Sunday, 29 March 2015

Eagle eyed..........

2 Velvet Scoter and a Short eared Owl were the best birds past Whitburn Obs by 11 o'clock. Saint Mark and myself were basking in the afterglow of the Eagle and happy to have a peaceful Sunday watch as little of note passed. We were dreaming of Ospreys when i noticed the gulls all up and expected a cetacean but Marks eagle eye picked out the Shorty...maybe next time. A movement of Pipits and Wagtails didnt produce anything special
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 29th March 06.35-11.00 W2 cloud cover

Common Gull 5n 10s
Razorbill 350n
Guillemot 300n
Eider 2s
Curlew 7n 2s
Gannet 25n 6s
Black h Gull 20s
Red th Diver 7n 4s
Wigeon 1n
Common Scoter 4n 11s
Turnstone 1s
Velvet Scoter 2s
Pied Wagtail 11s
Meadow Pipit 177 in off
Puffin 1n
Ringed Plover 6s
Short eared Owl 1 in off

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Where Eagles dare........

a Blue Fulmar passed Whitburn Obs by 08.30 this morning. It was a short sea watch for me as i headed up to the moors to try for the White tailed Eagle that had been seen the previous day and i am very happy to say i got exceptional views of the bird when i came across it sitting in a field of short grass showing well
I was joined this morning by the Magic and Saint Mark and later Pink Floyd
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 28th March 05.45-08.30 S3

Curlew 5n
Common Gull 3n 4s
Gannet 32n 62s
Red th Diver 5n 1s
Razorbill 25n
Blue Fulmar 1s L 06.10
Common Scoter 8n 8s
Black h Gull 3s
Shelduck 4s
Porpoise 1
Shag 1s

Its always dangerous leaving the Obs when the two Marks are still in as i found to my cost when i went to look for Rough legged Buzzard and missed a Black Guillemot. Today i left for the White tailed Eagle and missed an Iceland Gull and the first Sandwich Tern of the year....fair exchange if you ask me

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Who stole our Whoopers..............

Iceland Gull, 60 Whooper Swans and 3 Scaup passed Whitburn by midday. Both Marks were back for more and in totally different conditions to yesterdays northerly we had another superb sea watch. I called the Iceland Gull early on and it was the 7th past the obs this year. Whooper Swans began to move and groups of 7, 8, 37, and 8 went north giving us a decent day total of 60. Then came news from Chris Bell that at least a further 75 had just gone north past Hartlepool. That number would put us close to the day record of 137 passed Whitburn, so we waited and waited and.......
We have had 368 Whoopers logged so far this year a new record year total.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 22nd March 05.45-12.00 SW2 light cloud

Curlew 36n 3s
Black h Gull 133n 13s
Guillemot 700n
Razorbill 210n
Puffin 1n
Common Gull 36n 9s
Gannet 155n 4s
Goosander 1n
Iceland Gull 1n juv 06.13
Eider 10n 19s
Red th Diver 3n 12s
Common Scoter 6n 4s
Wigeon 2n
Shag 4n 2s
Whooper Swan 60n
Red br Merganser 1n
Great cr Grebe 1n and 1 on sea
Velvet Scoter 4n
Scaup 3n
Porpoise 2n
Redshank 5n
Kestrel 1s
and a Blue Fulmar north

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Tun-up for the Obs

Long tailed Duck and a Blue Fulmar passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. My Obs year list hit 100 when the Bar tailed Godwit went north a steady start with lots more to come. Both Marks were in and Fos briefly.This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 21st March 05.50-10.30 N3-4 cloud cover

Fulmar 275n
Kittiwake 950n
Common Scoter 10n 6s
Common Gull 44n 7s
Gannet 373n 5s
Black h Gull 42n 5s
Curlew 8n 1s
Long tailed Duck 1n (drake)
Porpoise 1n
Blue Fulmar 1n D (a real stunner close in)
Eider 19s
Puffin 5n
Guillemot 75n
Razorbill 100n
Med Gull 1n ad
Red th Diver 1n 2s
LBBGull 1n
Shag 3n 1s
Bar tailed Godwit 1n

Sunday, 15 March 2015

When the winds in the east the fish bite........

Velvet Scoter and Med Gull passed Whitburn Obs by 10 o'clock this morning. The easterly continued but with even less to write about than yesterday, both Marks could not even muster an obs year tick for me so the ton up will have to wait till next weekend
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 15th March 06.00-10.00 ENE 2

Kittiwake circa 500n
Black h Gull 5n 24s
Guillemot 1500n
Razorbill 250n
Grey Heron 1s
Curlew 33n 1s
Common Gull 11n 21s
Gannet 122n 8s
Puffin 9n
Red th Diver 1n 8s
Eider 7n 3s
Red br Merganser 1n
Golden Plover 25s
Common Scoter 3n
Porpoise 1s
Velvet Scoter 1n
Ringed Plover 2s
Med Gull 1s ad
Shag 1n
Mallard 2n

Saturday, 14 March 2015

No good to man nor beast...

