Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Slowly slowly catchey monkey......

2 Glaucous Gulls and 2 Black throated Divers passed Whitburn Obs today by 10.40. Stoney was in the house and after an hour of nothing passing we wondered why we were. Both of us had a day off yesterday and had been looking forward to a brisk southerly rather than the doldrums but it just wasn't happening. Often this time of year it takes a while to get going and we were glad we stuck it out as two Glaucs and two Black throats is a canny watch and we both called one of each. We noticed a big increase in larger gulls moving south and Glauc had been predicted but more in hope...
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 7th December 07.25-10.40 S4 cloud 7/8

Black headed Gull 4n 37s
Common Gull 4n 58s
Eider 4n 1s 4 on sea
Turnstone 2n 19s
Sparrowhawk 1n
Redshank 10s
Shag 5s
Red th Diver 2n 12s
Cormorant 4s
Gannet 11n
Ringed Plover 1s
Fulmar 2s
Black th Diver 2s both wp
Glaucous Gull 2s both juvs but different birds one was much darker than the other

Dunlin 1s
Common Scoter 2n
Shelduck 2n
Golden Plover 40s

Sunday, 4 December 2016

Sunday morning.....

Great Northern Diver and 3 Brent Geese passed Whitburn Obs on our sleepy Sunday morning watch. Sundays can be a bit like that but we did our best in good light to enjoy Decembers slim pickings
Highlights are the 5 Mergansers a new day record passage and this week saw a new annual passage record for Great Northern Diver beating the previous best of 110, today we hit 113...and counting
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 4th December SE2 cloud 8/8

Common Gull 9n 25s
Black h Gull 11n 20s
Porpoise 2
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Red th Diver 20n 10s
Eider 9n 1s
Gannet 9n 2s
Shag 1n 11s
Common Scoter 96n
Red br Merganser 3n 2s
Wigeon 3n
Redshank 1s
Fulmar 3n 2s
Turnstone 1n 2s
Shelduck 5n
Mallard 1n
Great Northern Diver 1n
Grey Heron 1n 2s
Purple Sandpiper 1s
Brent Goose 3n db

Friday, 2 December 2016

Shearwater surprise...

5 Sooty and 1 Manx Shearwater passed Whitburn Obs by 10 this morning. Magic Mark joined me and Stoney was in the house. The Shearwaters were a bit of a surprise considering the previous maximum December day count for both was one of each, so five Sooty's was mega..
We didn't get much to support them this morning except the stars of the show a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins. They were distant but showed for long periods with lots of breaching. I didn't manage any video at that distance but I've included some from earlier this year
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 2nd December 07.25-10.00 NW2 cloud 7/8

Black h Gull 41n 16s
Common Gull 41n 26s
Eider 2n 4s
Red the Diver 5n 3s
Common Scoter 2n 4s
Fulmar 52n
Sooty Shearwater 5n
Gannet 23n 9s
Cormorant 1n
Manx Shearwater 1n
Shag 1s
Bottlenose Dolphin 12 plus distant 08.30-09.50 at least with breaching

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Is That It...........

Black throated and 2 Great Northern Divers passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 this morning. Stoney was in the house and our expectations were low, a westerly and no cloud didn't add up to a good watch. However we did our best to eek out some decent birds. Pink Floyd joined us and called a Great Northern which turned out to be two. It was becoming hard work and as Bob Geldolf said 'is that it' so we bailed out before the crab sandwich boys arrived and will try again tomorrow
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 29th November 07.20-09.30 W1-2 cloud 0/8

Black h Gull 7n 71s
Eider 10n 4s
Common Gull 13n 19s
Shag 2n 5s
Common Scoter 22n 8s
Red th Diver 4n 5s
Cormorant 2s
Long tailed Duck 2n
Velvet Scoter 1s
Little Gull 1n
Curlew 3n 3s
Goldeneye 2n
Red br Merganser 1n
Grey Heron 1n
Black th Diver 1n
Gannet 2n
Wigeon 8n 8s

Fulmar 1s
Great Northern Diver 2n
Shelduck 1s

Monday, 28 November 2016

Duck Tales.....

