Sunday, 14 March 2010

Seal Sands and Short-eared Owls

I had a bit of a mooch around Teesside yesterday staring with Saltholme RSPB in the late morning. A few waders around, mainly Curlew and Redshank although I did see 6 Black-tailed Godwits on one of the islands in the Wildlife Watchpoint pool. A weasel in front of the hide at Paddy's Pool was the only thing of note, apart from the BH Gull numbers building up. Good views of a hovering Kestrel and a statuesque Grey Heron in the wet grassland. Back Saltholme providing a sub-adult Hooded Merganser, visible on the rocks right outside of the hide and later being more secretive in the channel. I was speaking to Toby Collett about this bird earlier in the WW hide and apparently there's a good chance that it is a male. Always nice to see a drake Pintail and yesterday was no exception.

A quick drop in at Dorman's Pool and Rec Pond, with Smew noted on the latter.

Next stop Seal Sands, although no Avocets or LRP just yet, although the odd Avocet has been seen this week. Quite quiet from the hide with the high tide. GC Grebe, no BN Grebe here. The hide was shared with the Laplanders, Mick and Sylvia Brennan and together we enjoyed three Short-eared Owls and a weasel. You can see some great photos of the owls by visiting their blog here:

Or my poor efforts here:

Short-eared Owl

Short-eared Owl

A quick second visit to Rec Pond allowed me to connect with the BN Grebe and also get more close views of a hunting Kestrel, albeit with the sun in my eyes. Oh, and another SEO!

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