Saturday, 31 January 2015

Sea watch extravaganza ends the month....

3 Little Auks 2 Pom Skuas and an Iceland Gull passed Whitburn Obs by 12.30 today. It was a fantastic sea watch with many highlights, i was joined by Saint Mark, Pink Floyd and Hoggie, Stoney was in the house. We saw our first Blue Fulmars and Skuas of the year, I had half a dozen new Obs year ticks, this is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 31st December 07.25-12.30 NW4
Black h Gull 33n
Fulmar 672n
Common Gull 61n
Brent Goose 1n db
Scan Herring Gulls 2n
Turnstone 1n
Guillemot 239n
Ringed Plover 1n
Gannet 103n
Shelduck 6n
Cormorant 1n 3s
Golden Plover 155n
Blue Fulmar 2n D &L 1S DD
Razorbill 4n
Red th Diver 2n 1s
Pom Skua 2s juvs
Long tailed Duck 1n
Grey Plover 1n
Kittiwake 8n 2s
Porpoise 2
Great northern Diver 1n
Velvet Scoter 5n
Little Auk 3n
Bonxie 2n
Red br Merganser 1s
Shag 1n 1s
Great crested Grebe 1s
Goosander 2n
Mallard 2s
Eider 1n 1s
Puffin 1s
Iceland Gull 1n 1st w 11.45
Wigeon 15n

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Im dreaming of a White billed Diver, just like the ones..........

A Black throated Diver and 34 Red throats passed Whitburn Obs by 11.00 on a quiet morning. Magic and Saint Mark joined me and later Pink Floyd. We gave it our best shot but very little was moving. Black throated Diver is a scarce bird even at Whitburn so it was great to see my second of the year.  It got me thinking wouldn't it be nice to have another White billed.......
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 24th January 07.30-11.00 WNW3 clear sky

Black h Gull 9n 11s
Common Gull 6n 11s
Fulmar 195n
Eider 6n 1s
Golden Plover 150n 16s
Cormorant 2n 5s
Red th Diver 14n 20s
Turnstone 27n 18s
Guillemot 63n 9s
Porpoise 3s
Common Scoter 3n 4s
Canada Goose 5s
Greylag Goose 1s
Curlew 1n 3s
Redshank 4s
Black th Diver 1n
Kittiwake 1n

Sunday, 18 January 2015

ice ice baby 2....

Iceland Gull and 6 Velvet Scoter passed Whitburn Obs by 11.30 on a morning that saw the return of Little Auks and Stevie Thunder. You watch and hope for an Iceland Gull and then they are like buses, two different birds in two days, fantastic!. I was joined by Magic and Saint Mark, Stevie Thunder was a year tick and Stoney was in the house.We debated the age of the Iceland Gull that went south close inshore, was it juv/1st winter or 2nd winter......
With Stevie back in the Obs the conversation topics were many and varied including devices for recording bird song when you are out having a stroll to the best sites to see Laurel Pigeon, Japanese Cormarants being the least interesting. How did we ever find time to look at the birds you are asking
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 18th January 07.45-11.30 WNW2

Black h Gull 25n 28s
Common Gull 8n 44s
Red th Diver 24n 5s
Scan Herring Gull 3s
Cormorant3n 6s
Gannet 9n 5s
Eider 1n 3s
Velvet Scoter 6n 6s
Guillemot 14n
Iceland Gull 1s juv 08.40
Common Scoter 7n 2s
Curlew 1n 3s
Purple Sandpiper 1s
Porpoise 6
Razorbill 3n 1s
Shelduck 1n
Little Auk 3n 1s
Great northern Diver 1s

Saturday, 17 January 2015

ice ice baby......

An adult Iceland Gull and 2 Velvet Scoters passed Whitburn Obs on our sea watch this morning. I was joined by Magic and Saint Mark and Pink Floyd.
Star bird was the Iceland Gull and i only just got on it as it when Mark called it going north. It is the forth white winged gull species I've seen from the obs this year and its only mid January. Last year i had to wait until April for an Iceland Gull.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 17th January 07.45-11.00 SW2 cloud cover

Black h Gull 5n 24s
Common Gull 1n 30s
Eider 1n 1s
Curlew 2n 1s
Porpoise 1n 2s
Iceland Gull 1n ad 08.00
Cormorant 4n 8s
Scan Herring Gull 1n 5s
Red th Diver 9n 6s
Common Scoter 5n 6s
Redshank 1n 4s
Guillemot 12n 4s
Razorbill 1n
Shelduck 1n
Gannet 3n 1s
Velvet Scoter 2s
Wigeon 2n 2s

