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 Little Marlow GP

On arriving at Little Marlow GP at about 10am on 20th April 2017, local birder Alan Stevens was amazed to find two Black-winged Stilts feeding in the shallow water by the sand spit.  News was quickly put out and an initial rush of local birders gave way to a steady stream of admirers.  In the first three hours approximately thirty birders managed to see these county rarities.  The birds stayed throughout most of the day.  During their stay the birds moved quickly around the shallow waters and covered a wide area.  The birds were frequently a fair way apart and often flew short distances to reach another feeding area.  At one point the birds flew up as if to depart, but quickly dropped back down.






Above three photos from Dave Parmenter.  Those below from Jim Rose




There have only been two prior records of this species in the county previously.  They were firstly in 1988 when a pair were at Willen Lake from 7th to 18th June, and at Manor Farm, MK where a pair were present on 24th April.

If anyone has any better quality photos of these birds, for inclusion above, please seen to Jim Rose at

Little Marlow Tern Rafts 2017

The existing rafts were looking rather sorry for themselves after the bad weather of the last winter.  Some were leaning over at an angle and they had all broken away from their position and were close to the west bank.

On Saturday 15th April a group of club members retrieved the rafts, carried out some refurbishments and relaunched them back out onto the lake.  They are now positioned fairly close to where they were last summer which proved to be very successful.


Kevin Holt, John Barnes and Andy Radford working on one of the old rafts. The underside of raft on the right waiting for new barrels.


John Bowman arriving with more barrels in tow.


The finished rafts. Looking well used but ready for action!


Chief boatman Mick McQuaid towing the rafts out with a helping push from Andy.


The rafts in place and Mick dropping the anchors. With ten Terns present today it should not be too long before they start breeding.

Indoor Meetings

The series of indoor meetings over the Winter have now concluded.  Details of the first indoor meeting for next season (in September) will be published here.

Waxwing Arrive

The start of 2017 saw small groups of Waxwings arrive in the county.  At first they seemed to prefer adjacent counties which was rather frustrating but eventually they did arrive in a few areas.  In fact the first record was of two on 19th December 2016, but then we had to wait until 6th January when one was seen at Walters Ash and a group of thirteen were seen in Aylesbury.  Then on 8th a group of twelve were seen in Milton Keynes.  On the 10th birds were reported as far apart as Cressex, Bledlow, Buckingham and Weston Turville.  Waxwings have also been reported from Stoke Mandeville, Lodge Hill and Bletchley.

The largest flock reported was at Bletchly on 15th when 30 were seen.  Since then numbers have significantly diminished.  The last report (at the time of writing) was of one at Bledlow on 24th January.  So a decent influx occurred but not matched the flocks of over 100 that were seen in January 2013.


Aylesbury – one of the 13 that were present on 6th January (G Smith)





Milton Keynes:  The group of Waxwings at Oldbrook.


Milton Keynes: A single bird at Oldbrook on 8th January.  (M Wallen)


Milton Keynes: Taken at Witan Gate on 14th January (M Wallen)


Milton Keynes : One of two Seen by the Genesis building on Witan gate on Sunday 15th January (M Appleton)

Please send any further photos for inclusion to the Webeditor

Bearded Tit at Weston Turville Reservoir

Bearded Tits are scarce species in the county.  There have been three records in recent months, one in 2015 but before that the previous record was in November 2012.  On 18th January Peter Weisner saw a male from one of the hides at the BBOWT reserve at Weston Teurville Reservoir and put the news out via the Buckinghamshire Goingbirding sightings website.  A few birders visited the site later that day but were unable to locate the bird.  The following morning Richard Birch and Dave Evans were carrying out one of their regular walks around the lake and saw the bird from the old hide on the south side of the lake.  The news was put out again and soon a few local birders arrived to see this very smart male.  We then heard that a local birder had seen a Bearded Tit (90% certain) 2-3 weeks earlier!

The bird was again located in the same area in front of the old hide on 20th January and seen by good numbers of birders.  With plenty of ideal habitat at this site, hopefully the bird will stay for some time.  (Update:  The bird was still present until 25th Jan at least).


Above two photos from Adam Bassett



Above two photos and video below from Jim Rose


To view some historical photos of this species, that were taken in the county, click on this link.

New Annual Report

The Buckinghamshire 2015 Annual is now available.  It is being distributed to all club members free of charge.  However non-members may purchase a copy. For more details click on the image below.


