Sunday, 30 November 2014

Icing on the cake.......

2 Tundra Bean Geese,, 2 Great northern Divers and 4 Long tailed Ducks were just a few of the highlights that passed Whitburn Obs this morning bringing to a close a fantastic weekend of sea watching
I was joined by Magic and Saint Mark and later by a bunch of reprobates, Hoggie, Walter, Pink Floyd and the Birtley Bishop. We had 18 species of wildfowl today but none of yesterdays Skua's on another busy watch. The two Sandwich Terns that @whitleybirder sent us were the icing on the cake! even tho they took two hours to reach us.. The Bean Geese brought my obs year list to 166 species.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 30th November 07.25-11.00 WNW2-3 early cloud clearing

Black h Gull 31n 49s
Peregrine 1s
Cormorant 1n 18s
Common Gull 4n 74s
Fulmar 28n
Lapwing 40n
Eider 18n 12s
Canada Goose 5s
Guillemot 19n
Purple Sandpiper 4n
Curlew 3n 110s
Common Scoter 18n 5s
Red th Diver 33n 22s
Pochard 2s
Goldeneye 4n 2s
Shag 7s
Razorbill 1n
Velvet Scoter 4n
Teal 3n 3s
Great n Diver 2n
Gadwall 1n
Pinkfeet 315s
Greylag Goose 1n
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Shelduck 7n
Red br Merganser 1s
Long tailed Duck 4n
Merlin 1s
Med Gull 1s ad
Goosander 2s
Tufted Duck 1s
Sandwich Tern 2s
Tundra Bean Goose 2n and in at 10.25
Turnstone 4n
Wigeon 1n 3s

Sadly i will miss next weekend as im off to Goa for some sunshine curry and birds, back soon......

Saturday, 29 November 2014

Its all about the Poms, bout the Poms, Pom Skua's........

19 Pom Skua's, Iceland Gull, 2 Little Auks and 2 Long tailed Ducks passed Whitburn Obs this morning. I was joined by Saint Mark and right from the off  large Gulls were streaming south and they did not stop all morning. We had a first winter Iceland Gull moving with them and a Med Gull. As the watch got going so did the Skua's with an unexpected total of 19 Poms plus supporting cast
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 29th November 07.35-12.00 SE3 cloud cover rain at times

Cormorant 4s
Black h Gull 1n 71s
Common Gull 1n 37s
Med Gull 1s ad
Curlew 90s
Velvet Scoter 6n
Common Scoter 184n 3s
Teal 47n 40s
Eider 22n 3s
Iceland Gull 1s first winter
Mallard 2s
Fulmar 3n 6s
Goldeneye 5n 3s
Long tailed Duck 2n
Kittiwake 7s
Pink feet  5n
Red th Diver 9n 2s
Wigeon 7n 21s
Razorbill 1n 1s
Shag 1n 1s
Brent Goose 6s pb
Pom Skua 19n
Guillemot 8n 5s
Bonxie 1n 2s
Little Auk 2n
Golden Plover 150s
Arctic Skua 1n
Lapwing 15s
LBBGull 1s
GBBGull circa 1000s
Herring Gull circa 5000s
Scan Herring Gull 4s
We left the Obs happy birders

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Its too late the old man cried..

2 Little Gulls and a Med Gull were the best we could find on another quiet Sunday on a westerly. Yesterdays Smew pulled in a couple of part time sea watchers in the hope of a repeat performance but Stevie Thunder and Stevie Makem were disappointed the horse had already bolted. Also present were Saint Mark , Hoggie and Walter
This is what we did manage to see in order of appearance,  little reward in excellent conditions

Sunday 23rd November 07.25-10.30 WSW 2 cloud cover

Black h Gull 56n 70s
Cormorant 3n 12s
Common Gull 5n 24s
Red th Diver 23n 18s
Eider 7n 10s
Shag 4n 16s
Common Scoter 32n 22s
Porpoise 2 feeding
Fulmar 5n
Curlew 1n 1s
Redshank 7n 1s
Med Gull 1s ad
Scan Herring Gull 4s
Teal 3s
Rock Pipit 1s
Guillimot 1n 1s
Little Gull 2n
Redwing 1 over
Grey Heron 1n

Saturday, 22 November 2014

Gentlemen prefer blondes, i like Redheads..........

