Monday, 25 January 2016

(Gull)den Moment in Hartlepool

Early Saturday morning we had the chance to do a bit of birding. It was a good chance to get the year list for the new year up so I really couldn't wait! We chose a place which could provide different habitats so we had a bigger chance of boosting the year list. We went up to the Cleveland area in hope of seeing some different bits and pieces.

We started our day in Hartlepool in hope of seeing definitely one of my favourite birds, the Shorelark. 3 had taken up residence on a small patch of waste ground just behind the Jewish Cemetery. Upon arrival there was quite a few birders looking and soon enough they helped put us onto the birds, a great start!!! They came pretty close which allowed us to get nice views of all 3.

After we decided to have a quick look around the Hartlepool Fish Quay where we managed to find 4 Guillemot on the water and on a small bit of shoreline we found a group of Oystercatcher and Curlew roosting together. Next to the waders was 3 Eiders also roosting on a wall. Once we could find no more we headed to the Marina in search of a Glaucous Gull. Once we arrived we started scanning through the masses of Gulls which surrounded the Marina. We started our search at Jacksons Landing which seemed to be the birds favoured spot. We scanned a few Gulls at the other side of the water and pretty quickly the Glauc came into view! It stood out like a sore thumb! After a while of flying around the bird then eventually landed on the water but the problem was that it was miles away! It was very close to the other side of the Marina so we quickly drove round praying it was still there and thankfully it was! It was walking around the car park only a couple of feet away!!! An incredible experience!! In the Marina was also around 7 Red Breasted Mergansers.

Glaucous Gull
After that incredible moment we headed to Seaton Snook in search of some Twite. On the way down we saw a very nice Stonechat sitting on a fence. Just as we were reaching the end of the walk some of the Twite flew across the water and landed right next to us! They were feeding on a small patch only a few feet away! They didn't seem bothered by us one bit! Of the shore some people also pointed out a Great Northern Diver to us which was also pretty nice. On the way home we also stopped off at Seal Sands just to quickly tick of a few bits of Wildfowl.

A top day with everything showing incredibly well, its a day I will never forget!! At the end of the day the yearlist ended on 70 species which I am quite happy with!


  1. Nice photos Ellis. Superb day out and it was good to meet some nice people as well as birds.

  2. Some great birds to start the year with.