THE sight of a rare bird species set bird watchers twitching when it flew off course and landed on the Headland.
Around 40 birders descended on the Borough Hall area to catch a glimpse of the yellow browed warbler.
A handful of the birds landed on the Hartlepool coast as they migrated for the winter from Siberia thousands of miles away.
Twitchers hoped even rarer birds might also follow the same course and looked in gardens through their binoculars.
Billingham birder Colin Dodsworth, 43, said: “They are rare but not mega rare. There was about five of them by the end of the day around the putting green and Borough Hall area.
“They are the flag bearers of more rare autumn migrants coming into the country.
“They breed over the summer in Siberia and migrate to South East Asia, places like India.
“They are a bit off course to be turning up in Hartlepool but you can get a weather course that blows them slightly westwards until they hit the east coast.”
Colin, who works as a gardener, thanked Headland residents for being so friendly and accommodating to the birders.
He said: “They are always so tolerant and friendly even though we are looking in their gardens. They often come out and ask what we are looking at and have a chat with us.”