Wilson's Phalarope Phalaropus tricolor (3-3)
Rare Vagrant (British Rarity - 192)
Wilson's Phalarope breeds in the northern Nearctic Prairies and winters in South America. It is normally found on fresh water and nearly all British records have been May to November. The first county record was of one bird at Pitsford reservoir on 08/09/1959. The bird stayed until 12/09/1959 and constituted only the fifth record for Europe at that time. The second county record was of a bird at Stanford Reservoir on 29/9/1991. The third record at Daventry CP in September 1996 was present at the same time as another nearctic species: Baird's Sandpiper.

Red-necked Phalarope Phalaropus lobatus (16-16)
Vagrant
Red-necked Phalarope breeds in Iceland and in a very scattered pattern in northern Scotland and the Isles. It winters in the Arabian Sea. Some British records are possibly from the Scandinavian breeding population. Adult females leave the breeding grounds at the end of June and adult males and young around the end of July. All records are from late spring and autumn, mainly the latter. Lord Lilford rejected an old record.

Grey Phalarope Phalaropus fulicarius (24-29/30)
Wreck Vagrant
Grey Phalarope breeds in Iceland, Greenland and other northern Western Palearctic islands. It winters at sea off West Africa and is a pelagic species not known to migrate over land. Most county records are September or October that reflect national trends. The seventh county record at Ravensthorpe Reservoir was found on 28/12/1955 and stayed until 03/01/1956.

Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus (8-10)
Vagrant
Pomarine Skua is a pelagic species that breeds in northern Russia and winters scattered across the Atlantic, mostly north of the equator. Movements of birds leaving the breeding grounds begins one month later than other skuas. Most are passing Britain mid-September to mid-October but some are still moving in November. All Northants records are September to November. On the northward migration, Pomarine Skua is often associated with large movements in late April and early May but as yet this has not led to any county records.

Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus (40-82)
Vagrant
Arctic Skua breeds near the coast in the northern Western Palearctic including northern Scotland and the Isles. It winters in the southern Atlantic. Autumn migration begins in August and peaks in early September. Most records have been August to November with four spring records and one on 24/12/1962. The bird seen at Pitsford Reservoir on 22/10/1997 was consider to be the same bird seen at Ravensthorpe Reservoir the next morning. This is the skua most frequently seen inland.

Long-tailed Skua Stercorarius longicaudus longicaudus (6-7)
Vagrant
Long-tailed Skua breeds in Norway and northern Russia and winters in the South Atlantic. Autumn migration begins in mid-August and all county records have been in autumn. Unlike Arctic Skua, Long-tailed Skuas migrate through Atlantic waters west of the British Isles and only use the North Sea in small numbers. It was a British rarity until recently but was removed when identification criteria became clearer and records consequently increased. The first three county records presented few 'problems in the field' for they were shot!

Great Skua Stercorarius skua skua (13-15)
Vagrant
Great Skua breeds in the northern British isles, Faeroes and coastal Iceland. Adults winter in the east Atlantic (some in British waters), south to the Moroccan coast. Immatures disperse in a random fashion in winter. The first record was at Ecton sewage farm on 29/09/1939. Nine out of the thirteen records have been in September. An early record attributed to this species concerns a bird at Eydon in October 1879, but even the observer was uncertain of the identification. The expanding British population is in international important numbers - more than 50% of the world population.

Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
Vagrant
The European population of Mediterranean Gull is on the increase with records in Britain mainly as a result of passage migrants from the small Baltic population. It has had a very small British breeding population since 1968. The tendency to over-winter has increased very recently as the north-west European population builds up. It is currently given vagrant status in Northamptonshire, but this will change soon as it has already been recorded annually and in every month since the first county record in 1983.

Little Gull Larus minutus
Irregular Passage Migrant
Breeds in temperate Russia, southern Finland and the Baltic States. It winters in temperate coastal waters, just off-shore, in the Western Palearctic. It shows the pattern of a 'scarce passage migrant' but many also appear in summer and winter. Records have increased since the early 1950's and attempts to breed suggest that this will soon be a British breeding species. July and August are the best months to see Little Gull in Northamptonshire.

