02.02.20 ff

February 09, 2020  •  Leave a Comment

If you weren't a birder you probably wouldn't consider either locations featured in this episode as a place to see some good birds. But you'd be wrong...

1: Grimsby Institute

An unlikely place perhaps for a rarity but, apparently, black-throated thrushes can turn up almost anywhere. Without further ado, here's the one I saw [on my second visit] in the grounds of Grimsby Institute, 2nd February.

2: Hartlepool

February 7th saw me sitting comfortably in Barry's car heading north to Hartlepool to boost his birdlist for the year. In possession of a wants list, his day was planned and I was more than happy to just be along for the ride. In the end Barry got 11 year ticks and I was pleasantly surprised to get two. So here goes: we began at Ward Jackson Park searching for ring-necked parakeets.

Hartlepool Headland was quiet. A few eider lingered in the entrance to the fish dock...

...and a herring gull came past noisily. I swung the smaller zoom lens I was using that day and fired away hopefully.  Quite pleased with these shots of a bird often passed by...

Next we headed for the lifeboat station and walked out on the rock armour pier to view the fish dock and the Headland. Photo of me thanks to Barry.

Cormorants were hanging out on the bridge by the lifeboat station, enjoying the sunshine.


Newburn Bridge for any waders that might be present as high tide approached. It was, in fact, relatively quiet. Oystercatchers, a few sanderling and a lone purple sandpiper obliged.

My first rock pipits of the year were seen at a couple of sites round the headland.

North Gare road: wigeon and curlew

Dorman's Pool: black swan and black coot!

Plus stonechats. A grey heron flew over us as we returned to the car park.

On to Saltholme proper: a brief lunch break in Phil Stead hide where things were very quiet. Good if you like teal. Then a few shovelers flew in.

We headed for the Wildlife Watchpoint. I hoped for water rail but missed it when one appeared and disappeared almost instantly. I finished my day photographically with a display by two marsh harriers. At the time I didn't realise just how good this show was: I was busy trying to maintain focus lock and follow the bird[s]. Quite good when I look back!

121 UK 2020


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