50 Long tailed Ducks passed Whitburn Obs by 13.15 today on another record breaking day. Stoney beat me in and we had high hopes of more of the same of yesterdays first class watch. We were not disappointed and it was quality from the start. The first flock of Long tailed Ducks was nine the largest of the day, as they kept coming word came from Magic Mark that the record day passage was 48, we got to 46 before we left and Kieth McAlpine got us over the line with another 4. So the new day record is 50, unless of course someone else goes into the obs today.
The supporting cast was substantial and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 28th November 07.25-11.20 SE2 cloud 7/8

Black h Gull 11n 233s
Common Gull 7n 23s
Fulmar 15n 1s
Common Eider 18n 11s
Pom Skua 1n 1s
Wigeon 51n
Long tailed Duck 45n 5s
Cormorant 2n 3s
Common Scoter 510n 42s
Velvet Scoter 5n
Red th Diver 10n 13s
Shelduck 1n
Golden Plover 100n
Dunlin 9n
Little Auk 1n
Mallard 5n
Goldeneye 38n 7s
Teal 1n
Great Northern Diver 1n
Shag 1n 15s
Long eared Owl 1 in off
Goosander 3s
Red br Merganser1s
Brent Goose 5n pb
Scaup 2n
Redshank 1s

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Proper Ducks........

Little Auk and Sooty Shearwater passed Whitburn Obs on this mornings watch but the stars of the show were the ducks. Proper sea ducks giving great views. Both Marks made it in and we were joined by Stevie Makem and Stevie Thunder, Stoney was in the house. Another northerly guaranteed good birds even at the end of November, it was a slow start but we all agreed a great watch in good light. Long tailed Ducks continued this years record passage hitting 159 so far, the previous best being 110 in 1990. The Scaup were just delicious.....
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 27th November 07.20-11.20 NNE3 cloud 7/8

Shelduck 1n
Common Gull 37n 5s
Shag 2n 2s
Black h Gull 28n 17s
Goldeneye 15n
Cormorant 5n 2s
Common Scoter 154n 190s
Fulmar 29n 4s
Common Eider 36n 7s
Red th Diver 23n 35s
Great n Diver 1s
Med Gull 1n 1s ads
Sooty Shearwater
Long tailed Duck 5n 4s
Porpoise 1
Pom Skua 1s
Curlew 1n
Goosander 1n
Peregrine 1n
Red br Merganser 1n
Velvet Scoter 2n 5s
Little Auk 1n
Wigeon 6n 10s
Scaup 4n
Scan Herring Gull 3n
Teal 1s
Dunlin 2n

Thursday, 24 November 2016


Black throated and Great Northern Diver passed Whitburn Obs by 11.15 on an historic day. I was joined by Jack the Lad and Stoney was in the house, little did we realise early on that we would break yet another day passage record from the Obs. A few Shag started to move then Rob called a distant flock of 80, a steady trickle continued with a notable flock off 66 being the only other large flock. I left before the previous record of 216 was beaten but Pink Floyd sent a text to confirm 220 had gone south by 11.15. To add to the occasion one of the last birds seen was an all white leucistic Shag. I managed some very poor record shot only footage which i will include in the text
It was Jacks first visit and he did well calling his first birds 5 Velvets going north. It was quiet at times but Whitburn Obs showed again what a great location it is turning up some quality birds on an ordinary day weather wise
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 24th November 07.10-11.00 NNW2 cloud 6/8

Black h Gull 60n 34s
Red th Diver 26n 17s
Common Gull 21n 26s
Common Scoter 34n 28s
Fulmar 15n 7s
Cormorant 9n 17s
Grey Heron 1n
Common Eider 18n 3s
Shag 12n 208s including leucistic bird
Velvet Scoter 5n
Wigeon 8n
Rock Pipit 3n
Dunlin 4n
Black th Diver 1s
Pink footed Geese 160s
Red br Merganser 1n
Curlew 1n
Goldeneye 2n
Turnstone 3s
Teal 1n
Great Northern  Diver 1n
Shelduck 1n
Med Gull 1n ad