Sabine's Gull Larus sabini (7-9)
Vagrant
Sabine's Gull breeds in Greenland and North Canadian Islands. A pelagic species that in autumn flies south-east across the Atlantic towards the Iberian Peninsula, then down to winter in coastal south-west Africa. Westerly gales in autumn are likely to blow them off course and account for most of the British records. The seven county records fit this scenario with three in September and four in October.The bird first seen at Clifford Hill GP on 20/09/1997 remained in the county until 20/10/1997 and was seen at Pitsford Reservoir, Daventry CP and Ravensthorpe Reservoir.

Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
Regular Passage Migrant and Winter Visitor
Black-headed Gull breeds in a scattered pattern throughout Europe including much of Britain. Its wintering areas are influenced by the extent of winter freezing. The British range has been increasing in the 20th century because of greater use of agricultural land, scavenging in parks, etc. and safe roost sites on reservoirs. It has bred this century and some still over-summer.

Ring-billed Gull Larus delawarensis (4-4)
Vagrant
Ring-billed Gull breeds in southern Canada and northern United States and winters in Southern USA and Mexico. It was recently a rarity with the first British records in 1970's. This was due to the difficulty in identifying them and lack of awareness as to their possible presence. It has presumably always occurred as a vagrant to Britain. The single bird that was the 3rd record on 30/10/1993 at Boddington Reservoir was also seen on the 04/11/1993.

Common Gull Larus canus canus
Regular Passage Migrant and Winter Visitor
Common Gull breeds in the north-west of the British Isles and Fenno-Scandia and winters along the western seaboard of Europe south to Brittany. Its range has been expanding throughout the 20th century including movements inland in winter. There is a significant wintering population, on a national basis, visible at the Pitsford Reservoir gull roost and on this basis it is included in the Red Data Book.

Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus graellsii/intermedius
Regular Passage Migrant and Winter Visitor
The subspecies graellsii breeds in Iceland and north-west Europe, intermedius breeds in the Netherlands, Denmark and southern Norway and fuscus breeds in northern Norway and Sweden. In winter it migrates south as far as the equator, but increasing numbers are staying in England.

(Baltic Gull) Subspecies Larus fuscus fuscus
Vagrant
This subspecies breeds in northern Norway and Sweden. (Current British taxonomy cosiders it to be a subspecies of Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus)

Herring Gull Larus argentatus argenteus/argentatus
Regular Passage Migrant and Winter Visitor
The subspecies argenteus breeds in Iceland and north-west Europe. Argentatus breeds in Denmark and Scandinavia. It is showing a tendency to increase its range in a similar way to Black-Headed Gull. British birds are dispersive, immatures being more so.

[Yellow-legged Gull Larus michahellis - Pending]
Vagrant
This species breeds around coastal Iberia, western France and the Mediterranean basin. Substantial numbers of immatures winter in the Bay of Biscay/Atlantic coast of France. It currently displays the pattern of an Autumn Passage Migrant and Winter Visitor.

[Pontic Gull Larus cachinnans - Pending]
Vagrant
This species breeds in Southern Russia. This species has recently been referred to as Caspian Gull.

Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides glaucoides (38-39)
Vagrant
Iceland Gull breeds in eastern Greenland and winters in the north Atlantic. It is a scarce but regular visitor to northern Scotland and the Isles. Records further south are more dependent on severe weather and most county records are in mid-winter. The 14th record of an individual at Pitford Reservoir at the end of January 1991 was also seen near Brixworth Tip.

Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus hyperboreus
Rare Winter Visitor
Glaucous Gull breeds in northern Russia, Iceland and on islands inside the Arctic Circle. In winter it disperses as far south as the British Isles depending on the limit of the ice-cap and the severity of weather. The weather also influences inland records, hence those in Northamptonshire. In recent years the number of records have reduced and taking account of records in the 1990's, its status is now that of a vagrant.

Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
Winter Visitor
The British population of Great Black-backed Gull breeds from the Isle of Wight, west around the coast to the Firth of Forth and Ireland. After breeding it disperses mainly around the coast, but increasingly inland. There are significant national wintering numbers at the Pitsford Reservoir gull roost and this is the basis for its inclusion in the Red Data Book.

Black-legged Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla tridactyla
Irregular Visitor
Black-legged Kittiwake shows the pattern of a scarce spring migrant but with a few records consistently in autumn and winter. It breeds around most of the British coast. It is pelagic and dispersive throughout the North Atlantic and shows no classic migratory pattern, so movements are more related to age, sex and its susceptibility to adverse weather patterns.

