A very quiet day all round , with nothing much in the area. A couple of Brent Geese (Dark-bellied) at Greenabella. The highlight of the day was the Starling roost at Saltholme - the pictures don't do it justice........................................trick or treat!!
Well, travelled down to York today to finally make the most of my christmas present from last year from my son - a rally experience. I was a bit apprehensive at first but by the time it came to the final timed run around the course I was wishing I could do it all again. If you like driving and have never tried this then I would thoroughly recommend it. It was amazing when I was passenger and flew around the course like the wind - very hair raising! A few photos to wet your appetite.
Red-throated Diver Not much happening today. Got a bit wet at South Gare this afternoon after standing for two hours trying to get a decent view of some sort of warbler in the compound but gave up in the end. Did however manage to get good views of a Red Throated Diver when the weather eventually cleared up. The Lapland Bunting is still present and giving good views. Hope this wind dies down overnight and we have a better day tomorrow.
Worked all night then went straight to South Gare - Redcar (must be mad) just to try to see and get a photo of the Shorelark that had been there the previous day. (Have to keep Syl happy, it was one of the birds on her list to see next, or perhaps seeing it might annoy her! as she is at school all day and does not break up until tonight). Anyway not only managed to see that but also a Lapland bunting, Brambling and Goldcrest. A good morning and worth staying up for.
After a stressful week at school one of our birdwatching ambitions was achieved today seeing a Bluethroat in Hartlepool and a male at that. Had a brilliant morning horseriding at Swainby and having checked on Birdguides when returning home at lunchtime I could not believe one was present at Olive St. in Hartlepool. Got sorted out and shot across quickly (probably picked up a few speeding tickets on the way) and was pleased it was still present when we arrived and showing well. We even saw the resident parrot while we where there. Hope tomorrow is as good a day as today - will have to go out and about again so the housework etc. will have to wait again but what the heck, you only live once so might as well enjoy ourselves while we can.
Quick run out to see the Firecrest at Hartlepool headland today. Not very good views as the two bird's were a bit mobile - did manage to get a record shot (taken by either my son David or myself -not sure who as we were sharing the camera). Hopefully they will hang around to give me a better chance in better light.
Saw our first Jack Snipe at RSPB Saltholm on Sunday along with the Buff Breasted Sandpiper. Also a couple of photos of the Little Egret in flight and a stonechat.
Buff Breasted Sandpiper
Just noticed on Birdguides that a Waxwing has been seen in Shetland already so as they are one of my favourite birds I thought I would post some photos we took last November when we first spotted them in our own road at home. These were taken on 22.11.08, first seen on 17th.
We had a run out to Blacktoft Sands, East Yorkshire today. Pretty quiet there although the Marsh Harriers did put in several distant appearances, also seen were Merlin, Kestrel, Water Rail, Snipe, Teal, Shoveler and Shelduck, with Stock Dove and Barn owl also putting in appearances. The highlight of our journey was two separate sightings of Red Kite near Weatherby Services on the A1(M).
Have not been out and about today but still managed to get a photo of something in the back garden. This sparrowhawk came in around lunchtime and fed itself up on one of our resident House Sparrows in the back garden. It is the first time I have seen it in the garden lately but now it has been I am sure it will continue to come over the winter as it did last year. It used to perch up on the bird table!
Struggling to find much new lately - missed the Spotted Crake at the weekend - today very little about, Curlew Sandpiper at Saltholme but couldn't locate the Buff-breasted or Pectoral Sandpiper. Visited Bowesfield Marsh at teatime, loads of geese about - one Greylag was neck ringed - didn't look too comfortable.
A visit to South Gare was fruitless today with only Stonechat being the best bird. A drive over to the north of the Tees was only slightly better, the Red-backed Shrike was still at Dormans pool (will it ever move away?), at Saltholme Curlew Sandpiper was showning at distance on the 'bottom tank' (what a stupid name) along with Dunlin and Black-tailed Godwit and Snipe. The local Carrion Crows don't like the Little Egret's and frequently chase them. On the reserve pool the Hooded Merganser was showing quite close but in bad light. When we checked the photo's later it appears that the Merganser has a defective leg.