As there was no sign initially of the Scops Owl in County Durham I went up onto Seaford Head. The highlight here was a Treecreeper and a Lesser Whitethroat at Hope Gap, the former being only my third Treecreeper sighting on the Head. When I reached signal again, the Scops Owl had just been found, so I phoned Jake and we were soon on a six hour drive up to Ryhope, near Sunderland. The traffic was fairly heavy in places but we made it with plenty of good light remaining and enjoyed viewing the Scops Owl from many different angles to try and get a full view without any obstacles in the way. It was a superb bird to see, especially when a train went past that made it stretch it wings and look around. The drive back was smooth but it still took six hours.
Today (29th) on Seaford Head produced a Firecrest in Harry's Bush, and in the Cuckmere the juv. Curlew Sandpiper remained, a Grey Plover flew south and 2 Whinchat were the highlights of the few grounded migrants that were present.
Treecreeper at Hope Gap - a coastal Treecreeper is always worthy of further scrutiny, however the large 'step' is very obvious here as well as the very short bill and clean white underparts.
Eurasian Scops Owl at Ryhope, County Durham (phone-scoped attempts)
The Scops Owl tree next to the railway line
Curlew Sandpiper again in the Cuckmere
Grey Plover over the scrape
Whinchat along the AGP pool