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

Black-winged Stilts at Manor Farm

One of the newer nature reserves in Bucks, Manor Farm NR (Milton Keynes) really turned up trumps when a pair of Black-winged Stilts turned up on 24th April.  Ted Reed discovered the birds, soon put the word out which enabled a good number of birders to see these elegant, very long legged wading birds.  Unfortunately the birds could not be found the following morning.  During their visit they moved around quite a bit which made it a bit of a challenge for the photographers.

The species is not uncommon in southern Europe but a rare bird in the UK and this is only the second record for Buckinghamshire.  The previous record was of a pair at Willen Lake from 7th until 18th June 1988.


Male Black-winged Stilt (Photo © Lucy Flower)



Black-winged Stilt female (Photo © Lucy Flower)

Mating sequence (BBC)

Black-winged Stilts copulating in what is a tricky balancing manoeuvre! (Photo © Lucy Flower

Black-winged Stilt-MA

Female Black-winged Stilt (Photo © Mark Appleton)


Black-winged Stilt-PG

Male and female Stilts (Photo © Paul Gibbs)

Video provided by Bill Parker (change settings to view in HD or in full screen mode))

Tern Rafts at Little Marlow GP

The rafts were repositioned further away from the bank after winter storms had moved them very close to the west bank.  John Bowman brought the boat along on his trailer and Mick McQuaid did the hard work (rowing, droppimg anchors, etc).

P1220919-Tern Rafts-1400

The position of the rafts close to the west bank.

P1220928-Tern Rafts 1400

Mick dropping the anchors in the new position further from the bank.

A short while after work was completed a pair of Egyptian Geese were on one of the rafts but left a little later.  The Common Terns took an interest but did not land on the rafts (it usually takes a day or so for them to take their positions on the rafts).  There are very few Black-headed Gulls visiting the lake at present, so we don’t expect this species to attempt breeding at Little Marlow, as has happened at other sites in the county.

Dipper - The first since 1994!

On 14th February, local photographer Sarah McKeeman was walking along the Loughton Brook near Bradwell, MK, when she came across a bird she did not recognise.   Sarah managed to photograph the bird and a passer-by managed to identify the bird as a Dipper.  Sarah then posted the photo on her 360 Project page.

This is the first record of this species in the county since one was seen flying along the Thames in March 1994!

Dipper Sarah McKeeman 1200

Dipper photos courtesy Sarah McKeeman





Then on 16th February a Dipper was photographed by a Mr HM Johnson in the Emerson Valley Park stream in Furzton, MK.  The photo is was sent to the county recorder who confirmed ID but the quality is not good enough to post here.

The two sites are approximately four miles apart but even so it seems very likely that this is the same individual moving through the area.  Despite several local birders trying to relocate the bird, it has not been seen since.  The Bucks Records Committee consider the bird to be of continental race “Black-bellied Dipper” (C.c.cinclus).

To see a list of all Dipper records for the county visit the county list on this link.

To see a photo of the 1991 Black-bellied Dipper at Three Locks click on this link.

Ferruginous Duck

A scarce duck in the county with only ten or so records.  However the possibility of escapes from wildfowl collections can not always be discounted.  For a list of all records go to the Bucks List 


This rather smart drake turned up at Caldecotte Lake on 4th February 2016.  It stayed there for several days and then moved to Mount Farm Lake on 12th February.  It then proceeded to move between the two lakes periodically.

The following photos show all of the identification features of a Ferruginous Duck. While the origins of many scarce ducks is often unknown, this individual is rather wary at times and is un-ringed, so perhaps suggesting a wild origin.  The Bucks records committee will decide in due course whether to accept as a wild bird or a potential escape.


Ferruginous Duck 1


Ferruginous Duck 5

Ferruginous Duck 4

Ferruginous Duck 3

Ferruginous Duck 2

Ferruginous Duck 6

The above photos copyright Andrew Moon


Bonaparte's Gull - New to Bucks!