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Tystie, not so Tystie

Grey Phalarope and a Great northern Diver passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. Following a poor sea watch yesterday in a blasting westerly wind today was always going to be better. I was joined by Magic and Saint Mark and we were just saying that it was very quiet so far this year but if you put the time in the quality birds were out there. So when i got a text at 10.20 telling me the Roughleg at Quarrington Hill was showing why did i leave the Obs. Seven minutes later the Tystie went south close inshore, very Tystie indeed....bugger
This is what i did see including a great find by Magic Mark the Grey Phal

Sunday 11th January 07.55-10.30 W3

Eider 2n 1s
Common Gull 9n 29s
Black h Gull 6n 4s
Cormorant 4n 6s
Red th Diver 6n 4s
Shag 1s
Golden Plover 3s
Guillemot 5n 3s
Porpoise 1
Velvet Scoter 2n
Grey Phalarope 1n 09.05
Common Scoter 2n 3s
Fulmar 320n
Great n Diver 1n
Curlew 6s
Scan Herring Gull 1n 2s
Turnstone 1s
Gannet 1n

I did see the Rough-legged Buzzard still a very rare bird in these parts but...
For completeness this is what Saint Mark and i saw yesterday and Stoney was in the house..

Saturday 10th January W4
Blk h Gull 2n 6s
Common Gull 4n 9s
Eider 2n 1s
Cormorant 1n 3s
Fulmar 10n 4s
Scan Herring Gull 1n
Golden Plover 45n
Razorbill 1n
Shag 1s
Peregrine 2n 1 ad
Lapwing 1n
Turnstone 2n 1s
Mallard 1n
Gannet 11n
Curlew 7s
Common Scoter 3s
Red th Diver 2s
Kittiwake 1n
Guillemot 1s

Sunday, 4 January 2015

Mega sea watch boosts Obs list.......

Black throated Diver, Little Auk, and the first Manxie of the year passed Whitburn Obs on this mornings sea watch. It was a welcome return to the Obs for Saint Mark back from his festive travels, and we were joined by Stevie Makem. Its South Tyneside bird race day and we had two teams call in and tick Red throat and Gannet but sadly they had left before the quality birds started. At that stage it was looking like a regular quiet winter sea watch on a westerly..........
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 4th January 07.55-10.45 W1-2 bright sun

Common Gull 6n 7s
Black h Gull 13n 10s
Cormorant 3n 6s
Red th Diver 7n 4s
Guillemot 4n 2s
Common Scoter 1n 6s
Curlew 14n
Goldeneye 1n 2s
Shag 2s
Gannet 4n 1s
Eider 1n 5s
Porpoise 1
Great n Diver 1n
Med Gull 1n ad
Manx Shearwater 1n
Little Auk 1n
Razorbill 1s
Black th Diver 1n
Wigeon 3n

Saturday, 3 January 2015

Who ate all the ducks......

Glaucous Gull and Great northern Diver passed Whitburn Obs on our sea watch this morning. Just Magic Mark and myself were in and Mark was in fine form calling the Glaucous Gull as it headed south. We have not seen much in the way of wildfowl so far this year so the Brent Goose was a welcome addition to the Obs list.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 3rd January 08.05-10.45 W2 cloud cover and calm sea

Common Gull 2n 13s
Black h Gull 3n 6s
Cormorant 3n 8s
Kittiwake 1n
Razorbill 5n 6s
Curlew 1n
Brent Goose 1n pb
Guillemot 3n 7s
Porpoise 2
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Eider 2s
Red th Diver 6n 6s
Turnstone 1s
Gannet 3n 1s
Great n Diver 1s
Glaucous Gull 1s juv
Common Scoter 2n
Redshank 5s

Thursday, 1 January 2015

2015 here goes....

An adult Little Gull went north past Whitburn Obs this morning seen thanks to Magic Marks sharp eyes.It was a quiet start to the year but i still managed to get my Obs year list going with 38 species. It was just Mark and myself hoping for a white winger, we got one but not the Glauc or Iceland we wanted. I did end the day with 4 white winged gull species on my county year list  just need Ivory now! (2014 in Durham ended on 242 for me)
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 1st January 08.00-11.00 SSE 2-3 cloud cover

Common Gull 1n 17s
Black h Gull 36s
Scan Herring Gull 9s
Red th Diver 3n 9s
Fulmar 2n 10s
Cormorant 1n 2s
Guillemot 12n 4s
Little Gull 1n ad
Common Scoter 4n
Eider 2n 3s
Rock Pipit 2s
Turnstone 1s
Wigeon 3s
Gannet 6n
Kittiwake 2s