Caspian Tern Sterna caspia (3-5)
Rare Vagrant (British Rarity - 219)
Caspian tern breeds in the Gulf of Bothnia, where its population is expanding. It winters in Africa but migration can be across land and so there is no great movement through the Channel.

Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis sandvicensis
Rare Passage Migrant
Sandwich Tern has a scattered breeding population across north-west Europe. It migrates mainly at sea with few inland records and it winters in west Africa. Internationally important numbers breed in Britain. Records of this species are increasing.

Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii dougallii (5-5/6)
Vagrant
Roseate Tern has a small scattered breeding population in the British Isles, mainly in Ireland. It migrates mainly at sea and is only recorded as a vagrant inland. It winters in west Africa. This species has suffered a decline in recent years due to human predation in its winter quarters.

Common Tern Sterna hirundo hirundo
Local Summer Visitor and Passage Migrant (Early and Late Dates)
Common Tern has a scattered breeding population all over Europe and it winters in Atlantic waters off West Africa. This is the Sterna tern most likely to be seen inland, indeed in recent years it has begun to breed in Northamptonshire at some of the gravel pits and reservoirs. First summer birds do not usually return, so only juveniles and adults should be seen. A notable record was of one shot at Ravensthorpe reservoir on 31-1-1894.

Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea
Scarce Passage Migrant (Early and Late Dates)
Arctic Tern breeds throughout most of coastal northern Western Palearctic and winters in the southern oceans. It does migrate regularly over land, with more records in spring. First summer birds do not usually return from the wintering grounds, so only juveniles and adults should be seen. Internationally important numbers breed in Britain

Bridled Tern Sterna anaethetus (1-1)
Rare Vagrant (British Rarity - 23)
The only county record of Bridled Tern was at Earls Barton GP on 29/05/1993. This is an oceanic species that is accidental in the north Atlantic and indeed this was only the 16th British record.

Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata fuscata (1-1)
Rare Vagrant (British Rarity - 24)
The nominate race fuscata is from the Caribbean and southern Atlantic Islands. The only county record at Ditchford GP on 29/05/1980 was picked up the next morning and kept alive for several months in captivity. Attempts to return it to its normal range were hampered by quarantine regulations and it died in the autumn of the same year.

Little Tern Sterna albifrons albifrons
Rare Passage Migrant
Little Tern has a scattered breeding population around coastal northern Europe and winters in south-west Africa. Breeding numbers fluctuate and a pattern of inland migration has been recorded. Internationally important numbers breed in Britain.

Whiskered Tern Chilidonias hybridus hybridus (2-2)
Rare Vagrant (British Rarity - 103)
It has a fragmented breeding distribution through continental Europe, the nearest existing along the River Loire in France. It winters in Africa. The first record was of a bird associating with the Common Tern colony at Thrapston GP.

Black Tern Chlidonias niger niger
Scarce Passage Migrant (Early and Late Dates)
Black Tern has a scattered breeding population throughout continental Europe; sometimes on the Ouse Washes. The Netherlands is probably the main staging post for north and east European birds on migration, so western passage birds presumably overshoot to Britain giving rise to summer records. It winters in west Africa. The Black Tern shows the pattern of 'scarce passage migrant' but also has many summer records. A notable early record was on 06/04/1960 at Hollowell and Pitsford Reservoirs.

White-winged Black Tern Chlidonias leucoptera (13-16)
Vagrant
White-winged Black Tern breeds in Russia and sparsely in some eastern European states. Northamptonshire records show the pattern of a passage migrant with all records in May or August/September. Dispersal of juveniles begins in July and individuals occur annually in Britain. It was a British rarity until the 1980s.

Common Guillemot Uria aalge albionis (5-5)
Wreck Vagrant
Common Guillemot breeds all along the west coast of Britain and down the east coast as far south as Bempton Cliffs. It is dispersive outside of the breeding season, but some do stay in coastal waters near to their breeding territory. Internationally important numbers breed in Britain.

Razorbill Alca torda islandica (2-2)
Wreck Vagrant
Razorbill breeds all along the west coast of Britain and down the east coast as far south as Bempton Cliffs. It is dispersive outside of the breeding season, but winter colony attendance is not so pronounced as Guillemot. Internationally important numbers winter in Britain.

