Monday's Wood Sandpiper was part of the larger wader-fall which began in earnest last week (as I write there are now two Wood Sands at Middleton, and reports there and elsewhere of Black-tailed Godwits, Dunlin, Curlew and Whimbrel moving through).
Now the more elusive passerines are also starting to show up in hedgerow, hill and tree, including a report on Thursday of a pair of juvenile Redstarts at Napton Reservoir.
With no Redstart at all on my patch or county lists - despite numerous previous attempts for one at Napton Res and Hill - I was obliged to head over after work, despite the ominous skies and yellow-exclamation-mark weather forecast.
With the faulty logic for which humans are so well known, I headed straight to the far sheep fields where Redstarts have been reported in previous years. A thorough inspection turned up plenty of Common Whitethroat and juv. Chiffchaff, very many biting insects (welcomed by the hundreds of swallows above), and the first of two massive downpours.
But no Redstarts.
Fortunately a quick check of the fields back at the car park instantly turned up both the reported birds, moving along the hedge at the side of the entrance/exit track. One was particularly obliging, sitting high (for a Redstart) at the top of the hedge for a good five minutes, until a departing fisherman drove past and scared it away over the fields to the north.
Thank you to Boatbirder for sharing his discovery via Twitter. My own photos were merely black outlines in the gathering gloom, Boatbirder's distant record shots were at least in colour!
Bird of the day: Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus), a bird of mature oak woodland that is long since finished as a breeding species in Warwickshire, and is now largely confined to the west and north of Britain. The migrating birds which pass through the country every spring and autumn are therefore a real highlight, all the more so since this is among our most handsome passerines.