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

Thursday, 18 July 2013

Yes Yes Yes

Pom Skua, Med Gull and Arctic Skua passed Whitburn prior to 7.00am and the 20+ White beaked Dolphins were still about. However the star of this mornings show was a Great spotted Woodpecker that flew south in front of the Obs. Its a new Obs year tick for me (136), we do get them some years but not always when you are in the Obs so i was a happy chappy
Otherwise it was an exciting morning despite the difficult light. Two Skuas were having a mid air dual and one was an adult dark phase Arctic the other a pale phase sub adult Pom, not sure who won

Add to this the Dolphin activity and its been a hell of a morning. I first picked up the White beaked Dolphins at 05.20 and they were not far out so i got my video camera ready but they quickly went east and were very active with lots of breaching till05.45. I picked them up again later and this time they were heading north at 06.00-06.10

Here's what happened in order of appearance as usual

Thursday 18th July 05.00-07.00 W2 bright sun, heat haze calm sea

Black headed Gull 7n 54s
Common Scoter 109n
Manxie 73n 16s
Cormorant 7n 19s
Med Gull 1 ad s
Puffin 7n 6s
Gannet 157n 24s
Arctic Skua 1n
Pom Skua 1s
Curlew 2n 1s
05.20 White beaked Dolphins circa 20 in area till 06.10 at least
Arctic Tern 15n 7s
Sandwich Tern 2n 26s
Common Tern 7n 1s
Little Tern 2s
Red th Diver 5n
Great spotted Woodpecker 1s
Whimbrel 1s
Redshank 5n
Common Gull 1s

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

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

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

204 Manx Shearwaters,2 Little Gulls, 37 Arctic Terns and an Arctic Skua passed Whitburn by 7am
It was a calm flat sea and Shearwaters were easy to see but still no sign of my first Sooty Shearwater of the year, surely it cant be long now, come on Sooty. Here are today's birds in order of appearance

Wednesday 17th July 04.35-07.00 NW1-2 broken cloud flat calm sea

Cormorant 8n 24s
Arctic Tern 24n 13s
Common Scoter 130n 20s
Manx Shearwater 166n 38s
Black h Gull 19n 13s
Common Tern 26n 15s
Puffin 39n 3s
Porpoise 1
Sandwich Tern 4n 18s
Red th Diver 2s
Little Gull 2s ad and 2nd sum
05.50 2 Dolphin distantly
Common Scoter 130n 20s
Teal 10n
Arctic Skua 1n

Maybe tomorrow, come on Sooty, Sooty come on...................(sing to hang on sloopy)

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Whale meet again...............

White beaked Dolphins were the highlight today with 20+ moving south, 79 Manxies and 9 Arctic Terns passed but little else of note
With Minke Whales to the north around the Farne Islands and 6 off Filey I fancied my chances of finding one off Whitburn on a nice flat calm sea. It was a cetacean day but the Minke will have to wait. I picked up my first White beaked Dolphins at 04.45 and they moved south till 05.40 with some breaching. Later looking well south off Seaham i could see half a dozen easily
Birds took a back seat and i probably missed a few while i tracked the Dolphins

16th July 04.40-07.00 w1 flat calm sea bright sun

Swift 3n 1s
Cormorant 8n 17s
Manx Shearwater 58n 21s
Puffin 18n 8s
04.55 20+ White beaked Dolphins s
Common Scoter 113n
Dunlin 4s
Sandwich Tern 5n 41s
Black h Gull 47n 1s
Red th Diver 1n
Common Tern 3n 4s
Porpoise 1s
Eider 2n 3 on sea
Arctic Tern 4n 5s
Teal 4n
Knot 8n
Whimbrel 1n

Monday, 15 July 2013

I don't like Mondays

Great northern Diver, Med Gull and Bonxie passed Whitburn by 7am but only 40 Manxies on a quiet passage day. After a lovely weekend and a few to many bottles i slept in and so did the birds
All the species were quieter than normal except Sandwich Terns. Luckily a few Quality birds went passed including a Great norther Diver flying south with a Red throat. The size difference is obvious and the large flat head and geet big feet gave it away, a nice summer plumage bird

