Monday, 24 October 2016

A little bit of what you fancy....

275 Little Gulls and some quality Ducks passed Whitburn Obs by 11.20 today. I was joined by Ian a blogger fan who travelled far to sample the obs experience, Hoggie and the newly retired Peter Bell who has yet to be christened with a printable blog name
Things started very quiet then i noticed a few very distant Little Gulls, i fancied a few more and the swarm arrived circling above the incoming Ferry. More were on the sea put up from time to time but never counted and thankfully 20 or so showed really well going north close in
A Drake Scaup and 2 Velvets were memorable  near the end of the watch ensuring i will be back for more tomorrow
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 24th October 07.20-11.20 NE2 cloud 6/8

Common Gull 118n 8s
Black h Gull 112n 12s
Red th Diver 9n 6s
Eider 24n 2s
Curlew 2n
Wigeon 50n
Fulmar 1n 1s
Shag 6n 1s
Common Scoter 6n 1s
Manxie 1n
Little Gull 275n
Bar t Godwit 1n
Bonxie 4n 6s
Arctic Skua 2n 1s
Porpoise 1
Teal 9n
Skylark 2n
Tufted Duck 1s
Scaup 1n cracking close in drake
Velvet Scoter 2s drks

Sunday, 23 October 2016

One Hundred and Eighty.......

King Eider and a Pom Skua passed Whitburn Obs by 11.30 this morning. Magic Mark called the King Eider as it went north close inshore. Its a County Durham MEGA being only the second ever recorded, the first being in July 98. Six were in the obs to see this most royal of ducks. Well done Mark. It also brought my Obs year list to 180 species and still two months to go, it may be a struggle next year to better 2016's total

It was a quieter day as the North Easterly continued, and a little stronger than yesterday but the birds had dried up somewhat until the King went north
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 23rd October 07.20-11.30 NE3 cloud 8/8

Common Gull 46n 13s
Guillemot 1680n
Razorbill 1n
Black h Gull 56n 7s
Red th Diver15n 10s
Common Scoter 35n 4s
Tufted Duck 1n
Common Eider 15n
Manxie 3n
Bonxie 7n 5s
King Eider 1n 08.30 dr
Great n Diver 2s
Wigeon 1n
Goldeneye 1s
Shag 2n
Teal 3s
Pom Skua 1n ad
Cormorant 1n
Red br Merganser 1s
Dunlin 1n

Saturday, 22 October 2016

The long and the short of it.....

5 Long tailed Ducks and 4 Scaup passed Whitburn Obs by 11 this morning. Saint Mark joined me and we were surprised at the lack of observers for such a cracking sea watch. The Long-tailed Ducks were the stars of the show in perfect light. The Balearic was a close second, so dark it could have been a Sooty. Auk movement was up but no Terns today and another Long tailed Skua. Beat that in County Durham today if you can
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 22nd October 07.20-11.00 NE2-3 cloud 7/8

Common Gull 69n 11s
Black h Gull 128n 12s
Guillemot 1960n
Razorbill 3n 1s
Tufted Duck 1n
Wigeon 76n 17s
Common Scoter 134n 17s
Red th Diver 15n 10s
Fulmar 2n
Eider 15n
Grey Wagtail 2s
Long tailed Duck 3n 2s all drakes
Puffin 2n
Sooty Shearwater 2n
Bonxie 8n
Balearic Shearwater 1n 08.56
Red br Merganser 1s
Teal 6n 1s
Goldeneye 3n
Redshank 2n
Long t Skua 1n juv
Shag  2n 1s
Goosander 1s
Scaup 4n drakes
Little Gull 20n

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Swanning about.....

35 Whooper Swans and 2 Pom Skuas were the headline birds passed Whitburn Obs this morning. They were our first Whoopers of the autumn and a packed front row were all ooh's and ahh's as they give fantastic views. No Geese today but lots of birds to enjoy
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 20th October 07.20-11.45 N2 cloud 7/8

Black h Gull 71n 44s
Scan Herring Gull 6n 1s
Eider 9n 1s
Common Scoter 93n 24s
Basr t Godwit 1n
Curlew 2n
Red th Diver 10n 28s
Wigeon 81n
Bonxie 2n 5s
Redshank 1n 2s
Cormorant 4n 9s
Pom Skua 1n 1s
Teal 3n
Grey Wagtail 1s
Manxie 3n
Red br Merganser 3n
Sooty Shearwater 3n
Shag 1n 19s
Dunlin 15n
Black th Diver 1s
Shelduck 1s
Ringed Plover 12n
Arctic Skua 4n
Great n Diver 1n
Mallard 3s
Whooper Swan 35s (25 and 10)
Turnstone 2n
Long t Duck 1n
Fulmar 1n
Sandwich Tern 3s

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

North of the moon.......