Little Auk Alle alle alle (24-27)
Wreck Vagrant
Little auk breeds on islands in the northern Western Palearctic and its winter range extends south to the North Sea. Most county records are October to February. It is prone to being blown inland during prolonged gales. For eight different individuals to have been found in January/February 1895 there must have been considerable numbers blown inland. The bird found dead at West Haddon on 22/04/1985 was a female.

Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica grabae (10-15/16)
Wreck Vagrant
Atlantic Puffin breeds all along the west coast of Britain and down the east coast as far south as Bempton Cliffs. It is dispersive outside of the breeding season and stays well off-shore.

Pallas's Sandgrouse Syrrhaptes paradoxus (5-9)
Rare Vagrant (British Rarity - Bred pre 1959, 8 since)
Pallas's Sandgrouse breeds on the Russian Steppes and normal migration patterns are north-south. It is irruptive at times probably due to weather, but not this century in any significant numbers. The remarkable irruptions of the 19th century are unlikely to be repeated as the world population has been reduced due to human pressures in its normal range. Lord Lilford reported no breeding records and he was unlucky not to see any, as three of the records were in close proximity to Lilford Hall.

Rock Dove\Feral Pigeon (C) Columba livia livia
Sedentary
The original distribution of this species has been obscured because of a long history of domestication by man. It is sedentary despite the homing ability over long distances of domesticated birds.

Stock Dove Columba oenas oenas
Resident
Stock Doves will possibly move under severe weather conditions.

Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus palumbus
Resident
Wood Pigeon is a common breeding species in woodland and large flocks can be found on farmland at other times of year.

Eurasian Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto decaocto
Resident
There is a reduction in the degree of long-distance dispersal of Eurasian collared Dove as stabilisation in its population will soon be achieved. It was first recorded in Britain in 1951 and it first bred in Britain in 1955. The first county record was of 2 birds at Fineshade Top Lodge on 02/05/1962.

European Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur turtur
Regular Summer Visitor (Early and Late Dates)
European Turtle Dove breeds throughout England and winters in central Africa. The declining British poulation trends are reflected in the significant reduction in the county numbers in the last 20 years. Lord Lilford related that 'this species was entirely unknown in the neighbourhood of Lilford in my school-days, it has gradually become a regular and sometimes abundant summer visitor'. A notable early record was on 24/03/1957 at Ecton SF. It is included in the Red Data Book because of its declining numbers.

Rose-ringed Parakeet (C) Psittacula krameri borealis
Irregular Visitor
Rose-ringed Parakeet first bred in Kent in 1969 and Manchester in 1974. The resident feral populations in south-east England and Merseyside are dispersive in winter months, with most movements in the autumn.

Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus canorus
Regular Summer Visitor (Early and Late Dates)
Common Cuckoo breeds all over Europe and winters in southern Africa.

Barn Owl Tyto alba alba
Sedentary
The decline in numbers of Barn Owl began in the 19th century and unfortunately has become more marked since the 1950's. There has been a 50% reduction in 50 years. Lord Lilford viewed Barn Owl as common throughout the county, but now each sighting is of note and proof of nesting is rare. Recent introductions and efforts to create suitable breeding sites may help to stabilise the already small population. Hunting Barn Owls in low light in winter are a distinctive sight. The lack of records, leads the author to estimate less than 20 pairs and less than 50 individuals in the county. The Tawny Owl in a car's headlights looks very white and so care needs to be taken with this type of sighting. It is included in the Red Data Book because of its declining numbers that are part of a national trend.

Common Scops Owl Otus scops scops (1-1)
Rare Vagrant (British Rarity - 76)
Common Scops Owl is a summer visitor to most of its European range and winters in central Africa. The only county record was of one shot in approximately 1846 near Duddington.

Northern Hawk Owl Surnia ulula ulula or caparoch (1-1)
Rare Vagrant (British Rarity - 11)
The subspecies ulula is dispersive and eruptive from its Scandinavian range with smaller scale movements these days. Canadian birds, caparoch, rarely move but have been recorded in the Western Palearctic. The only county record was of one shot (site unknown) on 19/10/1903, the subspecies of this individual is also unknown.

