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Teesside Revisited

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Above and right Grey Plover, this beautiful bird was alone among many Lapwing and 150 Redshank. Unfortunately the bird was distant but it did stand out among all the other birds.
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Above: Black Tailed Godwits, I personally don't see many of these on my travels or maybe I'm just not observant enough. This flock was quite mobile for about an hour before settling on the mudflats just near the seals at seal bridge, Greatham creek, on the A178. There is a new car park a few hundred feet before the bridge and new footpaths with superb disabled access to the viewing screens mentioned in a previous post.

Over the road to the right is a new walkway that takes you down to the Seaton on Tees channel where there is a hide but no public access to the hide I'm afraid. From here you can walk south through a scrub for about three quarters of a mile. You have Greatham creak to your left and every time I've been seals have followed me down the creek to the open water.

If you are prepared to be a little more adventurous you can walk with the creek to your right down a narrow spit of land. This gives you views of Greatham creek to your right and the vast set of pools and scrubland to your left called Greenabella Marsh. Here we found
Greenshank and Avocet and a large concentration of Little Egret with at least 11 birds visible with the naked eye. The Avocet were the first I have seen this year and always for me ring in the spring.

As you drive up to this area and just before the RSPB reserve at Saltholm is Cowpen Marsh, this open expanse of marshland is always worth a look for passing raptors and owls of both Barn, Tawny and Short Eared variety. There are a couple of pull ins where you can stop and have a look but the owls are nearly always seen from the A1185 near Cowpen Bewley Woodland Park. This is left at the roundabout just past the fire station after Saltholm.

Now, Saltholm for me has never been about birds so much as the cafe and now the cafe does not produce breakfasts, yes you heard right, does not produce breakfasts, has little to offer. That is unless you want to see the most
ridiculous waste of money turret hide in the world of grumpy birding. OOOO I'm told by my wife that the shop is superb for gifts for said grumpy git, how many cups does a birder need? At least six I'm reliably told.
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Above: Greenshank.
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Above: Little Egret
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Above: Avocets

Below: Red Brested Merganser.
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These are not great photos but they are unmistakably Red Brested Merganser and once again I do not see many of these birds around.

Long bodied ducks with a thin bill and a punk rock haircut, unmistakable in their look and their determination to always move forwards with hair flowing in the wind.
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