Initially found by Roy Hargreaves on 4th January at Wilstone Reservoir (Hertfordshire). News was soon put out but the bird soon flew off and was only seen by two observers.  The bird was again present on 8th January when it was seen to fly off towards College Lake just prior to dusk, presumably to join the Black-headed Gull roost.  On Saturday 9th January quite a few birders caught up with the bird at Wilstone where is spent quite a bit of time but also fed on nearby fields.  In dreadful weather conditions the bird was found in the College Lake roost at 15:40 by Dave Bilcock and also seen by Lee Evans.  So adding another species to the Bucks county list!

BonapartesGull_College Lake-1000

The Bonaparte’s Gull at College Lake. It is the smallest gull in the centre of the photo. (Photo taken on 9th Jan by Dave Bilcock)

On Sunday 10th January the bird again appeared at Wilstone, again moving between the reservoir and nearby fields.  At 16:40 it was located in the huge Black-headed Gull roost at College Lake, in among an estimated 5000 Gulls, again found by Dave Bilcock.  A group of twelve or so local birders managed to see the bird before it was lost in the darkness.  The bird seems to roost at College Lake every night and at the time of writing, it was seen on 12th January.

The following excellent flight photos were taken by Ian Williams.  These were taken over the fields of Miswell Farm, which is just to the South-east of Wilstone Reservoir and in Hertfordshire.

 Bonaparte 22-1200  Bonaparte 17-1115

Note the greyish “shawel” over the neck.  This is white on most Black-headed Gulls.  Also note the pink legs.

Bonaparte 26-800  Bomnaparte 28-900

Note the black bill and the longish black trailing edge to the wings.

Bonaparte with juv black-head-1200

Black-headed Gull and Bonaparte’s Gull – An interesting comparison. Note the much whiter underwing on the Bonaparte’s Gull

If anyone manages to get any further photos of the bird in Buckinghamshire, please forward onto Jim Rose at


The Bucks Bird List


The species recorded within the present county boundaries, up to 31st Dec 2013, are listed in the following pages.  Where known records from the current year have been included, prior to acceptance by the Bucks Rarities Committee.  A brief status in given for the commoner species, with all records being listed for scarcer species.
There are links to relevant distribution charts (updated until end 2004) and pictures
where available.

Records are listed using the following colour
scheme : –

Red : Sightings RecordsPink : Rare
Breeding Records
Purple : “Probables” Green : probable escapees

Navy Blue : Records yet to be
Considered by the Bucks Records Committe

Further details on sightings may be
available in the Buckinghamshire Bird Club Annual Reports.

To view the list in PDF format click on the following link    Bucks List – All species

References :-

The Birds of Buckinghamshire”  Peter Lack and David
Ferguson 1993

“The Birds of Buckinghamshire”  2012

Buckinghamshire Bird Club Annual Reports

Links to photos of many of Buckinghamshire’s scarcer species are contained within the species list.  However many more recent photos have been uploaded to the Member’s  Photo Gallery.

Copyright notice © 2016 :- Copyright of images remains with the individual photographers and pictures may not be reproduced or downloaded without the written permission of the contributor.   If contact details are not given, please contact Jim Rose.

Bucksbirders Email Group

The Bucksbirders Email Group is used for two main purposes :-

  • To post information from the Buckinghamshire Sightings Database, for all scarce/rare birds to all subscribers.  This is an automatic process.  All emails posted in this way are also posted to the Twitter feed @bucksbirdnews.
  • To allow all subscribers to post an email to all other subscribers.  Emails must relate specifically to birds/birding in  Buckinghamshire.  Topics vary widely from recent sightings, site information, Bucks Bird Club news, observations of interest, etc.

To join the group you should visit  and click on “Sign In”.  If you don’t already have a Yahoogroups account click on “Sign Up”.  Once signed up you can apply to join the Bucksbirders group.  Once approved by the site administrator you will be able to send and receive messages to and from the group.

Message are posted to

You may also visit the Bucksbirders group, webpage on the YahooGroups site at :- where you may views messages and look at previous posts.



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









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.