Sunday, 28 September 2014

easy like sunday morning.....

White beaked and a Bottlenosed Dolphin were off shore this morning along with a few Porpoise but the hoped for Whale didn't show. I still haven't seen Minke from the Obs this year. It was a decent enough sea watch today in good light and a calm sea but it was all a bit laid back and Sunday morning ish. I was joined by Magic and Saint Mark, Stevie Thunder with CD and Stevie Makem.We said our goodbyes to CD who promised us free bed and board anytime in Kansas! Hoggie came in late on and helped me id some of the moths id caught and Red-line Quaker was a garden tick.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 28th September 06.30-10.25 SSW2
Eider 31n 7s
Ringed Plover 2n 37s
Black h Gull 201n 127s
Red br Merganser 1s
Fulmar 1n
Curlew 13n
Porpoise 3n
Meadow Pipit 5s
Common Scoter 44n 2s
Manxie 52n 17s
Common Gull 7n 5s
Red th Diver 20n 18s
Golden Plover 11s
Common Tern 27n 7s
Puffin 1n
Arctic Skua 10n 5s
Teal 8n 11s
Wigeon 12n
Little Gull 64n 35s
Greylag Goose 2s
Bonxie 4n
07.45 Bottlenose Dolphin moving south
Grey Wagtail 2s
Sooty Shearwater 3n 5s
Sandwich Tern 6s
08.00 White beaked Dolphin 3s (and a more distant 5s were probably White beaked)
Pink footed Goose 90s
Grey Heron 1n 1s
Redshank 1n 3s
LBBGull 1s
Pintail 1n
Velvet Scoter 2n
Jay 1s a new obs tick and yet another mega following on from the recent Fea's, Parakeets and Bridled Tern!

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Lttle and Large

3 Red necked Grebes 259 Little Gulls a Great n Diver and a Marsh Harrier passed Whitburn Obs this morning. I was joined by Saint Mark and Stoney was in the house (CW,SMc,BS later). Magic Mark was away but i needn't have worried my wing men were on top form. Little Gulls dominated again but poor light made it very difficult to pick a Sabs out, maybe tomorrow. A Marsh Harrier south completed the little and large feel. This is what we Saw in order of appearance

Saturday 27th September 06.30-11.10 SW2 bright sun

Black h Gull 157n 128s
Eider 4n 1s
Red th Diver 12n 20s
Curlew 79n
Puffin 4n
Common Scoter 82n 10s
Manxie 7n 5s
Sandwich Tern 16s
Common Tern 49n 23s
Little Gull 200n 59s
Arctic Skua 2n
Turnstone 3n 3s
Red necked Grebe 2n 1s
Pom Skua1s
Porpoise 4s
Arctic Tern 2n 2s
Meadow Pipit 49s
Common Gull 14n 9s
Grey Wagtail 2s
Ring necked Parakeet 5s
Red br Merganser 3s
Pink footed Goose 150s
Goose sp 28s
Bonxie 1n
Marsh Harrier 1s juv
Great n Diver 1n
Wigeon 1n
Sooty Shearwater 1n
Swallow 2n
Teal 6s
Redshank 1n
Golden Plover 3s

Friday, 26 September 2014

Humpback takes the biscuit...........

A magnificent Humpback Whale was the star of today's sea watch with a cetacean supporting cast of Bottlenose Dolphin and Porpoise. I was joined by Magic Mark, Stevie Thunder and CD our Kansas birder pal, Stevie Makem and Chivs. We had another busy watch with the star bird found by Stevie Thunder a juv Sabs Gull, i only just got on it. Steve has a history of finding them at Whitburn. I was looking at the DFDS ferry as it went past when the Humpback fully breached off the stern, and just in case you missed it it did it again. Gannets were diving in to feed indicating lots of fish in the area so you never know it may still be about. I had a Yellow browed Warbler calling as i left the Obs probably the same bird thats been seen on a number of occations
This is what we saw sort of in order of appearance

Friday 26th September 06.30-09.30 W2-3 cloud cover and calm sea

Black headed Gull 195n 29s
Turnstone 3n
Common Scoter 12n 1s
Red th Diver 19n 24s
Pink footed Goose 16n 30s
Redshank 2s
Puffin 3n
Shelduck 3n
Little Gull 118n 4s
Eider 4n 1s
Arctic Skua 8n
Arctic Tern 7n
Common Tern 25n 4s
Manxie 8n
Golden Plover 265s
Bonxie 2n
Sabs Gull 1n juv
Sooty Shearwater 2n
Wigeon 12n 1s
Common Gull 6n 4s
Porpoise 1 or 2 feeding
Pom Skua 1s
08.05 Bottlenose Dolphin 1 south
Ring necked Parakeet 5s (again)
Sandwich Tern 3n 3s
08.25 Humpback Whale 1 fully breached twice then a few partial breaches we watched its blows moving south and it was probably re seen moving north again later
Curlew 2n
Grey Wagtail 2s
House Martin 3s

