Tuesday, 30 December 2014

2014 year list totals and round up

3 Porpoise were feeding off Whitburn Obs this morning which says a lot about the bird passage today.
It was hard work in a strong westerly and it was more like a typical December sea watch than the excellent watches we've had lately. Gone are the Little Auks and Poms...lets hope the 1st is better than this.
Boy Wonder popped in briefly on his way to check out the Golden Plover flock on the firing range and called the second Gannet of the day. Pink Floyd said hello on his way to the Steel and nailed shut the hut door which is always banging and annoying me, thanks mate

I may make it in for the final watch of the year tomorrow... but just in case my Obs year list ended on 167 compared to 162 in 2013. The number of species seen over the two years is 182 so that just shows what is possible
My highlights for the year included Bridled Tern, Fea's Petrel and Smew, you couldnt have predicted that lot. The lows included just missing Green Woodpecker, no Minke Whale and the Bonaparte's Gull  avoided me in the Obs for the fifth year...maybe next year
Thanks to all my sea watching pals who helped my list along especially Magic Mark and Saint Mark
Who knows what next year will bring an Albatross or maybe King Eider.....

This is what we saw today in order of appearance

Tuesday 30th December 08.10-10.25 W3 cloud cover calm sea

Common Scoter 1n 4s
Common Gull 4n 9s
Eider 3n 6s
Black h Gull 1n 7s
Gannet 1n 1s
Red th Diver 4n 6s
Guillemot 7n
Porpoise 3 feeding
Teal 1s
Cormorant 1s

Monday, 29 December 2014

On the 5th day of......

2 Velvet Scoter and a Peregrine were the best we could muster passed Whitburn Obs in 2 hours this morning. Santa's festive luck has deserted us.Magic Mark was back but even he could not pull anything out of the hat on a much quieter day.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday29th December 08.00-10.00 W2

Black h Gull 65n 27s
Common Gull 33n 51s
Cormorant 11n 5s
Fulmar 69n
Red th Diver 9n
Scan Herring Gull 3n
Eider 21n 7s
Common Scoter 12n 3s
Guillemot 23n
Goldeneye 5n
Peregrine 1n ad male
Wigeon 7n
Great crested Grebe 1n
Shag 1s
Velvet Scoter 2s
Porpoise 1

Sunday, 28 December 2014

On the 4th day of xmas santa sent.....

9 Little Auks and a Pom Skua passed Whitburn Obs this morning continuing our good run of birds this festive season, lets hope Santa saves us some for the 1st. I was joined by Stevie Makem, Chivs with Hoggie and Walter later. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 28th December 08.05-11.00 W1-2 early cloud cover clearing

Turnstone 4n
Black h Gull 14n 21s
Common Gull 11n 5s
Eider 25n 3s
Red th Diver 10n 2s
Cormorant 2n 8s
Curlew 1n
Goldeneye 3n 1s
Common Scoter 25n
Teal 7n
Scan Herring Gull 2s
Shelduck 10n
Guillemot 6n
Woodcock 1 in off
Gannet 3n
Little Auk n
Pom Skua 1s
Razorbill 2n
Mallard 3s
Great n Diver 1s
Snipe 1s
Shag 2s
Wood Pigeon 2 in off
Velvet Scoter 1n

Saturday, 27 December 2014

On the third day of Christmas Santa sent to me........

5 Velvet Scoter, Long tailed Duck and a Santa's sack full of quality birds passed Whitburn Obs by 11am. Magic Mark beat me in and had an Arctic Skua for his reward, we were joined by Stevie Makem and a welcome return to the Obs by Boy Wonder (RA). Santa sent us loads of birds, this is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 27th December 08.20-11.00 W1-2

Black h Gull 7n 16s
Common Gull 3n 10s
Gannet 2n
Red th Diver 15n 2s
Eider 10n 1s
Kittiwake 1s
Goldeneye 4n 1s
Guillemot 12n
Little Auk 3n
Shag 3s
Common Scoter 12n
Grey Heron 1n
Curlew 1s
Goosander 1n
Shelduck 7n
Pom Skua 1s
Fieldfare 1 in off
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Velvet Scoter 5s
Long tailed Duck 1n
Red br Merganser 1n

Friday, 26 December 2014

Good king Wenceslas looked out.....

A Long tailed Duck, 2 Velvet Scoter and 51 Godeneye passed Whitburn Obs this morning. Both my wing men were AWOL today and missed a good selection of birds passing for the feast of Stephen
A light westerly following a northerly at Whitburn often brings a good passage of wildfowl and today was no exception
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Friday 26th December 08.15-10.40 SW1-2 calm sea moderate swell

Goldeneye 48n 3s
Tufted Duck 2n
Wigeon 20n 2s
Black h Gull 5n 13s
Common Gull 3n 20s
Eider 6n 1s
Curlew 1n
Cormorant 6n 14s
Common Scoter 9n 3s
Shoveller 2n
Gannet 2n 1s
Long tailed Duck 1n
Great n Diver 1n
Guillemot 7n
Little Auk 1n
Velvet Scoter 2n
Scan Herring Gull 1n 1s
Red th Diver 6n 1s
Shelduck 1s
Brent Goose pb 1n
Kittiwake 1s
Purple Sandpiper 1s

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Do you feel lucky...........

A Little Auk went north past Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. I was joined by Magic and Saint Mark on a slightly better day than yesterday but still few birds are moving. The Little Auk was feeling lucky, it was hotly pursued by Great black backed Gulls and dumped onto the sea and dived just in time to avoid being breakfast. Hoggie and Walter joined us late on but they were a day late for the Glauc they craved
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 21st December 07.45-10.30 SW2-3

Eider 3s
Common Gull 27s
Scan Herring Gull 6s
Common Scoter 15n 3s
Black h Gull 2n 1s
Cormorant 3n 2s
Guillimot 10n 33s
Gannet 3n 1s
Golden Plover 60s
Goldeneye 3n
Red th Diver 3n 1s
Shag 1n
Curlew 1s
Little Auk 1n phew....
Mallard 2s
Teal 5n

Saturday, 20 December 2014

Bah Humbug.......

A juvenile Glaucous Gull went south past Whitburn Obs this morning but little else. Scrooge was handing out the birds today and he was miserly. Saint Mark joined me and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 20th December 07.45-10.15 WNW 3

Eider 2n 1s
Blk h Gull 13s
Common Gull 4n28s
Wigeon 2s
Red th Diver 5n 3s
Cormorant 1n 7s
Guillemot 2n 2s
Gannet 3n
Glaucous Gull 1s juv
Razorbill 1n
Scan Herring Gull 1n

Sunday, 14 December 2014

gone shopping?..

A Great northern Diver went north past Whitburn Obs yesterday morning on a quiet winter sea watch. I was joined by Stevie Thunder and we wondered if all the birds had gone Xmas shopping as we couldn't find them. This is what we did see in order of appearance

Saturday 13th December 07.25-10.30 W2

Common Scoter 4n
Black headed Gull 30n 71s
Eider 3n 2s
Common Gull 2n 39s
Razorbill 1s
Rock Pipit 1s
Shelduck 1n
Cormorant 3n 6s
Red th Diver 1n 2s
Fulmar 9n 2s
Great northern Diver 1n
Gannet 2n
Scan Herring Gull 1n 8s
Redshank 1n 1s
Curlew 2n
Shag 2s
Guillimot 1s