Wednesday, 22 April 2015

April Fool.......

2 Arctic Terns south was the best i could do on my last sea watch of the month at a becalmed Whitburn. I did have another new Obs year tick with my first Whitethroat of the year. Yes i am off to Panama birding but will i be a fool leaving at this time of year
This is what i saw this morning in order of appearance

Wednesday 22nd April 05.30-07.00 W1 dead calm sea, broken cloud
Sandwich Tern 4n 32s
Common Gull 11n 33s
Red br Merganser 1n
Shelduck 2s
Gannet 5n 1s
Common Scoter 4s
Arctic Tern 2s
Puffin 1n
Black h Gull 1s
Common Tern 3s
Eider 1s
Whitethroat 1 singing by the obs

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

Bingo! Ringo....

A Ring Ouzal was on the firing range at Whitburn this morning my first ever from the Obs. It flew east towards Jackies Beach as i was leaving. Swallow was also new for me today bringing my Obs year list to 112. It was just as well the Ringo turned up as there was little of interest out to sea. In the last three days ive had northerly, easterly and now westerly winds, what will tomorrow bring
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 21st April 05.30-07.00 WNW2 bright sun hazy conditions

Common Gull 29n 40s
Curlew 2n
Sandwich Tern 4n 22s
Swallow 3n
Gannet 1n
Red th Diver 1n
Sand Martin 10n
Eider 1n
Common Scoter 4n
Arctic Tern 1sWhimbrel 1n
Ring Ouzal 1 male on firing range

Monday, 20 April 2015

Whats a Groper?.....

2 Grasshopper Warblers seen and heard at Whitburn this morning. Yesterday Skinny Dipper asked what is a groper? i did my best to explain that a groper was someone with wandering hands and a Gropper was a Grasshopper Warbler!....what can i say, but quite topical considering the new Obs year tick today with one behind the Obs and one on the south side of Shearwater Estate. It was a pleasant morning but bright sun made viewing challenging at times. This is what i saw before heading off to work

Monday 20th April 05.30-07.00 E1 bright sun mod swell

Grasshopper Warber by the Obs
Fulmar 130n
Gannet 36n 9s
Puffin 1n
Sandwich Tern 12n 9s
Eider 5n
Goosander 1n

That might seem a bit quiet but it wasn't with loads of Auks and Kittiwakes going north, it was just too much to count them all myself on a Monday morning

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Spring has sprung...

Great northern Diver and a Little Gull passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. You know its spring when you see your first Whimbrel of the year and we had one north today, but with a brisk northerly it didn't feel like spring. I was joined by Saint Mark who did all the hard work, too many JD and cokes for me last night  Later Skinny dipper, who has just about learnt which way is north arrived and Walter made an appearance. We had a cracking species list and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 19th April 05.30-10.30 N2 then N3-4 cloud cover and some rain

Eider 5n 5s
Common Gull 50n 13s
Gannet 178n 24s
Fulmar 251n
Curlew 1n 1s
Sandwich Tern 12n 58s
Puffin 17n 1s
Black h Gull 4n
Redshank 37n
Common Scoter 9n 3s
Great northern Diver 1s
Red br Merganser 2n
Shag 1n 2s
Shelduck 1n
Red th Diver 3n 2s
Common Tern 1n
Whimbrel 1n
Teal 2n
Tufted Duck 2n
Grey Heron 1n
Manxie 1n
Dunlin 2n
Turnstone 3s
Arctic Tern 1s
Little Gull 1n ad

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Big feet big diver....

Black throated and 3 Great northern Divers passed Whitburn Obs by 10 this morning. Saint Mark and myself were able to practise our Diver identification skills based on foot size as a late flurry of Divers went north. Two great northerns together then a Black throated flying with a Great northern for comparison. We didn't get the White billed we craved but we will be back tomorrow...
It was a canny sea watch with the return of Terns to our coast we had plenty to look at. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 18th April 05.30-10.00 ENE2 broken cloud calm sea

Eider 6n 7s
Fulmar 159n
Gannet 140n 30s
Sandwich Tern 27n 137s
Common Tern 2n 2s
Curlew 2n 1s
Red br Merganser 1n
Common Gull 25n 6s
Manx Shearwater 2n
Velvet Scoter 3n
Puffin 4n
Common Scoter 17n 17s
Red th Diver 9n 1s
Black h Gull 1n
Arctic Tern 3n 2s
Goosander 2n
Wheatear 1 on Jackie's beech
Sand Martin 17n
Sparrowhawk 1n
Great northern Diver 3n
Shag 1n
Black th Diver 1n

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Iceland Gull keeps up our fantastic White Wing year

