Tuesday, 31 December 2013

last post........

Black throated Diver and a Velvet Scoter passed Whitburn Obs in 3 hours this morning. A good finish to my years sea watching with yet another Black throat logged. Today saw an increase in passage of auks and Kitts on a SSE wind. As expected my Obs year list finished on 161 much better than i had hoped for at the start of the year and it all starts again tomorrow !

I was joined by Hoggie and Walter and this is what we saw today in order of appearance

Tuesday 31st December 07.55-11.00 SSW3-4 cloud cover

Common Scoter 3n 2s
Black h Gull 1n 46s
Red br Merganser 1s
Eider 1n 1s
Cormorant 2s
Kittiwake 76n
Gannet 18n 1s
Shag 1s
Guillemot 360n
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Fulmar 4n 11s
Red th Diver 6n 2s
Razorbill 3n
Velvet Scoter 1n
Porpoise 2
Grey Heron 1s
Black th Diver 1s

Monday, 30 December 2013

going out with a bang

Juvenile Glaucous Gull, 2 Brent Geese and 3 Blue Fulmars passed Whitburn Obs by 10.15 this morning
Its nice to be finishing the year with a bit of quality and the juvenile Glaucous Gull that went south at 8.20 was quality. Its not often we see Blue Fulmars at Whitburn so 3 different birds was exceptional
My Obs year list is stuck on a credible 161 and only tomorrow to go before we all start again
This is what i saw today in order of appearance

Monday 30th December08.00-10.15 S4 cloud cover

Black h Gull 20s
Great black backed Gull 360s
Scan Herring Gull 2s
Guillemot 13n 13s
Shag 1n 3s
Eider 1s
Glaucous Gull juv 1s at 08.20
Fulmar 2n 29s
Kittiwake 20n 1s
Red th Diver 10n
Gannet 7n 7s
Cormorant 1n 1s
Common Scoter 7s
Great crested Grebe 2n
Blue Fulmar 3s
Brent Goose 2s pb

Sunday, 29 December 2013

things can only get ............

15 Red throated Divers were the only birds of note passed the Obs this morning on a very quiet sea watch.

Sunday 29th December 08.00-10.30 W1-2 part cloud calm sea

Cormorant 1n 4s
Black h Gull 9n 15s
Kittiwake 11s
Guillemot 8n 11s
Eider 7n 8s
Red th Diver 8n 7s
Common Scoter 1n 10s
Fulmar 7n 1s
Wigeon 3n
Teal 3n
Porpoise 1
Shag 10s

Saturday, 28 December 2013

calm after the storm

Black throated and 3 Great northern Divers went north past Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning It was a very calm start to the day following yesterdays storm and the light WSW wind gave little encouragement for birds to move. I was thinking about packing in when at 10.15 a very close Black throated Diver went north at the same time as 3 very distant Great northern Divers as our run of scarcer divers continued, it would have been slim pickings without them
Nobody else was in today to share the experience, the other highlight in the calm conditions were at least 10 Porpoise feeding offshore
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Saturday 28th December 07.55-10.30 WSW1-2 cloud cover flat calm sea

Black h Gull 3n 17s
Porpoise 10
Guillemot 2n 31s
Kittiwake 1n 3s
Red th Diver 5n 20s
Common Scoter 4n 22s
Fulmar 1n 4s
Eider 9n 2s
Cormorant 4s
Shag 14s
Gannet 6n
Great n Diver 3n
Black th Diver 1n

Friday, 27 December 2013

like a hurricane.........

A Great northern Diver and Blue Fulmar were the highlights past Whitburn Obs this morning in stormie conditions
Magic Mark made it in today and we saw a good variety of species in exciting conditions
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 27th December 07.55-10.30 SW5-6 then 7, rain at times

Black h Gull 13n 50s
Eider 4s
Great black backed Gull 1240s
Cormorant 2n 6s
Shag 4s
Kittiwake 1n 20s
Fulmar 2n 69s
Red th Diver 3n 1s
Turnstone 3s
Mallard 1s
Scan Herring Gull 9s
Dunlin 20s
Guillemot 21n 5s
Porpoise 1
Knot 2s
Common Scoter 8n 6s
Teal 7n 25s
Lapwing 5s
Gannet 2n 4s
Great n Diver 1s
Blue Fulmar 1s
Pintail 1s

Thursday, 26 December 2013

roll on 1st jan

2 Black throated and 29 Red throated Divers passed Whitburn Obs in 2 hours this morning. It was very quiet in a light south westerly not much going on but our run of Black throated Divers continued. Bet they are hard to find come the 1st of  January
On my own again today and this is what i saw in order of appearance

Thursday 26th December 08.00-10.00 SW1

Black h Gull 2n 39s
Eider 2n 1s
Kittiwake 1n
Red th Diver 5n 24s
Cormorant 4n 15s
Common Gull 2n 15s
Shag 1n 5s
Fulmar 4n 2s
Teal 2s
Black th Diver 2n
Guillemot 1n 1s
Common Scoter 8n 4s
Shelduck 1s

Monday, 23 December 2013

santa's little surprises....

2 Little Gulls a Bonxie and a Black throated Diver passed Whitburn Obs this morning.The weather was wild and it threw up a few early xmas surprises with the Little Gulls and a Bonxie. Add to that 3 species of Diver and a Blue Fulmar and you've got yourself a canny sea watch
Nobody else was daft enough to be in the Obs this morning but I'm glad i was and this is what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 23rd December 08.00-11.00 SSW 3-4 then 4-5 Cloud cover and heavy rain at times

Black h Gull 1n 24s
Red th Diver 17n 4s
Gannet 71n 9s
Guillemot 57n 15s
Common Scoter 12n 4s
Turnstone 10s
Bonxie 1n
Greater black backed Gull 1000+s
Cormorant 1s
Kittiwake 5n 5s
Eider 3n 1s
Black throated Diver 1n
Fulmar 1n 47s
Great n Diver 1n
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Little Gull 2s 1ad 1 1st w
Porpoise 1s
and a Blue Fulmar south

Sunday, 22 December 2013

oh no you didnt

Black throated Diver south past Whitburn Obs was the only highlight on today's sea watch. It was cut short as i have a panto to get to at lunchtime with the grand bairns....oh yes i do...
Magic Mark and Pink Floyd joined me today and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 22nd December 07.55-10.05 SW2

Black h Gull 3n 26s
Fulmar 6n 11s
Cormorant 4s
Common Scoter 4n 19s
Eider 5s
Red th Diver 13n 23s
Turnstone 10s
Kittiwake 14n
Black th Diver 1s (bringing this years total to date to 35)
Gannet 5n 1s
Shag 1n
Grey Heron 1s

Saturday, 21 December 2013

bah humduck

a Great northern Diver passed Whitburn Obs this morning but little else of quality, no decent ducks today and Diver passage was down. I was joined by Pink Floyd and later New Mark and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 21st December 07.55-10.45 SW3-4

Black h Gull 3n 8s
Scan Herring Gull 3s
Greater black backed Gull 752s
Guillemot 12n 9s
Cormorant 3n 8s
Turnstone 14s
Shag 5s
Red th Diver 22n 12s
Common Scoter 9n 8s
Fulmar 7n 5s
Kittiwake 4n 32s
Gannet 6n 4s
Great n Diver 1n
Great crested Grebe 1s

Friday, 20 December 2013

Ho Ho Ho

Black throated Diver, Velvet Scoter and Long tailed Duck passed Whitburn Obs this morning. Ho Ho Ho is what most local birders would be saying if you told them you were going sea watching in a south westerly late in December, but it proved a decent watch with loads of Red throats passing and a handfull of decent ducks, and i wasn't the only one who thought it was worth a look as magic mark turned up as well
Here is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 20th December 07.40-11.15 SW2

Black headed Gull 2n 42s
Cormorant 9s
Eider 6n 11s
Guillemot 49n 77s
Red th Diver 20n 58s
Common Scoter 1n 42s
Kittiwake 4n 1s
Turnstone 8s
Gannet 5n 2s
Black th Diver 1n
Fulmar 3n 1s
Velvet Scoter 1n
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Shelduck 1n
Brent Goose pb 1n
Grey Heron 2n
Shag 11n
Long tailed Duck 1n
Golden Plover 50s
Goosander 1s

Monday, 16 December 2013

blue blue christmas

Black throated Diver and Blue Fulmar passed Whitburn Obs this morning. It was cold with a strong westerly this morning my hands and feet were blue and so was the mornings highlight a blue Fulmar slowly making its was north. Off work using up some holidays so what else could i do with my time, xmas shopping or sea watching no competition really
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 16th December 08.00-10.45 W2-3 full cloud cover

Eider 2n 9s
Cormorant 7s
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Common Scoter 3n 13s
Black h Gull 1n 3s
Red th Diver 7n 25s
Fulmar 6n 3s
Blue Fulmar 1n
Guillemot 12n 4s
Gannet 2n 1s
Kittiwake 1n
Turnstone 1s
Purple Sandpiper 1s
Porpoise 2s
Black th Diver 1n

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Glauc steals the show

A juvenile Glaucous Gull and 2 Great northern Divers passed Whitburn in 3 hours this morning. Magic Mark and myself were in from first light and Hoggie joined us later. We were expecting a good passage of Gulls flying south into the wind and hoping for a goodie amongst them,  the Glaucous Gull didn't disappoint flying south then north then south again and lingering
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 14th December 07.45-10.45 SSW 2-3

Black h Gull 3n 33s
Greater black backed Gull 580s
Common Scoter 4n 2s
Red th Diver 15n 28s
Cormorant 2n 3s
Shag 18s
Great northern Diver 2n
Great crested Grebe 1s
Kittiwake 5n
Guillemot 37n 25s
Wigeon 1s
Gannet 30n
Scan Herring Gull 2s
Redshank 4s
Turnstone 4s
Razorbill 1n
Glaucous Gull 1s juv
Fulmar 1n 6s
Grey Heron 1s
Teal 5n
Eider 1s
Porpoise 1n

Friday, 13 December 2013

unlucky for some ?......

A Black throated Diver and 42 Red throated Divers passed Whitburn in 3 hours this morning. Friday the 13th in December is probably not the best day for a sea watch but luckily for me i managed to connect with a movement of Divers, otherwise it was dire
Here is what i saw in order of  appearance

Friday 13th December 07.50-10.50 S2-3 mainly with cloud cover

Cormorant 8s
Black h Gull 1n 6s
Guillemot 4n 6s
Red th Diver 10n 32s including "flocks" of 9 and 10
Common Scoter 2n 3s
Kittiwake 8n 5s
Scan Herring Gull 3s
Fulmar 2n 3s
Gannet 1n 1s
Black th Diver 1n
Wigeon 1n
Mallard 2n
Eider 2s
Pink footed Goose 1 in the Obs field

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Diver hat-trick

Black throated and Great northern Diver passed Whitburn this morning and 2 Long tailed Ducks. Its not every sea watch you see 3 species of  Diver so i was very happy when the Black throated went north to give me my hat-trick on what was otherwise a quiet sea watch. Very few gulls were about but you cant expect a lot on a south westerly. Hoggie and Walter put in an appearance dreaming of Ivory Gulls
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Sunday 8th December 07.45-10.35 SW2-3

Teal 15n
Cormorant 3n 9s
Black h Gull 14n 13s
Shag 7s
Brent Goose db 1n
Common Scoter 19n
Auks 80n
Red th Diver 10n 1s
Long tailed Duck 2n
Fulmar 1n
Eider 5n
Shelduck 2n
Great n Diver 1n
Black th Diver 1n

Saturday, 7 December 2013

after the storm.........

3 Great northern Divers, a Long tailed Duck and a Velvet Scoter passed Whitburn Obs in 3 hours this morning
The big blow through the week didn't quite live up to expectations it didn't come round from the north for us
magic mark, stoney and myself turned up hoping for some after storm movement
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 7th December 07.35-10.35 W2

Black h Gull 119n 22s
Brent Goose lb 6s
Common Scoter 19n
Cormorant 5n 3s
Auks 200 plus north mainly Guillemot's
Long tailed Duck 1n
Red th Diver 9n 5s
Fulmar 7n 1s
Eider 3n 3s
Gannet 10n 5s
Porpoise 1
Shag 9s
Pink footed Goose 8n
Velvet Scoter 1n
Wigeon 3n
Great n Diver 2n 1s
Curlew 4n
Teal 2n

Sunday, 1 December 2013

you cant beat a shag fest........

