Wednesday, 27 January 2010


The pair of WHOOPER SWANS are still frequenting Blackthorn Meadows south of the A41 at the Piddington turn - new images taken by Adam Hartley.
A quick look early afternoon at various sites yielded;
Granborough hay store; until today next to no small passerines seen here but today fantastic flock of 42 Yellowhammers, as well as c80 Chaffinch and 4 House Sparrows. Plenty of food available so hoping a Tree Sparrow or two will appear.
Calvert BBOWT; 21 Gadwall is most here this Winter; they always seem to build up a bit about now and often 2-4 remain until late March/early April/ increase in Cormorants to 23/ male Goldeneye head throwing to Tufties, Spring is in the air already!
Hillesden; 80 Greylag Geese, floods from River subsided/ c 60 Linnet/ 6 Teal/2 Shoveler (Tim Watts)

Monday, 25 January 2010

GLAUCOUS in roost

The juvenile GLAUCOUS GULL roosted on the Calvert Jubilee BBOWT lake from 1650 hours on Sunday evening (per David Lawrence)

Saturday, 23 January 2010


Calvert a.m : drake Common Goldeneye/ Cetti's Warbler calling/Coot building nest/ 15 Wigeon/ 13 Gadwall

Hillesden; flooded river/fields looked good but just c150 Greylag + c100 Canada Geese found/4 Meadow Pipit/ 21 Lapwing/2 Teal

Marsh Gibbon; 15 European Golden plover and 10 Teal in flight
A41 nr Piddington at Blackthorn Meadows; In Oxfordshire but only 1 field over the Bucks border the 2 WHOOPER SWANS remained in the flooded field in the morning and on Calvert in the afternoon (Mike Wallen obtained the superb image above)
Calvert p.m; juvenile GLAUCOUS GULL in main sailing lake roost (Tim Watts)

Monday, 18 January 2010

The two adult WHOOPER SWANS were at Hillesden Pools yesterday afternoon, and at Blackthorn Meadows again today, whilst 4 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS remain on the BBOWT Lake, and rare gulls roosting include the juvenile GLAUCOUS and the 2nd-winter CASPIAN GULL pictured above (Tim Watts). Standing with the Glaucous in Plate 4 is the very pale 'Herring Gull'

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Kumlien's-like Herring Gull at Calvert

Adam Hartley obtained images yesterday at Calvert BBOWT of this adult HERRING GULL with very pale primaries, a largely unstreaked head and other features suggestive of Kumlien's Gull.

Monday, 11 January 2010

Images taken at Calvert today during Adam Hartley's visit

GLAUC still

The juvenile GLAUCOUS GULL was again showing well from the second hide on the BBOWT lake this afternoon until 15:20 at least when I left. Also 14 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS (Adam Hartley).

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Rare Gulls spurn my Year List on to 119 species


Much lying snow still around, with many side roads still in an atrocious condition and quite challenging. The threat of heavy snow never materialised and in fact temperatures climbed to 2 degrees for much of the day, heralding a slight thaw. The easterly wind moderated during the day.

It was a tour of many local water bodies today, with the highlight being a total of 60 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS seen.


Both PEREGRINES were roosting on the flat SW side of the building at 1439 hours, the female eating a Common Starling.

(1500-1600 hours; partly with Tim Watts)

On the main BBOWT Lake, highlight was undoubtedly the site record flock of 16 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS - 14 of which were feeding on the reed-fringed east bank and another pair in the extreme NE corner. There were also 3 Great Crested Grebes, pair of Mute Swans, 14 Gadwall, 22 Tufted Ducks and 9 Pochard.

Vast numbers of gulls were feeding over the landfill, as well as 8+ Red Kites.

Tim had seen the GLAUCOUS GULL roosting and preening on the ice just before I arrived into the hide (see his fantastic photographs above) and after realising it had flown off, I went to the Sailing Lake and scanned. Within a couple of minutes, I relocated it - a very dark juvenile and a typical brute of a bird - in amongst a pre-roost gathering of just 738 gulls. It represented my 117th species of the year.

I then settled down to scan the rest of the flock which contained the regular adult CASPIAN GULL, at least four adult YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS, 103 Great Black-backed Gulls, 297 Lesser Black-backed Gulls, 140+ Herring Gulls (including both British and Scandinavian, several adults of the former now being completely white-headed) and just 12 Common Gulls.

The Sailing Lake also held a single RUDDY DUCK, 8 Eurasian Wigeon and 4 COMMON GOLDENEYES, whilst 30+ Fieldfares were feeding by the road.


As I drove back through Aylesbury on Weedon Road, a flock of 7,000 COMMON STARLINGS wheeled back and forth low over the houses and industrial estates. This was some spectacle, and the sound of the wing-rush as they swept over my head as I stood in Priory Crescent was absolutely awesome.

Lee G R Evans

GLAUCOUS GULL still, as well as site record of RED-CRESTED POCHARDS

Did 4 hour watch at Calvert this afternoon;

Sailing lake; 4 Common Goldeneye

BBOWT Lake; the 16 Red crested Pochard still present, took to air in tight flock 3 times when spooked by walkers, one idiot with dog on reserve pushed them onto sailing lake but they returned later. Always distant so no record pics yet.

The juvenile GLAUCOUS GULL joined pre-roost at 2;30. It preened on ice at edge of lake then on water, then flew to sail lake. Got some better pics.

Also seen; Water Rail on the ice, 159 Coot on BBOWT lake, about 100 more than normal.

Tim Watts

Saturday, 9 January 2010

Ice-free BBOWT Lake pulls in large flock of RED-CRESTED POCHARDS

At Calvert BBOWT today, Warren Claydon recorded 16 RED-CRESTED POCHARDS, PINTAIL, the juvenile GLAUCOUS GULL and the adult and first-winter CASPIAN GULL.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Yesterday's haul at Calvert in images - Tim Watts

The single colour-ringed adult BEWICK'S SWAN, two adult WHOOPER SWANS and juvenile GLAUCOUS GULL that were all present at Calvert yesterday.
The GLAUCOUS was again on site this morning (Warren Claydon), as was an adult CASPIAN GULL and several adult Yellow-legged Gulls, whilst the two WHOOPERS roosted again at dusk.

Sunday, 3 January 2010

CHIFFCHAFF on the ice

This very odd sight befell my eyes yesterday as I visited Hillesden scrapes. Out on the ice was this COMMON/SCANDINAVIAN CHIFFCHAFF - remarkable (Tim Watts)

Wild Swan delight - but just over border

First stop was Piddington, just south of the A41 and right on the Bucks/Oxon county border, where two adult WHOOPER SWANS and two adult BEWICK'S SWANS had been present since 31 December 2009. From my 1st viewing spot only the 2 Bewick's Swans could be seen at the back of the field but thanks to a neighbouring Oxon birder who told me to go further up by the A41, I enjoyed excellent views of the 2 Whoopers close to the road and photographed them (see above).
I also Spotted 2 adult RUFF in flight with the Lapwing flock and these were later seen feeding on the grass (with LGRE et al).
Close by at Marsh Gibbon there were c350 European Golden Plover feeding on pasture field with another 100 in flight in distance with 300 Lapwing.
Edgcott; 200 Lapwing on Sheep field.
Calvert landfill; Herring gulls easily outnumbered LBBG, not whole roost on here but estimate minimum 500 Herrings; 20+ Red Kites continually over fresh rubbish with 26 being maximum seen at any given time. Gulls now just ignoring them but still go up if Buzzard goes over them. 16 Golden Plover and c80 Lapwing flew over (Tim Watts)