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.
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.