Iceland Gull, Great n Diver and 46 Red th Divers passed Whitburn by 10.30 this morning. Anticipation was high for a special white winged gull today. I was joined by magic mark and stoney was in the house.We did get a class white winger but it was in the form of a juvenile Iceland Gull, we had a pleasant enough watch in nice conditions but the other highlight was a good passage of Shags.
The first Great northern Diver of the month brought to an end a fantastic month of diver passage in November. 36 Great northers were logged in the obs in November bringing the years total to 74
7 Black throated passed bring the year total so far to 23 for this much scarcer bird. And just to round things off 379 Red throats passed in November bringing the years total to 2320
This makes it the second best ever year so far for Great northern Divers since 102 in 2007 of which 61 were in November
It would be nice to finish the year with another species of diver.............
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 1st December 07.25-10.30 W2 cloud cover

Black h Gull 17n 15s
Common Gull 3n 2s
Eider 4n 6s
Common Scoter 44n 14s
Shag 1n 68s
Goldeneye 1n
Cormorant 9n 4s
Red th Diver 20n 26s
Gannet 6n 1s
Fulmar 3n
Iceland Gull 1s juv
Guillemot 5n
Snow Bunting 1s
Great n Diver 1n
Goosander 1n

Saturday, 30 November 2013

wot no ivory gull.......

Black throated and Great northen Diver passed Whitburn by 10.30 this morning. It was a quiet sea watch with little moving but we still managed three species of Diver and magic mark had a Bonxie that i couldn't get onto
The mistake we made was ending the watch when we did as an Ivory Gull probably passed the Obs sometime this morning. Oh well lets hope its relocated or passes tomorrow
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 30th November 07.30-10.30 NW 2 broken cloud

Gannet 14n 10s
Fulmar 3n
Brent Goose 1n db
Red th Diver 6n 23s
Common Scoter 9n 36n
Brent Goose1n pb
Cormorant 3n 10s
Black th Diver 1s
Guillemot 9n 1s
Shag 1n 1s
Great n Diver 1s

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Sooty saves the day

Sooty Shearwater 2 Great northern and 2 Black throated Divers passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 today. It was a little disappointing i expected more wildfowl movement in a nice northerly flow but little was passing and yes the Sooty was the star of the show. The passage of Divers continues and it will be interesting to see the months totals
Pink Floyd and Hoggie were in today and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 24th November 07.20-10.30 N2-3 cloud cover

Black h Gull 36n 12s
Eider 26n 4s
Common Scoter 30n 1s
Wigeon 8n
Gannet 188n
Fulmar 23n
Guillimot 165n
Scan Herring Gull 1n
Sooty Shearwater 1n ( 8.15 )
Razorbill 6n
Kittiwake 7n 3s
Mallard 6n
Red th Diver 21n 1s
Great n Diver 2n
Black th Diver 2s

Saturday, 23 November 2013

sloppy seconds......

4 Great northern 1 black throated and 21 Red throated Divers passed Whitburn Obs by 10am today. The northerly has gone and we were left with sloppy seconds but it was still a canny sea watch. New Mark joined me (late as usual) and Hggie at the death
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 23rd November WNW2 cloud cover

Common Scoter 26n
Eider 31n 3s
Black h Gull 8n 16s
Cormorant 1n 7s
Fulmer 6n
Goldeneye 4n
Bonxie 1n
Shag 13s
Red th Diver 9n 12s
Long tailed Duck 8n
Black th Diver 1s
Gannet 13n
Great n Diver 4n
Wigeon 1n 1s
Velvet Scoter 2n
Red br Merganser 1n
Red necked Grebe 1s
Teal 10n
Goosander 1n
porpoise 1

Friday, 22 November 2013

Skua Surprise 2...........no Skuas

3 Little Auks, 3 Great northern Divers and a Black throated Diver passed Whitburn Obs by 09.45 this morning. The general passage of birds was excellent continuing on from yesterday with lots of Eider, the one difference being the lack of Skuas with just one Arctic passing. Otherwise it was a good mixture of wildfowl and a few Little Auks. Nobody else showed up except Peter Bell and Peter Gill who turned up late on
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Friday 22nd November 07.20-09.45 NW3 cloud cover

Gannet 176n
Cormorant 2n 2s
Eider 257n
Shag 1n 7s
Little Auk 3n
Fulmar 13n
Wigeon 23n
Shelduck 17n
Common Scoter 303n
Red necked Grebe 1s
Long tailed Duck 1n 1s
Goldeneye 9n
Goosander 1n
Velvet Scoter 4n
Red th Diver 13n 4s
Great n Diver 3n
Knot 16n
Brent Goose 4n db
Mallard 6n
Porpoise 1
Snipe 2n
Black th Diver 1n

Thursday, 21 November 2013

skua surprise

Long tailed Skua, 2 Poms and 11 Bonxies passed Whitburn Obs 13.00-15.35pm. Sadly work got in the way of sea watching today, so i wasn't able to get in the Obs till this afternoon and missed the Little Auks but still managed to see 3 species of Skua including a stunning juvenile bird so i was glad i made the effort.Add to that 3 Great northern Divers and a Glaucous Gull and you can feel the quality. Magic Mark and Pink Floyd were in from first light and put in a mega shift and the day totals were outstanding
This is what i saw on my afternoon watch in order of appearance

Thursday 21st November 13.00-15.35 NW2-3 rain at times

Long tailed Duck 1n 1s
Eider 227n
Long tailed Skua 1n juv close inshore
Bonxie 11n
Common Scoter 10n 123s
Red th Diver 5n 3s
Mallard 31n 2s
Cormorant 4n
Velvet Scoter 3s
Great northern Diver 1n 2s
Goldeneye 4n
Pom Skua 2s
Wigeon 20n
Shelduck 3n
Shag 1n
Teal 6n 2s
Glaucous Gull 1n juv

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Goan home......

Great northern Diver, 2 Velvet Scoters and a Long tailed Duck passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. Yes magic mark and myself are back from our winter break in Goa, jet lag doesn't stop keen sea watchers.It was a very pleasant watch and we were joined by pink floyd, hoggie and walter
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 17th November 07.15-10.30 WNW2 cloud cover

Eider 22n 2s
Cormorant 22s
Red th Diver 17n 23s
Long tailed Duck 1n
Shag 4n 14s
Porpoise 2
Gannet 25n 2s
Great northern Diver 1n
Common Scoter 27n
Mallard 1n
Grey Heron 1n
Grey Wagtail 1n
Velvet Scoter 2n
Pink footed Goose 180s

Sunday, 3 November 2013

it is now......

Great northern Diver passed Whitburn by 10.30 this morning. I didn't expect much in a blasting westerly and i was right. Pink Floyd joined me late on and we didn't see much, a bit of vis mig kept the interest up but birds were scarce. Its my last sea watch for a while as next weekend I'm off to do some birding in Goa with magic mark
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 3rd November 06.50-10.30 W5-6 at first but 3-4 later light cloud

Black h Gull 54n 112s
Cormorant 1n 14s
Goldeneye 1n
Common Scoter 68n 1s
Peregrine 2n
Goosander 5s
Curlew 1s
Teal 1n
Red breasted Merganser 1s
Turnstone 6s
Red th Diver 1s
Fieldfare 15 in off
Great n Diver 1s
Grey Heron 1s
Blackbird 3 in off
Wigeon 1n

Saturday, 2 November 2013

they think its all over..........

560 Pinkfeet, 9 Whoopers and a Great northern Diver went south past Whitburn by 10am. It was just me and Pink Floyd in the Obs today, he beat me in i wonder if he slept in the Obs. The fair weather sea watchers have left till next year thinking all the action was over but as you can see it was a canny watch.This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 2nd November 06.45-10.00 W1-2 then SW 2-3

Black h Gull 90n 399s
Cormorant 1n 19s
Curlew 2s
Common Scoter 35n
Eider 1n 2s
Teal 2s
Red th Diver 4n 18s
Red br Merganser 3n
Shag 1n
Pink footed Goose 560s (240 and 320 )
Whooper Swan 9s
Great n Diver 1s
Little Gull 1s
Goldeneye 3n 1s
Mallard 1n
Grey Heron 2
Porpoise 10 plus

Sunday, 27 October 2013

gone fishing.........

Long tailed Duck, Bonxie and Merlin passed Whitburn Obs this morning. Yes i wished i had gone fishing at times on this mornings sea watch. It took 90 mins to see my first duck
Anyway lets not dwell on it here is what i saw in order of appearance

Sunday 27th October 06.35-10.15

Cormorant 2n 13s
Black h Gull 11n 84s
Common Gull 1n 56s
Scan Herring Gull 8s
Shag 2n 1s
Bonxie 1s
Red th Diver 4n 4s 6 on the sea
Kittiwake 5s
Merlin 1s
Long t Duck 1n
Common Scoter 1s
Eider 5s
Teal 2s
Med Gull 1ad in Obs field

Saturday, 26 October 2013

something in the air

3 Great northern Divers, 2 Med Gulls and a Bonxie passed Whitburn by 11.05. Good conditions with cloud cover helped make it an enjoyable watch. I was joined by magic mark stevie thunder and the babysiter. Stevie lived up to his name having had a curry last night, you could hear the distant rumble and as thunderclap newman sang....'something in the air', it wasn't pleasant
Its not every day you see 3 great northerns i was happy
Here's what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 26th October SW2 07.25-11.05

Black h Gull 6n 66s
Brent Goose 2n
Curlew 122 in obs field
Red th Diver 13n 12s
Cormorant 1n 16s
Goldeneye 2n
Common Scoter 41n 10s
Shag 3n 3s
Common Gull circa 30s
Eider 9n 1s
Great northern Diver 2n 1s
Scan Herring Gull 5s
Goosander 1s
Med Gull 2s ad and 2nd w
Teal 1n 1s
Porpoise 4
Grey Heron 1
Bonxie 1n
Whooper Swan 6s

Thursday, 24 October 2013

winter birds on a sunny day

10 Whooper Swans and 120 Pink feet flew south past Whitburn late morning. I was in the Obs following a tip off from magic Mark that a Stonechat had been seen in the nature reserve near the Obs
I soon found it and added it to my Obs year list which now stands at a canny 160. I joined Hoggie and Walter for a late morning watch and it didn't look promising but as usual we got a few birds
Here is what passed

Thursday 24th October 11.00-12.00 SW2 bright sun
Red th Diver 2n 1s
Pink footed Goose 45n 120s
Whooper Swan 10s
Stonechat 1 in the nature reserve

Hoggie had 9 Whoopers south over Whitburn Steel and as i left the area found 19 at Boldon Flats
Well done magic Mark

Sunday, 20 October 2013

sea watching is like a box of chocolates you never know.........

2 Great northern Divers,8 Little gulls and a Sooty Shearwater passed Whitburn by 09.30 this morning
magic mark new mark (slept in again) and myself witnessed some quality sea passage but not much in between
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 20th October 07.15-09.30
Black h Gull 19n 116s
Shag 3s
Cormorant 5n 14s
Eider 36n 2s
Great northern Diver 2n
Common Scoter 28n 28s
Teal 9n 3s
Goldeneye 2n
Bonxie 4n
Red th Diver 4n 13s
Grey Heron 1n 1s
Wigeon 17n 4s
Common Tern 1n
Little Gull 8s
Long t Duck 2s
Sooty Shearwater 1n
Med Gull 1n ad

i looked for the yellow browed at Morrison's briefly but only saw 3 very large brown rats

Saturday, 19 October 2013

the three stooges

28 Scaup,Velvet Scoter,Long tailed Duck and 49 Brent Geese passed Whitburn Obs in 7 hours today.It was another first class sea watch and it was as you were with just the three stooges starting the day that's magic mark stevie thunder and myself.We were joined later by the doc and new mark
I didn't see all of these birds as i dashed to Hartlepool for the Dusky Warbler to keep my county list ticking over
This is what we saw in order of appearance sort of

Saturday 19th October 07.15-14.10 SE 2 cloud cover some rain

Black h Gull 7n 59s
Common Gull 150n
Common Scoter 389n 18s
Eider 28n
Teal 83n 12s
Dark bellied Brent Goose 27n 22s
Red th Diver 7n 4s
Curlew 49n
Scaup 20n 8s
Goldeneye 2n 1s
Cormorant 4n 5s
Wigeon 313n 11s
Bonxie 4n
Velvet Scoter 1n
Shoveler 3n
Peregrine 1n
Shag 2n
Long tailed Duck 1s
Shelduck 7n
Little Gull 1n 1s
GBBGull 450s
Herring Gull 700s

After the sea watch i decided to go and find a Pallas's Warbler at Mere Knolls Cemetery but only managed a superb Yellow browed Warbler as i parked my car at Morrison's it was a bright individual and showed well and was present at dusk
I bumped into an old friend who was twitching my warbler, Roy Atkins a bird guide with the excellent Speyside Wildlife holiday company

Friday, 18 October 2013

Obs yearlist update

Long tailed Tit was added to the Obs year list yesterday bringing the total to 159. This despite the lack of top quality sea birds this year, so far. And far exceeding my original expectations when i started this first ever Obs year list
Yes i just glanced at the sea and it didn't look promising so having lunch in the Obs didn't seem such a good idea but at last i saw some Long tailed Tits and a few Brambling were flying about the country park. I had seen two Yellow browed Warblers between getting out of my car and reaching the Obs so not a bad start. The sun was out and birds were singing so i decided to head south and have a second look at the Western Bonelli's Warbler and try for some video. As it turned out i was in the perfect position when John Dunnet called "Pallid Swift". Rita had pointed out the bird and John nailed its id and alerted the Bonelli's throng. As most observers were photographers and not birders I'm sure many great photos of the Swift are about.
The Swift kindly hung around till dusk and roosted on St Hilda's Church allowing all those who wanted to see the bird a chance, it was even viewable at roost check out my video posted on the Teesmouth Bird club Website
It was a welcome addition to my county year list which stands at over 240 so far this year
So in view from the Obs tradition this is what i saw in order of appearance :)

Yellow browed Warbler
Yellow browed Warbler
Long tailed Tit
Western Bonelli's Warbler
Pallid Swift

not a bad few hours anyway back to the serious stuff of sea watching on Saturday unless..........