Monday 15th July 05.00-07.00 W2 bright sun

Cormorant 3n 16s
Sandwich Tern 3n 81s
Common Scoter 59n
Black h Gull 50n 18s
Manxie 18n 22s
Common Tern 6s
Puffin 7n 5s
Arctic Tern 25n 6s
Grey Heron 1n
Curlew 1s
Red th Diver 1n 2s
Bonxie 1n
Med Gull ad s
Teal 4n
Gropper 1 reeling
Swift 2n

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Pick n Mix

3 Arctic skuas and a Bonxie, 2 Little Gulls and 66 Manxies past Whitburn by 9am. Lots of variety past the Obs this morning. I was joined by Mark and later Pink Floyd
It was thick fog/mist to start so it was Bins only but did clear eventually
Terns were more evident again and guess what that Bridled is back so you never know . all three species of Tern we saw had fledged young feeding with them.
Here is what we recorded in order of appearance

Sunday 14th July 04.40-09.00 SE1fog/mist with drizzle, mostly clearing by 9am

Gropper calling by Obs
Cormorant 16n 61s
Curlew 1n
Lesser black back 1s
Black h Gull 15n 6s
Arctic Tern 39n 25s
Manxie 50n 16s
Sandwich Tern 16n 61s
Common Tern 7n 7s
Puffin 81n 36s
Dunlin 7n 35s
Redshank 12n 49s
Arctic Skua 2n 1s
Little Gull 1n 1s 2nd sum
Bar t Godwit 2n
Whimbrel 4n
Red th Diver 8n 1s
Turnstone 1s
Red br Merganser 1s
Shelduck 14s
Common Scoter 133n 1s
Bonxie 1s

late news from Saterday evening i had circa 10 White beaked Dolphin off the Obs from 04.50 till 05.20 ish

Saturday, 13 July 2013

a tern for the better

272 Arctic Terns,160 Manxies 2 Arctic Skuas and a Med Gull passed Whitburn by 9.45
It has been a poor year for terns from the Obs this year with very few recorded, not to mention the Bridled Tern that passed us unnoticed on at least 3 occasions. But today all that changed with good numbers of stunning Arctic Terns and a few Common and Sandwich as well
Mark and Steve joined me this morning and despite difficult conditions we had a great watch. Steve being the star of the moment calling a Willow Tit that went passed and a new Obs year tick making it 134

Saturday 13th July 04.30-09.45 W2 then 1, some light cloud and bright sun

Black h Gull 72n 5s
Swift 12n 1s
Sandwich Tern 16n 51s
Common Tern 96n 10s
Med Gull 1s 2nd sum
Puffin 167n 24s
Manxie 120n 40s
Arctic Tern 248n 24s
Curlew 4n
Common Scoter 683n 30s
Porpoise 1n
Dunlin 3n 2s
Redshank 21n 8s
Arctic Skua 2n
Red th Diver 5n 2s
Bar t Godwit 4n
Yellow Wagtail 1s
Willow Tit 1n

Friday, 12 July 2013

Dolphins save the day

22 White beaked Dolphins and two 2nd summer Med Gulls passed Whitburn this morning
It had been a quiet morning by recent standards. I was joined by a new Obs life tick Rob Stonehouse.
The sea was flat calm and silver and as the cloud burned off and bright sun prevailed getting any detail on passing birds was difficult. Rob called the Dolphins as they slowly moved north. Hopefully they will hang about in the area as they did last July they were certainly the stars of the show
Here are today's sightings in order of appearance

Friday 12th 04.35-07.00 W1 dead calm flat sea bright sun after early cloud

Shag 2 on the sea
Black headed Gull 15n 20s 20 on sea
Manx Shearwater 160n 8s
Arctic Skua 1s
Puffin 111n 17s
Eider 2n
Sandwich Tern 5n 5s
Common Tern 3n 4s
Med Gull two 2nd summer n
Red th Diver 2n 1s
Common Scoter 46n 2s
Arctic Tern 11n

