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




Saturday, 21 April 2018

Gripped off again.....

 Hooded Crow, Merlin, Jay and Lesser throat were all seen at Whitburn Obs this morning. The bad news is i was on the moors doing my BTO first survey, I'd picked which day to do my square based on wind strength and weather in general...big mistake i should have chosen Monday when nobody is in the Obs. The Harper family conspired to totally grip me off. With Mr Harper senior calling the Hoodie as they watched the first Lesser throat of the year. To put this in perspective i found the only Obs Hooded Crows in 2016 and 2017 both on 10/4 and was anticipating a hat-trick....
But well done for finding it and of course to Saint Mark on the Jay and Lesser. I did eventually arrive at Whitburn and pulled back the Whitethroat and had a Yellow Wagtail fly over calling both birds i didnt get last year so it was not all bad news
I also arrived in time to see some of the Bottlenose Dolphins that passed the Obs including the mother and junior featured in the attached video
My Obs list hit 120 and more Hoodies have been seen to the south so you never know, but Jay..forget it
This is what was seen overall in no particular orde

Saturday 21st April 06.05-11.00 S1 0/8

Red th Diver 4n 3s
Gannet 10n
Fulmar 40n 4s
Cormorant 22n 35s
Shag 8n 3s
Shelduck 6n 7s
Shoveler 2s
Eider 12n 5s
Common Scoter 6n 30s
Red br Merganser 1n
Dunlin 2n
Whimbrel 1n 1s
Curlew 4s
Turnstone 6s
Black h Gull 3n 8s
Common Gull 38n 3s
Sandwich Tern 87n 66s
Arctic Tern 3n
Sandmartin 1n 4s
Swallow 5n 2s
Hooded Crow 1n 06.10 grrr
Jay 1s 07.50 grrr
Merlin 1 on range
Wheatear 4
Lesser Whitethroat 1
Yellow Wagtail 1n
Bottlenose Dolphin 1n 14s (3,5,2,2,2) 09.15-10.15 ish


Saturday, 7 April 2018

That's what friends are for...

Osprey Arctic Tern and Merlin were all seen from Whitburn Obs on today's watch. It was a mega Obs list day for me with 5, yes count them 5 year ticks and all of them hard to get birds. Saint Mark beat me in and we were joined by Pink Floyd and Boy Wonder, we had little expectation but i should have known when a Ringo flew in off as i reached the Obs.
Our first Arctic Tern of the year was unexpected and earlier than normal and Sandwich Terns reached double figures for the first time this year. Saint Mark stepped out for a scan around and found a probable Merlin perched but distant,  we were aware Osprey had been at a couple of sights south of us so all eyes were looking up. He decided to go and nail the Falcon and was just approaching the Obs on his way back to confirm it's id when he found the Osprey....mayhem erupted and thankfully we all got the bird
Ross stepped out for a comfort break, bins only and found a Stock Dove an Obs mega...that's what friends are for, thanks guys. Next weekend i will be in Gambia for a short birding break so i was relieved to get all these hard to see birds safely on my year list.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 7th April 05.55-10.05 6/8 SSE2

Black h Gull 4n 24s
Common Gull 15n 287s
Cormorant 14n 14s
Ring Ouzal 1 in off
Carrion Crow 12n 24s
Shelduck 7s
Manx Shearwater 1s
Sandwich Tern 6n 4s
Razorbill 11n 1s
Guillemot 4n
Red br Merganser 3n
Kittiwake 224n 14s
Arctic Tern 1n
Porpoise 1n 2s
Red th Diver 3n 5s
Oystercatcher 4n 1s
Whimbrel 2s
Merlin 1 female perched on the rifle range
Iceland Gull 2w on the range
Teal 5s
Gadwall 1n
Osprey 1n 07.55
Curlew 1s
Meadow Pipit 4 in off
Shag 3n 2s
Goosander 1s
LBBGull 1n 1s
Tufted Duck 1n
Mallard 2s
Stock Dove 1n

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Floppy's back in town...

a Blue Fulmar and 3 Sandwich Terns went north on this mornings sea watch but the Dolphins stole the show as usual. Only five minutes into my watch i picked up on some Bottlenose Dolphins heading north, three became ten as they slowly revealed themselves. No breaching just a slow steady movement keeping fairly low. Stoney was in the house by now and soon showed off his media skills taking video through his scope with a mobile without an adapter, someone should give him a roll in media...Anyone over 60 should not attempt this skill. Later more pods headed north and we were happy to see an old friend Floppy was with them, this Dolphin is easily recognised as it has a bent over dorsal fin that's a bit well floppy. I have attached some video of the event but its my first of the year so.....
The watch was fun packed with the local Fox showing well and a pair of Gadwall continued our run of good quality Ducks
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 4th March 06.15-09.15 SW2 8/8 rain/mist

Black h Gull 8n
Common Gull 136n 6s
Fulmar 70n
Teal 2s
Razorbill 42n
Guillemot 61n
Cormorant 11n 5s
Eider 9n
Alba Wagtail 1n 3s
Common Scoter 17n 1s
Turnstone 1n
Porpoise 4s
Blue Fulmar 1n DD a really dark one
Shag 1s
Sandwich Tern 3n
Rock Pipit 1n
Gadwall 2n
Red th Diver 4n
Goosander 3n
Gannet 3n
Fox1 in nature reserve
Chiffchaff 1 singing
Bottlenose Dolphins
10n 06.20-06.40
5n 07.25-07.359n 07.40-07.45