Sunday, 13 October 2013

whats up duck

Long tailed Skua, Pom Skua,14 Velvet Scoter and 6 Long tailed Duck passed Whitburn Obs in 8 hours today. The third day of the big northerly blow and the birds just keep coming but in ever reducing numbers.The Obs was still busy with Magic Mark, New Mark, Chinchinery(for the 3rd day) and the return of Pink Floyd, Stewie was back, sorry if i missed anyone, and a big thanks to unlucky Dave and the Doc for contributions later in the day while i was watching Great Grey Shrike, R B Fly at Hendon and Firecrest in the Docks, and tried to nail an elusive Radde's that wouldn't give itself up
This is what was seen in 8 hours in order of appearance

Sunday 13th October 07.00-17.20 with a gap of just over 2 hours with no observer NE3 cloud cover

Wigeon 72n 14s
Common Scoter 157n 15s
Red th Diver 27n 14s
Black h Gull 16n 16s
Velvet Scoter 7n 7s
Eider 17n 1s
Common Gull 1n
Bonxie 44n
Pom Skua 1n
Curlew 1n
Goldeneye 4n
Sooty Shearwater 4n
Long t Skua 1n
Long t Duck 6n
Brambling 2 outside Obs a new Obs year tick
Scaup 1n
Teal 13n
Knot 1n
Dunlin 6s
Manxie 2n
Shoveler 1n
Shag 3n 1s
Cormorant 1n
Tufted Duck 2n
Brent Goose pb 2n
Turnstone 1n
Bar t Godwit 1n
Brent Goose db 1n
Mallard 6n
Great n Diver 1n

Saturday, 12 October 2013

whats that going over the hut......is it a leach's

3 Poms, only 92 Bonxies and a Leach's Petrel passed Whitburn Obs today as well as another host of birds. Not as many in the Obs today (thank god) i was joined by Stevie thunder new Mark along with Steve Chinery (what twice in a year), Foghorn was back along with the main man MM also drunken duncan and stewie and guess what the doc was in the house!
Not the fantastic numbers of birds today either but still a cracking sea watch, here's what we saw sort of in order of appearance

Saturday 12th October 07.00-16.00 NE 3 cloud cover and drizzle

Common Scoter 445n 69s
Wigeon 99n 52s
Red th Diver 37n 2s
Fulmar 33n
Lapwing 17n
Black h Gull 24n 18s
Eider 10n 4s
Common Gull 7n
Bonxie 92n
Velvet Scoter 19n 1s
Sparrowhawk 1n
Great n Diver 1n
Purple Sandpiper 2n
Teal 25n
Arctic Skua 4n 1s
Black th Diver 5n
Cormorant 2n 6s
Mallard 1n 2s
Leach's Petrel 1s 08.45
Shag 4n 90s
Goldeneye 8n
Red br Merganser 5n 2s
Grey Plover 1n
Long t Duck 3n
Sanderling 6n
Pochard 1n
Sooty Shearwater 5n
Knot 1n
Pintail 1n
Pom Skua 3n
Bar t Godwit 1n
Grey Heron 3n
Dunlin 4n
Tufted Duck 1n
Sandwich Tern 2n
Brent Goose db 2n
Kestrel 1n

Friday, 11 October 2013

whats that coming over the hut....is it a Bonxie

432 Bonxies passed Whitburn Obs in 10.3 hours a new day record count. A fitting highlight to a fantastic sea watch. The number of observers packed into the Obs was also a record with 17 at one time. We had many highlights not least Grey Phalarope, Leach's Petrel, and 5 Long tailed Skuas. The observers were too numerous to mention but thanks to all who contributed including Aide the ringer for his info on birds moving north past Ryhope
This is what we saw in order of appearance as usual, read em and weep if you didn't make it in

Friday 11th October 06.55-17.15 NE 3-4 mostly good cloud cover except for a couple of hours

Common Scoter 464n 15s
Grey Heron 3n 1s
Black h Gull circa 145n
Sooty Shearwater148n
Manxie 161n
Fulmar 460n
Wigeon 392n 51s
Red th Diver 38n 10s
Red br Merganser 4n
Bonxie 432n..........yes 432n
Goldeneye 17n 3s
Arctic Skua 5n
Mallard 13n
Teal 72n
Velvet Scoter 20n 3s
Long tailed Duck 3n
Brent Goose pb 26n
Knot 1n
Blue Fulmar 14n
Shoveler 25n (all in 1 flock)
Tufted Duck 7n
Pom Skua 11n
Great northern Diver 6n
Shag 5n 29s
Pintail 1n
Eider 10n 2s
Snipe 1n
Little Gull 1n
Arctic Tern 1s
Scaup 6n
Long tailed Skua 5n
Bar t Godwit 2n
Grey Phalarope 1n 10.50
Pochard 6n
Brent Goose db 2n
Balearic Shearwater 1n
Leach's Petrel 1n 16.05

phew that's got to be sea watch of the year...............so far

Thursday, 10 October 2013

its a kinda magic....

Long tailed Skua, 8 Velvet Scoter, 7 Long tailed Ducks and 79 Sootys passed Whitburn Obs this afternoon. I returned to the Obs for an afternoon watch and yes Magic Mark is back in the Obs and called the bird of the afternoon a close in Long tailed Skua, he even got cracking photos of it.We were joined by Foghorn and true to his name he never shut up. Also Derek Charlton, Steve Chinary and Sir Ian Mills
It was a super sea watch and Sootys were the main feature with plenty in the supporting cast
This is what we saw in sort of order of appearance

Friday 10th October 12.15-17.35

Common Scoter 17n 53s
Red th Diver 8n 8s
Bonxie 4n 11s
Sooty Shearwater  79n
Red br Merganser 2n
Wigeon 15n 51s
Barnacle Goose 14n
Arctic Skua 2n 6s
Velvet Scoter 7n 1s
Long tailed Duck 7n 2s
Knot 1n
Manxie 14n
Dunlin 9n
Long tailed Skua 1n juv
Scaup 1n
Little Gull 1n
Fulmar 2n

Another fantastic day in the Obs and back in the morning for more

winter wonderland.....

Leach's Petrel, 6 Sooty Shearwaters,3 Velvet Scoter and 34 Barnacle Geese passed Whitburn Obs by 09.05 this morning. A big change in the weather away from the Indian summer this morning with a massive drop in temperature and at last a nice northerly wind. I was joined by Stevie Howart, Steve Chinery, Hoggie, Walter and even the Birtley Bishop made a brief appearance. It all started with a bang but did quieten down by 9am. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 10th October 07.05-09.05 NW3-4 Cloud at first but difficult viewing later as the cloud cleared

Common Gull 5n
Eider 2n 2s
Sooty Shearwater 6n
Mallard 1n
Barnacle Goose 34n
Velvet Scoter 3n
Leach's Petrel 1n 07.10
Bonxie 1n 1s
Lapwing 6n
Manxie 7n 2s
Arctic Skua 3n 4s
Dunlin 6n
Red th Diver 7n 2s
Teal 7n 20s
Common Scoter 12n 21s
Wigeon 7n
Canada Goose 4n
Red br Merganser 2n
Brent Goose pb  2n
Purple Sandpiper 1n
Med Gull 1n adult

Sunday, 6 October 2013

its all about feet, big feet, pink feet........

575 Pinkfeet, Great northern Diver and a Lapland Bunting passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 this morning. Pink feet are on the move groups of circa 45,350 and 180 went south.A Great northern Diver had the biggest feet of the day a massive bird with huge club feet, in better light and closer in i would have been checking it out for White billed. Only new Mark (Mark Harper) joined me again this morning where have all the sea watchers gone, but we had a good watch with lots of interest and migrants moving south.I had to cut it short for some grandad duties but will be in the field again later today
Here is what we saw in order of appearance sort of

Sunday 6th September 06.45-09.30 SW2-3 light cloud sometimes bright sun

Grey Heron 1n 1s
Black h Gull 42n 77s
Curlew 35n
Red th Diver 2n 18s
Eider 14n 5s
Cormorant 21s
Common Scoter 12n 4s
Golden Plover 14n 10s
Meadow Pipit 24s
Arctic Skua 1s
Tufted Duck 2s
Grey Wagtail 3s
Lapland Bunting 1s (a new Obs tick and 155 for the year so far)
Great crested Grebe 2s
Pied Wagtail 1s
Greater black backed Gull 64s
Red br Merganser 1s
Sandwich Tern 3s
Pink footed Goose circa 575s
Great northern Diver 1s
Porpoise 1s

Saturday, 5 October 2013

OBP stops play

2 Whooper Swans 54 Pink feet and 26 Red throated Divers passed Whitburn Obs by 10.45. The sea watch was interrupted for a while when i went to see Olive backed Pipit in the hand, great work by Adrian and the ringing team. I was joined briefly by new Mark and Stewy McClain.Not a lot was passing but after the Pipit it didn't matter
This is what we saw

Saturday 5th October 06.45-10.45 W2 light cloud

Eider 2n 8s
Cormorant 2n 106s
Curlew 3n
Black h Gull 42n 251s
Shag 27s
Red th Diver 4n 22s
Common Gull 10n 3s
Grey Heron 2n
Common Scoter 3s
Pink footed Goose 54s
Sandwich Tern 6s
Whooper Swan 2n

Monday, 30 September 2013

skuas steal the show again

2 Poms 2 Bonxies and 14 Arctic Skuas passed Whitburn Obs this afternoon. I cant fit in an early sea watch before work anymore as its nearly 7am before its light so i am trying a few afternoon sessions
Yesterday was fantastic but today's easterly flow was anything but with few birds passing. Derek Charlton started the watch and i joined him later. This is what we saw

Monday 30th September 13.00-17.30 SE3-4

Red th Diver 1n 1s
Gannet 294n
Brent Goose pb 5n
Brent Goose db 2n
Common Scoter 10n
Wigeon 11n 74s
Eider 1n 3s
Pintail 1n
Arctic Skua 14n
Bonxie 2n 1s
Pom Skua 2n

Sunday, 29 September 2013

its a game of two halves

Long tailed Skua, Bonxie and 25 Arctic Skuas passed Whitburn Obs this evening. Yes a game of two halves this mornings sea watch had its moments but was lacking a bit bumf, this afternoon took the biscuit.Or was it just that the light was better anyway we enjoyed it. Once again i was joined by new mark who is putting in a few hours of late for both sessions.I wasn't expecting much tonight but the Skuas started and didn't stop
This is what we saw today

Sunday 29th September 06.30-10.00 SE3-4 bright sun

Red th Diver 5n 26s
Common Gull 26n 11s
Eider 2s
Black h Gull 56n 55s
Grey Heron 2n 2s
Common Scoter 12n 49s
Curlew 2n 2s
Cormorant 1n 9s
Wigeon 125n
Arctic Skua 9n
Teal 3n 16s
Sandwich Tern 8s
Brent Goose 1n pb 1n db
Pintail 1n
Scaup 1n
Pink footed Goose 3n
then i managed to see 4 yellow browed warblers over 3 different sites

15.15-18.30 E2-3 brrr

Red th Diver 2n 2s
Arctic Skua 25n
Bonxie 1n
Common Scoter 3n 2s
Puffin 1n
Wigeon 8n
Cormorant 4n
Teal 6s
Knot 6s
Eider 1n 1s
Common Tern 1n
Little Gull 2n
Long tailed Skua 1n juv
Shag 1n
Sandwich Tern 2n

what a cracking few days its been at Whitburn

mellow yellow

Yellow browed Warbler from the Obs was the highlight this Saturday with few sea birds passing in poor viewing conditions. it was one of those days when kicking bushes was more productive than sea watching but i still managed to see a Yellow browed Warbler from the Obs and a Goldcrest (thanks Jason) bringing my Obs year list to 154. Much better than i expected at the start of this adventure i reckon 160 must be on
I was joined by new Mark and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 28th September 06.20-09.30 S2-3 bright sun

