Sunday, January 1, 2012

And so the yearlist 2012 commenced with a trip out to Hartlepool. Despite the heavy rain we picked up the Ring-necked Duck as we passed Cowpen Bewley. We then had a surprise as we headed along the coast when we picked up a Marsh Harrier on the deck, the latest ever Cleveland record! We then had a cracking time on the Headland in the company of the legend Chris Brown. Black-throated Diver, stacks of Red-throated Divers, Red-necked Grebe, Glaucous GullMediterranean Gull, Velvet Scoter and Peregrine were all good additions for the year. A melanistic House Sparrow and the leucistic Knot were also interesting to see. A total of 63 species and no Wren or Song Thrush or Collared Dove or Jackdaw.

The returning drake Ring-necked Duck back for its third winter. One of four drake Ring-necks seen today in the UK. (c) Richard Brown

One of the two Glaucous Gulls visiting the fish quay. There are currently 15 or so being reported each day in Britain. (c) Richard Brown

Returning from the heavy rain at Cowpen Bewley and into a warm car left the camera lens a bit steamy. Sadly that's when we picked up the Marsh Harrier so the photos are a bit rubbish. The cream-crown soon departed and headed out across the tip. Up until this year the latest Cleveland record was 3 December 2010 and the earliest 5 March 2007 and what was probably this bird was last seen on 27 December. (c) Richard Brown

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