May 11th: Hartlepool and Seaton Carew
I started at Hartlepool Headland which seemed very quiet. I spotted a couple of waders further along on the rocks so I drove in their direction. Delighted to find they weren't curlews but a pair of whimbrel.
Seaton Carew beach has been the new home for the local little tern colony for a couple of years now and it is well monitored and protected. Most birds had gone fishing but there were a few little terns around...
...and common terns at Holme Fleet.
May 12th: Sutton Bank in very gloomy conditions. Two turtle doves seen but not photographed as they didn't linger thanks to disturbance by innocent visitors who walked past at the wrong moment! I settled for a yellowhammer.
May 15th: Tophill Low
I walked to North Marsh hide confident I would see reed warblers from the hide. No sign. A kingfisher did land just in front of me however and I was very happy to see him.
May 24th: Tophill Low again. No kingfisher but a rather shy reed warbler was seen. Otherwise quiet. A pair of mute swans were parading their young family along the channel.
A female orange tip [no orange on the female] posed for me as did a confident song thrush as I walked through the woodland.
May 25th: Blacktoft Sands for an afternoon. Canada geese can look very bulky when they're coming straight at you!
Old man with a stick