Smew, Goldeneye and Scaup passed Whitburn Obs by 11am a canny selection of ducks. Saint Mark joined me today back from his trip to Peru with tales and pics of Inca Terns and Franklin's Gull's. He more than made up for the absence of Magic Mark who is away this weekend when he called the Smew going south close inshore. It was a  new Obs year tick bringing my total to 166.  Hoggie and Pink Floyd were late arrivals
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 22nd November 07.20-11.00 S2-3 cloud cover

Black h Gull 1n 55s
Eider 14n 8s
Common Gull 24s
Shelduck 27n
Wigeon 11n 3s
Mallard 9n 1s
Red th Diver 6n 14s
Common Scoter 18n 4s
Teal 5n 40s
Curlew 1n 1s
Golden Plover 92s
Redshank 3n
Knot 1n 1s
Snipe 1s
Turnstone 1n
Goldeneye 1n 3s
Razorbill 1s
Guillimot 2s
Tufted Duck 1n 1s
Fulmar 2n 1s
Scaup 1n
Smew 1s redhead circa 09.05
Little Gull 1s ad
Bonxie 1n

Friday, 21 November 2014

Its all about the birds, about the birds, no............

2 Velvet Scoters and 18 Brent Geese passed Whitburn Obs early morning. I joined Magic Mark for a short watch today and we had a good selection of birds, we were hoping for a few more Poms and Little Auks but not today, maybe this weekend. This is what we did see in order of appearance

Friday 21st November 07.30-09.10 SW then SE2

Black h Gull 1n 48s
Common Gull 27s
Teal 25n 20s
Red th Diver 1n 10s
Common Scoter13n
Velvet Scoter 2n
Mallard 3s
Shelduck 1n
Curlew 1n
Wigeon 6s
Little Gull 2n
Eider 3n
Goldeneye 1n 2s
Shag 1s
Goosander 2s
Brent Goose db 18s

I left Mark in the obs..........

Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Sloppy Seconds.........

4 Pom Skuas and a Great northern Diver passed Whitburn Obs early morning. Disappointed that work got in the way of sea watching yesterday so i was determined to have a look see today. The only Auks i saw were Guillimots but Little Auks can be slow to get going. A few Skuas were moving but straight easterlies are not the best winds to watch on. Stevie Thunder arrived as i left for work so lets hope he gets a few decent birds. This is what i saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 16th November 07.30-09.10 E2 broken cloud rain then bright sun.....

Common Scoter 6n
Black h Gull 5n 23s
Common Gull 2n 22s
Fulmar 6n
Velvet Scoter 1s
Red th Diver 5n 11s
Eider 3n
Pom Skua 4n juvs
Teal 3n
Little Gull 8n 5s
Great n Diver 1n
Shelduck 1n
Shag 1s

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Thank heaven.......... for Little Auks

8 Little Auks and a Pom Skua passed Whitburn Obs early morning. Magic Mark and Stevie Thunder were my company today and a bit like yesterday few birds were moving, but we managed to find a bit of quality in the form of Little Auks. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 16th November 07.15-10.00 WSW 1 cloud cover

Fulmar 27n
Cormorant 9s
Wigeon 13n 2s
Black h Gull 24n 95s
Common Gull 4n 22s
Little Gull 3n
Little Auk 7n 1s
Red th Diver 3n 10s
Eider 6n 10s
Shag 29s including 1 flock of 20
Porpoise 3
Common Scoter 5n
Pom Skua 1n juv
Teal 1n 3s
Greylag Goose 1n
Grey Wagtail 1s
Brent Goose db 1n

After the sea watch i was birding locally and saw 3 separate groups of Pink feet going south circa 300 birds in all

Saturday, 15 November 2014

calm after the storm....

