Wednesday, 30 April 2014

aint no (RB)Flys on me

A Short eared Owl was flying west over the country park as i arrived at Whitburn Obs early this morning.No fog meant a welcome return to sea watching and a good selection of birds passed. I checked out the big mound after my watch but had no sight or sound from yesterdays Red breasted Flycatcher. I t had called for me on a number of occasions yesterday afternoon but no sign today, a nice find by Dave Foster
Here is what i saw on my sea watch in order of appearance

Wednesday 30th April 05.35-07.00 S2 early mist but otherwise good visibility

Cormorant 1n 12s
Gannet 13n 11s
Common Scoter 1n 5s
Sandwich Tern 1n 42s
Common Tern 11s
Arctic Tern 10s
Mallard 1n
Red br Merganser 2s
Common Gull 11n 40s
Shelduck 2n 6s
Puffin 1n
Teal 3s
Whimbrel 1n 1s
Bar tailed Godwit 1s
Eider 1n
Wigeon 1s
Shag 1s
Red th Diver 1s

Monday, 28 April 2014

Migrants in the mist.......

A Blue Fulmar and 2 Whimbrel went north past Whitburn Obs early morning. Sea birds were slow to get moving as the mist and drizzle cleared. As I arrived at the obs it was to a chorus of singing migrants dropped in by the rain yesterday. Lesser Whitethroat, Grasshopper Warbler, Willow Warblers and my first Song Thrush of the year were all in song
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 28th April 05.30-07.30 NNW2 mist and drizzle clearing

Cormorant 1n 23s
Kittiwake 560n
Gannet 80n 9s
Fulmar 129n
Common Scoter 1n 9s
Eider 2n 2s
Common Gull 8n
Sandwich Tern 3s
Turnstone 6n
Blue Fulmar 1n L
Shelduck 1s
Whimbrel 2n
Gadwall 2s
Common Tern 1s

Other birds around the obs included
Moorhen, Grasshopper Warbler,Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat, Willow Warblers and Song Thrush

Sunday 27th April the sea watch was abandoned as i couldn't see my hand in front of my face so i headed to Hartlepool Headland where the weather was better.Plenty of migrant were on offer if you were prepared to work for them. I saw Lesser Whitethroat, Whinchat, Redstart, Black Redstart and plenty of common warblers but star bird was the often elusive Wood Warbler. Sadly I wasn't lucky enough to see it in the hand  

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Clap along....because im happy

25 Arctic Terns a Manxie and 4 Whimbrel passed Whitbun Obs by 9am this morning. Conditions were difficult for sea watching today with bright sun through light cloud but i did manage to connect with a few birds, but what did i miss. Happy, yes I'm always happy when I'm birding especially when i get Whinchat on my obs year list. One on the firing range fence was welcome
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Saturday 26th April SSE2-3 mist at first clearing to bright sun through thin cloud

Cormorant 1n 15s
Fulmar 60n 3s
Razorbill 450n
Guillemot 210n
Gannet 32n 19s
Teal 2n
Common Gull 14n 10s
Sandwich Tern 5n 69s
Arctic Tern 21n 4s
Puffin 3n
Goosander 7s
Dunlin 1n
Swallow 2s
Common Scoter 4n 1s
Eider 4n
Black h Gull 4s
Curlew 3n
Shag 3n
Manxie 1n
Whimbrel 4n
Red br Merganser 1s
Red th Diver 1n 1s
Common Tern 1n 6s
Bar t Godwit 1n
Whinchat 1 on range fence

Thursday, 24 April 2014

It wont be long till summer comes...the terns are back in town, terns are back in tooowwn....

44 Black tailed Godwits went north past Whitburn Obs early morning on an interesting mid week watch. They looked like a distant slick as they moved north low down over the sea  Plenty of variety today and yes just like the Lizzy song the terns are back in town. It makes for a much more interesting watch and there is always a chance of something amongst them like Black or Rosy
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Thursday 24th April 05.30-07.30 SW1-2  rain early morning mist full cloud cover calm sea

Fulmar 29n 11s
Common Gull 8n 28s
Cormorant 3n 25s
Black h Gull 5n 15s
Teal 3n
Gannet 6n 2s
Sandwich Tern 4n 101s
Common Scoter 10n 6s
Puffin 7n
Common Tern 15s
Scaup (2n 1 drake)
Arctic Tern 6s
Shelduck 1s
Blue Fulmar 1n (D)
Black tailed Godwit 44n
Curlew 6n
Whimbrel 4n
Red th Diver 1n

Monday, 21 April 2014

No Redleg at all.........FM....

