Despite the early morning rain with a light south easterly wind there were plenty of Blackcaps, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers singing there heads off as Dave and I worked our way from Draycote village towards the valve tower at 06:10 just in time to see a Lesser-spotted Woodpecker fly over that could have been the bird that’s been occasionally seen between here and Dunchurch this winter.
A sweep of the reservoir from the valve tower produced at least 18 Common Tern feeding with another 5 seen leaving and both Great-northern Divers were still around with one of them seen later flying a circuit of the reservoir. As we walked draycote bank Dave spotted 6 Bar-tailed Godwits resting on bank just before we would have been to close so we backed off and I managed a poor record of the 3 in summer plumage before they left to the north at 06:40 as the first runners came past and five minutes later I thought they had returned only to realise that we had 6 Whimbrel going over.
Bar-tailed Godwit by me
We continued to the visitors centre meeting up with the Bumbling Bears who had seen 4 Little Tern go through and had located another Draycote year tick for me in the form of a Little Ringed Plover on the shoreline by the visitors centre. Our return walk produced adult Little Gull, Artic and Black Tern and 2 Common Sandpipers plus the 3 Snow Goose types (plastic) that arrived in the rain and were still present resting on swallow bank. Also worth a mention were 2 Yellowhammers and a Mistle Thrush.
Snow Goose types by me
Once fed and watered we did Napton on the Hill which has had plenty of coverage while I have been away but turning up very little of note and we were heading that way till Dave spotted a male Marsh Harrier coming in from the direction of Hellidon, Northamptonshire at 12:25 being mobbed by a Raven and Buzzard before It drifted off to the north east. We managed a few butterflies with 8 Green-veined White, 3 Large White, 3 Orange-tip, 2 Brimstone and a Peacock plus terrific views of a Weasel as it ran towards us.