Monday, 3 December 2018

They think it's all over.....

As recorder for Whitburn Obs @whitburnbirds produces a superb annual report along with other useful reports on highest passage of a species in a day month or year etc. He recently gave me an updated Whitburn Obs checklist that shows the total number of species seen since 2013 when I started my Obs list
It prompted me to analyse my 2018 list. The overall Obs list is on 183 for 2018, I have seen 175 an average year but poor for me I have missed more species this year than previously.
Here are the Whitburn Obs total species seen since 2013 with my year list total's last-

So what went wrong, what did I miss
Fea's/Desertas/etc etc (you can't tick it anyway and I'm not bitter at all)
Great Shearwater, I saw it from my caravan at Marsden but sadly not the Obs
Little Grebe, an Obs first I am not upset honest
Grey Phal
Hooded Crow, the Harper's made me pay for doing my BB survey on a Saturday with Jay and the Crow
Short-toed Lark, I saw it and called it as a Lark but didn't hear the call- jury is out
Redstart, on the path by the Obs but did not show for me drat

Birds not seen at all at Whitburn Obs this year include
No Partridge sp...
Jack Snipe
Black Guillemot
King Fisher
No Flycatcher sp

So it's not all over yet at least four of the above are still possible and why not a Bewicks or....

Friday, 14 September 2018

By the grace of god.......

2 Roseate Terns a Black Tern and an Osprey were among the congregation at Whitburn Obs this morning. Stoney was in the house and we had good light a fresh south westerly and birds were moving. Pinkfeet started moving south at 06.50 adding an extra spice to the watch and one skein of 7 had a Bean Goose flying with them. Skuas were a feature and @gatesheadandbey called a juv Longtail as it headed north. Rob left for work demanding i kept the Gannet count going and the pressure was mounting but no help arrived. What did arrive by the grace of god were not one but two vicars....
Rev David Atkinson plus one. They enjoyed a first sea watch but failed to get on the Black Tern i called going north. When they left heading for Whitburn Steel i was hoping for a miracle as an Osprey had just gone south close inshore heading for the Steel, how lucky is that hope they got it
It's often the case that when all the birds for miles around go up that you can't find the raptor but this time i did and from memory i think Fos had one a few days ago so thats two past Whitburn in a few days
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 14th September 06.15-11.15 SW3 8/8

Fulmar 13n 8s
Common Gull 4n 25s
Manx Shearwater 9n 2s
Gannet 587n 142s
Black h Gull 62n 183s
Common Scoter 29n 8s
Eider 5n 3s
Sandwich Tern 122n 32s
Redshank 6n 3s
Cormorant 8n 227s
Arctic Skua 9n 1s
Red th Diver 9n 17s
Curlew 4n 2s
Common Tern 111n 163s
Whimbrel 1s
Pink footed Goose 606s
Turnstone 1n 2s
Teal 8n
Shag 14s
Bean Goose 1s 07.14 flying with 7 Pinks
Bonxie 5n 1s
Long tailed Skua 1n juv
Redpoll 1n
Swallow 52s
Ringed Plover 1n 19s
Dunlin 12s
Wigeon 10n
Puffin 1s
Mipit 9s
Golden Plover 3s
Roseate Tern 2n ad
Porpoise 1s
Sooty Shearwater 1n
Grey Heron 1s
House Martin 2s
Black Tern 1n juv
Osprey 1n 11.21 the video is not todays bird but one i made earlier

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

Mellow Yellow.......

Balearic Shearwater, Yellow-legged Gull, Little Gull...just another day at the office. Stevie Thunder was a late arrival and Stoney was in the house and we had a cracking sea watch. Full cloud calm sea loads of birds, we loved it. It seems to be the year of the juvenile Yellow-legged Gull...two a penny, and Rob called one today. The video later is one from the 10th. Ducks and Terns were moving along with Manxies and Skuas and one of the stars of the show was a delicious juvenile Little Gull. Smaller than the Terns it was flying near cor..Mute Swan is an Obs mega and we had three
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 29th August 05.35-09.40 SW2 8/8

Teal 256n 44s
Black h Gull 22n 63s
Curlew 16n
Gannet 1263n 314s
Common  Tern 75n 92s
Cormorant 18n 158s
Fulmar 14n 4s
Sandwich Tern 49n 29s
Common Scoter 151n 64s
Shoveler 4n
Common Gull 1n 7s
Shag 2s
Bonxie 5n 1s
Manxie 93n 18s
Arctic Skua 18n 8s
Mallard 1s
Shelduck 14n 1s
Puffin 1n
Arctic Tern 2n
Red th Diver 3s
Mute Swan 3s juvs
Oystercatcher 10s
Redshank 2n
Wigeon 9n
Golden Plover 6s
Eider 1s
LBBGull 1s
Goosander 1n
Yellow-legged Gull 1 juv
Balearic Shearwater 1 feeding offshore
Grey Wagtail 1s
Little Gull 1n juv
Porpoise 1s
Swift 1n

Ive lost the ability to enhance videos on YouTube now and can't stabalise the hand shake out, i will find another way but didn't have time today

