On Saturday John and I headed down to Teeside for our first outing of the year. Whilst not having any specific target there was quite a few birds to be on the lookout for although the highlight of the day turned out to be none of them. As we were sitting in the main hide at RSPB Saltholme the majority of the birds took to the air and scattered and then a small raptor landed on a post about 60m away. My god it was a Merlin and whilst I had seen a few 1 or 2 sec glimpses of a few in the past with the words "Its a Merlin" normally only being spoken as something vanished out of view this one sat on the post, albeit a bit distant, for some 11mins 11secs. I already had my video out so it only took a couple of secs to start filming from start to finish whilst I viewed it through a scope.
An exceptionally good day was had with the Fishcake and Chips as good as ever from Seaton Carew and the leftovers being used to attract the odd bird or two.