Dave Scattergood asked me if I fancied the 180 mile run up to South Shields after his morning birdwalk in Staffordshire, in order to see the Eastern Crowned Warbler up there. We set off in pouring rain at about 12.30, and it chucked it down virtually all the way up there. With over an hour's worth of lost time because of stop-start traffic jams on the A1, I was beginning to wonder if we would ever get there before it got dark, but we arrived shortly after 16.00. It was still throwing it down when we entered South Shields, but as we entered the car park, the clouds parted and the sun shone brightly. I managed a few 'record shots' of the Eastern Crowned Warbler (I was never going to get better than this with my equipment at this distance), but I did not manage any shots of the Yellow-browed Warbler that was also there, although I did see it.