This morning I went to Hartlepool Headland to look for a Western Bonelli's Warbler that was spotted yesterday in the Croft Gardens. I arrived at approximately 8:05am and there were already two local birdwatchers checking the trees. There were birds in many of the trees, busy feeding having just arrived after flying the North Sea. Blackcaps, Mealy Redpolls, Goldcrests, Chiffchaffs and Brambling were busy collecting aphids in the Sycamore trees. Whilst checking each tree, a Sparrowhawk circled overhead and within a few minutes the bird was found. I could see part of the warbler as it moved around the tree, hoping from branch to branch. In time the bird appeared and I got a good view before it moved on to the next tree. Looking the same as a Eastern Bonelli's that I saw last year in Greece it had apparently been calling yesterday so the identification could be confirmed. As I stood in front of the Borough Hall a Great Spotted Woodpecker flew overhead calling before stopping high up in a tree. Unfortunately time had ticked on and it was time to head off to work and so I left Hartlepool.
The Western Bonelli's Warbler was a lifer and number 449 on my Western Palearctic Bird List.