SO IT WAITED ONE MONTH for me to go and see it. Mark Varley and I paid a visit to the long-staying Eastern Black Redstart at Skinningrove in Cleveland today. It is strange that I’d never been here before, even when I lived in the northeast. I guess it was in a gap between Saltburn and Robin Hood’s Bay and never hosted a rare bird in that time. It is actually quite a strange little village too. The redstart was incredibly tame and we were told it had been fed mealworms for the last few days, mind you I recall one like this from last week in Oman. It might be a character trait? As far as I can see this was the eighth of the eleven, which have now occurred in the UK (Cayton Bay, North Yorkshire Nov 2016, Hartlepool Headland, Cleveland Nov 2016, Donna Nook, Lincs Oct 2016, Skinningrove, Cleveland Oct 2016, Easington, E Yorks Oct 2016, Scalby, N Yorks Nov 2014, St Mary’s, Scilly Nov 2014, Holy Island, Northumberland Nov 2011, Foreness Point, Kent Nov 2011, Wells, Norfolk Nov 2003, Dungeness, Kent Nov 1981) and part of an influx that parallels the Siberian Accentors. I’d been so busy before my Oman tour that I couldn’t find the time to go for it and I had also dipped out on the Easington bird, sleeping in the car at Spurn for that one too! We saw five male birds of this form, phoenicuroides, in Oman and I consoled myself with taking a good look at some of them so I count myself very lucky to have another chance to see one in the UK like this! Split or not it is a fine-looking bird!