Picture: Desert Wheatear at Whitby, 4th January
1st January, 2018 – Etherley Moor
First bird of the year was Woodpigeon (1), followed closely by Blackbird (1), Tree Sparrow (3), House Sparrow (10+) and Chaffinch (2).
1st January, 2018 – Teesside
A Green-winged Teal was on West Saltholme with Common Teal (20+) and Pintail (10+). A drake Goosander and several Ring-necked Parakeets were best birds at Ward Jackson Park. A Lapland Bunting was with Linnets (70+) on grassland between Newburn Bridge and Seaton Carew. Purple Sandpiper (5), Sanderling (10+), Knot (70+), and Mediterranean Gull (1) were at Newburn Bridge. A Green Sandpiper was seen from Phil Stead Hide at Saltholme. A total of 69 species were seen during the day.
4th January, 2018 – Whitby & Saltholme
The reported Desert Wheatear was seen in the field between the Abbey and the car park. A Kestrel and three Mistle Thrush were also there. We stopped off at Scaling Dam during the return journey and got good views of Ruff (3), Red Grouse (1), Hybrid American Wigeon (1), Great Spotted Woodpecker (1), Tree Sparrow (3+), Greenfinch (1), Goldfinch (2), Chaffinch (3), etc. We then made the short journey to Danby Beacon, were we seen fifteen Snow Buntings and at least seven Red Grouse. The final stop of the day was RSPB Saltholme, where Water Rail (1), Brambling (1), Peregrine (1), Merlin (1), Barnacle Goose (40+) and Common (Mealy) Redpoll (1) were added to the day list.
5th January, 2018 – Northumberland
First stop was Stag Rocks and Budle Bay. Despite the heavy rain, we still managed to see Red-throated Diver (1), Red-breasted Merganser (1), Common Scoter (100c), Long-tailed Duck (15c), Shag (3+), Fulmar (2) and Razorbill (2). Next stop was East Chevington, which was very quiet. Best here was an Otter, a pair of Stonechat and a Song Thrush. A Great Northern Diver was at Widdrington Moor Lake. Druridge Pool was quiet (no sign of Water Pipits) and the final stop of the day was for Hawfinch at Morpeth (no joy).
6th January, 2018 – Teesside
Two Egyptian Geese were close to Haverton Pipe Line.
7th January, 2018 – Northumberland
Four Hawfinch were seen at Abbey Mill near Morpeth. The Great Northern Diver was still at Widdrington Moor Lake. A Water Pipit was seen from Budge Screen at Druridge Pools. Iceland Gull and Glaucous Gull were at Blyth. Dipped the Firecrest at Northumberland Park, early to mid-afternoon.