Or for those who don’t understand the way some people speak around my way: Well you know! I have had some excellent days birding since I made my last post. I have seen a few quite rare birds and had some good days birding. On Thursday I was out with Killy Birder and we started the day of well with 4 Spotted Redshank, 3 Curlew Sandpiper, and a Marsh Harrier being the highlights in a brief look around the North Tees Marshes. After this we went into Saltholme RSPB to the new Café there, they ruined Saltholme since they built that flipping reserve you know! ;) I must remember to have my lunch there once as they serve proper food: Pies! (Not as if I am a typical Northern birder or anything). From here we decided that we would head up to the Headland and we quickly found the Firecrest in its usual spot in front of Borough Hall on the Headland. We failed to locate the Barred Warbler so we headed of to Hendon Docks which is well north of where we were, however it was worth a look as we were rewarded with good views of the Red-backed Shrike that has been reported. Fish & Chips for tea was a nice way to end a very memorable days birding.
Friday I said I wasn’t going out at all and was having a day in to save on the old fuel bill. This was thrown out the window at about 4 when news came through of a possible Citrine Wagtail that was reported as being present at South Gare, a quick call to The Finch and he said he would go down and have a look. When we arrived it wasn’t positive news and after thorough searching all birders present couldn’t relocate the reported Citrine Wagtail. We walked along the beach and didn’t see much, when I was making my way to the other birders I saw a birder on his mobile that was waving me over quite frantically. It all became clear why as literally minutes ago the birders had discovered a Broad-billed Sandpiper! Typical, I had just scanned through them before I came up off the beach!!!!! I had cracking views through the scope and obtained some phone scoping images just so I could get a record shot since I was there when it was discovered. We also saw Little Stint and Curlew Sandpiper amongst the hundreds of Dunlin and Sanderling present. We then went and I managed to sort of relocate the Wryneck at the Cabin Rocks and had some excellent close range views of the bird as it went about its business. Then off home for some pizza!
Yesterday was another fantastic day out with some mates from Durham Bird Club, young Kieran, The Mitch, and The Finch. We started the day looking for the juvenile Red-backed Shrike at Hendon Docks and we were successfully but it only showed briefly before doing a disappearing act! From here we headed onto check out Trow Quarry and The Leas Mound, we had some good birds with Little Owl and Black Redstart the best birds of note. We departed and went to see how the ringers were getting on, not so well with only a few migrant caught up until the point when we arrived. After some lunch we headed onto Hartlepool Headland where we got terrific views of the Firecrest before going onto South Gare where good views were had of the Wryneck again. A walk around produced crippling views of a Lapland Bunting at the end of South Gare (see photos below).
(Red-backed Shrike - Hendon Docks - Andrew Kinghorn)
(Broad-billed Sandpiper - South Gare - Andrew Kinghorn)
(Lapland Bunting - South Gare - Derek Charlton)
Until next time, Foghorn out!