The last week saw me on a twitching marathon with great views obtained of the Red-flanked Bluetail at Minsmere, Brown Shrike in Staines & best of all, the Eastern Crowned Warbler in South Shields. Although none of the three birds produced good photographic opportunities, I enjoyed excellent scope views of all of them. The Red-flanked Bluetail was my second having enjoyed good views of Deryk's bird on the NW cliffs on Fair Isle at the end of September 2004. The Minsmere bird was characteristically illusive, staying deep in the quite extensive sluice bushes but did show well at fleeting intervals & was occasionally chased by an irritated Robin. The Brown Shrike was a bit distant when I turned up but thanks to Pete Newton who I met there, I enjoyed great scope views, my camera staying firmly on my shoulder. Friday saw a massive 5 hour twitch to South Shields with Alan Bull and Phil Harris. What a pleasure it was to arrive at the site & be able to immediately connect with the bird from the cliff-top. We had expected it to be a good bird but nothing prepared us for what was surely one, if not, THE best bird we have ever seen - it was a real mega - eastern delight, full-frame in the scope, but as you can see here, not in the camera! It was a happy 6.5 hour trip back to Suffolk, topped off with a late indian take-away.