With the mobile going ape it was hard waiting for the tribe to sort itself out for the razz up to Cleveland for the male Western Orphean Warbler today; by 3pm Er Neill had already arranged a lift for 3,575 people, and of course they can't all fit in one car (not without a trailer anyway).
So with the temperature still scorchio I picked up Bazzo and Mickey "Boy" Stocker in the Baby Black Death and we pushed on north ahead of the rest of the crew at 3.45pm.
Scary pager messages of the bird leaving one of Hartlepool's bowling greens (not the White Throated Robin one, the other one) and disappearing into gardens went unheeded as we sped north and pulled up before 6.45pm by the seaward bowling green, where a mass of twitchers (many big names, many big scopes) were crowded around the green scanning a holly bush on the other side of the sward.
The Orphean Warbler was there, and frankly knackered, sitting motionless, save for the odd shiver (see pic at the top of the entry), with its head hidden by leaves.
I was expecting it to fall off its perch at any moment.
And that's how it stayed for nearly an hour - there was something tremendously appropriate about a bird this rare baring its bum to UK birding glitterati, but as anyone who has seen this species in southern Europe knows, an Orphean is just a mass of fluffed up grey feathers unless you see its head.
A few glimpses of its black crown and ear coverts, white throat and heavy dark grey hooked bill and weird eye (pale even at range, but other times it just seemed solid dark), were reassuring, but it took the arrival of the massed ranks of the Hartlepool Asbo Brigade to prompt activity on the part of the mega.
The H.A.B. are armed with skateboards, but not to whizz about on - nope, they bash fences around the bowling green with 'em.
They'll probably never know how close to death they came, but their anti-social behaviour woke the Orphean and it hopped round on its perch, showing off that lovely head pattern before flying across the green into the deeper cover of a Sycamore.
Looked really big for a warbler in flight.
Resisting the temptation to execute "monkey-hanging" retribution on the members of the H.A.B., it was time to head back home across a sun-sinking A1 and A66.
Great bird - thanks to those who got the news of this marvellous critter out so fast (what a bird to find in yer mist net!), and organised access to the bowling green (although it would have been more entertaining if a match was on at the time).
Job done - the Headland scores again.
Eyes to the skies everyone, eyes to the skies...