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Theatre of Dreams

8 Little Gulls 2 Bonxies and 300 plus Manxies were joind by White beaked Dolphins today, they were the stars of the show
Yes it is a theatre of dreams, and the seats are free!. I was on my own this morning and again the sea was a fantastic colour for watching with full cloud so no pesky sun to get in the way. It started slowly but soon built up to a frenzy. I needed to leave at 7 am as i have a lot of work to catch up on but it took 10 minutes to close the shutters what with 2 Great crested Grebes and the first Red throats and Whimbrel of the morning going through
On top of all that Dolphins!. At 05.30 i had 4 moving steadily north for 20 minutes not very active just showing the fins but sometimes enough body to nail the id as White beaked
Then at 06.10 i noticed a distant fishing boat on the horizon with lots of birds following it, i looked through my scope and another dolphin was continuously fully breaching. I cant be sure if it was one of the original animals as id lost them earlier
Then at 06.30 i had 2 more much closer in inspecting an area where Gannets were plunge diving, looks like the food has moved closer inshore today
Bet we get a Minke later
Here's what i saw in order of appearance

Thursday 11th of July 04.35-07.10 NE2 full cloud

Manxie 254n 50s
Common Scoter 167n
Black h Gull 5n
Puffin 174n 2s
Little Gull 8n all adults
Sandwich Tern 9n 17s
Bar t Godwit 2n
05.30  White beaked Dolphin 4 n
Curlew 1n
Common Tern 16n 2s
06.10 Single White beaked distantly breaching near a fishing boat
Bonxie 2n
Wigeon 1n
Arctic Tern 9n
06.30 White beaked Dolphin 2 n closer inshore amongst feeding Gannets
Great crested Grebe 2n
Red th Diver 1n
Whimbrel 1n

As for the Bridled Tern what can i say its eluded us from the Obs, i saw it at Cresswell so its on my British list but the more important county list will have to wait.........

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

second bite

2 Bonxies 2 Arctic Skua an adult Little Gull and 24 Manxies went past Whitburn this evening
i couldn't resist going back to the Obs after work, it was quieter than i would have liked but still a nice selection of birds, this is what i saw


Sandwich Tern 30n 13s
Common Tern 15n 1s
Puffin 35n 19s
Manxie 13n 11s
Common Scoter 10n 8s
Arctic Skua 2n
Black h Gull7n 1s
Red th Diver 2n 1s
Arctic Tern 1n
Curlew 1n
Bonxie 2n

i will be back in the morning for more

Puffs Galore

3 adult Little Gulls, Med Gull, 6 Arctic Skuas and 2 Bonxies passed Whitburn by 8.15
I was joined by Mark and the Doc and we had an excellent sea watch in great conditions grey sea and sky. I sadly had to leave for work at 8.15 and left them at it, hope they don't get anything special......
Here are the details of the watch in order of appearance

Wednesday 10th July 04.30-08.15 NNW2 full cloud cover
Manxie 138n 14s
Common Scoter329n 24s
Cormorant 14n 14s
Gannet 520n 20s
Black headed Gull 46n 15s
Sandwich Tern 4n 52s
Turnstone 1n
Curlew 1n
Common Tern 25n 1s
Arctic Tern 6n Whimbrel 1n
Puffin 219n 12s
Lesser black backed Gull 4n
Red th Diver 2n 2s
Common Gull 2n 2s
Bonxie 2n
Little Gull 3n stunning adults
Arctic Skua 1n 5s
Med Gull 1n 1s both 2nd summer prob same bird
Tufted Duck 2n

They have just had a sub adult Pom bugger

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Bad light stopped play

Adult Med Gull, 112 Manxies and 2 Little Terns were the best of the bunch past Whitburn today. Regular Obs visitors will tell you we don't see Little Tern that often so it was nice to have a pair feeding close inshore for the second day running
The morning started with cloud cover but it quickly became bright sun and viewing conditions were difficult at times i even finished 10 minutes early for a bit of relief
All of the Terns looked don't even go there
Here are the sightings in order of appearance

