Another trip south to Teesside with SH and DM today. After a successful trip in February we were hoping for more success today and we weren’t disappointed.
With the sun shining it felt like the first proper day of spring and the birds reflected that. Nothing apart from some distant waders on the receding tide from the hide at Seal Sands but the Seal were very entertaining. Common Seals chased each other up and down Greatham Creek and slid comically down the mud banks along the creek.
A couple of Yellow Wagtails called overhead and at least 40 Avocets were on the pool opposite the bus shelter.
Before driving to Dorman’s Pool we spotted a Whimbrel in the fields near the car park. Two Reed Warbler and a Water Rail were singing and calling form the top car park art Dorman’s and a male Blackcap flitted around the bare trees whilst a couple of Pintail remained on the pool.
Five sleeping Black Tailed Godwits were on west Saltholme pool viewed from the roadside and the male Lesser Scaup occasionally showed well on the Allotment pool. Also a Fox ran for cover after being disturbed sunbathing near the pool.
Once the reserve opened at 10! we went to Back Saltholme hide. In the space of five minutes we managed to see a pair of Black Necked Grebe, 2 Wheatear, 4 Yellow Wagtail, 5 White Wagtail, a sleeping drake Garganey, 3 Little Ringed Plover and a Common Sandpiper. All of which were close to the hide most centred around the causeway.
After seeing all these great birds the day was nearly ruined when we got a text from Liver Birder saying he had found a pair of Avocet on West Hartford!
Luckily we got back in time to see Cramlington’s second ever Avocets wading happily around the main pool. Just as I thought it couldn’t get any better my second WH lifer of the day flew over in the form of two calling Yellow Wagtails which flew low over the rubbish pile and main pool before disappearing west out of view.
Whilst leaving we found out about the Pectoral Sandpiper at Backworth so quickly went and had a look. It was showing well on the edge of the flash north of the pond and occasionally crouched down low to the ground.
So on a day where we must have seen over 60 Avocets and 10 Yellow Wagtails the most appreciated were the ones seen on the patch, that’s birding for you.
By the way I did take some photos at Saltholme but for some reason they are showing up white on my camera and will not download, oh well I’ll leave it to the professionals.