Little Owl (C) Athena noctua vidalii
Sedentary
The British feral population of the Little Owl originated from birds introduced in Northamptonshire. Lord Lilford attempted to introduce Little Owl for several years by buying them from the London bird market. He left them in open cages around Lilford Park making sure to leave food available every day. The first nest was found in 1889 and then they seemed to spread quite quickly. There was a peak in the 1930's but since then there has been a decrease in numbers due to habitat change. It is also prone to fluctuations in population size due to severe weather. Currently the Little Owl is the second commonest owl in Britain with 6000 pairs.

Tawny Owl Strix aluco aluco
Sedentary
Lord Lilford noted that Tawny Owl suffered unceasing persecution by gamekeepers.

Long-eared Owl Asio otus otus
Local Resident and Scarce Winter Visitor
Long-eared Owl has a scattered breeding population over much of Britain but nowhere is it common. A few pairs nest in Northamptonshire. There are fluctuations in the population due to rodent numbers. In winter there are irregular influxes of Scandinavian birds due to lack of food and severe weather patterns.

Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus flammeus
Irregular Winter Visitor
Wintering Short-eared Owls are from British and Scandinavian breeding populations. In winter there are irregular influxes of Scandinavian birds due to lack of food and severe weather patterns.

Tengmalm's Owl Aegolius funereus funereus (1-1)
Rare Vagrant (British Rarity - 47)
Tengmalm's Owl's breeding range is scattered throughout central Europe, Scandinavia and Russia. The latter two populations are at times eruptive due to fluctuating rodent numbers.

European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus europaeus
Scarce Passage Migrant (Early and Late Dates)
European Nightjar has a scattered breeding population in Britain and it winters in Africa. It bred in Northamptonshire until the mid 1980's. In 1893 Lord Lilford wrote, "Nightjar was commoner 30 years previous, it bred in a pair or two in suitable woods and was more common on migration." Clearly it has never had a strong breeding population and although it has not bred for more than 10 years, things could change with the vagaries of forest management possibly creating more suitable habitat in the future. It is included in the Red Data Book because of its rare breeding status. The whole west European population is currently in decline.

Common Swift Apus apus apus
Regular Summer Visitor (Early and Late Dates)
Common Swift breeds in good numbers in the many man made sites that suit it so well. It winters in southern Africa. Lord Lilford commented that around Lilford it was a comparatively rare bird. It bred in a few of the many steeples or towers, but he had never seen more than three to four hawking the river Nene when he was on fishing expeditions in July. Nowadays one can see 3-400 birds feeding at sites in the Nene Valley on a warm evening in July.

Fork-tailed Swift Apus pacificus pacificus (1-1)
Rare Vagrant (British Rarity - 2)
Fork-tailed Swift breeds in north-east Asia and winters in south-east Asia.

Alpine Swift Apus melba melba (3-3)
Rare Vagrant (British Rarity - 395)
Alpine Swift breeds in southern Europe and winters in southern Africa.

Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis ispida
Resident
Common Kingfisher can be found associating with water throughout the county. There are fluctuations in numbers due to hard winters, that also causes dispersal from its normal range. There is concern that the national population is declining and so it is included in the Red Data Book.

European Bee-eater Merops apiaster (2-3)
Rare Vagrant (British Rarity - has bred, 192 since 1989)
Records of European Bee-eater in Britain have become more numerous recently. Most records are in late spring and early summer.

European Roller Coracias garrulus garrulus (1-1)
Rare Vagrant (British Rarity - 253)
The European Roller breeds in southern Europe and winters in south-east Africa. The only county record was of a bird seen by Lord Liford's two sisters in the grounds of Lilford Hall, most probably in September 1859.

Eurasian Hoopoe Upupa epops epops Records since 1969 (28-28)
Rare Passage Migrant/Vagrant
The Hoopoe breeds in continental Europe and from time to time in Britain, although never in Northamptonshire. It winters in the Mediterranean basin and central and southern Africa. 77% of British records are in spring and mostly involve overshoots in anti-cyclonic weather conditions over the continent. Apart from four autumn records in 1973, all birds seen in Northants have been in spring. Lord Lilford only noted three records although he thought that it may have become a regular breeding species in southern England and the Midlands if it was not for the bird-catchers, bird-stuffers and collectors.