Black headed Gull 120n 33s
Cormorant 26s
Peregrine 1n
Red th Diver 1n 15s
Eider 6n
Common Scoter 15n
Arctic Tern 1n
Curlew 2n
Sandwich Tern 14n
Teal 9n 33s
Yellow browed Warbler
Grey Partridge 13 in Obs field

Arctic Skua 2n
Puffin 1n
Knot 7s
Sandwich Tern 1s

Friday, 27 September 2013

pass the bottlenose

14 Bottllenose Dolphins,Red necked Grebe,and 18 Barnacle Geese were the highlights past Whitburn Obs this morning.Its always exciting to watch Dolphins and we have had plenty of White beaked this year so it was a nice surprise when i picked up this pod moving south to see they were Bottlenose.I have only ever seen small parties before of 2 or 3 so 14 maybe more was fantastic.They were close inshore along the flag line and were watched moving south for half an hour. I managed some video so will post it on my youtube channel after I've edited it
Away from the Dolphins things were a bit quieter for birds. Yesterday over 100 Skuas passed the Obs today none. This is what we did see in order of appearance....oh i was joined by Stoney,Hoggie, Millsie and a few others

Friday 27th September 06.35-10.35 SSE 2 cloud cover calm sea

Black headed Gull 30n 15s
Common Gull 5n 9s
Cormorant 2n 21s
Wigeon 41n
Med Gull 1s 1st w
Common Scoter 83n 31s
Eider 9n 5s
Red th Diver 6n 15s
Sandwich Tern 3n 11s
Teal 22n 50s
Sanderling 1n
Shelduck 2n
Curlew 2n
Manxie 1n
Brent Goose 1n db
Shag 4n
Velvet Scoter 2n
Barnacle Goose 18n
09.00 Bottlenose Dolphin 14s till 09.30
Red necked Grebe 1s
Mallard 1n
Turnstone 2n

Thursday, 26 September 2013

poms longtails sootys,poms longtails sootys

2 Long Tailed Skuas,3 poms,15 Bonxies and 48 Arctic Skuas passed Whitburn Obs this morning on a superb sea watch.Its an often repeated mantra in the Obs,'poms sootys longtails' made famous by a bird club member who can get a little excited by the prospect of a special sea watch, and thats what we had this morning.The Obs was full with Magic Mark, new Mark,Pink Floyd,The Babysitter,unlucky Dave and more
This is what we saw in sort of order of appearance

Thursday 26th September 06.25-11.55 SW2 light cloud
Common Scoter99n 16s
Wigeon 106n 21s
Manx Shearwater 86n
Red th Diver 11n 112s
Shag 13n 11s
Sooty Shearwater 25n
Bonxie 15n
Velvet Scoter 10n
Common Gull 3n
Arctic Skua 48n
Barnacle Goose 35n 95s
Pintail 2n
Cormorant 3n 36s
Little Gull 20n
Peregrine 1n juv female
Arctic Tern 3n 1s
Eider 4n 6s
Pom Skua 2n 1s
Brent goose pb 4n
Brent Goose db 3n
Common Tern 11n
Sandwich Tern 2n 1s
Grey Wagtail 1s
Puffin 2n
Black h Gull 5n 40s
Long tailed Skua 2n both juvs
Shoveler 2n
Red br Merganser 1n 1s
Gadwall 2n
Pink footed Goose 4n
Kestrel 1n
Song Thrush 3 in off 

going back for more this afternoon

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Little and Large

10 Little Gulls,5 Arctic Skuas and 18 Red throated Divers passed Whitburn Obs by 10.15. It was nearly a case of little and large after the10 Little Gulls a large corvid was circling high up very distant, was it a Raven, we couldn't nail it. Not quite up to yesterdays standards but another nice watch with just Mark and myself and a brief visit from Pink Floyd before he left to look at a Lap bunt
Here's what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 22nd September 06.15-10.15 SW1-2 cloud cover sometimes

Cormorant 3n 61s
Black h Gull 278n 16s
Wigeon 54n
Arctic Tern 1n
Shag 3n 6s
Red th Diver 8n 10s
Teal 251n
Eider 7n
Common Scoter 45n 1s
Heron 1n
Little Gull 10n
Goosander 4n
Scaup 1n female
Common Tern 3n 2s
Sandwich Tern 6n 15s
Arctic Skua 2n 3s
Bar tailed Godwit 1n

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Bandits at 12 o'clock

Red necked Grebe,4 Little Gulls 36 Red throated Divers and 9 species of wildfowl passed Whitburn Obs by 10.15.It was an action packed sea watch with only Magic Mark Newsome@whitburnbirds joining me.On a pleasant morning with good light and a calm sea, and to top it all off we saw some White beaked Dolphin early on.The ducks were coming at us from all directions cracking seawatch
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 21st September 06.15-10.15 SW1

Cormorant 5n 70s
Black h Gull circa 80 up and down
Wigeon 244n
Sandwich Tern 5n 2s
Common Gull 7n 5s
Eider 6n 2s 4 on the sea
Common Tern 18n
Red throated Diver 9n 27s
Common Scoter 152n 1s
07.50 3 plus White beaked Dolphin south
Pintail 13n
Turnstone 5n 2s
Dunlin 7n
Grey Heron 1s
Teal 660n 2s
Lapwing 50s
Arctic Skua 2n 1s
Redshank 2n
Porpoise 1n
Red necked Grebe 1n
Shag 4n 3s
Knot 2n
Curlew 4n
Bar tailed Godwit 2n
Goosander 1s
Arctic Tern 2n
Little Gull 4s
Bonxie 3n
Sanderling 9n
Tufted Duck 1s
Brent Goose pb 1n
Mallard 1n

Friday, 20 September 2013

Quiet day at the office

Little Gull,Bonxie,2 Arctic Skuas and 6 Sandwich Terns were the best of a small bunch past Whitburn early morning. Nice calm morning but little moving. Hopefully the American Golden Plover will end up in the Obs field soon. As i left the Obs Swallows and Pipits were heading south could be a good day for vismig
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Friday 20th September 06.10-07.30 W1-2

Black h Gull 28n 17s
Grey Heron 1n
Red th Diver 3n 4s
Eider 2n
Arctic Skua 1n 1s
Common Tern 1n
Cormorant 15s
Little Gull 1n juv
Sandwich Tern 6s
Wigeon 1n
Common Scoter 1n 1s
Bonxie 1s

Of note were 14 Grey Partridge in the Obs field

Thursday, 19 September 2013

the fat lady hasn't sang yet

Great northern Diver, 5 Little Gulls 3 Sandwich Terns and a selection of wildfowl passed Whitburn Obs early am.Following a run of westerlies and few birds it was nice to get some passage this morning. A bit of south in the wind and calmer conditions resulted in an enjoyable sea watch
A chiff chaff was singing as i left the Obs and it felt like spring had arrived
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Thursday 19th September 06.15-07.30 WSW2 cloud cover and a magnificent sunrise

Cormorant 6n 17s
Black h Gull 28n 46s
Red th Diver 1n 10s
Common Gull 1n
Grey Heron 1n
Curlew 5n
Goosander 1n
Teal 15n
Little Gull 5n adults
Common Scoter 10n
Sandwich Tern 3s
Great northern Diver 1n
Wigeon 10n
Shag 1s
Manxie 1n
Porpoise 1

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

hard times

17 Red throated Divers, 3 Sandwich Terns and 12 Canada Geese passed Whitburn Obs early morning.
A brisk westerly and bright sun were not ideal conditions for a sea watch but i managed a short one before work today and was joined by Stevie Howart
This is what we saw by 07.30 in order of appearance. I left Steve in charge

Tuesday 17th September 06.10-07.30 W4 bright sun

Cormorant 47s
Black h Gull 26n 14s
Curlew 1n
Sandwich Tern 1n 2s
Canada Goose 12s
Red th Diver 1n 16s
Common Scoter 2n

Plenty of Black headed Gulls were getting in the Obs fields before flying inland but i couldnt pick out the Bonaparts this morning

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Batten down the hatches

Sooty Shearwater,3 Little Gulls and a juv Med Gull passed Whitburn Obs on today's early sea watch.The Indian summer is gone and a blasting south westerly is busy shaking up the birds in the north sea.Magic Mark beat me in today.It was very cold and i must remember my gloves and scarf next time. The Bonaparte's was seen in fields near the Obs yesterday so we were checking all the gulls but no sign early morning. My first Pink Feet of the year south and a good selection of birds made for an interesting watch
Here is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 15th September 06.10-09.10 SSW6 cloud rough sea

Eider 5s
Black h Gull 17n 7s
Cormorant 1n 30s
Red th Diver 4n 2s
Shag 2s
Common Tern 1n 1s
Arctic Skua 7n 2s
Teal 1n
Common Scoter 5s
Sandwich Tern 2n 6s
Grey Heron 1n 1s
Pink footed Goose 7s
Sooty Shearwater 1n
Manx Shearwater 1n
Curlew 1n
Little Gull 3s 2 juv 1 ad
Med Gull 1s juv
Red br merganser 1s
Shoveler 6s
Bonxie 1n

Saturday, 14 September 2013

bring on the westerlys

8 Arctic Skuas, 6 Bonxies and 26 Red th Divers passed Whitburn in 4 hours till 10am.Despite the northerly flow we struggled to find many notable birds and recorded no Shearwaters at all. Magic Mark joined me briefly before going to work, and Stevie Thunder. Later the addition of Drunken Duncan and the Hogmeister didn't improve the list much. The discussion turned to the identification and ageing of Sabs Gull and the flight times of said species between Whitburn and Tynemouth
Here is what we recorded in order of appearance

Saturday 14th September 06.00 10.00 NW2 broken cloud and bright sun at times

Cormorant 10n 99s
Black h Gull 90n 17s
Red th Diver 6n 20s
Curlew 2n 1s
Knot 8s
Common Scoter 13n 2s
Eider 7s
Bonxie 6n
Redshank 24n
Bar t Godwit 1n
Sandwich Tern 4n 25s
Arctic Skua 4n 4s
Common Tern 3n
Meadow Pipit circa 20s
Teal 28n
Turnstone 2n
Sanderling 10n
Dunlin 10n
Peregrine 1n
Gannet circa 3500 n
Yellow Wagtail 1s
Shelduck 1s
Wigeon 1n

we had a mouse moth in the obs

Friday, 13 September 2013

unlucky for some

Roseate Tern, 2 Red necked Grebes, 2 Sooty Shearwaters and 3 Arctic Skuas passed Whitburn by mid day Friday the 13th and unlucky for Peter Bell who wanted to see a Roseate Tern but arrived 5 minutes late for the one i saw at 07.45
It was a decent sea watch but lacked another good bird, i was joined by Peter and Ian Mills, Peter Hogg and Adam. Its still northerly tomorrow so lets hope for better. Here's what we saw in order of appearancd

Friday 13th September 06.10-12.00 N 3-4 cloud and early rain clearing

Black h Gull 36n 2s
Cormorant 14n 30s
Common Scoter 122n
Curlew 2s
Red th Diver 8n 25s
Gannet 932n
Teal 23n 11s
Wigeon 58n
Sandwich Tern 19n 15s
Redshank 1n 1s
Fulmar 70n
Eider 1s
Manxie 5n
Roseate Tern 1n ad
Common Tern 6n
Arctic Tern 1n
Arctic Skua 3s
Sooty Shearwater 2n
Red necked Grebe 2n
Tufted Duck 1n
Pochard 1n
Dunlin 2n

Thursday, 12 September 2013

heyup duck

6 Red throated Divers, a Bonxie and good numbers of wildfowl passed Whitburn Obs early morning.
The best conditions to see ducks moving past Whitburn are light south westerlies and a bit of low cloud and mist helps. That's what i had this morning and they didn't disappoint
My morning watches before work will  be ending soon so i am making the most of what little time i have, unless of course i win the lottery
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Thursday 12th September 06.10-07.30 SW1-2 cloud and early mist

Curlew 14n
Black h Gull 41n 5s
Cormorant 1n 25s
Red th Diver 6s
Sandwich Tern 3n
Wigeon 46n
Eider 1s
Pintail 1n
Arctic Tern 1n
Teal 251n
Common Scoter 194n
Manxie 2n
Bonxie 1n

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

calm after the storm

2 Sooty Shearwaters, a Little Gull and a Med Gull passed Whitburn Obs early morning.The Norherly is going and things have settled down to a nice easy pace. Conditions were very pleasant with full cloud and a nice grey sea
New Mark joined me today and i had to leave him in charge as work once more gets in the way. This is what we had in order of appearance

Wednesday 11th September 06.10-07.45 NW2 full cloud cover heavy swell

Cormorant 5n 22s
Eider 5 on sea
Common Gull 3n 6s
Black h Gull 53n 10s
Common Scoter 3n 12s
Arctic Tern 1n
Red th Diver 4n 4sTeal 74n
Wigeon 34n
Little Gull 1n juv
Manxie 7n
Common Tern 6n
Sandwich Tern 4s
Med Gull 1n juv
Bonxie 1n
Sooty Shearwater 2n

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Skua city

Sooty Shearwater 4 Bonxies 10 Arctic Skuas 10 Red th Divers passed Whitburn early am by 07.45 on what could prove to be a very good day. Sadly i am at work
Magic Mark the Chairman and later Pink Floyd joined me for an early look
this is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 10th September 06.00-07.45 NW3 cloud cover great light

Cormorant 2n 65s
Sandwich Tern 3n 6s
Arctic Skua 4n 6s
Curlew 5n
Eider 3s
Grey Heron 1n
Manxie 1n
Grey Wagtail 1s
Bonxie 2n 2s
Redshank 6s
Common Scoter 1s
Teal 12n
Sooty Shearwater 1n
Shag 1n
Black h Gull 20n 8s
Red th Diver 10s
Common Tern 6s

Monday, 9 September 2013

Gilbert O'Sullivan

8 Red throated Divers passed Whitburn Obs early morning were the only birds of note on a quite sea watch. Over 30 observers visited the Obs over the last few days but it was 'alone again naturally' this morning. You can feel the Autumnal chill and my morning watches are getting shorter as the days close in. I didn't see much at all but the forecasted northerly flow over the next few days may improve things.
Here's what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 9th September 06.00-07.15 W1-2 part cloud

Curlew 55 off the Obs field
Black h Gull 24n 121s
Dunlin 8s
Arctic Tern 1s
Cormorant 2n 63s
Common Tern 4n 4s
Redshank 3s
Eider 4s
Red th Diver 5n 3s
Common Scoter 6n
Teal 3n

you might notice no Sandwich Terns!

