...took me once more [5th time?] to the weir at Mirfield in search of the ring-billed gull. Finding the source of the Nile would be easier!! No show again so here's another shot of that splendid lesser black-backed gull - still present.
A grey wagtail lurked along the towpath very close to us but remained hidden for much of the time amongst roots and flotsam that had gathered when the water level had been higher. Even nosy canada geese failed to dislodge it. I managed a lot of close-ups many of which were obstructed by twigs etc. Here's something reasonable.
Eventually it flew to the orange floats.
Looks well I think.
...was a day when there were jobs to do. The afternoon was bright but cold. A walk around Askham Bog to photograph marsh tits was a bit confusing. The robins were friendly and numerous.
Marsh tits and coal tits were tricky to separate when looking through the camera. This nice sharp picture is a coal tit - you can just see the wing bar on the right hand side.
This grey squirrel looked quite cute even though I regard them as vermin. Unfortunately we don't have any local reds - as far as I know...
It was great to catch up with a treecreeper as we headed back to the car.
By the exit gate I did eventually catch up with a marsh tit.
Bit of a repeat actually. Decided to go back to Langthwaite to see some Yorkshire black grouse. The weather was poor: thick fog and I began to fear I was wasting my time. However as I descended from the Stang forest the skies cleared. The red grouse became visible in the remaining mist.
For some reason I missed the viewpoint and had to turn in the village and go back uphill to NZ007 052. It's easier in that direction to spot where you have the best view of the green fields above the farm. I saw 8 white-tailed males a-strutting!
Well, that was a good start. On then to Hartlepool to psych myself up for another sand-blasting at Seaton Snook.
Couldn't face it straightaway: the potential disappointment was oppressive so decided on some softer birding at Hartlepool Headland. Soon encountered a nice adult med gull - not Medusa from Newburn Bridge, a different bird.
When you are trying to track one bird among a number of black-headed gulls it is easy to think you are still on it when you're not...
Or you are...
Eventually the bird opted for a break on the rocks. I watched one birder trying to get close by venturing on to the seaweed covered rocks. I contented myself with this shot from the shore.
Something disturbed the knot and they flew past.
I set off for Seaton Snook. By the power station roundabout I saw a large murmuration of starlings being chased by a peregrine - but I was driving and couldn't stop. Along the Zinc Road many fieldfare were gathering on the edge of a huge flock of starlings. Getting ready to depart, I wondered?
[Photographed through a mesh fence]
I plucked up courage and set off.
Again I walked a long way along the shoreline. Niente, rien, nichts, nada! So, I thought, perhaps I should traipse among the dunes where they extend like a long spit into the estuary at NZ 538 267. I dislodged some crows but then saw something else move at the northern base of the dune, in a little round sheltered, gravelly spot. Eight of them - seven in this shot. Male blurred in background.