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Whats that going over the it a flock of Parakeets

3 Long Tailed and 10 Pom Skua's passed Whitburn Obs by 09.45 this morning. It was the pull back of the year. Ive been busy with work and couldn't get into the obs for the Little/Sabs Gull fest and was gutted to hear about the 5 Ring necked Parakeets that passed the Obs, a new tick missed. That was until 5 went south over the hut this morning, I'm still smiling and punching the air
I was joined by Magic Mark, Stevie Thunder(living up to his name) and his yank mate CD all the way from Kansas. We had a cracking watch and i hope our American friend doesn't think its like this everyday. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 24th September 06.40-09.45 WSW 1-2 cloud cover, calm sea

Black h Gull 140n 25s
Common Scoter 39n 15s
Little Gull 84n 1s
Puffin 15n
Golden Plover 2n 4s
Common Gull 15n 4s
Curlew 31n
Common Tern 41n 5s
Manxie 28n
Pom Skua 8n 2s
Arctic Skua 7n 6s
Arctic Tern 17n 2s
Brent Goose pb 1n
Red th Diver 10n 17s
Ringed Plover 1s
Velvet Scoter 5n
Red br Merganser 1n
Sandwich Tern 2s
Eider 2s
Wigeon 19n 7s
Porpoise 3
Snow Bunting 1
Canada Goose 23n
Turnstone 1n 1s
Scaup 1n duck
Teal 53n 2s
Bonxie 3n
Long tailed Skua 2n 1s all juvs
Shag 1s
Sooty Shearwater 2n 4s
Grey Wagtail 2s
Rock Pipit 2s
Ring necked Parakeet 5s yeaaahhhh
Pink footed Goose 4n

Monday, 22 September 2014

The Fea's journey north

Out of interest I've noted the times the Fea's was reported passing coastal sites on its passage north as reported on birdguides

Flamborough 8.15-8.25
Filey Brigg 09.00
Long Nab 9.43-9.47
Cowbar Nab 11.25
Seaham 2.00
Whitburn 14.15-14.35
Tynemouth 15.00
St Marys 3.15
Newbiggin 15.51
Snab Point 16.06
Druridge 16.25
Beadnell 17.25
Sea Houses 17.36
Farnes 17.53
Holy Island 18.15

The second bird was seen at Whitburn 16.45 by reliable birders was closer in than the first bird, but unfortunately wasn't seen again
Its fantastic when birds are tracked up the coast, will we all get the Great Sheawater today?

Sunday, 21 September 2014

Whats that coming over the it a Fea's

Fea's Petrel passed a packed Whitburn Obs today plus 72 Sootys and a Long tailed Skua. We were enjoying a canny sea watch when news came through of a Fea's past Flamborough 8.15-8.25, we didn't get too excited as in the past we haven't done well connecting with Fea's coming from Nth York's. Then it passed Filey at 9.00 we started to get interested and when it passed Long Nab 9.45-9.47 phones started to ring. Birders were turning up at the Obs who hadn't been seen sea watching all year, a twitch was on. No news came for ages and it became apparent the bird hadn't passed Hartlepool. Then we got a call from Ando to say he had the bird at Seaham at 2pm.We didn't have long to wait, it came fairly close inshore past the obs at 14.15-14.35 and even dropped into a flock of feeding birds and hung around awhile before heading off north.20 birders in the Obs and another 20ish outside the obs got the bird.
Suffice to say a lot of happy birders enjoyed this hard to catch up with Petrel. The audiance was too large for me to name them all but congrats folks!
This is what we saw today in order of appearance

Sunday 21st September 06.30-15.00 NNW2-3 cloud cover
Black h Gull 299n 15s
Red th Diver 15n 33s
Curlew 10n 2s
Common Gull 17n 3s
Common Scoter 13n 2sPuffin 14n
Sooty Shearwater 72n
Arctic Skua 10n 24s
Whimbrel 1n
Manxie 103n 13s
Teal 10n
Common Tern 105n 16s
Redshank 16n
Grey Wagtail 3n 3s
Shag 4n 27s
Bonxie 16n
Wigeon 54n
Brent Goose 14n db, 3n pb
Velvet Scoter 5n
Sparrowhawk 1n
Eider 2s
Arctic Tern 1n
Golden Plover 7n
Knot 28n
Sandwich Tern 1n 12s
Goose sp 50s
Swallow 8n
Grey Heron1n
Long tailed Skua 1s ad
Red br Merganser 3n
Kestrel 1n
Tufted Duck 3n
Purple Sandpiper 2n
Pintail 1n
Porpoise 2n
14.15 Fea's Petrel nth till 15.35

Saturday, 20 September 2014

I see no ships......

