Outing to Teesmouth 23rd September 2017

Outing to Teesmouth
23rd September 2017
Leaders D.I.Griss and J.Turner

The party gathered at Abbey Road on a day that was much better than forecast with regular patches of sunshine. We travelled to Saltholme where there were additions which brought numbers up to 15. After driving to the North Gare car park we started the walk out to the breakwater. the botanists found several interesting plants in the area after crossing the golf course most notable of which was flowering Yellow-wort. In this same area the ornithologists flushed a Skylark. Further on the only wader on the lagoon to the right of the path proved to be a Bar-tailed Godwit. Probably the best bird of the day. On the sea we saw two flocks of ducks which were difficult to identify but one was probably Teal and the other Wigeon. Also present were a Great Crested Grebe, Cormorants, Curlew, Oystercatcher and a Tern which was not identified. On the way back to the cars two Kestrels were seen fighting.
We drove back to RSPB Saltholme for lunch after which most members of the party finished in the Saltholme Pool hide where there was i nice variety of birds. On the way to the hide we passed the garden which has been planted to attract butterflies. There and in the adjacent walled garden were 26 Red Admirals and one Speckled Wood Butterflies.
From the hide we were able to see A Black Swan, which was obviously an escaped bird, Barnacle Geese, Pintail, Gadwall, Wigeon, and Teal among other ducks. The waders on view were Curlew, Lapwing, Black-tailed Godwit, Redshank, Ruff and a Common Snipe which crouched in front of the hide and gave very good views of the effectiveness of its camouflage.
In the mean time the botanists were struck by the changes in the vegetation, which is not managed, beside the path to the hide which was becoming less diverse.
Most then gathered for a discussion on the day over a cup of tea before we dispersed at c 16.oohrs.
Thanks to John Turner for the bird list and Fal. Sarker for the botany list.