although the plumage is not typical and others suggest that it is a hybrid. The species is a BBRC rarity and we will have to wait for their decision on whether the bird is in fact a Blue-winged Teal and not considered an escape (The species can be difficult to separate from Cinnamon Teal). The bird is un-ringed so there is nothing to suggest that the bird is an escape. If accepted by BBRC this will be a first record for Buckinghamshire.

A short video taken by Jim Rose on 28th March
Video taken by David Bevan on 29th March when it was feeding with Common Teal
A photo of the outstretched wing by Dick Seekins


2020 Annual Report

The Buckinghamshire Bird Report for 2020 has now been published. Members will receive their copies by post. Unfortunately all spare copies have now been sold.

It promises to be an interesting read an certainly an essential read for any keen county birders.

2020 Annual Report

For more information click here.


Marsh Warblers Breeding Attempt!!

A singing Marsh Warbler was found in north Bucks by Gyorgy Szimuly (Szimi) on 7th June and within a short time a female was also discovered. They were favouring suitable breeding habitat, so news of these birds was restricted in order to keep disturbance to a minimum. Fortunately a good number of local birders did manage to see the birds, providing many people with a county or life tick!

The female was extremely secretive and although the male was showing and singing to begin with it became much quieter as the month progressed.
In early July food carrying was observed and on one date there was activity suggestive of the young fledging but this could not be confirmed.

Whilst it is hoped that they successfully fledged young, this was not proven and there were no confirmed sightings after early July of either young or adults.

The pair were not easy to photograph, especially the female, although the male did show quite well at times while singing but often partially hidden in the vegetation. The following photos show the male over several days and shows the main features of the bird that allow it to be separated from Reed Warbler.

The top four photos were taken by Rob Cadd who was at the site very early morning on several occasions.
7th June – showing the lower back (Photo – Mike Wallen)
9th June – carrying food. (Photo – Nick Truby)
10th June – The male on one of his favoured singing perches.
11th June (Photo – Nick Truby)
11th June (Photo – Nick Truby)
11th June (Photo – Nick Truby)
The pair! There doesn’t seem to be too many photos of both male and female. (Photo – Dick Seekins)

The following link is to a video of the male singing and shows the very varied mimicry that this species employs:-

This species has only been recorded in the county five times previously, the most recent was of a bird that was trapped and ringed in August 2019 at Hillesden. Prior to that there were sightings in 1956, 1960 and 1974 in late Spring. There is also a breeding record from Chalfont Park in 1931.

All photos Copyright © 2021