Great northern Diver, Pom Skua and a Med Gull passed Whitburn Obs this morning. Magic Mark and I were back on a calm quiet morning following yesterdays stormy weather. We had hoped for some leftovers as birds relocated but in truth few birds were moving so we had to work hard to eek out a few decent birds and we did ok
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 15th November SW1 cloud cover calm sea with moderate swell

Black h Gull 16n 70s
Common Gull 7n 30s
Curlew 2n
Little Gull 10n 10s
Eider 6n 1s
Wigeon 5n 3s
Fulmar 6n 1s
Red th Diver 1n 19s
Porpoise 5
Knot 1n
Med Gull 1s ad
Great n Diver 1n close inshore a beast of a bird
Cormorant 11n
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Shag 5s
Pom Skua 1n juv
Common Scoter 2n
Grey Heron 1n
Dunlin 1n
Long t Duck 1n
Redshank 1n

We headed off to look for the Water Pipit at Whitburn Steel and found two
I then eventually saw the Siberian Stonechat at the Academy Pools and found a Snow Bunting so all in all a canny days birding

Friday, 14 November 2014

Stormy Friday Sea Watch

2 Poms 2 Velvet Scoters and an adult Little Gull were amongst the birds that passed Whitburn Obs early morning. Magic Mark and myself were in position at first light to enjoy the stormy conditions and see what birds it produced. Numbers were low but we thoroughly enjoyed what we got which was mainly close inshore
This is sort of what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 14th November 07.05-09.30 SE5 cloud cover

Black h Gull 22n
Red th Diver 2n 2s
Eider 9n 1s
Common Gull 8s
Scaup 8n
Fulmar 4s
Pom Skua 2s juvs
Velvet Scoter 2n
Bonxie 2n
Common Scoter 1n 2s
Golden Plover 33s
Goldeneye 1n
Little Gull 1s
Teal 5s

Sunday, 9 November 2014

Eyes down for another full house...

A Long tailed Skua and 5 Little Auks were the star birds on another fun packed Whitburn bird watch. It was another full house with loads of birds and a canny few birders. I was joined by Magic Mark, Stevie Makem and StevieThunder (nice to see he chose birding over running) with Hoggie and Walter later. We also had a special guest visit by Richard Crossley with Cookie. He didn't bring any free Crossley guides so we wouldn't let him look through our scopes at a Puffin on the sea
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 9th November 06.50-10.30 SW mainly cloud cover

Black h Gull 23n 65s
Eider 6n 11s
Woodcock 1 in/off and 1s
Common Gull 5n 73s
Little Gull 10n 3s
Red th Diver 15n 36s
Porpoise 3
Teal 24n
Bonxie 3n
Shag 1n 5s
Golden Plover 16s
Dunlin 3s
Red br Merganser 2n
Velvet Scoter 3s
Pink footed Goose 243s
Snow Bunting 1s
Great n Diver 1s
Grey Heron 2n
Wigeon 6n
Little Auk 2n 3s
Med Gull 1n 1s ads
Turnstone 1s
Redshank 1n
Puffin 1 on sea
Mallard 1s
Long t Skua 1n

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Game of two halfs...........

95 Pink feet, 30 Little Gulls and a Med Gull passed Whitburn obs by 10.30 this morning. After the mega Little Auk passage it was business as usual with only 2 passing for DL to get his year tick. Derek joined me briefly this morning then later Hoggie and it turned out to be a decent sea watch despite a slow start. The early bright sun didn't help but as cloud cover moved in the birds improved. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 8th November 06.45-10.30 SW2-3 bright sun then cloud cover

First half

Black h Gull 24n 59s
Common Scoter 78n 32s
Common Gull 3n 68s
Red th Diver 15n 8s
Turnstone 2n
Mallard 1n 11s
Eider 3n 9s
Curlew 40n 1s
Goldeneye 4n
Wigeon 8n 19s
Woodcock 3 in/off
Meadow Pipit 9s
Teal 7n 17s
Little Auk 2n
Shoveler 2s
Little Gull 2n 28s
Golden Plover 110s
Shag 10s
Pink footed Goose 95s
Snipe 1s
Med Gull 1s ad
Shelduck 1s

At half time i went to see the Grey Phal at Hartlepool

Second half 14.00-16.15

I joined Magic Mark for a couple of hours
He had had some good birds on his afternoon watch including Long tailed Duck before i arrived . I managed to see the following with him
Great crested Grebe 1n
Tufted Duck 1n
Scaup 4s
Wigeon 4sTeal 2s
Pom Skua 3n juvs
Common Scoter 5s
Shag 2s
Woodcock 1 in/off

Not a bad day

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Remember Remember the 5th ..............