9 Velvet Scoter and 157 Red th Divers passed Whitburn Obs in 41/2 hours this morning plus a large supporting cast. Yes we could see no ships in the misty conditions and we couldn't see many birds either, but with patience the birds came. I was joined by Magic Mark, Saint Mark, The Sheriff, Pink Floyd, and Hoggie bringing up the rear. Also a guest appearance by Aggie Gordon
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 20th September 06.30-11.00 N2 mist drizzle low cloud

Curlew 4n 2s
Black h Gull 53n 20s
Common Scoter 38n 28s
Wigeon 119n 14s
Velvet Scoter 15n
Red th Diver 19n 138s
Arctic Skua 4n
Shag 6s
Common Gull 31n2s
Redshank 1n 3s
LBBGull 3n
Meadow Pipits 6s
Grey Plover 1s
Grey Wagtail 4s
Golden Plover 3n 39s
Common Tern 82n 6s
Grey Heron 5s
Manx Shearwater 3n
Eider 3s
Knot 10n
Kestrel 1s
Teal 11n
Sooty Shearwater 1n
Reed Bunting 1s
Tufted Duck 3n
Turnstone 1s
Arctic Tern 1n
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Porpoise 1n
Pintail 2n
Sand Martin 2n
Swallow 28n

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Shear delight

27 Sooty Shearwaters and 101 Brent Geese passed Whitburn Obs today. I was in the Obs for two sessions and the following contributed, Stevie Thunder, Hoggie, Adam Ant, DC
Visibility was difficult at times due to mist,  but the Sooty's put on a good show with some passing close inshore. This is what we did manage to see over 7 hours 40 mins

Wednesday 17th September N2-3 cloud, mist, drizzle

Red th Diver 2n 9s
Black th Diver 1 on sea then flew north
Manx Shearwater 108n 1s
Sooty Shearwater 27n
Brent Goose 100 pb and 1db nth
Wigeon 47n
Teal 156n
Common Scoter 109n 19s
Velvet Scoter 2n
Pintail 1n
Sandwich Tern 2n
Common Tern 16n 2s
Arctic Tern 3n
Arctic Skua 15n 7s
Bonxie 16n
Puffin 9n
Knot 7n
Dunlin 5n
Grey Wagtail 1n

Sunday, 14 September 2014

all white now baby its all white now..........

An Albino Fulmar went north past Whitburn Obs this afternoon. I joined Magic Marks afternoon watch and was blown away by this pure white Fulmar. Mark reminded me we have seen Albino Great northern Diver and Kittiwake before so a niceway to bring up the hat trick. I was only in for part of the session and this is what i saw

Velvet Scoter 1n
Arctic Skus 4n 1s
Teal 50s
Albino Fulmar nth @ 15.25
Sooty Shearwater 1n
Red th Diver 2n 2s
Puffin 2n
Manxie 7n
Common Gull 6n
Long tailed Skua 2n juvs
Shag 1n

The Longtails were distant and hard to nail,  thanks to Mark for his help
I left the watch early to enjoy great views of Cookys Red Br Flycatcher

Now thats what i call a sea watch volume.......

Black throated and 51 Red throated Divers, and a Little Gull passed Whitburn by 12.30 today on a mega sea watch. Only Saint Mark joined me on a day we expected to be dashing up to the ringers hut for our first Yellow browed of the year but didn't need to as all the action was in the Obs
This is what we saw in no particular order

Sunday 14th September ENE2-3 cloud cover

Common Gull 7n 1s
Black h Gull 26n 54s
Curlew 15n 6s
Ringed Plover 1n
Common Scoter 609n 69s
Red th Diver 12n 39s
Redshank 3n
Wigeon 203n 10s
Gannet 630n
Manxie 39n 1s
Petrel sp 1 north flying with 3 Manxies possible Leach's?
Bonxie14n 1s
Velvet Scoter 2n drakes
Puffin 62n
Teal 273n 86s
Gannet 630n
Dunlin 13n 5s
Arctic Skua 32n 1s
Sandwich Tern 2n 39s
Common Tern 14n
Whimbrel 1n 1s
Grey Wagtail 1s
Bar t Godwit 1s
Knot 1s
Mallard 5n
Shag 1n 7s
Pom Skua 2n 1 ad
Pintail 4n
Turnstone 6s
Black th Diver 1s
Sooty Shearwater 6n
Brent Goose 3n pb
Golden Plover 4n
Swallow 6n
Little Gull 1n ad
Wood Pigeon 39n
Eider 1n 2s

Saturday, 13 September 2014

Gone fishing......

