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.

Uploading Photos

Anyone who has registered in the Buckinghamshire Goingbirding database can upload photographs.  Feel free to upload record shots as well as good quality images.  Record shots are useful for rare and scarce species and may help in terms of confirmation of species ID.

There are a few rules and guidelines :-

  • The file size may not be larger than 100KBytes
  • The width of the image may not be more than 600 pixels
  • Photos should be of wild birds within the county of Buckinghamshire

The file size and width of the image can be controlled using one of many image editing tools that are available.  A free software package that deals with both of these functions is the Faststone Image Viewer and is available at this link

Please note that the Buckinghamshire Bird Club reserves the right to delete any of the uploaded images and to use any of the images in the clubs monthly bulletin or the county annual report.

Birding Links

A guide to other selected birdwatching websites

This page is not intended to be a comprehensive list of birding sites as there are several websites that do this very well (see below).  The following links are (hopefully) of interest to birders living in and around Buckinghamshire.

 

Birding Websites for Nearby Counties

Websites with good birding links

National Birding Groups

Buckinghamshire County Council Links

Other Sites of Interest

 

Other Local Wildlife Websites

 

Regional Wildlife Trusts

 

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The following links are purely for historical interest

Bucks Bird Club History

The Bucks Bird Club

piedwagtail-500The Buckinghamshire Bird Club was formed in 1981 and was granted charity status in 1989. It was formed with the objective of bringing together under one organisation all those interested in birds in the county. All birders from the complete novice to the skilled ornithologist are able to enrich their interest and encourage nature conservation by joining the Buckinghamshire Bird Club.

Little Egrets Breeding at Little Marlow GP

Little Egrets have bred in the north of the county for some years, firstly at Linford and then at Willen Lake.  However despite the odd birds being in the area over recent summer there had been no obvious signs that they had tried to breed at what appears to be an ideal site. However this year at least two nests were built and during the second half of June young birds were seen being fed in the nest. The nest sites were difficult to observe from the banks as they were well hidden well under the canopy of the trees. However with the youngsters soon being mobile and walking around the branches, they have shown well on occasion.

The following photos very kindly provided by Richard O’Dare and were taken at the end of June.
(Click on the images to enlarge)

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2C8A7767 2C8A7769

 

Hopefully there is another brood to follow very soon.

 

bucks birds on film

Ring-necked Duck

Ring-necked Duck Aythya collaris

Foxcote Reservoir – 12th October 2009


Photos copyright Ken Earnshaw

This individual was not photographed in 2006 or 2007 (as far as I know but not too late to submit) but it was present during the following dates:

 4th to 12th April 2006 

9th December until 3rd April 2007

4th November 2007 until 10th April 2008

21st October 2008 until 30th March 2009

So the arrival date of 11th October this year is the earliest arrival date recorded yet.



Foxcote Reservoir – 16th March 2005

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r.n.duck2-400.jpg (22889 bytes)
Photos copyright Tim Watts

This drake was present between 16th March and 4th April.  It seems very likely that this is the same individual that was present a year ago (see below). 


Foxcote Reservoir – 14th March 2004

Ring-necked Duck at Foxcote Res140304redux.JPG (15553 bytes)
Photo copyright Rob Andrews

This super drake was present between 14th Feb and 2nd April and seen most days. 

Black-throated Diver

Black-throated Diver Gavia arctica

Calvert -19th May 2008


Photos copyright – Tim Watts

A surprise find in the county, especially in May. There are 10 or so prior records in the county. 

 Tim found this bird, still in winter plumage and managed to get the word out so that others could also see it and confirm ID.  Tim did well to get these photos at long range. 


Taplow Gravel Pit – 27th November – 1st January 2003 (at least)

BTDiverTaplow 261202redS.JPG (16898 bytes)

BTDiverTaplow 261202-S.JPG (20912 bytes)

26th Dec 2002 – Rob Andrews


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4204-BTDiverCS.JPG (19964 bytes)

23rd Dec 2002 – Jim Rose


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3rd Dec 2002 – Jerry O’Brian

This is a scarce species in the county with only 11 prior records.  This individual was present at the site from 27th November to 23rd December at least .  While often seen in the centre of the lake, the bird would also dive within a few feet of the bank and make it’s way around the lake.  The bird was apparently not concerned when sailing activities took place on the lake.

Bird Sites in Buckinghamshire

We need contributors to send us descriptions of their local patches. In time we hope to build this area into a comprehensive guide to birding in Bucks. All contributions, however big or small, will be gratefully received.
Even if an area has been covered already please send us your info.

If you can help please contact Jim Rose.

HABITATS

From the Thames Valley in the south to the River Ouse in the north, Buckinghamshire contains a wealth of interesting habitats, each with its characteristic bird community.  Significant habitats include the Chiltern escarpment, the Beechwoods of the Chilterns and the Vale of Aylesbury.  Important bird sites within the county include Ashridge Forest, Black Park, Calvert Jubilee Brick Pit, College Lake, Great Linford Lakes, Little Marlow Gravel Pit, Steps Hill, Stoke Common, Wendover Woods, Weston Turville Reservoir and Willen Lake.  The Berks, Bucks and Oxon Wildlife Trust (BBONT) manage several of these sites.