Sunday, 8 September 2013

peace and quiet returns to the Obs

Red necked Grebe, 2 Arctic Skuas Little Gull and Spot shank passed Whitburn Obs early am. Peace and quiet was back after yesterdays noisy frantic packed Obs sea watch. Only Stoney and myself were in i even had time to sweep the floor after you messy lot. Even so i got 2 new Obs year ticks bringing my total to 152, the spot shank flying south with Redshank and a Tree Pipit flying south with Mipets called.The Cuckoo was still in the Obs field and some vis mig was evident
It was quiet, after yesterdays 1000 Manxies today we had 1. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 8th September 05.50-08.30 S2 bright sun

Cormorant 4n 81s
Black h Gull 41n86s
Curlew 2n
Manxie 1n
Turnstone 1s
Red th Diver 2n 3s
Shelduck 1n
Sandwich Tern 18n 5s
Teal 3n
Common Scoter 5n 5s
Redshank 8s
Spotted Redshank 1s
Little Gull 1n
Red necked Grebe 1n i think that's 5 in 3 days
Eider 1n 1s
Common Tern 5n 1s
Arctic Tern 2s
Dunlin 1s
Arctic Skua 2n
Meadow Pipits 14s as i left the obs many more were moving south and swallows
Tree Pipit 1s flying with mipits called
Porpoise 1s
Cuckoo 1 in field

I'm off to look for a Barred Warbler and do some vis mig, back to the obs late pm

Saturday, 7 September 2013

'Another Manxie North'

2 Balearic,32 Sooty and 980 Manxies, 2 Pom Skuas a Sabs Gull and 3 Red necked Grebes passed Whitburn Obs by 11am
Another full Obs another action packed sea watch, shame about the light.The phrase another Manxie north was regular as 980 went past I missed the juv Sabs gull which Stevie Thunder watched through my scope as i had popped out to see Rosefinch in the hand
I will fill more detail in later but birds are waiting for me
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 7th September 05.50-11.00 SE2-3 some cloud early on then yuk

Shoveler 2n
Manxie 980n
Black h Gull 94n 6s
Teal 24n 50s
Cormorant 4n 135s
Arctic Skua 33n 7s
Common Tern 40n 4s
Common Scoter 117n
Sandwich Tern 81n 14s
Sooty Shearwater 32n
Turnstone 5s
Red th Diver 8n 6s
Bonxie 10n 3s
Black Tern 1n
Balearic Shearwater 2n
Bar tailed Godwit 2n
Arctic Tern 27n
Wheatear 1
Kestrel 1n
Shag 3n
Redshank 4s
Ruff 1n
Little Gull 27n
Red necked Grebe 3n
Wigeon 23n
Pintail 4n
Velvet Scoter 2n
Puffin 1n
Pom Skua 2n 1ad
Great crested Grebe 2s
Grey Plover 1n
Curlew 1n
Greenshank 1s
Gannet 1213n

back later for more.........

Friday, 6 September 2013

when the north wind doth blow............

Long Tailed Skua, Balearic and 55 Sooty Shearwaters and a Roseate Tern passed Whitburn Obs in 11.25 hours today. It was a great sea watch with a full Obs we didn't get the biggy that was down to Steely on the Farnes again. The cast is too numerous to mention all but it included Magic Mark who called the 2 star birds, Pink Floyd, The Babysiter(Derek Lawrence),The Doctor was in the house, Timmy Mills and Hoggie,Foghorn,etc etc etc
Here is what we saw mainly in order of appearance

Friday 6th September 06.00-18.00 minus 45mins when obs wasn't manned N6 rain all day

Red th Diver 9s
Manx Shearwater 289n
Sooty Shearwater 55n
Balearic Shearwater 1n
Cormorant 18n 18s
Shag 3n 2s
Common Scoter 56n 1s
Eider 5n 6 on sea
Wigeon 285n 58s
Pochard 3n
Teal 227n 166s
Pintail 5n
Gadwall 1n
Mallard 1s
Tufted Duck 1n
Goldeneye 1n
Scaup 1n
Goosander 1n
Black h Gull 9n 26s
Arctic Skua 6n 39s
Bonxie 19n 2s
Long tailed Skua 1n juv
Sandwich Tern 12n 38s
Common Tern 7n 8s
Arctic Tern 1n
Redshank 2n
Golden Plover circa 500n
Purple Sandpiper 1n
Grey Plover 4n
Fulmar 280 by 11.30

Pergrine 2n
Brent Goose 49n
Red necked Grebe 1n
Roseate Tern 1n
Puffin 1n
Porpoise 1

Thursday, 5 September 2013

No two days alike...

Merlin, Little Gull and Med Gull passed Whitburn early morning. No two days are alike in the theatre of dreams. Today hardly a Shearwater, no Skuas, few waders etc etc. Who knows what tomorrow will bring and the outlook for the weekend is promising with easterly winds, i might pull back some of the migrants that i missed on my holiday in Ibiza. Wryneck and Icky could still end up on my year list
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Thursday 5th September 05.55-07.15 SW2 broken cloud some mist

Curlew 2n
Black h Gull 5n 179s
Teal 58n 3s
Common Scoter 5n 3s
Common Tern 19n 1s
Cormorant 1n 27s
Sandwich Tern 6n 5s
Shag 1s
Red th Diver 4s
Merlin 1s (my first of the year from the Obs and a landmark as its 150 up for my Obs year list)
Med Gull 1s ad
Arctic Tern 5n
Porpoise 2
Red br Merganser 1n
Wigeon 2s
Manxie 2s
Grey Wagtail 1s

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Mix it up

Sooty Shearwater, 2 Med Gulls 3 Little Gulls and 23 Arctic Terns passed Whitburn Obs by 07.30 this morning. It was a pleasant warm morning with early cloud clearing to bright hot sun and plenty of birds moving a good mix of gulls terns waders .....
Here's what i saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 4th September 05.55-07.15 S1-2 flat calm sea cloud at first then bright sun

Knot 2s
Dunlin 1s
Cormorant 1n 72s
Common Tern 19n 5s
Black h Gull 2n 165s
Sooty Shearwater 1n
Sandwich Tern 2n 45s
Med Gull 2s 1ad 1 juv
Arctic Tern 19n 4s
Manxie 9n
Teal 4n
Common Scoter 8n
Little Gull 3n
Turnstone 6s
Curlew 3n 1s
Shag 1s
Arctic Skua 2s
Red th Diver 2n

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Call of the wild

Great northern Diver, 25 Manxies and 12 Arctic Terns went passed Whitburn Obs early morning.
On a much better day with calm conditions a few birds did show today although my sea watch time was limited to an hour with work getting in the way. It started with a lovely red sky sunrise and the stars of the show were the two Red throated Divers sat on the sea close inshore that were singing for the whole time. If you haven't heard it before its a real experience, an eerie call
This is what i saw in my hour in order of appearance

Tuesday 3rd September 06.15-07.15 W1 dead calm broken cloud

Manxie 25n
Black h Gull 7n 20s
Fulmar 48n 5s
Common Tern 8n 5s
Cormorant 1n 34s
Sandwich Tern 7n 10s
Great northern Diver 1n (a beast of a bird flying high up)
Arctic Skua 1s
Arctic Tern 10n 2s
Common Scoter 1n 4s
Red th Diver 3n 2 on sea
Teal 10n
Cuckoo juv flying round fields south of obs which is probably the bird that has been on Jackie's Beach lately

Monday, 2 September 2013

Birds, what birds

Sooty Shearwater, Arctic Skua and a Bonxie went past Whitburn Obs early morning on a dissapointing sea watch. A strong westerly wind, poor light and a rough sea put paid to any passage but this is what i did see in order of appearance

Monday 2nd September  05.50-07.05 W5 broken cloud

Curlew 2n
Cormorant 65s
Red th Diver 1s
Black h Gull 1n 1s
Wigeon 1n
Manxie 1n
Arctic Skua 1n
Ruff 1n
Bonxie 1n
Sooty Shearwater 1n

Sunday, 1 September 2013

Feeling Ruff

13 Sootys, 229 Manxies 15 Little Gulls and a Black Tern passed Whitburn Obs by 10.00 this morning. Yes its great to be back after a week in Ibiza and a hat full of missed migrants it was business as usual with a great watch this morning. The only birds i had missed from the Obs when i was away were Red backed Shrike and a Ruff and within the first half hour 3 Ruff went north a great pull back bringing my Obs list to 148. As for the Shrike well i missed one earlier in the year as well some things just arn't meant to be
I was late in and joined Magic Mark and Stevie Thunder at 06.15, the Doc arrived later still. As usual Mark was in fine form
This is what was seen by 10am in order of appearance and what a great watch for a Westerly

Sunday 1st September 05.50-10.00 W2 cloud cover

Black h Gull 6n 4s
Common Gull 3n 2s
Manxie 193n 36s
Sandwich Tern 5n 70s
Common Tern 9n 7s
Sooty Shearwater 13n
Common Scoter 6n 3s
Turnstone 2n 8s
Redshank 68s
Dunlin 6s
Ruff 3n
Little Gull 11n 4s
Black Tern 1n
Red th Diver 5n 2s
Whimbrel 1s
Bar tailed Godwit 1n 5s
Arctic Skua 1n 1s
Knot 1n 3s
Shag 1s
Bonxie 2n
Puffin 1n
Pintail 4n
Teal 2n
Ringed Plover 3n
Cormorant 6n 104s

Friday, 23 August 2013

even more teal vicar

6 Roseate Terns a Balearic Shearwater 11 species of wader and 1082 Teal past in another super Whitburn sea watch.Add to this another Obs year tick,  Pied Flycatcher (147) and i can go on my holidays happy
Just Mark Newsome@whitburnbirds and myself in today, although unlucky Dave made a late entrance and a first mention on my blog, he just missed the Pied Fly...............
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 23rd August 05.30-09.30 SE2 fog clearing to broken cloud

Curlew 6n 3s
Teal 926n 156s
Black h Gull 58n 56s
Common Scoter 176n
Whimbrel 2n 4s
Cormorant 7n 95s
Knot 13s
Med Gull 1s juv
Oyster Catcher 35s
Bar t Godwit 1s
Manxie 13n 7s
Ringed Plover 1s
Arctic Skua 3s
Sandwich Tern 3n 117s
Redshank 3n 2s
Red th Diver 1n 5s
Shoveler 3n
Arctic Tern 2n
Wigeon 7n 2s
Roseate Tern 2n ad and juv 4s 2 ad
Common Tern 38n 57s
Balearic Shearwater 1s
Sparrowhawk 1s
Golden Plover 2s
Greenshank 1s
Turnstone 2n
Pied Flycather 1 on the wall
Grey Plover 1n

Back on the 1st of September

Thursday, 22 August 2013

2nd bite ....

