Friday 2nd January
It was late on Thursday night when I got an unexpected text from Jez Robson offering me a lift to Cleveland. So plans to bird the Tame valley were put on hold. We arrived at the Cowpen Bewley landfill site at just after 9.30am and joined a group of 15 or so birders scanning the landfill . The gulls were distant I struggled to get on an adult Glaucous gull but there was no sign of any other white winged gulls. We were resigning ourselves to 'the long wait' when word that the bird was in a ploughed field up the road brought a unanimous response. Birders arrived from everywhere as the bird was quickly located at close range on a freshly ploughed strip. Just as I got on the bird the flock got up all except the object of our interest There it stood all on its own a stunning adult Glaucous winged Gull. There was no doubt about the Id. and pagers were Megaring the news as we watched - what a great start to 2009.
After a coffee and Mayo chicken bun thing we started back breaking the journey at Rufford Abbey to try and find Hawfinch. There had been 9 reported but we only saw one and that was perched high up. Close by at Edwinstowe a flock of 34 Waxwings adorned TV aerials.The only other bird of note was a Red Kite which flew close to the A1 somewhere in North Yorkshire. Many thanks to Jez for driving.