The county can boast some rare breeding birds as well as providing important wintering areas for a number of species.  Birds which breed in the county include Barn Owl, Crossbill, Curlew, Firecrest, Hawfinch, Hobby, Little Ringed Plover, Long-eared Owl and Nightingale, while the wonderful song of the Woodlark can again be heard at a few sites.  Buzzards and Red Kites can also be regularly seen along parts of the Chiltern escarpment.  Other species such as Nightjar, Snipe and Stonechat, breed  occasionally.

In winter, the reservoirs flooded pits and other wetland areas play host to many wildfowl that includes good numbers of Goosander at preferred sites and much smaller numbers of Smew at others.  In the Vale of Aylesbury large flocks of Golden Plover and Lapwing are annual.  Large numbers of Gulls gather at rubbish tips and at roost sites in the county, bringing occasional records of scarcer species such as Iceland and Glaucous Gulls.

Waders are most often reported at the various water sites mentioned above, with the majority of records during the spring and autumn migration periods.  Species such as Whimbrel, Greenshank and Ruff are annual but with many other wader species reported each year.  Perhaps the most important migration site for passerines is Steps Hill, where birds such as Ring Ouzel are annual and significant movements of other commoner migrant birds are often noted.

Migrant Watch

Arrival/Departure Dates in Bucks

The data contained on these pages is intended to be a source of reference for birders as well having the added interest of containing the latest information for this year (If I can keep up with it)!  The species included are generally the more common of our summer and winter visitors, although some scarcer species are also included.  Other species may be included at a later date if this trial is deemed to be successful (feedback required please).  

Pick Table to GoTo :-   Updated with available data for 2001

Summer Visitors Spring Arrival Dates
Summer Visitors Autumn Return Dates
Migrant Summer Visitors Spring Arrival/Late Dates
Migrant Summer Visitors Return Passage Dates
Winter Visitors Autumn Arrival Dates
Winter Visitors Spring Departure Dates

The tables linked to this page contain data extracted from Buckinghamshire historical bird records for the years 1971 to 1998.  All records refer to Buckinghamshire.  The records for 2001 contain observations submitted to either the BuckBirders email group, Rob Andrews (the Club Recorder), directly to myself at Jim Rose , or via general internet and Email services such as Birdguides.  If you have any updates of these please let me know.

Please bear in mind the following points :-

  • The average dates given are that of the earliest records received and not the typical arrival date which is obviously somewhat later.   The opposite of course applies to average late dates.
  • Some species that are normally regarded as UK residents (e.g.  Ringed Plover) can be treated as summer visitors to Bucks as there is a clear break in records during the winter months.
  • Some species that are regarded as summer visitors to the UK, may in fact be treated as migrant species in Bucks (e.g.  Wheatear), as it is possible to separate the spring passage from the return passage. Hence there are two sets of tables for these species (see Migrant Summer Visitors).
  • You may find that there are some species missing from the tables that you might have expected to see.  This may be due to the back that some species that are normally regarded as say a summer visitor do turn up during other months making it difficult to determine arrival and departure dates (e.g. Blackcap).
  • Where the occasional exceptional record occurs (e.g. where a normal summer visitor is recorded over wintering) that record is ignored from the average date calculation and from the earliest/latest ever data.  This is indicated against that species in the table.  
  • Additional years data will be added on the publication of the Buckinghamshire Annual Bird Report.

Articles of Interest

Select an article to view from the table

Title Author Date Added Summary
Bucks Bird Club Trip to Gibraltar Point NNR Jim Rose November 2008 Article with pictures showing the reserve and some of the birds seen. Pictures from Jim Rose, Martin Ansley, Ian Lee and Dave Ferguson
Tern Rafts at Little Marlow 2008 Jim Rose July 2008 Article with pictures showing the tern rafts at Little Marlow.
Tern Rafts at Little Marlow GP 2006 Jim Rose May 2006 Article with pictures showing the tern rafts at Little Marlow.
Long-eared Owls in Bucks Lee Evans March 2006 Article with pictures of a Long-eared owl at Pitchcott, plus details of LEO sightings from 1989.  Photos by Mike Wallen and Tim Watts.
Bucks Bird Club Trip to Gibraltar Point NNR Jim Rose September 2004 Article with pictures showing the reserve and some of the birds seen. Pictures from Adrian Parker, Jim Rose and Dave Ferguson
Black-tailed Godwit Identification Lee Evans July 2004 An identification guide to the “Limosa” and “Islandica” races of Black-tailed Godwits
Bucks Bird Club Trip to Gibraltar Point NNR Jim Rose/ Chris Bullock October 2002 Article with pictures showing the reserve and some of the birds seen.
Common Terns Breeding at Little Marlow GP 2002 Jim Rose April 2002 Article with pictures showing the tern rafts at Little Marlow in 2002.
Common Terns Breeding at Little Marlow GP Jim Rose June 2000
Updated June 2001
Article with pictures showing the tern rafts at Little Marlow and including details of breeding success over the years.