Monday, 31 August 2009

CETTI'S WARBLER still present

At Calvert BBOWT, the long-staying CETTI'S WARBLER was still present today (Nick Mariner)

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Large increase in LITTLE EGRET numbers

Calvert BBOWT; 5 a.m amazed to find 11 LITTLE EGRETS roosting in the Cormorant trees. Highest count here by a long way. Validates our shutting off that section of path which attracted noisy/unwanted visitors. Would think this record count for a Bucks BBOWT reserve and possibly any BBOWT reserve? A valuable record for a site still under lease. continued at bottom of mail.

Hillesden Pools; 8 Yellow Wagtail /no waders.

Quainton Hills; lots of warblers, Willow and Chiffs at bottoms and Blackcaps higher up. After long look eventually got 3 COMMON REDSTART - male at bottom of north slopes, male in Elderberry on East slope and female in transmitter field. Think I had a TREE PIPIT on tops of saplings/bushes in small plantation top of East slopes. Flew off, didn't hear it call but flight not as weak as Meadows.

Calvert BBOWT Half hour later 9 of egrets feeding on sailing lake edges. On BBOWT appeared to be the whole gull roost, estimate c3-4,000 nearly all Lesser Black-backed. Also c 300 mixed Canada and Greylags/Kingfisher/lots of warblers in bushes,mostly Blackcaps/think heard and glimpsed Cetti's warbler (Tim Watts)

Monday, 24 August 2009

RUDDY SHELDUCKS still around

What appears to be an adult female and three first-year RUDDY SHELDUCKS at Calvert Landfill on Sunday 23 August
A very good morning in mid-Bucks
Calvert landfill; (private No access) Undoubted highlight for me was seeing and correctly identifying a GRASSHOPPER WARBLER that flew up from underfoot and had 3 second flight view. Another highlight was the relocation of last week's presumed family group of 4 RUDDY SHELDUCKS on the Landfill - all unringed and very wary. Seen feeding by up-ending. Took a long, uncomfortable, hidden wait but eventually obtained images (see above).
Also on landfill 4 Little Egret/ 1 Common Sand/4 Teal/good selection of warblers in scrub.
Calvert sailing lake; Greenshank /Green Sandpiper on edges.
Hillesden; 1 Little Egret/Green Sandpiper/ got close pix of a large female Sparrowhawk bathing after it made a half hearted attack on the Green Sandpiper!!
Tim Watts

Weekend Highlights

A summary of Recent Sightings - 21-23 August


On 22 August, a late morning visit produced 2 SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS, 8 LESSER WHITETHROATS (all at the base of the North Slopes in a dead Hawthorn bush), 3 NORTHERN WHEATEARS (all in East Hollow) and 3 COMMON REDSTARTS (singles in Transmitter Field, halfway down the West Slopes and at the top of the South Slopes).

By late afternoon, NORTHERN WHEATEARS had increased to 5 (with 4 together on Denham Hill and another by Manor House), with 4 BULLFINCHES and a COMMON WHITETHROAT near the church

At 2300 hours on 21 August, Colleen and I saw a POLECAT race across the road by Quainton Railway Centre.

Tim Watts

Monday, 17 August 2009


16/8/09- QUAINTON HILLS; at least 3 COMMON REDSTARTS (possibly 2 more) - bright male, faded male, female; 4 SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS/ 3 NORTHERN WHEATEAR/PEREGRINE over tops/22 Mipits/ 4+ Lesser Whitethroats.

Recently these bushes have been empty, birds seen on North and East slopes.



13 August - CALVERT BBOWT; Green Sandpiper/Hobby/ Grey Wagtail

14 August - CALVERT BBOWT; 4 RUDDY SHELDUCKS flew in from east, circled 3 times, very nearly all landed by 2nd hide pool then South bay. Seen from 2nd hide. Nita and Pete also saw them from 1st hide. They saw one land breifly - good views with bins and think 3 males and a white faced female.

15 August - CALVERT BBOWT - 53 Cormorant, possibly site record flock/2 Green sandpipers/1 Common Sandpiper

HILLESDEN POOLS; 12 YELLOW WAGTAILS, a NORTHERN WHEATEAR/Greenshank/Green Sandpiper/152 Greylag Geese

CALVERT LANDFILL; (private) Greenshank/7 Little Egret/Green sandpiper/63 Greylag/153 Mallard/c 300 Lapwing.

New BUTTERFLY for Calvert

This very worn SILVER-WASHED FRITILLARY was present in John Holt's Calvert garden yesterday afternoon, favouring the white buddleia in the front garden.
This is most likely a new record for Calvert

Friday, 14 August 2009

Continental RUDDY SHELDUCKS circle Calvert

A party of 4 RUDDY SHELDUCKS are currently circling the BBOWT reserve at Calvert at 1705 hours (Tim Watts)

Sunday, 9 August 2009

First COMMON TREECREEPER ever on Quainton Hills

Forgot to mention at Quainton Hills this morning had a site tick with a COMMON TREECREEPER. This was right on tops in transmitter field, where very few trees and they certainly aren't normally up here. Wondered if there is any evidence that they are partial migrants?