4 Arctic Skuas and 20 Red throated Divers passed Whitburn Obs early morning. I might as well have gone fishing for all the luck i had. Even two of the county's hot new birders couldn't conjure up something special. I was joined by Saint Mark and Stoney was in the house. It was a full week since i last sat in the Obs due to work etc .I was looking forward to today's watch and it was full of variation but just lacked a couple of decent birds. My Obs list grew to 147 with Coal Tit. Sadly i didn't see or hear the 5 Ring necked Parakeets that went south through Shearwater per John Chapman.
This is what we did see in order of appearance

Saturday 13th September 06.05-10.30 SW1 cloud cover at first then hazy sunshine

Black h Gull 82n 200s
Common Scoter 15n
Teal 67n 3s
Common Gull 3n 4s
Curlew 45n
Whimbrel 1n
Tufted Duck 5n
Shag 1n 13s
Redshank 12n 1s
Wigeon 8n
Ringed Plover 10s
Dunlin 20s
Sanderling 11s
Red th Diver 4n 16s
Common Tern 4n 2s
Sandwich Tern 2n 55s
Arctic Tern 1s
Porpoise 2
Manxie 6n
Arctic Skua 4s
Grey Wagtail 6s
Puffin 2n
Turnstone 3n 4s
Red br Merganser 1s
Swallow 16s
Eider 6s
Knot 17s
Meadow Pipit 5s

vis mig was increasing when i left so back later for more

Saturday, 6 September 2014

shag fest at Whitburn.......

Balearic, 2 Sooty and 33 Manx Shearwaters went north past Whitburn Obs by 11am. Yes it was a Shag fest with birds constantly moving south. Saint Mark joined me and we had a good variety of birds later Pink Floyd, Hoggie et al turned in when news of the Long tail past Hartlepool filtered through, sadly we didn't connect. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 6th September 06.00-11.00 NNE2-3 cloud cover

Eider 4n
Black h Gull 18n 14s
Red th Diver 3n 10s
Curlew 4n 1s
Arctic Skua 7n 5s
Common Scoter 8n 39s
Turnstone 5n 8s
Redshank 11n 9s
Manxie 33n
Puffin 2n
Common Gull 2n 4s
Shag 5n 57s
Balearic Shearwater 1n 07.05
Swallow 171n 19s
Sooty Shearwater 2n
Red br Merganser 1n
Common Tern 20n
Whimbrel 1n
Sandwich Tern 3n 1s
Sand Martin 1s
Goldfinch 80s
Teal 1n 54s
Bonxie 2n 1s
LBBGull 1n
Whinchat 1 behind obs
Lapwing 9s
Little Gull 1n juv
Wigeon 20n
Goose sp 14n distant i thought Greylag but we couldn't agree

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

More duck tales...........

2 Arctic Skuas and 2 Manxies went past Whitburn Obs early morning and then the Teal started passing again...
Stoney was in the house and i was grateful for his help as the ducks came from every direction. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 3rd September 06.05-07.50 SSE2

Shag 9n 5s
Curlew 4n
Black h Gull 10n 57s
Shelduck 1n 6s
Teal 361n 70s
Sandwich Tern 2n 1s
Common Scoter 98n
Common Tern 7n 23s
Wigeon 35n
Manxie 2n
Red th Diver 2s
Dunlin 6s
Arctic Skua 1n 1s
Turnstone 3n
Common Gull 1s
Porpoise 1

Monday, 1 September 2014

Your County Needs You......

704 Teal went north past Whitburn Obs by 07.35 today. It looks like its going to be another big Teal movement day but sadly its back to work for me today after a lovely week in Ibiza, so if you can make it into the obs please do, keep your eyes on the sky as most are moving high up, good hunting!
I wasn't expecting much today and i only have a short time to watch as the darker mornings get in the way but this is what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 1st September 06.10-07.35 S2 then SW2

Shag 17s
Black h Gull 56n 85s
Teal 704n 18s
Common Tern 1n
Shelduck 3n
Common Scoter 23n
Common Gull 2s
Arctic Skua 1n
Sandwich Tern 9n
Red th Diver 2n