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.

The Next Field Meeting

The next field meeting is to Gallows Bridge Farm BBOWT Reserve.   This is on Sunday 8th March 2020 .   We hope to see some Redwing and Fieldfare before they depart this country for the summer.  There is a good chance of seeing Peregrine, Raven and perhaps Merlin.  There is also a chance that one or two waders, such as Curlew or Redshank might put in an appearance.

For more information visit this link.

View from one of the hides

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The Next Indoor Meeting

The next indoor meeting is on Thursday 5th March 2020 and is a talk by  Saffron Summerfield called When Birds Sing.

Click here for more details.

PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS TALK WILL BE HELD AT :-  ST ANNE’s HALL, Aylesbury Road, Wendover.  Doors open at 7:15pm.  The talk will commence at 7:45pm.  Entrance is free for members and £2 for non-members.   As usual refreshments will be available.

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2018 Annual Report

The 2018 report has just been published (January 2020). It is a comprehensive review of the birds seen in the county during the year, plus other interesting birding articles and many superb photos. The report is supplied free to club members. For more information on joining the club click here.

The report contains the follows topics :-

  • The Buckinghamshire Bird Club in 2018– Peter Garner
  • List of Birding Sites in Buckinghamshire
  • Recording Buckinghamshire’s Birds
  • The Cranes at Gallows Bridge – Rob Andrews 
  • Ten Years of Birding Tattenhoe  – Harry Appleyard
  • Bird Ringing Report 2018 – Adam Bassett and Bill Parker
  • Buckinghamshire Bird Report Systematic List 2018 – Mike Wallen

For information of obtaining a copy click here.

Bucksbirders Email Group

The Bucksbirding GoogleGroups Email Group is a newly created group that replaces the Bucksbirders YahooGroups Email Group.  It 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 https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/bucksbirding  You will need to submit a request to join this group.  Note that you don’t have to have a Googlemail email address to subscribe.  Once approved by the site administrator you will be able to send and receive messages to and from the group.

Message are posted to bucksbirding@googlegroups.com

WebEditor@Bucksbirdclub.co.uk

You may also visit the Bucksbirding group, webpage on the Google Groups site at :-
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/bucksbirding where you may views messages and look at previous posts.

Great White Egret – Wendover Canal

This individual had quite a few admirers over it’s ten day stay along the Wendover Canal. One reason for this was the fact that the bird was very confiding and at times was only 10 feet or so from birders who were watching from the towpath.

The bird was first reported by Helaine Cadman on 11th July 2019 and was seen almost every day in “The Wides” area of the canal until 20th July. On the 21st a Great White Egret was seen in flight heading SE over Wendover. What may have been the same bird was then seen at College Lake a few hours later on 21st July.

Photo copyright Adrian Roach
Photo copyright Jim Rose
A short video clip of the Great White Egret

To search for all Bucks Records of Great White Egret (up util 2016) visit
https://www.goingbirding.co.uk/bucks/searchhistoricalrecords.asp

To view a previous post (2016) on this website for this species visit
https://bucksbirdclub.co.uk/great-white-egret-in-north-bucks/

Historical Rarity Records

A new facility has been added to the Buckinghamshire Goingbirding database that enables users to see historical records of rarities and scarce species. Up until now the database has only held those records that have been posted by the many birders who have submitted their sightings onto the database. While the Buckinghamshire Goingbirding database has been running since 2009 there are clearly many rare and scarce species that were seen in the county prior to that.

So the sightings data for these species has been uploaded from the PDF document that is held on this website under the “Bucks Species List”. By having them accessible by means of a database search makes it easy to view old records for specific species.

Some of the sightings go back as far as 1760 but there are relatively few prior to 1900. However there are over 800 sightings of scarce and rare species prior to 2009 (when Goingbirding started).

