Trip Report – North Gare & Seaton Snook 18/2/24

Once again the day was dry, with sun and blue skies, but this time without the lazy wind of nearby neighbour Hartlepool Headland (see previous). So that was why that it was 26 happy birders that met in the car park at the end of North Gare Road. Perfect.

North Gare is one of the three sandy beaches along the County Durham coast near Seaton Carew, and, backed by sand dunes, forms part of the Teesmouth National Nature reserve. It also forms the northern shore of the mouth of the River Tees.

Looking round prior to setting off, the Group was very pleased to see a male Stonechat, sitting on a nearby post that was being used as a lost-glove stand.  Not far away his partner could be found, and she was so interested in the humans that she sat still for the cameras.

The Group set off through the dunes, avoiding any stray balls as the route passed through a golf course, and walked towards the North Gare Pier which stretches for about 250 yards into the sea.  This provided the sight of Skylarks (with their familiar sound), a large flock of Starlings, Crows, and Blackbirds.

On reaching the North Gare pier area, a pleasing sight was a large flock of Twite, who were just as obliging for cameras and binoculars as the Stonechat, and stayed near the Group for quite some time. Out across the water, there was a bevy (non-technical term) of grey seals basking in the warmth of the sun. On the way back, the sand dunes were exchanged for the beach, which gave a chance for a pleasant walk and to enjoy a good chat with friends old and new.

Bird List

Reed Bunting – Little Egret – Mallard – Wigeon – Skylark – Starling – Stonechat – Pheasant – Great Crested Grebe – Cormorant – Black-headed Gull – Carrion Crow – Blackbird – Kestrel – Long-tailed Duck – Goldfinch – Meadow Pipit – Lapwing – Coot – Wigeon – Curlew – Wood Pigeon – Herring Gull – Common Gull – Shag – Wren – Oystercatcher – Twite – Shelduck

Other – Grey Seal – Colt’s Foot (wild flower) – Springtail (Collembola family – Collembolans are omnivorous, free-living organisms that prefer moist conditions – wet sand would do !) – Caterpillar (awaiting identification)

Credits – Words from Elaine, List from Jenny

PhotosHeader and 1st three images by Elaine – 4th and 5th by Mark, and 6th by Ken