Monday, 21 October 2013

A Three Tick Day

With the news that the Pallid Swift had roosted on St. Hilda's church I arrived at Hartlepool Headland before first light. With no sign of the bird roosting by the clock, as expected, it was looking grim. Bang on 8 am the bird dropped from under an eave and shot over our heads. It turned and gave great views as it flew towards the Heugh Battery. Tick one.

It was then down to the Croft Gardens to search for the Western Bonelli's Warbler. Birds could be seen flitting about some bushes, but at first only Chiffchaff and Goldcrest could be picked out. A Redwing dropped in and then a Sparrowhawk shot through quieting everything. I picked up a pale warbler flitting right and out in the open was the Bonelli's. Brief, but cracking views before the bird disappeared again into the dense foliage. Tick two.

At the Heugh Battery the Pallid Swift was performing. Swooping low, it was just a shame the light was so poor for photos.

Pallid Swift
After a quick, but unsuccessful hunt for the Dusky Warbler I headed north before the weather closed in.
I arrived at Longhoughton and after a short walk the Siberian Stonechat was seen immediately and gave great views showing down to 20 feet. Tick three.
Siberian Stonechat
Showing the rump
A call in at Prestwick Carr gave no sign of the Great Grey Shrike, but I did see 2 Buzzard, 2 Willow Tit and a couple of Chiffchaff were calling.
Not a bad day.


  1. Now thats what i call birding, better than 12 days on the scillies ;) lol

  2. Will get my American Redstart next year!