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Sunday, 19 January 2014

Up t' North

Out with Pete and Paz today and we headed north up to Boldon Flats near South Shields first thing where a couple of Glossy Ibis have been kicking around for a few days now, a couple of locals soon put us on the birds which were actually in a field down a nearby lane although it was not the best of views in the murky conditions, it was a dreadful rainy morning and we hoped heading back south would bring us out of it but the forecast was a bit out and it would be early afternoon before it eventually fared up. We linked over to the A1 next then came back off at Sedgefield dropping straight into Bradbury where a Great Grey Shrike is wintering, we had minimalist information on this bird but I’d noted a railway bridge mentioned a few times, we found the bridge no problem and as luck would have it as we were stood there the Shrike flew along the railway and into a nearby bush giving really good views, I rushed back for the camera but unfortunately by the time I got back it had moved further down. It wasn’t far to the next site, Sadberge on the outskirts of Darlington and we soon located the little group of three Whoopers and one Bewick’s Swan that are residing just north of there then it was on to Teesside, Ward Jackson Park in Hartlepool was first up where we found up to 15 Ring Necked Parakeets doing their stuff, there had been nothing reported from the Headland so we went to Jackson’s Landing next, it was rather quiet but we managed a single Red Breasted Merganser there, a quick stop at Newburn Bridge and then it was on to Seaton Snook where we found a small flock of Snow Buntings but no Twite today. With the light fading fast we ended the day with a scan over Saltholme pools from the lay-by adding many common species of Ducks and Waders etc with the bonus of a female Long Tailed Duck on East Pool and an Iceland Gull on Back Saltholme, apart from the weather it had been a really good day.
Glossy Ibis through the murk

Sadberge Swans


female Goosander showing well on the Park pond

Snow Buntings at Seaton Snook

Friday 17th
I nipped up to the Red Kite roost at Nunburnholme after work and had up to 20 over the wood on and off but distant, a couple of Buzzards came closer, then in the last 10-15 mins of light they all got up for one last fly around and I counted at least 47, probably more, a very impressive sight indeed.

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