Eurasian Wryneck Jynx torquilla torquilla Records since 1969 (43-43)
Rare Passage Migrant/Vagrant, ex Summer Visitor
This member of the woodpecker family breeds throughout most of Europe and winters mostly in central Africa with a few in the Mediterranean basin. The decline in the British population of Eurasian Wryneck began about 1830. It is now possibly extinct as a breeder in Britain. Records are now probably non-breeding birds or Scandinavian birds on migration, because a clear pattern of spring and autumn records has formed recently. Morton stated that Eurasian Wryneck was not an uncommon breeding bird in the northern part of our county near Market Harborough. Lord Lilford wrote that it was never very abundant, being a tolerably common breeding bird and a well-known spring visitor.

Eurasian Green Woodpecker Picus viridis viridis
Sedentary
There are fluctuations in numbers of Eurasian Green Woodpecker due to hard winters. It has a stable and sizeable population in the county. It is included in the Red Data Book because of concerns on a European scale about its declining population.

Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major anglicus
Sedentary
Lord Lilford noted that Great Spotted Woodpecker was the least common of our woodpeckers in this district.

Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor comminutus
Sedentary
Lord Lilford noted that Lesser Spotted Woodpecker was the most common of our woodpeckers which is precisely the opposite of the present status. It is now a very difficult species to see or hear in the county and there are few breeding records. It is presumably not considered as vulnerable because of its habitat preference.

Greater Short-toed Lark Calandrella brachydactyla brachydactyla (1-1)
Vagrant
Greater Short-toed Lark breeds in the Mediterranean basin and a few in central France. It winters in Algeria and central Africa.

Wood Lark Lullula arborea arborea Records since 1969 (5-5)
Vagrant
The Wood Lark's range is decreasing over much of Europe but it still breeds in southern and south-eastern England. Populations are partly migratory with most breeding sites deserted in autumn; hence some continental birds do occur in Britain. Lord Lilford stated that Wood Lark was not common at any season and there was no proof of breeding although it had been present in suitable sites in the summer. Breeding was subsequently recorded in 1912, but since then there have been less than ten records; those of note since 1969 are included in the vagrant records.

Eurasian Sky Lark Alauda arvensis arvensis
Resident and Passage Migrant
Eurasian Sky Lark breeds locally throughout the county. National numbers have reduced in the last 20 years and this is reflected in the county population where most Eurasian Sky Larks breed on farmland. The British population is sedentary. In autumn good numbers move through Britain from the continent on their way to southern France and Iberia. It is included in the Red Data Book because of its declining numbers.

Horned Lark Eremophila alpestris flava (2-3)
Vagrant
Horned Lark breeds on the central mountain range of Scandinavia and winters along North Sea coasts. The second record was a bird located in a ploughed field near Long Buckby on 04/11/1997. It was found by birdwatcher observing the first county record of Steppe Grey Shrike Lanius pallidirostris that had been discovered earlier the same day.

Sand Martin Riparia riparia riparia
Regular Summer Visitor (Early and Late Dates)
Sand Martin is closely associated with the gravel extraction in the Nene valley where it finds ideal conditions for nest sites. The colonial nests are situated in exposed sand faces or huge piles of graded sand. Neither are present on a stable basis and so the success of breeding colonies relies at present on chance. It breeds throughout Europe and winters in Africa. It is prone to crashes in numbers, probably due to droughts in the Sahel. It is included in the Red Data Book because of its declining population.

Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica rustica
Regular Summer Visitor (Early and Late Dates)
Barn Swallow breeds throughout Europe and winters in Africa. A notable record was on 24/12/1965 near Corby. It is included in the Red Data Book because of its presumed declining numbers.

Red-rumped Swallow Hirundo daurica rufula (1-1)
Rare Vagrant (British Rarity - 324)
Red-rumped Swallow breeds in the Mediterranean Basin and winters in central Africa.

Northern House Martin Delichon urbica urbica
Regular Summer Visitor (Early and Late Dates)
Northern House Martin breeds throughout Europe and winters in central Africa.

