13th October: Spurn
Report of a jack snipe - a bird I love to see bobbing away and so often remaining difficult to see - tempted me to go to Spurn. In some ways a successful visit as I did see a jack snipe at the Canal Scrape but the weather deteriorated rapidly until the rain was so intense I decided there was nothing for it but to leave. Within a few miles west of Easington and the weather had cleared but I suspect conditions on the coast were unchanged.
14th October Redcar
There was no sign of a possible glaucous gull but I was content to photograph the bar-tailed godwits and sanderlings in the sunshine.
19th October Hartlepool
I went for one particular bird: a black redstart that had been seen around the old Friarage building on the Headland. The old Friarage Manor House was the workhouse from the late 1770s and became part of a hospital from 1865. The hospital was built around the manor house which dates from the 1600s. In 1967, it became known as St Hilda's having previously been called Hartlepool's Hospital as it served both Hartlepool and West Hartlepool. The hospital itself was demolished in 1987 leaving behind the derelict manor house which is now undergoing some restoration work.
It took several walks back to the manor house as I wandered the headland on foot before I got a photo of the black redstart although I had seen it briefly several times. Here it is.
A rock pipit showed well on the rocks [where else!]
Meanwhile at the Putting Green were many thrushes - black-billed blackbirds, song thrushes and lots of redwings.
A grey wagtail at Borough Hall [along with raindrops].
A skittish olive-backed pipit was seen at various sites around the headland and this resulted in crowds of elderly men scampering all over the place like panicking young rabbits. I saw it briefly on the rugby field before it dropped into long grass over by the Moor Terrace wall. I did photograph a pipit on the old manor house scaffolding but even in the poor light I can tell it wasn't the o-b pipit.