Just before I left for Africa Jim Russel photographed a Marsh Harrier in the Upper Leam Valley followed by a Black-tailed Godwit and whilst I was away the first Common Redstart of the season turned up at Napton-on-the-Hill. As elsewhere in the Midlands the Common Redstart passage has been unusually strong this autumn and birds were present on Napton Hill right through August and in to early September. It is impossible to know how many individuals were involved but it was at least five and may have been several times that number with an additional three at Napton Res. Spotted Flycatcher numbers on Napton Hill were also high with up to 13 individuals present at one time, a marked contrast to last autumn when the species was virtually absent. Since the species national decline as a breeding bird Tree Pipit has become a very scarce migrant in Warwickshire, so one SW over Napton on 04/09 was a good record.

The day after I returned from Africa an adult Sabine’s Gull was found at Draycote Water and I managed to get there quick enough to see it, a new species for me in Warwickshire and one I’d been waiting a long time for. The other big rarity was a Cattle Egret which was found by Bob Hazel mid-morning on 29/08 at Draycote Water. Having been flushed by fishermen the bird flew in to the Upper Leam and I found it flying over Toft Farm at 14.52 heading back towards Draycote where it was present for c.30 mins. In the evening before flying N. This constitutes the first record for the area.

Cattle Egretweb

Cattle Egret Draycote Water