Richard's Pipit Anthus novaeseelandiae richardi (6-7)
Vagrant
Richard's Pipit is a classic long-distance migrant and is classed as a passage visitor in Britain, most commonly in September/October. It breeds in temperate Russia, east of Lake Baikal. It winters in southern & eastern Africa, a few in the Sahel and, probably most important as far as British records is concerned, a small wintering population in southern Spain. Lord Lilford wrote, "Mr William Seal, an experienced bird-catcher, has repeatedly assured me that he clearly identified two of this species near Thorpe Waterville on 26/10/1883. Mr Seal is perfectly well acquainted with this pipit of which he has captured more than one and is quite positive from the note and flight of these two birds that he could not be mistaken - however he has had no acquaintance of Tawny Pipit." At least one bird was present at Polebrook Airfield from 25/09/1994 until 27/10/1994; a second bird was also seen on the 15/10/1994 and 17/10/1994.

Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis trivialis
Local Summer Visitor (Early and Late Dates)
The Tree Pipit breeds throughout Europe but not Ireland and winters in central and south-east Africa. In Northamptonshire its numbers are declining and unfortunately its habitat requirements are bound up with the fluctuating forestry practices. It is included in the Red Data Book because of its declining numbers and rare breeding status.

Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis pratensis
Rare Summer Visitor, Regular Passage Migrant and Winter Visitor
The Meadow Pipit is a rare breeding species in the county hence its inclusion in the Red Data Book although numbers appear to be limited by lack of suitable habitat. It breeds throughout Britain and some of these birds move south to winter. Birds from Eastern Greenland, Iceland and Scandinavia move through Britain in the autumn heading south with some staying to over-winter. September is the best time to see these birds during autumn migration.

Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus petrosus
Irregular Passage Migrant
Petrosus breeds along the south, west, north & north-west coasts of Britain. These birds are basically resident with local dispersive movements. This species movements should classify it as a visitor but in 1986 Rock Pipit and Water Pipit were split taxonomically and more records are needed to produce a clear pattern for both of them.

(Scandinavian Rock Pipit) Subspecies Anthus petrosus littoralis
Vagrant
Littoralis from Scandinavia is a winter visitor but identification is only possible in the spring.

Water Pipit Anthus spinoletta spinoletta
Scarce Passage Migrant and Winter Visitor
This species was split from Rock Pipit in 1986. Many move north in the autumn away from their mountain breeding grounds in southern and central Europe.

Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava flavissima
Regular Passage Migrant and Local Summer Visitor (Early and Late Dates)
Flavissima breed in Northamptonshire. There are large gatherings during spring and autumn migration.

(Blue-headed Wagtail) Subspecies Motacilla flava flava
Scarce Spring and Rare Autumn Passage Migrant
Nominate flava from the continent appear in Northamptonshire on migration. With much variation in plumage this subspecies gives rise to birds showing characteristics of several other races.

(White-headed Wagtail) Subspecies Motacilla flava leucocephala
Vagrant
This subspecies has been recorded in Northamptonshire.

(Grey-headed Wagtail) Subspecies Motacilla flava thunbergi
Vagrant
This subspecies has been recorded in Northamptonshire.

(Ashy-headed Wagtail) Subspecies Motacilla flava cinereocapilla
Vagrant
This subspecies has been recorded in Northamptonshire

.(Syke's Wagtail) Subspecies Motacilla flava beema
Vagrant
This subspecies has been recorded in Northamptonshire

Citrine Wagtail Montacilla citreola citreola/werae/calcarata (1-1)
Rare Vagrant
An individual of indeterminate age or subspecies was at Pitsford Reservoir from 15th to 18th November 1996. It was enjoyed by several hundred people as it moved between the Scaldwell and Walgrave Arms with a flock of Pied Wagtails.

Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea cinerea
Rare Resident and Scarce Winter Visitor
Grey Wagtail is a rare breeder that is locally dispersive. In winter, numbers are supplemented by migrants from northern and eastern Britain.

Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba yarrellii
Resident and Winter Visitor
Pied Wagtail breeds in Northamptonshire, some going south in autumn while larger numbers arrive probably from the uplands of Scotland. Outside the breeding season they roost communally with large numbers at Carlsberg Brewery and Weston Favell Centre in Northampton. Lord Lilford commented that they are very common from February to September, then its numbers very sensibly decrease.

(White Wagtail) Subspecies Motacilla alba alba
Regular Spring and Scarce Autumn Passage Migrant
British records of White Wagtail may be migrants from Scandinavia, Iceland or Greenland.