My first twitch of the year saw me heading off yesterday morning for Newholm, near Whitby, to see the Black-throated Thrush. I got there at around 11 30am and was hardly surprised when I found that it had not been seen for 2 hours - not since a cat had literally come within a whisker of getting its claws into a Siberian breakfast.
No sooner had I started to get that sinking feeling, the thrush landed in the garden right in front of me. Jostled amongst the birding paparazzi I managed to grab some video.
There was a good selection of other birds in the garden including blue, great, coal, marsh and long-tailed tit.
For the keen bunch of Geordie birders who had arrived at dawn, their reward was a Barn Owl that obligingly landed on a post next to where they were parked. A local resident said that it's a regular at dawn and dusk. While having a crack with the Geordies, one of them asked if I had seen the Little Auk. Answering "No, where is it?", they pointed to the hedge behind me. Sure enough, there in the hedge was a Little Auk!
The fun wasn't over yet, and a number of the group headed off to the South Gare near Redcar to see the Black Redstart and Snow Bunting. I drove right to the end of the Gare and immediately a large flock of 50+ Snow Bunting lifted from the beach. With several scopes now set-up in various directions 3 Red-throated Divers were quickly picked up including a couple just off the point.
A wander to the estuary side of the Gare found the Black Redstart feeding along the rocky shore. Job done :)