Balearic Shearwater, Yellow legged Gull and a hat full of Skuas went past Whitburn Obs this afternoon. Both Mark@whitburnbirds and myself had the same idea a late sea watch as the wind direction changed to an easterly flow after westerlies. So a second bite for me today. Mark started we met in the middle and i finished
The bonus bird and an addition to my Obs year list was Whinchat, viewed from the door by both of us and gone 10 minutes later.
This is what we saw

Thursday the 22nd August 14.00-18.00 SE

Manxie 21n
Common Scoter 5n
Teal 26n 19s
Dunlin 3n
Oyster Catcher 137s
Whimbrel 1s
Redshank 38n 7s
Turnstone 1n 1s
Arctic Skua 12s
Bonxie 1s
Black h Gull 3n 41s
Common Gull 1s
Yellow l Gull 1n juv
Sandwich Tern 150n 13s
Common Tern 115n 19s
Arctic Tern 14n
Balearic Shearwater 1n at 5.45
Whinchat 1 Obs list now 146 for the year

back early tomorrow for more before a week off


2 Roseate Terns, Sooty Shearwater, Red necked Grebe and Arctic Skua passed Whitburn Obs early morning, yes very similar to yesterday but a much quieter day overall. Stoney was in the house again and helped to keep me awake. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 22nd August 05.30-07.15 W1 dead calm

Curlew 4n
Common Tern 8n 23s
Sandwich Tern 7n 50s
Manx Shearwater 26n 10s
Black h Gull 66n 3s
Common Scoter 28n
Cormorant 3n 31s
Teal 32n 5s
Arctic Skua 1s
Redshank 5n
Porpoise 3
Red necked Grebe 1n
Arctic Tern 1n 6s
White beaked Dolphin 10 plus feeding well to the north
Sooty Shearwater 1s
Turnstone 4n
Roseate Tern 2s adults
Grey Heron 1s

We closed the watch early to look for a Parakeet sp reported by a passing birder but didn't find it

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Who ate all the pies?

Pom Skua,Red necked Grebe,Sooty Shearwater and Med Gull all went past Whitburn Obs early morning. Yes @NTsteely ate all the pies , not content with having a captive Bridled Tern to release every time visitor numbers need a boost he is now trying to capture all of the Manxies in the North Sea with 300 off the Farnes yesterday evening. Thankfully we still managed to find some birds off Whitburn this morning. Stoney was in the house and i needed him as it was busy.This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 21st August 05.25-07.30 SSW2 cloud cover

Black h Gull 10n 63s
Manx Shearwater 18n 2s
Curlew 13n 1s
Common Tern 1n 18s
Teal 189n
Med Gull 1s ad
Cormorant 14n 69s
Shag 1n (first I've seen for ages)
Eider 3n
Pom Skua 1s ad
Arctic Tern 48n 3s
Knot 59s
Common Scoter 8n 1s
Whimbrel 6n
Wigeon 1n
Turnstone 1s
Red necked Grebe 1n - a new Obs year tick for me bringing the total to a very credible 146
Common Gull 1s juv
Sandwich Tern 4n 141s
Bonxie 1n
Sooty Shearwater 1n
Redshank 9s
Sanderling 10s
Ringed Plover 2s
Dunlin 5s
Golden Plover 1s

I may have to cancel my family holiday on Saturday how can i miss all this action

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

Still going...not all gone yet

1 Sooty and 7 Manx Shearwaters, 2 Med Gulls and an Arctic Skua went passed Whitburn Obs early morning.The Terns keep going south and im still looking but no Bridled, its sure to pass next week when i am on holiday. Another nice mixed bag on this mornings sea watch with a bit of quality as well. Here's what i saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 20th August 05.20-07.20 SW1-2 early cloud then bright sun

Teal 6n 3s
Curlew 2n
Common Scoter 15n
Dunlin 3n
Common Tern 1n 16s
Sandwich Tern 237s
Cormorant 3n 63s
Sooty Shearwater 1n
Black h Gull 15n 33s
Med Gull 2s ad and 2nd w
Shoveler 2n
Redshank 36n 3s
Ringed Plover 2s
Manx Shearwater 7n
Oyster Catcher 23n
Turnstone 3s
Arctic Tern 2s
Arctic Skua 1s

I had a Wheatear as i walked back to my car a sign of things to come

Monday, 19 August 2013

Going going..................

Roseate, 7 Arctic, 28 Common and 187 Sandwich Terns went south past Whitburn Obs early morning. Yes the terns are heading south and not returning. This mornings movement of Sandwich Terns was in two forms. Small groups flying south fast and low and family groups feeding and moving south slowly. Not much else this morning a nice peaceful start to the week, lets hope it picks up. Here's what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 19th August W1-2 bright sun then cloud cover by 06.30

Turnstone 1n 3s
Curlew 3n
Cormorant 7n 76s
Sandwich Tern 187s
Common Tern 3n 32s
Black h Gull 8n 7s
Redshank 54s
Arctic Tern 7s
Arctic Skua 1n
Whimbrel 1s
Common Scoter 52n 2s
Teal 10n
Roseate Tern 1s ad

Sunday, 18 August 2013

Black tailed Sabbath

43 Black tailed Godwits were the best of 10 species of Waders that passed Whitburn Obs this morning and 4 Bottlenose Dolphins north rounded off another bumper watch. It was just the original breakfast club members in the Obs this morning, myself, Magic Mark and Stevie Thunder. We had another action packed watch which is good going on a westerly with bright sun in your eyes. Steve nearly left at 8.30 because it was a bit quiet, hes glad he didn't.Terns were moving again but still no sign of the Bridled
The best birds were the two groups of Black tailed Godwits 23 and 20 flying south, vis mig in action
Here's what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 18th August 05.10-09.30 W2 bright sun calm sea

Common Tern 19n 51s
Curlew 3n 3s
Redshank 1n 15s
Turnstone 1n 6s
Cormorant 15n 157s
Sandwich Tern 8n 241s
Arctic Tern 7n 1s
Oyster Catcher 26s
Common Scoter 26n 2s
Dunlin 7s
Swift 2s
Manxie 15n 3s
Velvet Scoter 1s
Black h Gull 3s
Sparrowhawk 1n
Porpoise 1n
Knot 6s
Ringed Plover 2s
Heron 1 on the rocks
Teal 37n 9s
Shelduck 5n 2s
Black tailed Godwit 43s
Grey Wagtail 1s
Whimbrel 2s
08.35 4 Bottlenose Dolphins went north watched for 10 mins, a nice change from the White beaked we have been seeing lately
Swallow 13s
Snipe 5s
Bonxie 1n

Saturday, 17 August 2013

Southward Bound

4 Great and 4 Arctic Skuas,48 Whimbrel and 348 Sandwich Terns were the highlights passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 this morning. Yes the Terns are heading south and we wont be seeing some of them again. I noticed Steely on the Farnes said his Terns were heading off, well can you send us the Bridled please. I fancied it might have went passed with the Sandwich Terns today but not on my shift, maybe tomorrow
The Obs was busy and the front row was full even with Magic Mark and Stevie Thunder my normal early morning companions missing. Stoney was in the house for the third day running i think we've got a convert, also Mark H from Notts was back along with Derek Lawrence and Colin Wilson and Desperate Den again bringing up the rear!
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 17th August 05.15-09.30 SSW 3 cloud cover

Bar t Godwit 1s
Common Tern 20n 43s
Whimbrel 13n 35s
Arctic Tern 13n 42s
Sandwich Tern 16n 332s
Curlew 4n 4s
Manxie 11n 7s
Black h Gull 1s
05.55 Petrel sp south seen by Rob but we couldn't get on it
Common Scoter 11n 13s
Swift 2s
Cormorant 32n 211s      yes 211s
Teal 11s
Bonxie 2n 2s
Arctic Skua 4n
Redshank 1n 16s
Kestrel 1n
Sandmartin 3s
Turnstone 1s
Ringed Plover 5s
Swallow 4s
Shelduck 1s

I will be back later for a second look and hoping for the Bridled Tern

Friday, 16 August 2013

Seventh Heaven

Pom Skua, 2 Roseate Terns, Yellow legged and Med Gulls and a Sooty passed Whitburn by 08.30 am. Add to this the Minke Whale that went north and its been a cracking morning. I was joined by Magic Mark whose magicians hat was working today and Stoney
The early rain meant things were slow getting started but once it got going it was a great sea watch. Here's what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 16th August 05.35-08.30 SW2 rain at first and good cloud cover

Mallard 2n 2s
Teal 63n 8s
Manxie 12n 4s
Common Scoter 64n 8s
Cormorant 6n 71s
Red th Diver 1s
Black h Gull 3s
Curlew 2n 1s
Redshank 2n 2s
Common Gull 2s
Lesser b b Gull 3s
Golden Plover 7s
Goosander 1n
Sandwich Tern 22n 118s
Arctic Skua 2s
Arctic Tern 1n 7s
Pom Skua 1s
Porpoise 2n
Roseate Tern 2s
Ringed Plover 1s
Sooty Shearwater 1s
07.35 Minke Whale seen twice moving north
07.45 Minke Whale seen once further north
Med Gull juv on sea trying to eat a frog! then flew south
Yellow Legged Gull 1n juv a fantastic find by Magic Mark a new Obs year tick bringing the total to 145, and a Durham year list tick bring it to 227
Whimbrel 1s

Now that's what i call a sea watch

Thursday, 15 August 2013

More Teal Vicar

2 Arctic Skuas 16 Manxies and 209 Teal went past Whitburn Obs this morning. I nearly didn't bother with this mornings watch as the rain en route was heavy, however Stoney was on his way and i had the key!
Its just as well i made the effort as we had an excellent sea watch with a good variety of birds and a bit of wildfowl movement
Here's what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 15th August 05.35-07.35 S2-3

Curlew 1n 1s
Bar t Godwit 2s
Teal 178n 31s (lots of small groups moving)
Oyster Catcher 5s
Common Scoter 106n 10s
Common Tern 7n 83s
Arctic Tern 1n 1s
Cormorant 11n 46s
Arctic Skua 2n
Purple Sandpiper 1s
Manxie 15n 1s
Sandwich Tern 6n 70s
Turnstone 1s
Red br Merganser 1n
Whimbrel 1s

Wednesday, 14 August 2013

Cetacean hangover

Med Gull, 2 Arctic Skuas and 20 Manxies passed Whitburn early morning. Yesterdays northerly flow was replaced by a westerly and the Shearwaters have all but dried up. I still had a nice selection of birds. No Whales this morning but the sea looks perfect for more cetacean action today, i can feel another evening sea watch coming on
Here's what i did manage to see in order of appearance

Wednesday 14th August 05.10-07.10 WNW1-2 cloud cover calm sea

Cormorant 10n 65s
Teal 2n
Common Tern 9n 23s
Sandwich Tern 31n 78s
Porpoise 3
Arctic Tern 7s
Manx Shearwater 14n 6s
Med Gull 1s 2nd sum
Red th Diver 1n
Common Scoter 15n
Puffin 1n
Shelduck 2s
Arctic Skua 2s
Redshank 10n 4s

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Minke Whales steal the show

2 Minke Whale, Balearic 3 Sooty and 96 Manx Shearwaters passed Whitburn Obs this evening. I saw the first Minke at 18.00 fairly distant then 2 much closer inshore at 06.50 till 07.00 at least. It was a fitting end to an excellent evening watch after a disappointing morning. The Balearic Shearwater was my first of the year and brings my Obs list to 144
Here's what i saw this evening in order of appearance

Tuesday 13th August 15.50-19.15 N1 flat calm sea with good visibility

Oyster Catcher 11n 37s
Turnstone 1n 2s
Sandwich Tern 63n 13s
Common Tern 10n 28s
Black h Gull 3s
Curlew 2s
Porpoise 4 at least
Manx Shearwater 85n 11s
Whimbrel 3s
Redshank 9s
Sooty Shearwater 3N
Black tailed Godwit 20s
Dunlin 5s
Teal 2n 3s
18.00 Minke Whale then 2 closer inshore at 18.50 till 19.00
Arctic Tern 1n
Arctic Skua 1n
Balearic Shearwater 1n then swung back south checking the area where Minke had surfaced


Arctic Skua, 7 Manxies and 141 Sandwich Terns passed Whitburn Obs early morning and little else
We are stuck with this westerly weather and even Magic Mark couldn't pull a bird out of his hat on this pleasant morning
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 13th August 05.10-07.15 WNW 2 bright sun choppy sea

Common Tern 1n 47s
Oyster Catcher 16n 27s
Cormorant 10n 59s
Black h Gull 2s
Common Scoter 8n
Arctic Tern 4n 1s
Arctic Skua 1n
Manxie 5n 2s
Red th Diver 2n
Common Gull 1n
Sandwich Tern 2n 139s

Monday, 12 August 2013

Oh dear.........

