Thursday, 23 March 2017

Diver cock up........

Storm Petrel, Long tailed Duck and 3 Blue Fulmar passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. As yesterday i was watching on a close line sheltering behind the north shutters, brrrr. Many birds were passing close in going north, both Kittiwake and Fulmar numbers were up.I picked up on a Storm Petrel coming north close inshore, never heard of a Stormie this early before and it was quickly lost in the troughs. Plenty of quality birds on show today but the big one probably got away. Pink Floyd called a Diver coming north it was at a nice distance and i said it was a large Diver but it was already north of me when i got on the bill and it was ivory, it was held open in flight so its angle wasn't easy to see i needed more time. I put out the news in the hope someone further north could nail it.
Another bird of note today was a very large Accipiter that went north low in front of the Obs, biggest Sparrowhawk? I've ever seen. Oh well just one of those days and great fun.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 23rd March 06.05-10.30 E3 7/8

Fulmar 443n 13S
Kittiwake 1105n 2S
Gannet 101n 9s
Curlew 1n
Common Scoter 38n 1s
Storm Petrel 1n -6.40
Blue Fulmar 3n (1xL, 2xD)
Red th Diver 3n 5s
Cormorant 9n 1s
Shag 7n 1s
Sandwich Tern 1n 1s
Shelduck 10n
Scaup 1n dr
Alba Wagtail 2n
Dunlin 3n
Tufted Duck 3n
SEOwl 1n (thanks to a call from Saint Mark)
Red br Merganser 1n
Black h Gull 9n 4s
Eider 16n 6s
Sparrowhawk? 1n the video is a different bird from the Obs

LBBGull 3n
Goosander 2n
Carrion Crow 21n
Wigeon 2n
Peregrine 1n
Large Diver sp 1n 09.47
Long tailed Duck 1n

Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Diana Dors.....

3 Whooper Swans, 3 Velvet Scoter, and a Blue Fulmar went north at Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. I was welcomed to the Obs by a strong cold easterly and rain so partially hid behind the north shutter to start my sea watch. I was hoping for my first Sandwich Tern as predicted by Magic Mark and i was not disappointed as two went north during the watch. Its is a welcome return as the daily Tern movement keeps me going when nowt else is passing and i probably see more Sandwich Terns than any other sea watcher in the North East. Stoney was in the house and between the two of us we managed a few good birds. Sadly he left just before the star bird went north, a cracking Blue Fulmar close inshore Diana Dors would have been proud of these DD's 
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 22nd March 06.00-10.30 E2 8/8

Cormorant 13n 10s
Common Gull 102n 12s
Fulmar 101n 14s
Kittiwake 480n 12s
Gannet 52n 33s
Grey Wagtail 1s
Ringed Plover 6s
Red th Diver 7n 2s
Grey Heron 1n
Sandwich Tern 2n
Common Scoter 41n 23s
Eider 1n 2s
Puffin 1n
Velvet Scoter 3n
Shag 2n 1s
Porpoise 2n
Teal 1n
Black h Gull 21n 1s
Whooper 3n
Blue Fulmar 1n DD

Monday, 20 March 2017

Chiswick flyover.....

17 Whooper Swans went north at Whitburn Obs this morning binging this months passage to 348 beating last years record count of 337 in March. Even Saint Mark managed to see them from his house which is more than he saw from 7 hours of sea watching in the Obs this weekend. The other feature of the morning was the 'chiswick' call of Pied Wagtails passing as for the second day running they arrived in off with Pipits
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 20th March 06.05-09.30 SW2-3 6/8
Grey Partridge 1 calling
Cormorant 8n 4s
Black h Gull 27n 168s
Common Gull 29n 59s
Redshank 17s
Turnstone 27s
Eider 7n 1s
Gannet 6n 3s
Common Scoter 7n 36s
Red th Diver 2n 1s
Curlew 1s
Chiffchaff 1 calling
Porpoise 2s
Whooper Swan 17n 07.42
Meadow Pipit 73 in off
Pied Wagtail 18 in off (all of the birds i could see well were Pied though some could be White)

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Full flaps......

