Friday, 25 February 2011



Thanks to Richard Broughton and his call to BirdGuides, I was able to enjoy views of my first NORTHERN GREY SHRIKE in Buckinghamshire for a few years this afternoon. I relocated the bird at 1540 hours, where it was showing exceptionally well on the short hedgerow leading east from Manor Farm and bordering a track that led back to Church Hill Farm at SP 678 284. It was an adult bird and was hunting from the hedgerow, every now and again dropping down on the ground to feed.


Park in the new car park by Hillesden Church End at SP 686 287 and then follow the Cross Bucks Way footpath SW across the first field. The track is incredibly muddy so wellingtons are essential. After 300 yards, the track crosses a small wooden bridge over the brook and then continues through another field. At the start of the next field, there is a stile, and it was from here that I was able to savour some superb views of the bird, looking left towards the low hedgerow.

At neighbouring Hillesden Pools, I noted 3 different OYSTERCATCHERS (one a distinct pair), 6 Lapwing, 5 Northern Pochard, 1 Tufted Duck, 2 Mute Swans, 4 Greylag Geese and 2 Common Teal; a Siskin flew over calling and in Church End hamlet, had two different singing male Goldcrests - one in the Old School Garden and another in the fir by the postbox. A Robin was in full song in The Old Vicarage garden.


Very, very poor this evening in the dank conditions - just 53 Eurasian Wigeon (no drake American with them yet) and 44 Common Teal.

Lee G R Evans

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

GLAUC roosts for 3rd consecutive night - LGRE



I joined Warren Claydon and Steve Rodwell at Calvert to have a thorough check of the roosting gulls. Arriving at 1600 hours, we watched until 1745 hours when it got dark, the 13,000 or so roosting gulls at that time still being joined by line after line of birds flighting in from the landfill.

Highlight (certainly for me) was the juvenile GLAUCOUS GULL roosting for its third consecutive night, arriving at 1722 hours this evening. The regular first-winter CASPIAN GULL also roosted (seen by Steve only) as did one of the adults (WC) and as did a single adult winter MEDITERRANEAN GULL (LGRE). Other than that, 7 YELLOW-LEGGED GULLS were identified in the BBOWT pre-roost (6 adults and a first-winter) whilst estimated totals of other species included 5,000+ Lesser Black-backed Gulls (including numerous intermedius now) and 6,000 Black-headed Gulls with 115+ Common Gulls, 235 Herring Gulls (far fewer Argentatus now) and 151 Great Black-backed Gulls.

One adult Lesser Black-backed Gull was dyed dark green on the throat and upper breast whilst a Scandinavian Herring Gull with almost all white primaries was again present.

The BLACK-NECKED GREBE was still present, with a redhead GOOSANDER on the BBOWT Lake, 6 Great Crested Grebes, 7 Gadwall, 1 Pochard, a drake Wigeon and 25 Lapwings all noted.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

BLACK-NECKED GREBE still present

Sailing lake; BLACK-NECKED GREBE still hugging South bank.

BBOWT Lake; 2 Common Ravenscronking over lake/ 1 Bittern seen in flight/ 25 Pochard.

Tim Watts