Roseate Tern 6 Manx Shearwaters and a Greenshank passed Whitburn Obs early morning I thought the birds had gone on strike this morning, let's hope they are back at work in the morning

Monday 12th August 05.30-07.15 W1-2 cloud cover calm sea

Redshank 7n 1s
Cormorant 6n 41s
Oyster Catcher 11s
Black h Gull 2s
Common Tern 12n 47s
Common Scoter 3n
Arctic Tern 10n 1s
Roseate Tern 1n ad
Sandwich Tern 6n 110s
Greenshank 1n
Manxie 6n
Yellow Wagtail 1s
Dunlin 2s
Sanderling 2s

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Lazy Sunday Seawatch

62 Manxies and 307 Sandwich Terns past Whitburn this morning on a very quiet seawatch. Whitburn Mark joined me and Notts Mark the newbie from yesterday, it was a lovely morning very pleasant but not much happening as you will see

Sunday 11th August 05.00- 08.00 W2 some cloud early on clearing

Oyster Catcher 67s

Redshank 9s

Black h Gull 2n 7s

Cormorant 6n 76s

Sandwich Tern 9n 298s

Manxie 62n

Arctic Tern 11n

Red th Diver 2n 1s

Common Sandpiper 1s

We went back to check for a Balearic Shearwater reported north past Hartlepool but had no luck




Saturday, 10 August 2013

Train kept a rollin

Sooty and 176 Manx Shearwaters, 325 Sandwich Terns and a Green Sandpiper passed Whitburn Obs by 08.30. Another canny sea watch and the train kept a rollin on my Obs year list with the Green Sandpiper making it 143, and all this on a westerly. Add to this the Bonaparte's gull i saw on the way home, found this year by Ian Mills.....not a bad start to the day
The Obs was busy with Mark, Derek Lawrence, Pink Floyd and a newbie, here's what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday August 10th 04.55-08.30 W2 cloud cover, good light early on

Curlew 5n 2s
Black h Gull 18n 13s
Porpoise 4s
Oyster Catcher 44n
Manxie 55n 121s
Arctic Tern 4n 2s
Common Tern 29n 217s
Redshank 1s
Red th Diver 1n 1s
Common Gull 5s
Whimbrel 1s
Sandwich Tern 24n 301s
Green Sandpiper 1s
Wigeon 1s
Arctic Skua 1s
Dunlin 2s
Sooty Shearwater 1s
Puffin 1n 1s
Grey Plover 1n
Ringed Plover 3n
Shoveller 5n
Mallard 2s
Turnstone 5n

Maybe tomorrow we will get a Balearic or Cory's, seems plenty to the south of us

Friday, 9 August 2013

Double Wammy

2 new Obs year ticks added on a short sea watch this afternoon bringing the list to 142. It was thanks to Mark Newsome@whitburnbirds. We had decided to do an afternoon watch and it turned out pretty good. As i was packing up to leave Mark called the Greenshank which i just got on and seconds later directed my attention to 4 Snipe going north, i left a happy man
I left Mark in the Obs he was in great form so anything may have happened. this is what we saw in order of appearance


Sandwich Tern 23n 11s
Manxie 5n 4s
Oyster Catcher 34s
Whimbrel 9s
Common Scoter 6s
Common Tern 17n 10s
Black h Gull 6n
Curlew 5s
Arctic Tern 4n 1s
Roseate Tern 2n (1 ad )
Red th Diver 1n
Med Gull 1s juv
Common Gull 2s
Greenshank 1s
Snipe 4n

The Black and White show

Sooty Shearwater, a Black Tern, 3 Arctic Skuas and a Bonxie went past Whitburn Obs early morning.
Stoney was in the house and he was enjoying the good light conditions, the Manxies were looking black and white, and we were hoping for a brown one
It started quiet as early morning rain cleared through but did pick up, not as busy as yesterday but still some quality birds and yes the Dolphins. Only 3 seen this morning but feeding close inshore with some breaching a fantastic sight. A Peregrine south over the sea was a bonus as we were packing up
Here's what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 9th August SW1-2 05.15-07.30 good cloud cover, early rain clearing

Common Scoter 35n 7s
Whimbrel 11s
Black h Gull 1n 8s
Cormorant 2n 30s
Common Tern 5n 12s
Manx Shearwater 35n 22s
Arctic Skua 3s
05.55 White beaked Dolphin  3 feeding close inshore till at least 06.30
Sandwich Tern 13n 126s
Redshank 5n
Arctic Tern 12n 6s
Puffin 1n
Black Tern 1s
Bonxie 1n
Sooty Shearwater 1n
Peregrine 1s

Thursday, 8 August 2013

Quality Street

Roseate Tern, 2 Sooty Shearwaters and 2 Velvet Scoters passed Whitburn Obs this morning
It was a quiet start to the morning with little passing but it built to a climax of birds and Dolphins by the time i had to leave for work. Sadly i couldn't linger due to a heavy schedule today, how many more Rosy's would pass, the Dolphins were showing........damn damn damn

Thursday 8th August 05.10-07.00 W1 broken cloud calm sea

Oyster Catcher 71n 39s
Cormorant 6n 55s
Common Tern 3n 72s
Sandwich Tern 3n 263s
Puffin 1n
Manxie 35n 2s
Common Scoter 31n
Sooty Shearwater 2n
Arctic Tern 2n 4s
Redshank 2s
Eider 1n
Velvet Scoter 2n
Black h Gull 2s
Roseate Tern 1s adult
Whimbrel 1n 1s
Arctic Skua 1n
White beaked Dolphin 10s

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Rosy Terns on the move

2 Roseate Terns went south past Whitburn Obs early morning along with 140 Sanwich Terns.
A calm sea with little wind resulted in a quiet early morning watch with few birds moving
Here is what i saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 7th August 04.50-07.00 W1 calm sea and broken cloud

Sandwich Tern 11n 129s
Arctic Tern 13n 4s
Cormorant 7n 64s
Curlew 1n
Common Tern 12n 22s
Common Scoter 42n
Black headed Gull 7n 6s
Manxie 11n
Shelduck 3n
Whimbrel 1s06.25 circa 6 White beaked Dolphins breaching distantly to the south
Roseate Tern adult and juv south

Yesterday evening i did a short watch 16.30-18.00
Arctic Skua 1s
Arctic Tern 7n
Sooty Shearwater 1n (my first of the year tho others have seen them ) bringing my Obs year list to 140
Sandwich Tern 10n 17s
Sanderling 6s
Common Tern 1s
Manxie 11n
Whimbrel 2s

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Bog standard sea watch 2

15 Manxies and 5 Black tailed Godwits passed Whitburn early morning on a poor sea watch.
The least said the better, westerly and bright sun sums it up. Shame the Bee-eaters didnt come over the Obs

Tuesday 6th August 04.55-06.55 W3 bright sun

Turnstone 4n 1s
Black h Gull 2n 4s
Cormorant 3n 31s
Common Scoter 28n
Manxiev 3n 12s
Redshank 12n 8s
Common Tern 4n 3s
Black tailed Godwit 5s
Oyster Catcher 8s
Sandwich Tern 8n 22s
Red th Diver 1s
Arctic Tern 1s

Monday, 5 August 2013

It never rains it pours..............waders

67 Manxies and 218 Common Scoter and a Curlew Sandpiper went past Whitburn Obs this morning along with a good selection of waders
I had to abandon my early morning watch due to the weather. Its was still raining when i arrived in the Obs but the cloud was lifting. As soon as i sat down 32 Manxies went south right under my nose and a flock of 120 Scoter went north so i knew it had been worth the effort
Waders was going south regularly and i was wondering what had i already missed, still it was a canny couple of hours
Here's what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 5th August 09.55-12.30 S2 rain, mist cloud cover

Golden Plover 3s
Dunlin 27s
Oyster Catcher 15s
Sanderling 19s
Manxie 67s
Common Scoter 123n 95s
Teal 1n
Bar tailed Godwit 3s
Knot 23s
Sandwich Tern 4n 67s
Common Tern 15n 14s
Curlew Sandpiper 1s
Puffin 1s
Arctic Tern 22n 4s
Curlew 2n 1s
Turnstone 3s
Redshank 10s
Arctic Skua 1s

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Blogger City

39 Whimbrel and 3 Black tailed Godwits south past Whitburn Obs were the highlights this morning and a Peregrine. None of the regular sea watchers joined me this morning but i did have a visit from two fellow Bloggers. Howden Blogger and Segedunum Warbler, they called in on the way south to Saltholme to check out the Obs after reading my blog, fame at last
It was a mixed bag with no star birds to boast of but pleasant until the cloud cleared to bright sun
Heres what i saw in order of appearance

Sunday 4th August 04.44-09.00 SSW2 then SW3 rain cloud then bright sun, i had the lot!

Common Tern10n 63s
Black h Gull 5s
Cormorants 17n 109s
Turnstone 1n
Arctic Tern 21n 20s
Sandwich Tern 11n 355s
Knot 2n 8s
Whimbrel 39s
Teal 22n
Curlew 1n 3s
Manx Shearwater 16n 1s
Oyster Catcher 10s
Black tailed Godwit 3s
Sanderling 3s
Swallow 3s
Peregrine 1 hunting auks off the obs
Wigeon 1s
Common Scoter 43n 10s
Whimbrel 39s

Saturday, 3 August 2013

'Humpty Dumpty' a Humpback past the Obs

Humpback Whale past the Obs this morning was the main event along with 6 Little Gulls 71 Manxies and a good selection of waders and ducks.The Humpback was first picked up by Mark at 08.05 we lost it for a while then he again found it as we watched it move north by 09.00. A few in the Obs this morning as i was joined by Mark, Stevie Thunder, Derek Lawrence and Pink Floyd with Desperate Den bringing up the rear. Here's what we saw

Saturday 3rd August 04.50 -09.10 sw1-2 then SW 5 mainly bright sun

Manx Shearwater 33n 38s
Common Tern 84n 34s
Arctic Tern 56n 15s
Common Scoter 370n 5s
Teal 37n 2s
Dunlin 4s
Red br Merganser 2n
Whimbrel 26s
Cormorant 13n 70s
Curlew 2n 2s
Redshank 2n 10s
Turnstone 1n 1s
Oyster Catcher 12n 16s
Knot 1n 10s
Common Gull 4s
Sandwich Tern 16n 79s
Black h Gull 3n 5s
Puffin 1s
Grey Plover 1s
Bonxie 1n
Swift 6s
Shoveller 2n
Arctic Skua 1s
Little Gull 6n
08.05 Humpback blow seen twice
Bar t Godwit 5n
08.50 Humpback Whale again moving north till 09.00 am ish

Friday, 2 August 2013

Frantic Friday

Little Gull, 111 Arctic Terns and 76 Manxies, and 563 Common Scoter went past Whitburn Obs prior to 7am.It was a busier day than yesterday with a mainly northerly movement of birds on a nice southerly breeze. Lots of Kittiwakes and Gannets were moving but we were looking for bigger fish so didn't record numbers. I was joined by Stoney and he was a welcome guest keeping an eye on the Manxies as i tried to sweep up the rest. Early mist cleatred to bright sun which meant most id was by silhouette only, it was a frantic two hours and great fun. Here's what we got

Friday 2nd August 04.55-07.00 S2-3 early mist then bright sun

Common Tern 13n 23s
Manx Shearwater 46n 30s
Cormorant 7n 25s
Common Scoter 554n 9s
Red th Diver 1n
Teal 4n
Arctic Tern 110n 1s
Turnstone 2s
Dunlin 2s
Sandwich Tern 9n 26s
Puffin 2n
Whimbrel 1s
Little Gull 1s

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Breakfast with Rosie

3 Roseate Terns and 3 Arctic Skuas went south past Whitburn Obs today on a much quieter day. Following the excellent Tern passage yesterday you would expect something similar, but no in the first hour the only terns i saw were 2 Common Terns. Thankfully it picked up and 2 Roseate Terns south close in together were a real treat, a third passed before i packed in for work
Lets hope they are a regular sight over the next few weeks, here's what i saw in order of appearance

Thursday 1st August 05.00-07.00 SSW2-3, cloud cover

Cormorant 5n 48s
Common Tern 6n 39s
Arctic Skua 3s
Common Scoter 82n
Black h Gull 2s
Manxie 7s
Puffin 2n
Arctic Tern 6n 6s
Curlew 1n 1s
Sandwich Tern 12n 55s
Oyster Catcher 14s
Dunlin 1n
Roseate Tern 3s adults
Whimbrel 6s

Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Tern the other Rosy cheek

4 Roseate Terns,272 Sandwich and 200 Common Terns went south past Whitburn by 7am. Yes a spanking good Tern day, Mark Newsome(@whitburnbirds) was in the Obs and we heard the Rosy Tern first then picked it up close inshore. Mark called the other 3 as they went south more distantly a great spot. I left him in the Obs so expect more
This is what we had

Wednesday 31st July 04.45-07.00 W1 dead calm full bright sun

Cormorant 3n 26s
Common Tern 9n 191s
Black h Gull 1n 6s
Manxie 17n 2s
Arctic Tern 2n 7s
Common Scoter 38n
Sandwich Tern 7n 258s
Oyster Catcher 34s
Swift 15n
Dunlin 3s
Roseate Tern 4s
Arctic Skua 1s
Eider 1 on sea
Yellow Wagtail 1s
Gropper reeling again early am only
Puffin 1n

We were reflecting on what a good July it has been, but tomorrow is August, bring it on

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

White beaked Dolphins passs the Obs

10 White beaked Dolphins went south past the Obs this morning 2 Arctic Skuas and 18 Manxies were the best birds on another very quiet day
I was joined by Pink Floyd for the last half and and it was just as well or i might have fell asleep
Here is what i saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 30th July 04.50-07.00 SW1 dead calm broken cloud

Curlew 2s
Cormorant 7n 18s
Common Scoter 108n 6s
Manxie 13n 5s
Common Tern 2n 47s
Puffin 2n 2s
Black h Gull 2n 8s
Sandwich Tern 13n 95s
Turnstone 4s
Arctic Tern 13s
Knot 1s
Red th Diver 1s
Arctic Skua 2s
White beaked Dolphin circa 10 sth @06.25
Porpoise 1

Monday, 29 July 2013

Fly away Peter....

