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 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 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 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