|unfortunately there was just no light left|
Wednesday, 11 May 2016
An evening in Teesside
I had arranged with Mark that we would meet up with Darren and Richard from Leeds yesterday evening and go to Teesside if the Whiskered Terns were still present at Saltholme, they were and there was also the added bonus of a female Citrine Wagtail that had been found on Seaton Common in the morning, it didn’t look good though as we set off from a rainy rendezvous on the A59, there was negative news on the Wagtail and nothing about the Terns since mid-afternoon, however the rain cleared as we headed north and a phone call from one of Darrens mates who had got up there ahead of us confirmed the Terns were still present, we got there and were soon on to the two Whiskered and a Black Tern out on Back Saltholme, a bit distant but scopes were at hand and there were also a couple of Spoonbills on view, after our fill of these majestic birds we decided to carry on to Seaton Common as we thought there was a good chance the Citrine Wagtail might still be around somewhere, we arrived at the end of Zinc Works Road as a few disappointed birders were leaving having failed to locate the bird, undeterred we started scanning the flooded area it had been in all day gradually moving round to the top end where we met a couple of other birders one of whom showed us a picture on the back of his camera he had taken some 5 mins earlier, the female Citrine Wagtail, it had been sat in a lone willow bush out in the middle but had flitted out and he unfortunately hadn’t seen where it had gone but at least it was still there, further scanning found a couple of Pied and a Yellow Wagtail over the other side and thinking the Citrine may be in the vicinity we moved round to get a bit closer, we soon refound the Pied and Yellow and then after about 10 mins a bird flew up and back to the willow bush, that was it we had got it what a great bonus bird, another couple of York birders, Jono and Tom had just timed their arrival right, it sat and preened for a while offering great scope views before flitting back into the vegetation where it soon became apparent why it hadn’t been seen for so long, often feeding close to the Yellow which stood out like a sore thumb it just seemed to merge into the background and was sometimes quite difficult to see. Pleased with our success we headed back having a quick look at a pair of Garganey on the Phil Stead Hide pool then as we passed Saltholme West we noticed a load of Black Headed Gulls and Terns having a late feeding session they included the Whiskered and up to four Black Terns and although closer than earlier the light was dire by that time, still a good end to a remarkable evening trip.