Hope I don’t sound to rude or offensive to anyone who lives outside the North East but I would defiantly say that for the past 3 weeks we have had the best birding in the whole country.
Lets start of with exactly 3 weeks ago when we had the juvenile Whiskered Tern that turned up in Teesside at Saltholme RSPB, then hours later it was joined by a White-rumped Sandpiper that stayed briefly. The Whiskered Tern has hung around and is most likely still present as I type away this post.
Then we had a bit of a quiet spell for rare birds on land and then on Friday and Saturday the North East had a Wryneck at Hartlepool Headland. Also Icterine Warbler and Barred Warbler were reported as being seen in North Yorkshire over the past few days. On the sea watching front the northerlies brought plenty of Balearics, Sooty, and Manx Shearwaters. Skuas where plentiful with Pomarine, Arctic, Great, and Long-tailed Skuas all being reported and added to the North East’s year total list. Then on Sunday the Sykes’s Warbler turned up and was twitched on Monday before departing, also Newton Stringer’s Red-backed Shrike was a fantastic find for the dedicated local patcher as well as a bird discovered just outside of Whitburn Observatory on the Saturday afternoon. A Spotted Crake was also discovered on Sunday at Shibdon Pond and has shown pretty well ever since, though on occasions it bolts out of view into the reeds.
Would my readers agree we have had it the best?