The town of Hartlepool has got a good reputation for attracting rare birds, White-throated Robin & Western Orphean Warbler of recent times. So, when 3 rare birds were seen on Saturday we got a trip up there organised. We left Newhey at 6am with Steve K at the wheel with myself and Steve & Chris B making up the team. At 8am we reached the famous headland and birders were watching something. We quickly joined the 20+ and watched a Western Bonelli’s Warbler as it fed in amongst the autumnal trees in front of Borough Hall. Then a look up towards St Hilda’s church and great views of the Pallid Swift that had been in the area a couple of day’s were had as it left it’s roost on the church. What a start to the day! After a meeting with a group of Greater Manchester birders who had also made the trip, we met other people who told us about the Dusky Warbler near the Jewish Cemetery. Upon arrival at the cemetery area a single birder told us the news that the warbler was showing fairly well and was easily located by its Stonechat like calls. After a bit of searching, pretty good sightings of the bird were had, then as lots more birders arrived it promptly disappeared ! We had been lucky with this bird, our quick move had paid off and it was a lifer for 2 of our team as was the Pallid Swift. Now back to the St Hilda’s area for second’s of the warbler and the swift and they did not let us down and Steve B got some pics. Not much doing on the sea and after an RBA check it was found that the Siberian Stonechat was still present at Scalby Nab just north of Scarborough. Another lifer for one of the team, so, after a nice drive past Scaling Dam and over the moors we reached Scalby. A climb up and into a valley led by Maurice Jones from Fylde followed and the Siberian Stonechat was soon found. The bird performed really well down to 5 yards at times and photographic for those with camera’s, mine was buried in the car boot! We spent about half an hour with the Siberian Stonechat whilst it entertained us with it’s aerial sorties, cracking little bird! Our next call was Filey Dams N.R. were about 3 Sparrowhawks were being constantly harassed by the local corvids for about 5 minutes, good entertainment. A fellow birder then pointed out a Yellow-Browed Warbler to us, this bird performed also very well and close too! Time was pushing on and we had had an excellent day so we headed for home, but a problem around Stamford Bridge (no not the football ground) with a few long tail backs slowed our progress home. We reached Newhey by 5-30pm and all really enjoyed a great day’s birding.
Dave O.

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