Over the last two years I have had a good success rate with seeing rare birds on Teesside, but I usually end up leaving it late to see them. I saw the Glaucous Winged Gull a week into its stay, the Whiskered Tern four weeks after it had first been seen and now the Woodchat Shrike at Hartlepool Headland three weeks since it was found.
I got an early lift down to Teesside yesterday so called into Hartlepool on the way. After finding Croft Garden/Park, I was greeted by two birders who were searching the bushes at the north end of the Garden. The Shrike had been seen five minutes earlier in a tree in the NW corner but had since disappeared.
The wind had picked up and the Shrike was apparently seen earlier on the ground and lower bushes when it was windy so I checked there first. All I found were a couple of Blackbirds but whilst checking its other favoured spot, the Woodchat Shrike – Lifer, was found back in the same tree in the NW corner.
Much last like my last two lifers I got a minute or so long close up view of the Shrike before it hopped onto the ground and then back into the lower bushes and didn’t return.
On my way back to the car I found a Goldcrest sheltering in a plant pot in someone’s front garden.