Tuesday 9th July 04.30-06.50 S2, part cloud then bright sun, heat haze
Eider 1s
Common Scoter 184n 5s
Manxie 82n 30s
Black headed Gull 12n 20s
Puffin 35n 3s
Cormorant 6n 17s
Sandwich Tern 30s
Redshank 2n
Common Tern 2n 9s
Red th Diver 7n
Curlew 3n
Arctic Tern 4n
Little Tern 2s
Med Gull adult 1n
Whimbrel 1n

Of note Hoggie had a single flock of 150 Manxies yesterday, i hope they pass me tomorrow

Monday, 8 July 2013

Becalmed again

141 Manxies and 2 Arctic Skuas were the highlights past Whitburn this morning.The sky and sea were silver grey this morning, it was hard to find the horizon. It was dead still hardly a ripple on the water. It was easy to pick up the birds but not much was moving in the becalmed conditions. Here are the sightings in order of appearance

Monday 8th July 04.40-07.00 NE1 dead calm flat sea
Manxie 105n 36s
Puffin 26n 5s
Sandwich Tern 4n 2s
Common Scoter 29n 1s
Cormorant 2n 9s
Black h Gull 28n 4s
Whimbrel 5n
Common Tern 2n 3s
Arctic Tern 1n
Little Tern 2n feeding close inshore
Curlew 4n
Porpoise 1
Arctic Skua 2n
Red th Diver 2n
Bar tailed Godwit 3n

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Duck Tales

2 Velvet and 1241 Common Scoter past the Obs by 09.30 on a good day for Ducks. Still no luck with the Bridled Tern passing.....yet
Mark joined me today eventually on a fun packed watch with lots of variety
Here are the details in order of appearance

Sunday 7th July 04.25-09.30 W2 light cloud

Black headed Gull 33n 33s
Bonxie 1n
Heron 1n
Puffin 26n 38s
Manxie 71n 175s
Swift 12n 8s
Common Tern 15n 20s
Common Scoter 854n 387s
Arctic Tern 10n 9s
Sandwich Tern 6n 64s
Whimbrel 5n 15s
Wigeon 1n
Red th Diver 3n 4s
Curlew 6n
Red br Merganser 1n
Gadwall 2n
Golden Plover 8s
Teal 29n
Bar tailed Godwit 1n
Eider 11n 1s
Little Gull 1s 1st summer
Velvet Scoter 2n
Yellow Wagtail 1s
Porpoise 1n
Mallard 1n
Arctic Skua 1n

phew did we see all that
Maybe tomorrow for that Tern.........

Saturday, 6 July 2013

Manxies in the mist

Early morning passage was viewed through the mist, 206 Manxies, 841 Common Scoter and a little gull were the highlights
I was joined by Steve Addinall this morning and was glad for the company as birds were passing frantically and it was hard to keep up before he arrived
Conditions were unusual a flat calm sea but hardly a breeze add to that early mist a bright sun and heat haze and you get the picture, not ideal for looking for rare terns
Here are the details species in order of appearance as usual

Saturday the 6th of July 04.45-09.45 S1calm sea mist at first

Swift 11s
Puffin 49n 49s
Common Scoter 796n 49s
Shelduck 3s
Manxie 139n 67s
Arctic Tern 4n 3s
Sandwich Tern 10n 45s
Common Tern 11n 8s
Black h Gull 2n 7s
Teal 34n
Curlew 3n
Red th Diver 3n 4s
Grey Wagtail 1s (a new Obs year tick 133)
Sand Martin 16s
Redshank 11s
Dolphin sp 2n 06.40 (bottlenosed or white beaked)
Little Gull 1n
Eider 2n
Bar tailed Godwit 3n

Not a bad selection we missed a few things when the light just wasn't good enough but cant wait to get back in on Sunday morning

Friday, 5 July 2013

Hot Stuff

We are in for a hot weekend but will it bring hot birds
Maybe a Honey Buzzard or a Bridled Tern or our first Balearic Shearwater of the year
Things were quiet in the Obs with a sea like glass and a light breeze but plenty of Shearwaters were passing to keep the interest
Mark joined me again this morning and i left him counting the Manxies