Great northern Diver and a Med Gull passed Whitburn Obs by 11am this morning. A few Geese were moving but not yesterdays mass surge. Dave Foster was birding nearby and shouted in that some Pinks were going south inland i ran out to see them and asked directions, just north of the moon he said. Which was a bit strange as it was 10am but quite correct.
The morning had started very quiet and as yesterday it was only when Mr Goose himself  (Hoggie) sat down that we saw some magnificent Barnacles head south fairly close inshore
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 19th October 07.15-11.00 NW2-3 cloud 6/8

Grey Heron 1n 1s
Black h Gull 81n 44s
Common Gull 45n 37s
Eider 9n 8s
Cormorant 5n 46s majority were distant and migrating
Red th Diver 4n 19s
Shag 49s mainly distant migrating birds
Goosander 6s
Common Scoter 1s
Barnacle Goose 5n 48s
Goldeneye 4s
Great n Diver 1s
Pink footed Goose 58s
Curlew 1s
Med Gull 1s ad stunning views of this
Teal 13n
Skylark 6n

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Colour me Pink.......

Over 6000 Pink footed Geese went south past Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. This is the highest ever count from the Obs, the change in weather broke the bottleneck. The morning started with good light but few birds and i was about to leave early as Hoggie and Walter arrived. As we looked through our scopes we began to see Pinks moving south with some large groups, they just kept coming and i have to say our final number was an underestimate. We had a quick look out the back of the obs at one point and saw 600 going south inland. It was a fantastic experience although only a few close skeins could be heard. Peter told me when after I left for my Hospital appointment they didn't have another one
The other event of the morning was a large Diver south. I called it as a Great northern but the views i got of its bill angle made me wonder, i could not see the colour well due to the light. I tweeted news in case anyone else further south got a better view

This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 18th October 07.15-10.30 W2 cloud 4/8

Cormorant 3n 46s (some were distant and not from our colony)
Brent Goose pb 2n 2s
Common Gull 2n 62
Black h Gull 13n 141s
Eider 4s
Red th Diver 2n 6s
Puffin 1n
Common Scoter 5n 15s
Turnstone 2s
Porpoise 1
Curlew 2n
Pink footed Goose 6550s
Great northern Diver 1s
Siskin 8s
Shag 3n 8s
Barnacle Goose 2n
Meadow Pipits 100 plus s

Saturday, 15 October 2016

I should be so lucky, lucky........

2 Long-tailed Skuas and a Balearic Shearwater passed Whitburn Obs early morning before we moved outside to enjoy the vis mig. Magic Mark joined me and gave me a shout so i could get the Richards Pipit flying low down over my head. It is Obs year tick number 179, that's 10 more than last year already, we also had Brambling Siskins Snipe and loads of thrushes.
Then it was thanks to Saint Mark who drove me down for the Siberian Accentor with his dad. The journey for the Sibe was daunting and i did struggle with my currant mobility problems. The bird was not showing and people were leaving and heading off to look at the other birds on offer Sibe Chat, Pallas's, Dusky...
I managed to bump into Damian Money who found the Accentor to say hello as we do chat on social media tho we had never met before. This delayed our departure and i was walking behind a man and his dog when he saw and called the bird, i think it was Mark Askew so thanks guys
I should be so lucky lucky lucky, lucky

This is what we saw from the Obs in order of appearance

Saturday 15th October 07.05-10.30 E2

Black h Gull 27n 13s
Long-tailed Skua 2n
Common Gull 49n 8s
Red br Merganser 1s
Eider 1s
Teal 20n 1s
Curlew 1n
Red th Diver 7n 1s
Common Scoter 44n 2s
Dunlin 5n
Balearic Shearwater 1n 08.14
Arctic Skua 1n
Pintail 5n
Wigeon 25n
Woodcock 1 in off
Snipe 1s
Brambling 3 or 4
Siskin 3
Redwing 800
Owl sp 1
Richards Pipit 1s