Saturday, 19 October 2013

Swift Trip to Hartlepool Headland

Took a drive up to Hartlepool Headland this afternoon. The main target was the Pallid Swift but I knew there was a couple of other decent birds about if I had time.

The Swift was seen pretty much as soon as I got out the car. I spent an hour or so watching it as it hawked low down over the roofs of the houses around the headland. Just as I was leaving a Sparrowhawk made an attempt at it, missing by only an inch or so, was incredibly close to GAME OVER for it! All of that went on about 12ft over my head! Incredible views! I managed a couple of record shots on my camera (below).

Whilst there I spent some time chatting to Richard Taylor who gave me some directions to the Jewish Cemetery so I could go and look for the elusive Dusky Warbler later in the day. However first up was the Western Bonelli's Warbler and a very nice chip butty. As I enjoyed my chips the warbler was seen, but not by me. Another half an hour or so and it again re-appeared in the same tree (which also held several Blackcap and Chiffchaff), I only managed one quick record shot, but at least you can just about tell what it is! It was rather hard to keep with it due to the Sycamore and Poplar leaves blowing around all the time. I think Richard mentioned this was a first for Cleveland - so a very good record, and a great one for my Cleveland list!

Using Richards directions I found myself outside the Jewish Cemetery; a graveyard and a long line of cars but no birders in sight! I got my boots on and straight away herd a repeated loud 'teck-ing' coming from the bush right next to where I'd randomly parked! It was the Dusky Warbler! I walked over to the bush and immediately saw it, right in front of me! A brief but brilliant view as it came right out into the open before getting spooked by a person on a bike with a dog, it then flew into the next bit of cover where it stopped calling and wasn't seen subsequently to my knowledge! It was then that I noticed a birder so I relayed my info and put the news out. It appears I was incredibly lucky with seeing this bird at all, let alone so quickly after getting to the site! A great end to the day!

Speaking of great ends to days, yesterday I had a bit of a nightmare getting a puncture that ended up ruining my days work, though finding 10 Jack Snipe on a single pool made me feel a bit better!

Pallid Swift

Pallid Swift

Pallid Swift

Pallid Swift

Sparrowhawk - eye on the prize

Western Bonelli's Warbler

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a good day to me! Its always odd birding in a cemetery! Where did you find 10 jack snipe?!