Iceland Gull was seen off Whitburn Obs today for the second day running, a 3cy bird but little else on a quiet day. When we have all the eastern facing shutters open in the Obs we refer to it as 'full flaps', today we had the north facing shutter open as well as Foss had rang to say the Iceland Gull was flying our  way. It did arrive eventually though that is not the reason why we were 'full flaps'. Saint Mark has only seen two Whooper Swans this month mainly due to work (not recommended), whilst i have seen 307 due to not working (highly recommended) so we were giving him every possible chance of seeing Swans. In addition the Obs has logged 331 Whoopers so far this March only 6 behind the 2016 record March passage of 337.....Did he get any Whoopers...
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 19th March 06.10-09.30 SW2 cloud 6/8

Common Gull 16n 8s
Gannet 18n 9s
Black h Gull 10n 147s
Red th Diver 7n 3s
Turnstone 54s
Ringed Plover 4s
Shag 3n 1s
Cormorant 7n 26s
Teal 1s
Eider 4n 12s
Shelduck 1n
Porpoise 1n 2s
Meadow Pipit 20 in off
Pied Wagtail 15 in off
Common Scoter 5n 2s
Greylag Goose 1n
Chiffchaff 1
Wigeon 1n
Velvet Scoter 1s
Iceland Gull 1s 3cy

Friday, 17 March 2017

Waxing lyrical....

Great Northern Diver, Glaucous Gull and a load more Whoopers passed Whitburn Obs this morning. I was joined by Magic Mark and later Sir Ian. It was not as frantic a watch today just a slow steady passage of birds but when you look at what we saw you would think I'll take that. Star birds though were the Waxwings in my street when i got home. It was great to see them feeding on the deck and I've included a bit of video and more will be on my YouTube channel
This is what we saw today in order of appearance

Friday 17th March 06.00-10.30 W2-3 cloud 7/8

Black h Gull 11n 57s
Common Gull 23n 62s
Cormorant 13n 26s
Common Scoter 17n 13s
Eider 6n 4s
Red th Diver 9n 5s
Gannet 70n 12s
Canada Goose 3n
Chiffchaff 1
Porpoise 5n
Greylag Goose 2s
Red br Merganser 1n
Redshank 22s
Turnstone 41s
Curlew 2s
Great Northern Diver 1n
Whooper Swan 40n (17,2,16,5)
Meadow Pipit 5 in off
Great Crested Grebe 1n
Grey Heron 1n
Pink footed Goose 24n
Glaucous Gull 1n juv
25 Waxwings in Chipchase Oxclose Washington

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Whooping with joy.....

109 Whooper Swans and 2 Little Egrets were among the wide range of birds we had past Whitburn Obs by 10.20 today. Stoney was in the house and the first Whoopers were going north as he walked in, now that's good timing. I called the second group but they were distant and needed checking and at that point the 2 Little Egrets flew straight over our heads luckily i picked them up as they went south. Probably the same birds that turned up at WWWT later on. I was a very happy camper its a tricky bird to catch up with from the Obs and joins the Great White i saw as my second Egret species of the year just need Cattle now.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 16th March 06.05-10.10 S2 then later SW3 cloud 4/8

Eider 2n 11s
Common Scoter 18n 4s
Common Gull 17n27s
Cormorant 12n 18s
Black h Gull 27n 26s
Red th Diver 7n 2s
Grey Wagtail 1n
Shag 11n 1s
Greylag Goose 3n 4s
Pied Wagtail 4n 3s
Gannet 18n 3s
Porpoise 1n 7s
Whooper Swan 109n (4,65,5,6,29)
Meadow Pipit 19n 7s
Little Egret 2s 07.05
Goosander 1n
Ringed Plover 1s
Oyster Catcher 3n
Siskin 1s
Scaup 1s dr
Pock Pipit 1s
Bar t Godwit 3s
Redshank 8s
Pink footed Goose 1n
Knot 1n
Turnstone 2n
Curlew 2n
Snow Bunting 1n

Not todays bunting it was flying north

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Swan Song.....

28 Whooper Swans and a Peregrine were the best birds from a quiet early morning sea watch today. Can't be many more Whoopers to come so was this the Swan Song...This gives me the chance to let you know of a recent Whooper error. We did not set a new day record passage on the 10th of March we had a double count in error so the record day passage still stands at 138 only 128 went north on the 10th not 190 as i reported. Still it was a good number but we must be running out...I did get some video of today's Swans see link below
This is what i saw today in order of appearance

Tuesday 15th March 06.30-09.00 SW2 cloud 7/8

Black h Gull 23n 19s
Common Gull 30n 9s
Common Scoter 5n 1s
Whooper Swan 28n

Eider 3n 3s
Cormorant 5n 17s
Redshank 14s
Turnstone 38s
Gannet 2n
Porpoise 3s
Ringed Plover 1s
Wigeon 2n
Red th Diver 4n
Grey Heron 1n
Peregrine 1s