I think I've mentioned it before: colt's feet is what 'phalaropus' means - from the ancient Greek.
A grey phalarope [I think of them as spinning tops] was reported on Middleton Beach, Hartlepool. I'd not been there before but I soon found it as I knew it was just south of the Lifeboat Station. It was indeed and various birders who recognized me and who were returning to their cars told me where to go. The bird was very confiding - in fact I don't think it was really aware of us as a source of danger. It was more worried about a herring gull that came close and [much later, I heard] a dog that spooked it. It soon returned to its favorite spot.
Photographers sometimes get a bad name for getting too close and I'm afraid the first photo shows an example. However, in the photographer's defence the bird took absolutely no notice and was not disturbed. I took my photo by walking south along the water's edge about 150 metres and was not standing in the water by the way!
Here's my selection. I tried to get something different as the little bird battled the waves.
A walk round the dell in the Zinc Works Road bushes produced a firecrest with the help of a couple who had better hearing than I. Although I waved my camera about I couldn't get a lock but a lovely little bird to see nonetheless.
At Saltholme things were quiet. Just a few blackwits at Phil Stead hide. I went home early well satisfied with my day.