Friday 5th of July 04.45-07.00 WSW1 dead calm sea bright strong sun

Manxie 269n
Puffin 24n 24s
Black h Gull 1n 3s
Heron 1n
Common Scoter 70n 12s
Arctic Skua 1n
Eider 2s
Sandwich Tern 3n
Redshank 4s
Curlew 1n
Arctic Tern 1s
Red th Diver 1s
Common Tern 1n
Red b Merganser 1n
Sand Martin 30s
Porpoise 1

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Chalk n Cheese

I did an evening sea watch with Mark yesterday, it was excellent the highlight being a new bird for my Obs year list a Cuckoo, bringing the total to 132
The day totals were 542 Manx, 1945 Scoter 3 Arctic Skuas 2 Bonxies and 2 Med Gulls
So expectations were high for things to continue in a similar light this morning, Mark was coming back in as well, anything could happen............but it didn't, indifferent light and a lack of birds meant a disappointing watch compared to yesterday but still not bad

Thursday 4th July 04.45-07.00 S2-3 broken cloud with heat haze

Manxie 64n 33s
Puffin 3n 3s
Red th Diver 1n 4s
Common Scoter 130n 113s
Arctic Tern 7n
Curlew 2n 4s
Common Tern 1n 8s
Black h Gull 4s
Med Gull ad 1s
Sandwich Tern 16s
Redshank 2s
Whimbrel 1s
Swift 1s

Its the 4th of July, happy birthday to my son David see you later

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

The Scoter just keep on coming

In yesterdays blog i said it would be nice to get past 1000 Scoter in the day, we did!
Mark continued the count and by 8.20 a total of 1059 had passed
I was back on my own again today and it looks like being another great Scoter day, by 7.00 id seen 806. Lets hope somebody else gets in the Obs today

As we now all know that Tern didn't come past the Obs yet
A big thank You to my old mate Steely and his team on the Farnes, it was nice to catch up with him yesterday, shame i didn't catch up with the bird
The Farnes team have done a great job looking after all the visiting birders and putting in a lot of hours to help everyone
Its a shame it didn't show until i had left looking like a drowned rat

Wednesday 3rd July 04.45-07.00 S2 cloud cover but some mist around early on

Cormorant 9n 13s
Manxie 13n 171s (i had one group of 36s)
Common Scoter 806n
Curlew 3n 3s
Puffin 4n 4s
Common Tern 6s
Sandwich Tern 45s
Black h Gull 1s
Red th Diver 1n
Teal 30n 8s
Bonxie 2n
Shoveler 4n
Whimbrel 1s
Porpoise 2

Will i try again for the Tern......................

Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Bridled Tern Vigil

Its fantastic news that a Bridled Tern was found on the Farnes, my hope is that at some point it will fly past Whitburn Obs and i will be watching at the time
Mark Newsome joined me this morning and we had early disappointment with the news the bird was still on Inner Farne
Once again the mornings highlight was the Scoter passage

Tuesday 2nd July 04.45-07.15 SW2 mostly cloud cover rain started as i left

Cormorant 9n 42s
Sandwich Tern 2n 24s
Common Scoter 689n 2s
Puffin 74n 19s
Manxie 30n 75s
Common Terrn 1n 5s
Swift 3s
Red th Diver 2n
Curlew 3n
Black h Gull 1s
Common Gull 1s
Bonxie 1s
Bar tailed Godwit 1n

I left Mark in the Obs hopefully he will get a few more Scoter, would be nice to get 1000+ past in a day

Monday, 1 July 2013

Gone Fishing

I don't know a lot about fish or fishing but its that time of year when i start seeing fish from the Obs. Today i saw 3 geet big woppas leap out, i think they are sea trout?
It gives you something else to look at when things are a bit quiet

Monday 1st July 04.30-07.00 W1 broken cloud calm sea

Common Scoter 191n 10s (yesterdays total should have read 561n 24s)
Puffin 70n 2s
Cormorant 10n 21s
Black h Gull 1s
Gannet 240n 37s
Common Tern 5n 9s
Sandwich Tern 3n 23s
Shag 1n
Porpoise 2s
Curlew 2n
Manxie 4n 18s
Heron 2n
Red th Diver 3n
Golden Plover 16s
Gropper reeling