I had to go to Middlesborough for an interview today, but that wasn't until 1 so to kill time I thought I would go twitching at Saltholme.
I have never been into Teeside before so didn't know where anything was, despite directions, but I managed to find a long row of people in a layby looking at a gull flock on a pool, so I presumed it was Saltholme.
I found out it was but that there had been no sign of the Glaucous Winged Gull.
I stayed for an hour and saw Gadwall, Shellduck, Pochard, Goldeneye ect as well as 1 Bean Goose, adult Glacous Gull (not winged) and a Water Rail (again) which was only meteres away from me and the road, wading through a ditch pecking at everything as it went. I went to the interview and when I got out had a text from S.H (thanks again steve), which said it had been seen on Dorman's Pool 20 minutes ago. The traffic is really bad in Middlesborough at the minute due to a diversion and pissing traffic lights, I then got another text saying it had flown off towards the tip.
After another half an hour and direction towards Dorman's Pool, I came to Saltholme where the previously packed layby now only had two people. I went over and asked the guy who was packing up what the crack was (thinking it had flown off for good) and he said it's on the pool now!
The other birder had it in his scope and kindly let me see. The light was starting to fade so it's primary's didn't look as striking but never the less it was there partly behind a mute swan which later moved giving me better views.
My first Mega, and what a way to start 2009, first siskins in my garden then excellent views of water rail (my favourite bird) and then the GWG all in the first week.
I have seen the design for the new Saltholme visitors centre and I will definetly be coming back, I got the vibe that it is a site I will see another mega on one day. I liked it as soon as I arrived.