644 Little Auks 2 Sootys and a Slav Grebe passed Whitburn by 10.30 this morning. Yes its bonfire night today and things started with a bang! the first three species called were Little Auk, Slav Grebe and Velvet Scoter. The Little Auks just kept coming some in the surf. I was joined by Magic Mark, Pink Floyd and Stevie Makem and more later, I left a full Obs to go to work. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 5th November 06.40-10.30 N2-3
Velvet Scoter 2n 1s
Slav Grebe 1n
Little Auk 644n
Red th Diver 13n 84s
Wigeon 25n
Common Scoter 105n 48s
Red br Merganser 2n 1s
Goldeneye 13n 3s
Eider 2n 2s
Little Gull 10n 2s
Sooty Shearwater 2n
Manxie 1n
Great n Diver 3n 1s
Pink footed Geese 16s
Mallard 3n
Shag 1n 4s
Brent Goose 5s
Teal 8n 10s
Arctic Skua 4n
Fulmar 2n
Bonxie 5n
Curlew 2n
Grey Heron  1n
Short eared Owl 2 in off
Pom Skua 1s

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Deja Vu.......

14 Whooper Swans a Great northern Diver and 112 Little Gulls passed Whitburn Obs by 11 this morning. It was a case of same times, same place, similar birds and similar observers.Only today the female interest came in the form of an old friend Ed, she was looking good on her jog past, and the mystery blonde was a no show. Sea Watching was enjoyable in good light if not spectacular but not bad for a south westerly in November. Magic Mark was in along with Hoggie and Walter and this is what we saw today in order of appearance

Sunday 2nd November 06.40-11.00 full cloud cover

Black h Gull 5n 145s
Common Gull 107s
Wigeon 11n 1s
Red th Diver 9n 10s
Eider 8n 1s
Meadow Pipit 8s
Starling 10 in/off
Little Gull 10n 102s
Mallard 3s
Common Scoter 14n 9s
Curlew 1n 1s
Goosander 4n 2s
Turnstone 2n
Greylag Goose 1n
Teal 4n 8s
Woodcock 1 in/off
Whooper Swan 14s
Redshank 1n
Great n Diver 1s
Bonxie 1n
Velvet Scoter 1n
Shag 3s
Goldeneye 3s
Great crested Grebe 2n
Sanderling 2s

Saturday, 1 November 2014

i want it all and i want it now........

4 species of Skua, 5 Whoopers and close to a hundred Little Gulls passed Whitburn Obs this morning along with a good variety of wildfowl. As the queen song says i want it all and today we got it all. Magic Mark joined me at first light and we filled our boots as a great variety of birds passed the obs, Pink Floyd, Hoggie and a mystery blond were late arrivals.
All this and two new obs year ticks bringing my year list to 165
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 1st November 06.40-11.00 SW3 early cloud clearing to bright sun

Manxie 1n 1s
Red th Diver 14n 10s
Eider 30n 4s
Common Gull 6n 36s
Meadow Pipit 5s
Black h Gull 6n 36s
Curlew 1n 1s
Brent Goose 1n db
Golden Plover circa 1000s
Goldeneye 1s
Common Scoter 20n 5s
Lapwing 1s
Little Gull 94n
Teal 1n 8s
Arctic Skua 1n
Pom Skua 1n juv
Bonxie 4n
Wigeon 6n 3s
Red br Merganser 1s
Siskin 1s
Long t Skua 1n
Great n Diver 2s
Gadwall 2s
Trush sp 6 in off
Pink footed Goose 295s
Twite 1s
Yellow browed Warbler calling nearby
Redpoll 1s
Velvet Scoter 3s
Shag 2n
Woodcock 1 in off
Grey Wagtail 2s
Whooper Swan 5n
Grey Heron 1s
Redshank 3n
Merlin 1s