6 Velvet Scoter and a Long tailed Duck passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. It has been said an easterly wind is no good to man nor beast and it isn't much good for sea watching either but it certainly helped the Obs year list. Male Wheatear and Stonechat were on Jackie's beach viewable from the Obs thanks to Pink Floyd, bringing my Obs list to 99
Saint Mark joined me along with the Floyd and it was hard work at times. The highlight was some early morning cetacean fun with two groups of three Bottlenose Dolphins showing between 06.35 and 07.05
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 14th March 05.55-10.30 E2-3

Porpoise 2n 1s
Fulmar 18n
Kittiwake 321n
Black h Gull 4n 12s
Gannet 75n 12s
Guillemot 650n
Razorbill 150n
Common Gull 20n 3s
Curlew 4n
06.35 Bottlenose Dolphin one moving north
Shag 1n
Eider 10n 8s
06.45 Bottlenose Dolphin 3 different feeding mid distance
Red th Diver 2n 4s
Puffin 1n
07.05 Bottlenose Dolphin 3 distant going south one of which was smaller juv
Velvet Scoter 6n
Shelduck 4n
Wigeon 5n
Mallard 3s
Long t Duck 1n
Goosander 1s
Goldeneye 1s
Wheatear and Stonechat on Jackie's beach

Sunday, 8 March 2015

The early bird catches.....

Glaucous Gull and 21 Whooper Swans passed Whitburn Obs by 9am. I was only in the Obs for a short sea watch this morning as i had to visit my granddaughter Abigail in hospital, she is doing well. Both Marks were back and Stoney was in the house. It was same again please as good early passage of Whoopers and Pinks made it interesting and the Glauc fly past was breathtaking. Not sure what else the guys had after i left but I've got no complaints my early start paid off. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 8th March 06.10-09.00 WSW4

Common Gull 1n 52s
Eider 6n 11s
Black h Gull 3n 34s
Heron 1s
Guillemot 271s
Curlew 3n
Common Scoter 4n 2s
Whooper Swans 21n
Porpoise 4
Gannet 10n 69s
Peregrine 1s
Tufted Duck 1n
Pink footed Goose 128n
Glaucous Gull 1s juv at 07.00
Grey Wagtail 1s
Red th Diver 4s
Shelduck 1s
Mallard 4s
Goosander 1n

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Swan song at Whitburn.....

A Bewick Swan and 115 Whooper Swans went north past Whitburn Obs by midday. An Obs mega was not on the cards with this strong south westerly today but in fact we had two with Bewick Swan and a Moorhen.Swans were saying goodbye and heading back north so it was a thrill to find a Bewick tagging along. I was joined by Saint and Magic Mark, Skinny Dipper came back for more and Stoney was in the house. It ended up being a remarkable sea watch and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 7th March 06.20-12.00 SW5

Common Gull 6n 15
Black h Gull 3n 38s
Scan Herring Gull 5s
Kittiwake 3n 74s
Red th Diver 5n 2s
Gannet 12n 113s
Curlew 4n 2s
Redshank 3s
Porpoise at least 4 2n 2s
Eider 2n 1s
Mallard 2s
Turnstone 1s
Shelduck 2n 2s
Common Scoter 7n 2s
Moorhen 1n
Whooper Swan 115n
Bewick Swan 1n 08.18
Canada Goose 1n
Iceland Gull 1n 1s both 1st/2nd w types probably different birds
Grey Wagtail 1s
Goosander 5n
Goldeneye 1s
LBB Gull 2n
Kestrel 1s
Glaucous Gull 1n juv
Pink footed Goose 316n
Wigeon 1n 1s

A cracking sea watch, my obs list has hit 94

Sunday, 1 March 2015

In like a lion.....

Black throated Diver and a Med Gull passed Whitburn Obs by 11 this morning. Saint Mark was back for more along with Stevie Thunder and Boy Wonder, Stoney was in the house. Alas masses of sea watching expertise could not make a roaring westerly on the 1st of March into much of a sea watch. We did manage some quality and a probable Phalarope north spotted by Stevie was the one that got away as its id could not be nailed down. Conversation swung between cricket, Bean Goose race id in flight, and whether Steely was pushed or jumped
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 1st March 06.30-11.00 W4 then SW broken cloud good sharp visibility

Black h Gull 2n 90s
Common Gull 8n 32s
Curlew 4n 2s
Eider 3n 3s
Kittiwake 2n 3s
Rock Pipit 3s
Red th Diver 6n 3s
Gannet 3n 11s
Med Gull 1s ad
Common Scoter 2s
Porpoise 1n 1s
Black th Diver 1n
Goosander 1s
Ringed Plover 8n
Phalarope sp north at 9am distant but felt by those that saw it better than me as a probable, i got on it late
Red br Merganser 2n
Turnstone 4n
Auks circa 700 per hour south the vast majority being Guillemots