It’s the sort of day that we birders dream about. The feel is in the air that there must have been a good fall of migrants up and down the east coast of the United Kingdom. Today our suspicions where confirmed with armies of migrants all over the place up and down the east coast and Durham was no exception!
Getting up bright and early (11:30) I had some lunch and picked up a mate of mine and we went migrant hunting down at Hartlepool and hoping something really good would turn up at Whitburn later on in the afternoon that we could go and see. It was one of those days where even if you went to see other people’s birds you might find your own stuff and this seemed to happen today. We started off looking for the Red-breasted Flycatcher opposite the Jewish Cemetery but we failed miserably! However further down the road be managed cracking views of 5-7 Whinchat’s, which wasn’t the actually overall total of birds present. So we went onto the Headland and the call went up of a Wryneck, we went over the crowd who said a Firecrest was calling from the tree in front of us and the Wryneck was in the other trees. We waited a while and had a canny total:
1 Wood Warbler
2+ Spotted Flycatchers
1 Willow Warbler
Ten the call went up that the ringers had caught a Barred Warbler, the young lady who was going to ring the Barred Warbler was coming and we rushed over and had cracking views of the Barred Warbler, all be it in the hand. But a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush! We also had good views of Pied Flycatcher and Garden Warbler in the hand being rung. From here we headed back to where the Firecrest was and as we arrived back it has just been seen and all eyes where focused on looking for the Firecrest. It zipped along after a while into a stack of trees and then minutes later flew back and sat out in the open for a few minutes allowing for fantastic views of these fantastic little birds!
From here headed back for another look for the Red-breasted Flycatcher. Just as we had got out or car no sooner where we back in and heading back to the Headland as Mark rang me to tell me the Wryneck was showing now! We rushed back and on arrival discovered it was in the same tree as the Firecrest. We got some fantastic views of it and I also managed a few pictures. We went back later for another look for the Red-breasted Flycatcher but drew a blank, though I did see a Pied Flycatcher which was self found until someone told me they had spotted it only minutes beforehand!
(Wryneck - Andrew Kinghorn)
(Garden Warbler - Andrew Kinghorn)
(Pied Flycatcher - Andrew Kinghorn)
(Barred Warbler - Andrew Kinghorn)
All in all and excellent day with Firecrest and Wryneck both being year ticks. So until next time, Foghorn out!