Arctic Skua a Bonxie 5 Arctic Terns and a Manxie passed Whitburn obs by 09.30 this morning on an excellent sea watch. I was joined by Stevie Thunder aka Andy Cap.As well as the headline birds i saw the first Common Tern of the year on a busy watch. Despite much searching i still have not managed to see the Red legged Partridge that was filmed recently next to the obs, i fear its an obs mega tick missed

This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 21st April 05.30-09.30 N2 cloud cover and mist

Cormorant 13n 10s
Fulmar88n 5s
Common Gull 6n 7s
Gannet 57n 16s
Sandwich Tern 95n 8s
Razorbill 2200n
Guillemot 1400n
Puffin 117n
Red  br Merganser 6N
Arctic Tern 2n 3s
Arctic Skua 1n
Eider 2n 1s
Red th Diver 2n 1s
Bonxie 1n
Common Scoter 23n 5s
Shag 4n
Teal 2n
Manxie 1n
Shelduck 1s
Sand Martin 2n
Whimbrel 1n
Black h Gull 1s

Sunday, 20 April 2014

The loneliness of the long distance sea watcher

3 Blue Fulmars, a Scaup and 138 Puffin passed Whitburn obs by 9 this morning. Magic Marc is leading a birding trip in Spain and Portugal, New Mark is touring Scotland, Stevie Thunder has gone running and Pink Floyd must have a reunion, so its all down to me. I had to finish the watch early due to eye strain but i will be back tomorrow wearing a patch....shiver me timbers. It was a cracking watch and why are Blue Fulmar not a separate species they have their own jizz hugging the sea and looking more like a large shearwater, anyway i enjoyed them
This is what i saw today in order of appearance

Sunday 20th April 05.35-09.00 NE2 full cloud cover

Cormorant 10n 8s
Puffin 138n
Guillemot 725n
Razorbill 890n
Eider 2n 5s
Common Gull 8s
Sandwich Tern 4n 38s
Gannet 34n 5s
Tufted Duck 1n
Black h Gull 2s
Red th Diver 4n 1s
Common Scoter 14n 1s
Red br Merganser 3n
Blue Fulmar 3n (1 off D 2off L)
Scaup 1n
Shelduck 2s

think i will go back when I've found a patch and filled my flask

Saturday, 19 April 2014

Easter Bunny Lays Rotten Egg?

2 Velvet Scoter and a Grasshopper Warbler were the best of the bunch at the obs today.Expectations were high coming into the Easter weekend, 4 sea watches and all but so far the jury is still out on whether the Easter bunny has left us a rotten egg. Magic Mark was in the obs with me yesterday but today it was just me the birds were similar though. So far this holiday we have had NW on fri, SW today that went round to SE. Its forecast to be  NE tomorrow so lets not write it off yet
This is what i saw today in order of appearance

Saturday 19th April 05.35-09.35 SW2 then SE2 broken cloud

cormorant 11n 38s
Grasshopper Warbler reeling to south of obs
Razorbill 80n
Guillemot 14n 3s
Eider 1n 8s
Sandwich Tern 9n 21s
Common Gull 7n 54s
Teal 5n
Common Scoter 19n
Gannet 45n 8s
Red br Merganser 1s
Black h Gull 8n
Red th Diver 2n 1s
Snipe 1s
Porpoise 1s
Shelduck 2s
Shag 2n 1s
Velvet Scoter 2n
Gadwall 2n

Thursday, 17 April 2014

The wanderer returns.....

2 Arctic Terns went north past Whitburn Obs this morning our first of the year. It was a busy morning and my obs year list continued to grow, as well as the Arctic Terns i added Goldcrest, Kestrel and the first Whitethroat of the year was singing by the obs. Here is what i saw on today's watch

Thursday 17tth April 05.30-07.30 SW2-3 full cloud cover

Cormorant 4n 29s
Eider 7n 4s
Razorbill 215n 42s
Guillemot 13n 8s
Gannet 11n 1s
Kestrel 1n
Goldcrest 1 calling
Shag 1n 1s
Red th Diver 1s
Sandwich Tern 2n 20s
Common Scoter 1n 17s
Whiethroat 1 singing by the obs
Arctic Tern 2n
Shelduck 2s
Black h Gull 11n

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

fox on the run.........

Manx Shearwater and a Blue Fulmar went north past Whitburn Obs early morning. Otherwise it was a quiet sea watch even the Sandwich Terns slept in. Gannets were just starting to move as i left so it might improve. There was no sign of the South Tyneside mega Red legged Partridge filmed by Jarrow Birder Doug in the obs field yesterday but i did see Red Fox for the first time this surely not!. Lets hope its still about to get it on my obs list
This is what i saw

Tuesday 15th April 05.30-07.30 WNW2 bright sun

Cormorant 4n 18s
Fox 05.45
Puffin 3n
Sandwich Tern 3n 11s
Black h Gull 4n
Goosander 3n
Manx Shearwater 1n
Eider 8n
Blue Fulmar 1n (L)
Red th Diver 2n 1s
Common Scoter 5n 2s

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Bottlenose Dolphins past the Obs

A pod of 10+ Bottlenose Dolphins went slowly north past Whitburn Obs this morning. Magic Mark picked them up and we followed them for the best part of two hours on and off. The Obs year list hit 100 as expected with the addition of Blackcap, and beyond with a Yellow Wagtail
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 13th April 05.45-10.00 WNW2 partial cloud

Cormorant 19n 48s
Eider 17n 6s
Gannet 11n 2s
Shag 3n 1s
Red th Diver 9n 9s
Sandwich Tern 5n 96s
Curlew 3n
Common Scoter 7n 14s
Shelduck 4n 1s
Greylag Goose 3n 3s
Blackcap 1 singing
Chiffchaff singing
Black h Gull 8n 23s
Turnstone 6s
Tufted Duck 1n 2s
Bottlenose Dolphins 10+ north from 07.45-09.15 at circa 3/4 mile distance
Peregrine 1n
Yellow Wagtail 1n

Saturday, 12 April 2014

n n nervous 90's........