There are some points to bear in mind when viewing these records:

  • None of the uploaded sighting have observers attributed to them.
  • The records in the Rarities section are often a summary of sightings of an individual bird/s when seen over a period of time or by more than one user.
  • Some entries cover the period after 2009 (when Goingbirding sightings commenced) and so there may be duplication (but in summary form) of some records.
  • The Rarity records are taken from the Buckinghamshire Bird Club annual reports and only include records that have been accepted by the Records Committee. Some records have been included for completeness (as they are referred to in a historical record) but where a record is now considered “unsafe” or now outside of the county, then this is stated.
  • The post 2009 Rarity records may also include some that are not included in the normal Goingbirding database as not all sightings are submitted via Goingbirding.
  • Some species that used to be regularly seen but are now rare (e.g. Hawfinch) OR that were once scarce but are are now regularly seen (e.g. Little Egret) are included only for those years where they were scarce. Sightings for the period during which these species were more common can be found in the Annual Report for the former and Goingbirding for the latter.
  • Some species (e.g. Black Redstart and Pied Flycatcher) only have breeding records shown in these lists. These species have charts showing their frequency by year and month on the full Bucks Species List.
  • At present the historical rarity records are only fully up to date until the end of 2016. Other years will be added in due course.

How it works :-

Click on the link to “Rarities” on the main Goingbirding menu.

Select a “Species” from the pull down list and click on “Search”. You may also select filters for “Site”, “Observer” and Dates if you wish.

Example Search for Pectoral Sandpiper

Once the list is displayed you can then click on the Species Name to show all of the other sightings in Goingbirding for that species.

This gives a good comparison between the past (accepted) records and the more recent (post 2009) records. Note that the five “Recent” sightings have been summarised into two lines in the Rarity search but there are four
additional historical records.

Click on the Back button in your browser and then on New Search to search for another species.

In the event of any errors or omissions from the list of rarities please advise the webeditor  

Common Tern Ringing – 2019

On Friday 21st June the young Common Terns that had been raised on the Tern rafts at Little Marlow GP were fitted with BTO rings.

A young Common Tern in the process of being ringed.

For more photos visit this link. Thanks to John Edwards for providing the document.

Early the following week one or two of the twelve young Terns had been seen to leave the rafts. There were several more clutches yet to hatch so there should be more young to follow.

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White-winged Black Tern!!!

On Sunday 19th May 2019 local birder Rob Hill found a White-winged Black Tern at Foxcote Reservoir in North Bucks. With only one prior record for the county, this was indeed a MEGA find!

Word was soon put out and a good number of birders from around the county and from adjacent counties managed to see the bird as it fed around the site and while perched. The bird was observed until dusk when it appeared to stay to roost. However the bird could not be found the next morning.

White-winged Black Tern – Foxcote Reservoir – 19th May
The Foxcote photos above kindly supplied by Nick Truby.

The story does not end there as the bird was relocated 17 kilometres away at Willen Lake, Milton Keynes the following day, by David Chamberlain! Again the news was put out and again the bird attracted a lot of admirers!

White-winged Black Tern – Willen Lake South – 20th May 2019
Much of the time it was seen flying around the lake and picking up food from the surface of the water.
A pontoon in the middle of the lake provided a place to rest.
Video and photos from Willen Lake kindly provided by Rick and Elis Simpson

The only prior record of this species in the county was of two juveniles that were seen to fly from Wilstone Reservoir (Herts) into Bucks on 31st August 2008.

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Stone Curlew - Gallows Bridge

With less than 20 records in the county since 1950, the Stone Curlew is on the wish list for many local birders. They have not bred in the county for many years when they were once fairly numerous in some areas.

Local birder Rob Cadd was on site at Gallows Bridge BBOWT reserve at 5:15am and found the bird on the east side of approach field. It foraged amongst the scrapes until about 7am when it was mobbed by a Lapwing and flew to the main meadow. It walked halfway down meadow, then back towards the hides, eventually roosting in rough patch in the meadow. There was occasional activity after that.

Stone Curlew
Confrontation with a Lapwing.
A close encounter!
All photos and Video kindly provided by Robb Cadd

Robb notified the County Recorder and several birders managed to see the bird during the day. It was not present the following morning.

A list of the previous Stone Curlew sightings for Bucks can be found on the Bucks List. (Search for Stone Curlew).

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Black-winged Stilts - A 3rd County Record

On 14th May 2019 two Black-winged Stilts were found at College Lake. They remained all day mainly in front of the Octagon hide enabling many birders to see this very scarce county bird. Unfortunately the birds were not present the following morning.

This is only the 4th county record for this species. For more details see the Bucks List.

With Black-headed Gulls
With Greenshank

Photos kindly provided by Nick Truby .

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