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5:48pm 05-01-2019
Today's saltholme highlights:

Several people saw the hen harrier on the main reserve today. Apparently it did a fine fly-by of the cafe around lunchtime. Also seen a numerous other locations on the reserve and across the North Tees marshes.

My personal highlight was the long-eared owls. Initially thought there were three, then realised a 4th was in the usual area when it started preening: 2 were tricky to see, and the other two were significantly more challenging, but that's the most I've seen this winter. Also had a couple of bullfinches in that area, plus other assorted passerines. Two short-eared owls were also reported.

Elsewhere, a GS woodpecker (male) landed by the estates compound, shouted at me then flew in the direction of the Phil Stead hide. At least 50 fieldfares and a couple of redwings, with personal sightings by the compound, near the visitor centre, and along the path to Saltholme Hide.

In last 20 minutes at Saltholme hide, highlights included 3 red-breasted mergansers, four goldeneye and half a dozen pintail.

Finally, there was another excellent starling murmuration.
6:33pm 03-01-2019
Neil Hutton
Three long-eared owls, two short-eared owls, a hen harrier and a bittern gave visitors plenty to see, and if interested tick off for the year, at Saltholme reserve today, in cold but bright and still conditions. The short-eared owls were seen quartering near Haverton gate, but also from the Pools hide. The bittern was seen to fly into reeds on the allotment pool near the cattle grid, and remained visible in the reeds for a short while before vanishing into the reedbed. Elsewhere on the reserve pintails were seen on Saltholme west and the top tank, and goldeneye were present on the main lake and back Saltholme. There were spectacular numbers of golden plover and lapwing on Saltholme West, which frequently flew up to give attractive views as they caught the sun. Fieldfare were everywhere and a great spotted woodpecker graced the feeders at the watchpoint for a while. Many thanks to all visitors and guides who contributed to this report.
11:28am 03-01-2019
Adrienne S
7 whooper swans at Scaling Dam 11.20
10:26am 03-01-2019
Adrienne S
Mistle thrush guarding the berries next to St Columba's church by Sainsburys Middlesbrough
10:15am 03-01-2019
Adrienne S
Waxwings across road from Sainsburys in trees by Royal Mail Office 10.15
6:04pm 02-01-2019
Adrienne and Pete S
Wednesday highlights at Saltholme on 2 January 2019
The cold wind blew today, but it couldn't dampen the enthusiasm of the many visitors and year listers.
As befits a wintry day, fieldfare and redwing were filling the hedgerows and blue tits, great tits, greenfinch, goldfinch, dunnock, stock doves, mallards and moorhens were feeding greedily on and around the feeders. Stonechats and reed buntings were seen on the paths near Saltholme hide and at Haverton.
For year listers, the green wing teal showed well at Dormans and the main reserve lakes hosted red breasted merganser, pintail, goldeneye, wigeon, teal, shoveler, tufted duck, gadwall, little grebe and little egret. A few dunlin were seen on the Saltholme causeway, as well as golden plover, lapwing, and curlew. There were glimpses of linnet and pied wagtail.
Two long eared owls were present at the roost and two short eared owls were seen hunting at Haverton mid afternoon.
My two highlights of the day involved aggression, though. In the morning, two peregrines rested for a while on the wet grassland, visible from the Saltholme screen. They then flew across the lakes scattering lapwing skyward before mounting a sustained, but ultimately unsuccessful attack on a feisty little egret.
In the late afternoon, a short eared owl was flying above Haverton carrying prey in its talons. A kestrel began harrying it and its persistence paid off as the owl dropped it prey and the kestrel caught it in mid air. Spectacular.
A happy new year to everyone and many thanks for all the help and information from visitors and other volunteers.
4:55pm 02-01-2019
Maurice local
Green winged teal Dormands 2.30
Spotted redshank. Saltires 2.45
9:13pm 31-12-2018
Mike Tucker
Barn owl hunting the middle grass area of Graystones road at 8 .30 pm and still there on the return journey 20 mins later. Please beware motorists.
7:44pm 31-12-2018
mick and sylvia
Rough Legged Buzzard from Chevrons at Sleddale today 31.12.18 at 14.08
9:13pm 30-12-2018
David Miller
Short visit to Seaton common this morning, short eared owl x2 hunting and sat on fence post only a matter of 10 metres away from the car. Pair of stonechat also obliging with good views. Curlew and various geese also noted
5:25pm 30-12-2018
Marty Lowery
After a long absence from Saltholme we were treated to a great morning with Dave and Don who not only took us to see the LEO but made the walk down fascinating with sightings and twitching tales we never expected. Thanks guys, we had a great time and will be back soon. Also a thank you to the chap we met at reception who introduced us and got us on our way.
For Damian:
the bomb hole is just past the last building on the left (think its the Diving club) as you drive down the gare towards the lighthouse.
5:05pm 30-12-2018
Re Damian. The bomb hole is near the lifeboat station at south gare
3:54pm 30-12-2018
Damian Woodgate
My friend from Leeds would like to know we're the Bomb hole is. I thought it was Bran Sands for the reported Black Guiiemott
11:26am 28-12-2018
Egret on premier rd pally park...on wall of beck
5:26pm 26-12-2018
Pete Simcock
Boxing Day at Saltholme.
A bright day, made the colours of the wildfowl stand out on the lakes at Saltholme. There were large numbers of wigeon and teal, as well as over 60 shelducks. Other ducks included pochard, gadwall, shoveler, tufted ducks and pintail. Waders present were large numbers of lapwings, and curlews, with a few redshanks.
The highlights of the day were the owls - three species: the Long Eared Owl in the roost in the Clarence Scrub, a Barn Owl and a Short Eared Owl, quartering the wet grasslands.
There were also large flocks of winter thrushes, mainly Fieldfare with a few Redwings present, flying from Hawthorn bush to bush in search of berries. The Hen Harrier was first seen at Dormans , before flying over the reed beds at the Phil Stead Hide.
Finally as the sun set a large murmuration of Starlings was seen near the substation, flying and wheeling in the sky for a good 10 minutes.
My thanks to the hide guides and the visitors for their observations.
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