Friday, 10 August 2018

right in the .....Balearic's

Balearic Shearwater, Black Tern, Minke Whale...are we in heaven.....wye no man Whitburn Obs. The started quietly with little or no wind and few birds Stoney arrived just as the wind started picking up and it all kicked off. He called a distant Shearwater going north and it was the first north so we were all over it and were pleased to see it was the first Balearic Shearwater recorded at Whitburn this year.
I picked up on a very distant Tern and called the juv Black Tern a year tick for Rob, then we both smiled as a Green Sandpiper called as it headed south a tick for me.
As always the Cetaceans stole the show with White-beaked Dolphin's breaching then a Minke Whale showed very well as it surfaced three times heading north my second of the week.
My Obs list reached 159 with the Sandpiper and Shearwater at last almost respectful
It was a fantastic watch here are the details of what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 10th August SW3 6/8 05.05-09.15

Curlew 4n 2s
Black h Gull 16n 253s
Turnstone 2s
Sandwich Tern 49n 212s
Common Gull 4n 17s
Common Tern 41n 96s
Common Scoter 7s
Gannet 148n 58s
Cormorant 19n 252s
Redshank 23n 32s
Dunlin 4n 29s
Fulmar 14n 9s
Shelduck 1n
Wigeon 6s
Roseate Tern 3s ads
Ringed Plover 2s
Sanderling 7s
Goosander 8n
Bonxie 1n 1s
Arctic Tern 1n 4s
Knot 17s
Manxie 10s
Med Gull 2s 2nd w and juv
Balearic Shearwater 1n 07.00
Green Sandpiper 1s
Oystercatcher 13s
Black Tern 1s juv 08.54
White-beaked Dolphin 4n 07.20-07.48 then at least one more
Minke Whale 1n 07.56 3/4 out

Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Back in black....with a bit of silver

 5 Sooty Shearwaters went north in over 4 hours on our sea watch this morning. They had a good supporting cast but the Med Gulls did it for me they were a bit special. Add in the Tall Ships and it was canny like. I was joined by Saint Mark and later Pink Floyd, Stoney was in the house.
This is what we saw in order of appearance, I've included a compilation video and some boats

Tuesday 10th July 04.25-08.45 N3 6/8

Gannet 702n 64s
Curlew 3n 1s
Common Gull 13n 5s
Manxie 131n 2s
Puffin 299n 84s
Sooty Shearwater 5n
Common Tern 49n 10s
Fulmar 53n 4s
Black h Gull 30n 4s
Sandwich Tern 8n 19s
Common Scoter 17n 4s
Arctic Skua 7n 2s
Arctic Tern 11n
Whimbrel 4n 1s
Teal 60n 3s
Bonxie 3n 1s
LBBGull 2n
Med Gull 2s both ads different birds
Swift 2n
Red th Diver 2n
Porpoise 1s
Eider 2n
Redshank 1s
Shag 1s
Red br Merganser 1n

Saturday, 30 June 2018

June...out with a bang

2 Pom Skuas and a Red-necked Grebe went north at Whitburn Obs this morning on a fantastic sea watch. If this is June comeback soon, both Marks were in and Pink Floyd and we loved it. Great light no fog, quality birds and Dolphins...twice. And a great Northern Diver landed on the sea in front of us mega.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 30th June 04.30-10.30 NE2 8/8

Manx Shearwater 98n 17s
Gannet 685n 376s
Puffin 519n 94s
Common Tern 152n 23s
Common Scoter 575n 15s
Sandwich Tern 16n 61s
Fulmar 51n 1s
Pom Skua 2n ads
Arctic Tern 7n 13s inc 1st sum bird nth
Red th Diver 5n
Dunlin 1n
Arctic Skua 5n 1s
Eider 3n
Mallard 2n
Black h Gull 41n 11s inc first 4 juvs of yr
Curlew 19n 11s
Teal 154n a new day passage record for June
Velvet Scoter 1s
Red br Merganser 2n 1s
Shelduck 2s
Shoveler 1n
Black tailed Godwit 3s
Bar tailed Godwit 1n sum plum
Common Gull10n 3s
Red necked Grebe 1n
Swift 8n
Bonxie 2n
Turnstone 1n
Tufted Duck 1n
LBBGull 1s
Great Norther Diver 1n and landed on sea in front of Obs
Porpoise 1n 3s
Bottlenose Dolphin 20 plus north 5.00-5.06 and same pod south 6.06-6.09

Friday, 15 June 2018

Moving Swiftly on.......

 229 Manxies a Pom Skua and a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins all went north at Whitburn Obs on this mornings watch. The wild winds were gone as were the Swifts after yesterdays 164 south.  I had been hoping for some movement as birds went home after being blasted and i was not disappointed. The Manx Shearwaters took me by surprise i didn't expect as many and a single flock of 63 was memorable. As usual the Dolphins stole the show and it was a second sighting this week of Sammy the Squirrel, check him out at the end of the Dolphin video
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Friday 15th June 04.30-09.00 WSW2 6/8

Gannet 244n 10s
Fulmar 33n 2s
Common Gull 1n 10s
Manx Shearwater 229n 6s
Sandwich Tern 12n 66s
Common Tern 21n 12s
Common Scoter 21n 9s
Red th Diver 6n 2s
Pom Skua 1n ad 05.10
Shelduck 3n
Arctic Tern 2n 1s
Puffin 112n 9s
Swift 4s
Bottlenose Dolphin 30ish n 06.18-06.35 mid distance
Squirrel 1on Obs wall
Goosander 4n
Shag 1n
Black h Gull 1s
Swallow 1s
Yellow Wagtail 1s
Eider 6s
Curlew 1n