Our first stop was the outer bowling green on Hartlepool Headland where the stunning male Red-spotted Bluethroat was giving superb views down to just a few metres at times. Only my second in Britain and first view on the ground after one in song flight at Welney in 2011.
Before the reserve at Saltholme opened we had a look at the flooded fields on Seaton Common north of the east of the Zinc Works Road where a male Grey-headed Wagtail had been present for a view days. The very smart Wagtail was still present and showed well through the scope before flying off south with a White Wagtail.
Next was the RSPB reserve at Saltholme. We were quickly onto one of the adult Whiskered Terns sat on a tern raft in front of the visitor centre. We walked around the edge of the lake and the two Whiskered Terns were giving some very close fly-bys. I was surprised how inconspicuous they were sat in among the Common Terns yet they really stood out in flight.
Also on the reserve were 5 Spoonbills (including a bird with German colour-rings), 2 first-summer Little Gulls, my first Common Sandpiper of the year and at least a dozen Avocets.
Once we reached Danby Beacon on the North York Moors it took a while for the trip of 10 Dotterels to be found but once they were the birds were very confiding if you sat still.
Back in Northumberland Druridge Pools felt very quiet apart from a drake Garganey from the south facing hide.