5 Whimbrel were the stars of the show passed Whitburn this morning. and Sandwich Terns passed in three figures for the first time this year. I was joined as usual by Magic Mark and we had a great watch with lots of variation. Puffin and Whimbrel were new to my Obs year list which is now on 99. Wonder if we will get the ton up tomorrow. This is what we saw in order of appearance.

Saturday 12th April 05.45-10.30

Eider 10n
Cormorant 35n 53s
Common Gull 310n
Common Scoter 46n 53s
LBBGull 1s
Black h Gull 4n 25s
Sandwich Tern 19n 87s
Whimbrel 5n
Gannet 5n 21s
Red th Diver 5n 6s
Puffin 7n 2s
Shelduck 1n 2s
Curlew 2n 2s
Shag 7n
Redshank 3s
Goosander 1n 1s
Pink footed Goose 31s
Canada Goose 3n 3s
Greylag Goose 1n
Mallard 5n
Goldeneye 3s
Siskin 1s
Pied Wagtail 1s
Ringed Plover 1s
Yellowhammer 1 singing
Redpoll 1s

Sunday, 6 April 2014

vis mig makes the day

5 Black tailed Godwits 2 Whooper Swans and a Brent Goose passed Whitburn by 10am this morning.
Magic Mark and New Mark joined me today with a late appearance by Unlucky Dave, just as well really with a name like that. The viewing conditions were poor with heat haze but we still managed a good selection of birds helped by some vis mig. My Obs year list continued to flourish with the addition of the Black Witts the Shoveler and an Obs mega, a Coot in the nature reserve showed itself . Bringing my list to 93.
Here is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 6th April 05.40-10.00 SSW2-3 then SW 3-4 moderate cloud cover

Cormorant 17n 75s
Black h Gull 43s
Common Gull 200s
Shelduck 3n 3s
Kittiwake 123n 13s
Fulmar 115n
Eider 6n 20s
Red th Diver 3n 3s
Guillemot 17n
Razorbill 52n
Gannet 3n 3s
Sandwich Tern 4n 8s
Shag 5n 2s
Common Scoter 5n 16s
Shoveler 2s
Tufted Duck 1n
Brent Goose db 1n
Coot 1
Black tailed Godwit 5s
Pied Wagtail 3s
Wood Pigeon 22s
Dunlin 1s
Goldfinch circa 20s
Meadow Pipits 73s
Crow 30s
Oyster Catcher 70n
Sand Martin 2s
Curlew 3s
Lesser bb Gull 1s
Mallard 3s
Whooper Swan 2n

Saturday, 5 April 2014

retern of the terns

A Blue Fulmar and 9 Sandwich Terns passed Whitburn Obs by 09.40 this morning. I was joined by Magic Mark, New Mark and Pink Floyd for a sea watching extravaganza with lots of variety and no fog. Sandwich Terns were back and i had 3 new Obs year ticks bringing my list to 90. I had to leave the watch early due to grandad duties but this is what we saw in order of appearance by the time i had to leave

Saturday 5th April 06.05-09.40 SW2-3 cloud cover

Cormorant 20n 52s
Mallard 1s
Common Gull 260n
Kittewake 450n
Fulmar 254n
Razorbill 92n
Tufted Duck 2n 2s
Eider 11n 13s
Curlew 16n 1s
Red th Diver 4n 10s
Shelduck 3s
Sandwich Tern7n 2s
Black h Gull 11n 43s
Goosander 5s
Guillemot 34n
Bar t Godwit 1s
Common Scoter 20n 19s
Mute Swan 1n
Shag 5n 1s
Sand Martin 1s
Canada Goose 1s
LbbGull 2s
Grey Heron 1s
Blue Fulmar 1L lingering
Red br Merganser 2n
Pochard 1s

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Spring is in the air.......

A Blue Fulmar went north past Whitburn early morning, a nice dark DD bird, you cant beat DD.Spring arrived in the form of my first singing Chiffchaff of the year at the Obs. It was misty when i first arrived but overall visibility wasn't bad but by the time i left the fog Had rolled in. This had a positive effect when 3 Fieldfare went over clucking, another new Obs year tick bringing the total to 87. This is what i saw on my short watch

Wednesday 2nd April 06.20-07.30 NNE2 mist and fog

Common Gull 26n 1s
Kittiwake 34n
Curlew 1n 3s
Cormorant 3n 14s
Red th Diver 2n
Black h Gull 14n 1s
Razorbill 13n
Wigeon 4n
Guillemot 1n
LBB Gull 1n
Gannet 3n
Blue Fulmar 1n DD
Mallard 2n
Chiffchaff 1 singing
Fieldfare 3