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

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

I can see clearly now...

 2 Roseate Terns a Great Northern Diver and 2 Arctic Skuas went north at Whitburn Obs in 5 hours this morning. When i got out of my car i was relieved to see no sign of fog or mist, yesterday my watch was cancelled due to the thick fog. Stoney was in the house and we enjoyed a fantastic five hour watch. It started slowly but the birds just kept coming, the first Roseate Tern was a year tick for both of us and anyone who saw Robs tweet with the boc photo will know what sort of views we enjoyed of the Great Northern Diver. The Grey Plovers and Godwits were the icing on the cake...can't wait for tomorrow
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 5th June 04.40-10.00 N2-3 8/8

Fulmar 166n
Puffin 198n 14s
Manxie 23n
Sandwich Tern 137n 131s
Gannet 326n 139s
Common Tern 66n 2s
Grey Heron 1s
Red th Diver 3n 1s
Black h Gull 2n 1s
Common Gull 2n 3s
Common Scoter 30n 14s
Shag 2n 1s
Roseate Tern 1n 1s
Arctic Tern 16n
LBBGull 1n
Knot 1n
Arctic Skua 2n
Sanderling 5n
Sand Martin 1s
Great Northern Diver 1n
Dunlin 1n
Bar-tailed Godwit 2n
Grey Plover 5n
Turnstone 7n
Ringed Plover 1n
Eider 3s

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Shelter from the storm....

1  Bonxie and 12 Manxies went north at Whitburn Obs in over 6 hours this morning which does not sound great. It was however a fantastic sea watch with loads of birds moving mainly north and many of them very close inshore with good light and full cloud cover. The early seafret cleared and the crab sandwich brigade arrived for a memorable watch. An early visit from Fos was followed by Pink Floyd, Unlucky Dave, Hoggie, Wally the brolly and Phil the plumber.  Bird of the watch for me was a Purple Sandpiper that landed in front of the Obs and briefly sheltered from the storm, only the second recorded this year. The local and now oft seen Bottlenose Dolphins put in an appearance as well including two greyer youngsters. Ive attached some video of the event, sorry about the soundtrack but the guys were excited and don't get out often. Pink Floyd was well behaved and was allowed to use a clicker for the first time much to his delight. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 22nd May 04.35-10.45 N4-5 8/8 early mist and drizzle

Sandwich Tern 160n 25s
Gannet 986n 94s
Fulmar 264n
Ringed Plover 9n
Manxie 12n
Puffin 16n 2s
Swift 1n
Common Gull 4n 1s
Common Scoter 18n
Dunlin 2n
Purple Sandpiper 1n
Gadwall 3n
Tufted Duck 1n
Red th Diver 3n 2s
Eider 1s
Common Tern 16n
Black h Gull 1n
Bonxie 1n
Bottlenose Dolphin 4n 09.45 and 5n 10.05

Saturday, 12 May 2018

The one that got away......

Great Northern Diver and 40 Manxies passed Whitburn Obs in 5 hours this morning. Good light made for a memorable watch following a week of bright sun. We enjoyed a great selection of birds with Waders being a feature. A Plover sp went north with a ringed plover and may have been a Little-ringed Plover, a bird that would have been an Obs first for me but it wasn't nailed....just as well as i didn't get a lot on it. I was joined by Saint Mark back from his Antarctic adventure, Pink Floyd did the catering and Stoney was in the house. Chat turned to what birds we would like to see and Wood Sandpiper was well fancied with Lesser legs a rank outsider. Sandwich Terns gave the highest count of the season and it can't be long before we have a five Tern sp day. Throw in a few Dolphins and bingo a canny sea watch.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 12th May 04.55-10.00 WNW 1-2 7/8

Gannet 216n 79s
Bar tailed Godwit 2n
Manxie 11n 29s
Fulmar 66n
Sandwich Tern 15n 525s
Common Gull 6n 8s
Puffin 6n 3s
Common Scoter 43n 4s
Common Tern 21n 17s
Arctic Tern 9n 13s
Purple Sandpiper 1n
Whimbrel 4n 1s
Red th Diver 1n 2s
Eider 4s
Red br Merganser 1n
Dunlin 28n 6s
Shag 3n 1s
Ringed Plover 9n 6s
Turnstone 2n
Shelduck 1s
Little Tern 1n 2s
Swallow 4s
Sanderling 2n
Black h Gull 1n 1s
Kestrel 1n
House Martin 1n
Tufted Duck 3s
Porpoise 1n
Curlew 1n
Great N Diver 1n
Bottlenose Dolphin 4n 09.10-09.15