4 Arctic Skuas, 14 Whimbrel and 10 Arctic Terns past Whitburn was the best i could do today as all the birds seem to have flown away. You can see from the numbers how quiet it was, least said the better

Monday29th July 04.50-06.50 S2 broken cloud

Sandwich Tern 32n 3s
Common Tern 6n 31s
Cormorant 8n 37s
Arctic Skua 1n 3s
Common Scoter 65n
Whimbrel 14s
Black h Gull 2s
Manxie 7n 3s
Curlew 1n
Puffin 1n 1s
Redshank 1n 4s
Arctic Tern 3n 7s
Teal 3n

Sunday, 28 July 2013

British Summertime?

2 Arctic Skuas and a Bonxie went past Whitburn early am and a nice mixed bag of species on a wet and windy Sunday morning
In total contrast to yesterdays balmy summer weather it was hoying down all morning with early mist making viewing only possible with bins
The boss (Mark Newsome) joined me eventually and we did our best heres what we managed in order of appearance

Sunday 28th July 05.30-10.00 NE 3 rain, heavy a times, mist

Gannet 410n
Kittiwake 1120n
Common Tern 12n 4s
Sandwich Tern 44n 17s
Bonxie 1n
Common Scoter 136n
Black h Gull 7n 17s
Arctic Skua 2n
Arctic Tern 49n 13s
Manx Shearwater 9n 1s
Redshank 5n 12s
Puffin 7n
Teal 25n
Tufted Duck 2n
Wigeon 1n
Swift 73s
Bar t Godwit 1n
Turnstone 6n
Shoveller 4n

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Minke Magic

2 Minke whales give outstanding tho distant views from 06.30 till 08.10 at least, 91 Arctic and 489 Sandwich Terns were the birding highlights
i was joined by Derek Lawrence and eventually Steve thunder Addinall
The sea watch was ended early as its Airshow day and i need to go get my granddaughter to watch it and because the light was becoming impossible, the Whales were magnificent

Saturday 27th July 04.30-08.30 SW1 dead calm

Curlew 1s
Black h Gull 4s
Common Gull 2s
Cormorant 3n 24s
Common Tern 62n 57s
Common Scoter 21n 17s
Redshank 7n 13s
Sandwich Tern 35n 452s
Arctic Tern 29n 62s
Puffin 4n
Manxie 7n 24s
Arctic Skua 1n
Shelduck 3s
Porpoise 1
Minke Whale 2 feeding offshore 06.30-08.10 at least

Friday, 26 July 2013

Mega past the Obs ........well an Avocet first for the Obs

98 Manxies 34 Whimbrel Bonxie and an Avocet were the best passed the Obs this morning
On a lovely morning with a bit of cloud cover a nice selection of birds were passing, including the star bird an Avocet a first for Whitburn Obs and my 138th Obs year tick. I missed Curlew Sandpiper yesterday so am hopeful of more passing this weekend. I was joined by Rob Stonehouse, i think we need to give him a nickname, how about Stoney, and i am glad i called the Avocet and not Stoney as it was a first
And a big thank you to Pink Floyd for sorting out the north shutter

Friday 25th July 04.55-07.15 SW 1-2 part cloud and calm sea

Common Tern 15n 34s
Whimbrel 2n 32s
Manxie 34n 62s
Sandwich Tern 31n 223s
Common Scoter 57n 12s
Black h Gull 3n 12s
Puffin 6n 8s
Redshank 1n 6s
Arctic Tern 28n 17s
Curlew 2s
05.40 3 Dolphin's distant prob white beaked
Oyster Catcher 6s
Knot 10s
Bonxie 1s
Red th Diver 1n 2s
Avocet 1s
Red br Merganser 2n
Turnstone 3n
Shelduck 4n
Yellow Wagtail 1s
Mallard 2n

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Oh no not Knot

412 Knot and 50 Whimbrel were among the waders that passed Whitbun this afternoon. Mark Newsome started the watch at 15.00 and i finished it at 18.30
This mornings watch was abandoned due to fog/mist and i checked my new moth trap out for the first time instead, but that's another story

Some of the birds logged here were seen by Mark and not me but it seems too much trouble to sort it all out, suffice to say waders were on the move today

Thursday 25th July 15.00-18.30 S2-3 still some mist and heat haze to contend with

Manxie 1n 4s
Blue Fulmar 1s
Common Scoter 17n 25s
Oyster Catcher 22s
Sanderling 40s
Dunlin 16s
Whimbrel 50s
Redshank 10s
Knot 412s
Turnstone 17s
Arctic Skua 1s
Black h Gull 2n 7s
Common Gull 4s
Sandwich Tern 39n 32s
Common Tern 13n 17s
Arctic Tern 9n 2s
Little Tern 1s
Puffin 1n 14s
Ringed Plover 2s
Curlew 1s

Lets hope the wader passage continues early morning

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Things can only get better......

4 Velvet Scoter and 58 Arctic Terns passed Whitburn this morning on a very quiet sea watch
Not much to write home about with little or no wind to encourage birds to move. I did an evening watch yesterday and had 5 Arctic Skuas past so they are out there, lets hope for better next time

Wednesday 25th July 04.50-07.00 SI dead calm sea rain from 06.30

Common Tern 17n 41s
Curlew 3s
Black h Gull 33n 19s
Arctic Tern 56n 2s
Manx Shearwater 18n 12s
Redshank 23s
Common Scoter 28n 8s
Whimbrel 1n
Puffin 5n 5s
Dunlin 3s
Sandwich Tern 6n 52s
Red th Diver 1n
Velvet Scoter 4n drakes
Teal 1s

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

No Fea's No Cry, No Fea's No Cry........

112 Manxies,99 Arctic Terns an Arctic Skua and 3 Little Terns went past Whitburn this morning
It was another misty morning with a rumble of distant thunder for an hour that wasn't Mark or Steve after a curry night!
It was a quiet morning the horizon didn't come into view till 6am and few birds moved at first

Can i just say well done to the finder of the Fea's Petrel and all those sea watchers who managed to get on it especially my old mate Steely on the Farnes. Conditions couldn't have been great for picking it up. It was a shame it hadn't passed at the weekend when the Whitburn regulars would have been in the Obs. I remember the excitement when Ross Ahmed called the bird at Whitburn that i did see on the 14th of September 2007. Lets hope it passes again soon but only when I'm in the Obs

Tuesday 23rd of July NE1-2 05.00-07.00 mist poor visibility

Common Tern 17n 13s
Black h Gull 42n 21s
Manxie 108n 4s
Curlew 2s
Puffin 12n 1s
Arctic Tern 99n some were passing distantly so im sure many were missed in the mist
Common Scoter 168n 10s
Porpoise 2s
Teal 16n
Turnstone 3n
Whimbrel 3n
Sandwich Tern 10n 4s
Little Tern 3s (close inshore will be worth checking the Steel for roosting birds)
Arctic Skua 1n
Sanderling 2n

Come on Sooty...Sooty come on...

Monday, 22 July 2013

Skua Surprise

Pom Skua, 3 Arctic and 1 great Skua south past Whitburn this morning and the daily Med Gull
It was a white out with light grey sea and mist/drizzle
Not much was moving but i still managed a few quality birds despite the conditions. The Skuas were a nice surprise and the Pom a stunner

Monday 22nd July 04.55-07.00 E1 mist drizzle flat calm sea

Black h Gull 22n 63s
Redshank 4n 7s
Common Tern 11n 3s
Manxie 55n 10s
Common Scoter 217n
Whimbrel 3n
Arctic Skua 3s
Sandwich Tern 4n 6s
Pom Skua 1s at 05.45 (full spoons, cracking)
Med Gull 1s adult
Puffin 4n 2s
Bonxie 1s
Arctic Tern 6s
Sanderling 10s
Dunlin 3s
Curlew 3n 4s
Red th Diver 2s
Teal 4n

Sunday, 21 July 2013

A Kettle 0f Poms

5 Poms 5 Bonxies, 718 Arctic Terns, 1196 Common Scoter and 270 Manxies past Whitburn by 9am
Yes at 05.45 Mark picked up a flock of Skuas high up it consisted of an Arctic and 5 Poms and they were spiralling up and reminded me of the kettles of raptors i saw in the states
It was another fantastic sea watch with good numbers of birds passing especially Arctic Terns
I had to pack in early as my eyes are tired after a late night at the stormy ringing last night
Mark was still in the Obs and i am praying......

Sunday 21st July 05.00-09.00 E2-3 full cloud cover and a calm sea

Manxie 207n 63s
Puffin 38n 4s
Common Scoter 1043n 153s
Common Tern 30n 1s
Arctic Tern 718n
Porpoise 3
Red th Diver 8n
Black h Gull 18n 25s
Bonxie 4n 1s
05.45 5 Pom Skuas sth adults with spoons
Arctic Skua 1n 1s
Whimbrel 1
Dunlin 2s
Sandwich Tern 4n 13s
06.35 2 White beaked Dolphin s
Curlew 2n 1s
Bar t Godwit 2n
Little Gull 4n adults
Eider 7n
Tufted Duck 3n
Golden Plover 11n
Pochard 1S
Teal 5N
Redshank 40s

What a weekend and Mark says hes already had another 4 Poms!

Saturday, 20 July 2013

King of Sea Watches

2 Poms 9 Arctic 2 Great Skuas, 2 Velvet Scoter a Scaup and loads of waders passed Whitburn this morning. But the star bird was a Kingfisher a new Obs year tick (137) and Obs lifer for me
It was action packed with a lot of variety and loads of Dolphins. I was joined by Mark Newsome@whitbunbirds, Stephen Addinall@saddinall, Pink Floyd, and a rare sighting of Peter Bell
Here is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday the 20th of July 04.45-10.30 NE2 full cloud cover calm sea,perfect!

Cormorant 10n 45s
Black h Gull 19n 7s
Oyster Catcher 65n 52s
Manxie 101n 29s
Curlew 9n 13s
Sandwich Tern 13n 21s
Arctic Skua 4n 5s
Little Gull 2n ads
Puffin 157n 16s
Arctic Tern 297n
05.30 White beaked Dolphin 2 close inshore going north
Common Gull 4n 1s
Common Tern 41n 2s
Redshank 1s
Bonxie 1n 3s
Tufted Duck 2n 1s
Black tailed Godwit 1n
Whimbrel 2n 1s
Bar tailed Godwit 3n
Golden Plover 45s
06.05 White beaked Dolphin 4
Grey Heron 1s
Common Scoter 496n 75s
Ringed Plover 4n 2s
Dunlin 18s
Sanderling 4s
Pom Skua 1n ad 1s sub ad
Red th Diver 4n 1s
Common Sandpiper 1s
Porpoise 5
06.40 White beaked Dolphin 1 distant, i close inshore
06.45 White beaked Dolphin 8+ south till 06.55
Sand Martin 42n
Scaup 1n
Velvet Scoter 2n
Purple Sandpiper 2n
Teal 29n
Med Gull 1n juv
Turnstone 7s
07.25 White beaked Dolphin 2s
07.45 White beaked Dolphin 25n
Kingfisher 1 on rocks

Phew that was some sea watch and I'm going back for more later

Friday, 19 July 2013

Red sky in the morning, birders warning

114 Manxies, Med Gull and 2 Arctic Skuas passed Whitburn early morning. Yes the red sky was a warning of slim pickings on the birding front. Rob Stonehouse joined me again this morning and did his best to liven things up. It was dead calm with nothing to encourage movement and the bright sun made viewing difficult, it was ok but slow lets hope for better tomorrow, I'm praying for clouds

Friday19th July 04.25-07.00 S1 dead calm flat sea, bright sun

Sandwich Tern 3n 109s
Manxie 98n 16s
Common Tern 23n 4s
Porpoise 3
Black h Gull 4n 8s
Arctic Tern 31n
Puffin 20n 20s
Common Scoter 180n 13s
Curlew 3n
Cormorant 11n 19s
Med Gull 2nd sum
Dunlin 1n
Ringed Plover 1s
Redshank 1n 5s
Arctic Skua 2n
Red th Diver 5n
Whimbrel 2n
Golden Plover 15n