Velvet Scoter Invasion!

With only four prior records of this species in the county, then two separate sightings in two days is almost an invasion!

7th November 2016 – Willen Lake
The first birds found were at Willen Lake where local birder Paul Moon came across two smart Velvet Scoters on the south lake.  They spent all day on the lake fishing and asleep at times, allowing a lot of local birders to get excellent views of a species usually seen way out at sea.  For most people it was a Bucks tick and for some a UK life tick.  Viewing was easy from just in front of a pub and fitness centre.  The birds remained until the 16th November.



Photo – Lucy Flower


Photo Lucy Flower


Photo – Lucy Flower


Photo – Peter Garner



Photo – Peter Garner


Photo – Peter Garner



The was some discussion about the sex of these birds and apparently the whiteness of the belly is a factor, so these two pictures are included here. They are video clips of each bird.

                               vscoter1                       vscoter2

Dorney Lake – 8th November 2016

Before heading north to Willen Lake to twitch the Velvet Scoters,  Dave Cleal decided to check out one of his local patches, Dorney Lake.  Low and behold he found a single Velvet Scoter on the main rowing lake.  It was diving and flying around the lake quite a bit.  Word was put out quickly and some of the birders who could not get to Willen Lake (plus a few that did) managed to see this individual.  This is the sixth county record.  The suspicion is that it may have arrived at the same time as the Willen birds, but was unseen the previous day.  The bird was last seen by John Edwards on 18th November when it was seen to fly up and down the lake several times before rising high into the sky and flying off south over Berkshire.







The prior county records are.

1890 Linford – 1 killed on 27th Oct
1948 near Iver – Male on 12-13th Dec
1982 Willen – 11 on 9th Jan
2006 Willen – A 1st winter male on 2nd Feb.

All Velvet Scoter photos from Jim Rose unless otherwise stated.

Titchfield Haven Field Trip

On Sunday 18th September a small group of club members met at Titchfield Haven (Hants) for a Bucks Bird Club field meeting.  Sixty two species of birds were seen including the rather nice Curlew Sandpipers below.  The best of the rest included Red-throated Diver, Bearded Tits, Cetti’s Warbler, Whinchat, Wheatear, Marsh Harrier, Black-tailed Godwits and a Water Rail.

The next field meeting is to Little Marlow Gravel Pit.

Curlew Sandpipers

Curlew Sandpipers

Curlew Sandpipers-2

Great White Egret in North Bucks

Not too many years ago this was a real “Mega” bird in the UK.  Now they seem to be around somewhere or other in the UK most of the time.  However in Bucks they are still a rare species albeit with increasing frequency.  The first in the county was in 1994 and then we had to wait until 2003 for the next.  Then one turned up in 2008, after which they became a little more regular.  More recently they have stayed in one area for a longer period of time allowing many more birders to catch up with this attractive species.

On 9th August a Great White Egret was found at Manor Farm Quarry, near Milton Keynes.  It has been seen at the site many times since up until today at least (17th September 2016) and therefore allowing many people to enjoy seeing and photographing, what is still a scarce species in the UK.





Above four photos by Ashley Beolens


An interesting comparison in size with a Little Egret.


Lower two photos from Lee Evans

A list of prior sightings of this species can be found at on the Bucks Species List  A few of the historical photos of the species can be found at this link.

Farmoor Field Trip Report

Fifteen club members met at Farmoor Reservoir for the best field trip on the new calendar.  It turned out to be a great success with all three of the scarce birds, that had been present the day before, still remaining, with a few more decent birds also been seen.  The group walked around the perimeter of this large reservoir, taking all morning to do so.  The main species are pictured below. Click on the photos to see full size.

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Farmoor Reservoir – Part of the group approaching the causeway.


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Red-necked Grebe – Top bird of the day. It followed us along the bank for some distance.

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Black-necked Grebe – We were fortunate to see both Grebes fairly close to the bank. We also saw Great Crested and Little Grebes.

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Common Scoter – A bit more distant and only seen asleep.

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Yellow Wagtails – A group of 6-10 birds was seen on buildings and then on the side of the reservoir.

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Ringed Plover – A fairly confiding individual.

Also seen was a passage Black Tern, several Common Sandpipers, at least one Yellow-legged Gull and the usual Farmoor species.  A great start to the new field trip calendar.

The above photos supplied by Peter Garner and Jim Rose