Saturday 18th November. Phil Stead hide, Salholme. Arrived 9.05. Amazing light. Waited 2 hours for water pipit - not photographed one properly before. In the meantime took a few photos of other birds.
Black-tongued carrion crow
Common snipe kept us guessing by bobbing like a jack. Eventually came out into the open. Some greylags flew over.
A green sandpiper treated us to ultra close-up views!
Eventually a water pipit appeared reasonably close to the hide. Success!
I walked out to the new viewing mound for the long-eared owl but it had dropped out of sight. A male stonechat let me get ridiculously close - I took a few shots, walked a bit closer and so forth until he was very near to me.
A bit closer The North Gare shore larks had unfortunately crossed to South Gare. A walk out to Seaton Snook was pleasant enough but the tide was very high and the twite had dispersed. The causeway out to the Snook had been breached by the tide. A bit of shopping at Hartlepool Tesco then I called at Newburn Bridge. Not many waders about - mainly sleepy ringed plover.
I called this post ''All's right with the world.'' It isn't really. When I see the persecution of birds of prey on supposedly protected land; the damage plastic is doing to our oceans; the way big business 'forgets' commitments it made when planning permission was granted and the way that in general mankind is happily trashing the planet I wonder just when we will learn or be forced to learn.
In the meantime little old me can mourn when I can no longer find wood warblers or lesser spotted woodpeckers but, on Saturday, I called at Newburn Bridge in the hope a med gull might appear. No sign on the 2 previous visits.
Herring gulls on the lamp-posts; black-headed gulls out on the water. A great black-back flew around over the car park. Wait a minute! What's this coming in? And so, just for a moment, I did feel indeed that all was all right with my world.
A great day's birding!