I leave for Madagascar on Saturday and finished the bulk of my writing commitments early this month so as to buy myself a little time which I then threw away searching for Hawfinches. I am thus ill-prepared and increasingly nervous about the forthcoming trip. I spent yesterday editing some work and today was lined for trip preparation, which would be executed with military precision. That was until John Judge rang up as I finished my breakfast with the news that a Razorbill had been found at Draycote.

Razorbill, Draycote Water.

I am not entirely sure of the status of Razorbill in Warwickshire but it is apparently the first West Midlands regional record since 1953. The bill shows it to be an adult bird and it appeared not to be in too bad condition, diving repeatedly, though it was not seen with any fish whilst I was there. It was windy last night but  I wouldn’t have thought it all that strong a blow, which made this occurrence all the more remarkable. As was what happened next. Nobody went beyond the Razorbill, which was ranging just a couple of hundred metres or so, with the result that nobody had seen a Grey Phalarope between Farborough Spit and Toft, leaving it to be found by a regular who takes a keen interest but is not really a birder as such.

Grey Phalarope, Draycote Water.

Grey Phalarope, Draycote Water.

Meanwhile, John Barnett, who you may remember from my last post, was back on Napton Hill and finding a ringtail Hen Harrier which circled low over the same grassy area next to the church where we saw the Hawfinches last week before drifting W. Apparently the Razorbill was still present at 16.00 but heading towards Farborough Spit!