I like Teesside. But which is best? There's only one way to find out. Birdguides......
I regret that my 'home'county was not my favourite yesterday. The pros of a visit to Teesside were building during the week - gulls, grebes, greenpeckers, avocets, owls and so on.
BUT, 120 miles of diesel, 2 hours spent in the car as opposed to in the field, Tyne Tunnel fees and to be fair, no certainty of success.
So four hours of local venues, on a cold, wet, breezy day (the weathermen failed yet again) with only one addition to this year's lists - Skylark. Along with the Willow Warbler, in my view the song of Alauda arvensis is synonymous with better weather, better light and better birding. So hearing one over the luxury accommodation at the south end of East Chev's North Pool was uplifting. And the two birders within - Sedgedunum Warbler and his pal - added some entertainment in an otherwise poor day. I had missed a Barn Owl by 10 minutes but their photos were superb.
Cresswell was busy with expected waterfowl and waders, the sea was an Eider-fest. Druridge Pools had changed little since my last visit and the sea there was Red-throated Divers-ville (c.25). Spital Burn was void of feathered frends, Bothal Pond had several contenders for Nordic Jackdaw, and Arcot had a nice drake Shoveler.
Later in the day, I had a look at the W-f Geese and sought the Smew (failed - but Birdforum tells me why).
And to cap it all, read BirdGuides for Cleveland for yesterday!