This weekend I had a very VERY rare weekend to myself, with no Ringing or CCG stuff going on at all. Saturday was spent doing housey/gardeney stuff and generally spending some time with Maria, but Sunday I actually took the opportunity to go out and do a bit birding!!! Something that is getting all too rare these days. So I had a lovely couple of hours down at Teesside, visiting a few old familiar sites. The days highlights included catching up with the Iceland/Kumleins Gull at Hartlepool Headland, seeing the lovely Black Redstart at Newburn, and seeing 4 Pintails at Saltholme, one of my absolute favourite Ducks. I ended the day with my annual visit to Ward Jackson Park to marvel at one of the most joyous sights of the birding world, the Ring Necked Parakeets. I know they obviously dont belong here, and they are probably one day going to be an utter nightmare, but I absolutely adore seeing these flying freely in our local parks. It looks so wrong but somehow feels so right!!!