Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Blue all over...

Manx Shearwater Hooded Crow and a Blue Fulmar passed Whitburn Obs on this mornings watch. Magic Mark joined me and Stoney was in the house and yes we were all feeling blue, with the cold that is. And of course the star bird was a close Blue Fulmar
Rob rang me as he walked to the Obs to say a Blue Fulmar had just flown north behind the Obs, we dashed out but missed it but you can't be greedy Ive had a couple already. It was a County tick for Rob, still a difficult bird to catch up with not many are twitchable
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 26th April 05.35-09.35 N3 6/8

Gannet 784n 13s
Fulmar 721n
Common Gull 45n 16s
Black h Gull 1n
Common Scoter 9n
Red th Diver 4n 1s
Sandwich Tern 23n 1s
Manxie n
Eider 2n 1s
Turnstone 1n
Common Tern 2s
Hooded Crow 1n
Redshank 15n
Arctic Tern 5n
Goosander 1n
Red br Merganser 1n
LBBGull 1n
Kittiwake 3,200 by 9am
Auk sp 2,900 by 9am
Blue Fulmar 1n



Monday, 24 April 2017

Migrants in the rain...

6 Whimbrel and 7 Wheatears dropped in during this mornings storm. The sea watch was quiet with rain keeping birds down and when it cleared through and the wind dropped and the birds stopped. The Wheatear were on the wall, fence, horse jump, and hut. Some birders (Hoggie) would like to see the hut demolished i like it for tired migrants to land on and to call out its coming over the now...
Sadly i missed an Obs mega today Pink Floyd called to say a Raven was flying over Shearwater Estate but i had already left
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 24th April 05.25-09.25 NW3 then 2 rain 7/8

Common Gull 65n 41s
Gannet 102n 13s well down on yesterday
Whimbrel 6n
Sandwich Tern 5n 78s
Puffin 1n
Black h Gull 2n
Eider 6n 4s
Shelduck 3n 2s
Fulmar 144n
House Martin 2n
Common Scoter 84n 2s
Red th Diver 5n 2s
Curlew 1n
Turnstone 22s
Red br Merganser 2n
Common Tern 2n
Grey Heron 1n
Wheatear 7

Sunday, 23 April 2017

24........

Sooty Shearwater and an Arctic Skua passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. Magic Mark was late but he didn't miss much what a difference a day makes...
The shear volume of birds yesterday was a sight to see, but today didn't disappoint it was a slow burner. A very early Sooty Shearwater was our reward, no one is better int Obs than Mark on the distant stuff, thanks marra
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 23rd April 05.25-10.30 NW1-2 7/8 calm sea with moderate swell

Fulmar 358n
Common Gull 106n 11s
Sandwich Tern 69n 52s
Puffin 13n
Gannet 675n 3s
Red th Diver 5n
Common Scoter 74n 29s
Redshank 3n
Black h Gull 8n 4s
Eider 8n 6s
Turnstone 12n
Knot 17n
Swallow 2n
Arctic Tern 6n
Whimbrel 3n 5s
LBBGull 1n
Sand Martin 7n
Greylag Goose 2n
Shag 9n
Common Tern 5n 1s
Arctic Skua 1n
Manxie 4n
Sooty Shearwater 1n


Saturday, 22 April 2017

The tide has Tern'd.......

2 Long tailed Ducks and 7 Manxies passed Whitburn Obs in 5 hours this morning. Sandwich Tern numbers have been increasing with a credible 80 odd yesterday but today we had an incredible 300 plus when i left the Obs and Magic Mark was staying......
Stevie Thunder was in for a rare visit and tried to wind me up with double calling but i was having none of it. It was canny conditions with difficult light at times. Pink Floyd picked up the Dolphins heading south and again later when they came north well done mate. Hoggie was happy to catch up with a few new year birds so all in all a cracking watch.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 22nd April 05.35-10.35 NNW2 6/8

Sandwich Tern 30n 281s
Fulmar 264n
Gannet 338n 22s
Razorbill 541n
Common Gull 372n 13s
Common Scoter 14n 4s
Dunlin 1n
Common Tern 3n
Arctic Skua1n
Black h Gull 4n 1s
Puffin 14n
Blackcap singing
Mallard 3n
Shelduck 2n 2s
Manxie 7n
Eider 5n 3s
Arctic Tern 7n 3s
Red th Diver 10n 2s
Long tailed Duck 2s
Red br Merganser 1s
Shag 5n
Whimbrel 2n
Bottlenose Dolphin 20 plus south 07.05-07.50 then same north 09.45-10.00

Friday, 21 April 2017

Wonderful Westerlies......