Calvert landfill (private); still 8 Little Egrets/2 Green Sandpipers/ 1 Common Sandpiper/c 400 Lapwing and only new birds were 2 female Shoveler (Tim Watts)


Calvert BBOWT; dawn- 161 Greylag Geese roosted/large gull roost just departing/ 72 Lapwing by 2nd hide/Great Crested Grebes feeding large young with large Crayfish.

Quainton Hills; improvement on yesterday with Willow Warblers/Whitethroat/Lesser Whitethroat/Chiffchaff in hedges mostly on tops. First migrant flock of 28 Meadow Pipit on Conduit hill/ adult Yellow Wagtail/c60 Goldfinch.

Four SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS on tops near aeriel field - 2 adults and 2 brown/spotty juveniles (Tim Watts)

Saturday, 8 August 2009

LITTLE EGRETS reach new Site Record

Calvert BBOWT Lake; 1 Green Sandpiper/ 3 Pochard, 2 are 1st males back/ unusual sighting was a juvenile Yellow Wagtail on open area/fair few warblers in bushes/ Water level risen by 3" which unhandily has covered the new mud edge I just shaped to bring waders close to 2nd hide!

Calvert landfill; Private site; Little Egret numbers still rising and now 8. This is a record Calvert flock I think.They could be roosting in Cormorant trees on reserve but needs a late trip and difficult to observe. Also 2 Green Sandpipers/3 Common Sandpipers/ 4 Tufted Duck young - the first breeding success at Calvert for years./ c400 Lapwing.

Water level has risen dramatically here.

Hillesden Pools; 1 Green Sandpiper/1 Common Sandpiper/1 Teal/ 1 Yellow Wagtail (Tim Watts)

Friday, 7 August 2009

Migrant clearout

Hedgelines at base of North slopes empty!! Warblers etc that were here have moved on.

Tops also very quiet and took a fair while to locate a bit of activity, this was on top of West slopes. There was 1 female COMMON REDSTART,1 Willow Warbler and 1 Common Whitethroat (Tim Watts)

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

COMMON REDSTART new in at Calvert

Calvert BBOWT; 2 Green Sandpiper/1 Common Sandpiper/ c 800 large gulls, mostly L.B.B loafing on BBOWT lake/ 2 pochard/1 ad Little Grebe. Had look around scrub and saw 2 Lesser Whitethroat. I obviously didn't spend long enough looking as Chris Botterel located a COMMON REDSTART here at 9:30 a.m. We just about get one or two every year so must be attractive to them. I hope it utilises one of my posts I put in with them in mind!

Quainton Hill; 20 minute look at one spot at base produced 10+ Willow Warblers/2 Chiffchaff/ 4 Lesser Whitethroat in the small clump I staked out. Two juvenile YELLOW WAGTAILS on stony track (Tim Watts)

Monday, 3 August 2009

Hill Migrants

QUAINTON HILLS; again had limited time so just did one small area at base of North slopes. On intial slow scans nothing seen but looked good so sat ,waited and watched. A SPOTTED FLYCATCHER darted out of a largish Oak, then a female COMMON REDSTART.

No less tham 9 LESSER WHITETHROAT together in one hedgeline. Spotted something on overhead wires, this turned out to be a NORTHERN WHEATEAR ! Same one or another on horse paddock fence half a mile away. A single juvenile YELLOW WAGTAIL in with the Pied Wagtail flock and two Meadow Pipits.


Sunday, 2 August 2009

Hill migrants today

Quainton Hills: Had limited time but a quick look at a few spots was pretty good; East slopes; quite a few warblers and 4 SPOTTED FLYCATCHERS. Bottom of North slopes warblers included Willow/Lesser and Common Whitethroat and Chiffchaff. Also 1 SPOTTED FLYCATCHER and c30 Swallow resting on bushes. Conduit Hill; 1 juvenile Northern Wheatear. Tops near aerial mast; male and female COMMON REDSTARTS (Tim Watts)

Saturday at Calvert

Calvert BBOWT; 1 Green sandpiper/ 1 ad C.Tern/ distinct lack of warblers in scrub; Calvert landfill; No general access: 4 Little Egret, 1 of them constantly being hastled by another 3/ 1 Green Sandpiper/ 3 Common Sandpipers/ 44 Greylag geese/ 2 Juvenile Common Terns briefly in rain/ c 300 Lesser Black-backed Gulls/ 1 ad YELLOW-LEGGED GULL/ 6 British Herring Gulls (Tim Watts)