Black necked Grebe and a Marsh Harrier went north past Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. I was out it the toon with a few birders (i use that term loosely) last night and Stoney was in the curry house....We discussed how westerlies were good for seeing Marsh Harriers off our coast and blow me.....
The day started well with another Hooded Crow, this time flying in off. This is my 4th in about 12 month, 2 last year and so far 2 this. It didn't hang around as usual. The Black-necked Grebe was my first whilst doing an obs list but not my first from the obs. It wasn't a great sea watch as such with bright sun and a blasting westerly but birds were moving i went full flaps and held on tight for the ride.

Friday 21st April 06.50-10.30 W3 2/8

Sandwich Tern 5n 5s
Common Gull 79n 16s
Curlew 1n
Hooded Crow 1 in off 06.03 then high north over the sea 07.55 not seen between those times by me

Greylag Goose 15n
Swallow 5n
Redshank 1s
Shelduck 2n
Alba Wagtail 2s
Sand Martin 16n 2s
Iceland Gull juv on rocks north of obs 06.45 then flew south 06.55
Black h Gull 2s
Goosander 5n
Shag 1n
Meadow Pipit 21 in off
Eider 10n
Grey Wagtail 1n
Wheatear 7 on range mounds
Stonechat 2 on range mound
Whimbrel 6n
Great Northern Diver 1n 08.23 (i was talking to John Chapman when this flew by but only saw it going away looked interesting)
Black necked Grebe 1n 08.28 fairly close inshore
Marsh Harrier 1n 08.46 fighting its way north being mobbed by gulls
Kestrel 1 in off
Red th Diver 1n

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Variety is the spice...

Long tailed Duck and a Blue Fulmar passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 this morning. If as they say variety is the spice of life i had a hot watch this morning. It lacked some regulars like Divers but made up for that with the mix up of birds i saw, shame about the lack of a year tick

Thursday 20th April 05.50-09.30 W2 7/8

Gannet 6n 3s
Common Gull 34n 206s
Blue Fulmar 1n (D) 06.08
Fulmar 52n
Sandwich Tern 8n 75s
Common Sand 1 on rocks
Curlew 1n
Eider 8s
Pied Wagtail 1n
Shag 1n
Black h Gull 10n 10s
Turnstone 30n 5s
Goosander 1n
Common Tern 1n
Redshank 47n
Shelduck 3s
Sand Martin 10n 4s
Swallow 1s
Common Scoter 4n 3s
Willow Warbler 2
Whimbrel 2n
Ringed Plover 1n
Chiffchaff 1
Dunlin 1n
Long tailed Duck 1n
Grasshopper Warbler 1 reeling close by

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Moorland Magic....

Merlin and 3 Ring Ouzel were among the superb birds i watched today on the Durham Moors. No Obs today it was the first of my two visits on the BTO BBS. Ive been surveying a square on the Durham Moors for a lot of years now it's always one of my favourite days of the year. It was cold 4.5 degs and a bit windy when i arrived for a first light start. I could have waited a few days but i like to keep as close to the original survey date as possible. It was obvious some birds were late in with the cold snap, Meadow Pipits were down and some of the waders such as Snipe and Curlew. Golden Plover and Lapwing were about normal.
Although my square is in a productive area i don't often get the sought after species Wheatear and Ring Ouzel but today both were present and a male Merlin shot through as well. With sightings of Common Buzzard and Red Kite it is a bumper year on my patch.
When i was done i decided to go looking for my Ringo, it had flown west out of my square and it wasn't long before i located it sitting in a bare tree by a brook. However it was not alone, not one but three were present in the same small tree. I managed some video but the light was poor and the wind up but you can see what met my eyes
In this same area i found another five Wheatear and a singing male Stonechat
A pair of Redpoll flew over calling and a bird i have not recorded up here before Robin. I staked out a small tree and both Stonechat and Ring Ouzel came into it but didn't hang about then this Willow Warbler
It's back to the Obs tomorrow morning but i can't wait for my second BBS