An Iceland Gull went north past Whitburn Obs at 6 am this morning. On the first of my early morning weekday watches of the new season it was nice to get some quality. I'm losing count but i think that's the 11th Iceland Gull reported past the Obs this year. Sandwich Terns are back with a vengeance. This is what i saw in order of appearance

Thursday 16th April 05.50-07.10 WNW2 bright sun

Sandwich Tern 11n 43s
Black h Gull 1n
Iceland Gull 1n 2cy 06.00
Canada Goose 8n
Shelduck 2s
Common Gull 48n 8s
Curlew 2n
Gannet 8n
Greylag Goose 7s
Common Tern 2s
Eider 1n

Monday, 6 April 2015

Duck tales.....

An Iceland Gull passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 this morning and a good selection of birds before the fog rolled in. Pochard and Gadwall are both scarce ducks to see from the Obs so it was some reward for the hours i put in this weekend that i added them to my Obs year list, now on 104. Both Marks were back in action but i made the mistake again of leaving before them when an early Sooty Shearwater went past after i had left.I was off to the moors to look for some of the many quality birds seen recently...the weather was just too good and too many folk were out and about....
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 6th April 06.10-09.30 NW2 calm sea

Common Gull 299n 7s
Puffin 4n
Goosander 4n
Common Scoter 26n 11s
Black h Gull 27n 2s
Greylag Goose 2s
Porpoise 6 north at least
Eider 13n 1s
Shelduck 4n 2s
Ringed Plover 1n
Gannet 37n2s
Red br Merganser 3n
Pochard 1n
Sandwich Tern 11n
Iceland Gull 1n 2nd cy bird our 10th this year it even stopped for photo's
Red th Diver 1n 2s
Redshank 4s
Dunlin 1n
Teal 2s
Curlew 1s
Shag 1s
Goldeneye 1n
LBBGull 2n

Sunday, 5 April 2015

It's my Tern.....

Gadwall and Sandwich Tern were new Obs year ticks for me today. I joined Magic Mark and later Boy Wonder called in. Most of the regulars had already connected with Sandwich Tern this year so today it was my Tern
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 5th April 06.40-10.30 WNW1

Short eared Owl hunting the rape field by the obs
Red th Diver 4n
Common Scoter 12n 5s
Common Gull 50+
Goosander 5n
Ringed Plover 3n
Black h Gull 8n 11s
Shag 9n
Whooper Swan 31n bringing this years passage to date over 400
Greylag Goose 2s
Shelduck 6n
Porpoise 3
Curlew 1n
Sandwich Tern 5n 2s
Peregrin 1n
Eider 10n
Canada Goose 2n
Red br Merganser 2n
Gadwall 2n
Redshank 1n
Gannet 1n
Rock Pipit 1s
Turnstone 7s
Scaup 1n
Fulmar 165n
Meadow Pipits circa 20n

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Billy no mates......

A Blue Fulmar passed Whitburn Obs by 10 o clock this morning. The wind has moved round to the north but it brought little of note. Both Marks had deserted me but even they would have struggled to find anything today. Passage was brisk early on but it trailed off to a trickle by 8, i did well to last till 10 o clock hoping for my first Sandwich Tern of the year......maybe tomorrow
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Saturday 4th April 06.15-10.00 N2 cloud cover

Kittiwake 420n
Fulmar 155n
Curlew 3n
Guillemot 375n
Razorbill 75n
Puffin 19n
Eider 10n 2s
Black h Gull 3n
Gannet 71n 3s
Common Gull 18n 1s
Red th Diver 8n
Teal 5n
Common Scoter 15n
Shag 8n
Red br Merganser 1s
Tufted Duck 1n
Blue Fulmar 1n L
Pied Wagtail 2s
Shelduck 2n
Golden Plover 9n

Friday, 3 April 2015

Good good Friday...

Iceland Gull and a Bonxie were amongst the highlights passed Whitburn Obs this morning. With a south westerly and rain my expectations for this mornings watch were not high but it was a good good Friday with a few quality birds. Magic and Saint Mark were in as usual with a surprise guest these days in Stevie Thunder, i still had his Christmas card in my bag to give him which caused much merriment, as i said he doesn't get in much these days
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 3rd April 06.20-10.30 SE3 rain and bloody cold

Common Gull 230n
Gannet 191n
Curlew 3n
Eider 6n
Puffin 57n
Fulmar 119n
Common Scoter 19n 6s
Red th Diver 5n
Black h Gull 4n
Tufted Duck 2n
Blue Fulmar 1n
Bonxie 1n
Shag 3n
Velvet Scoter 1n
Great n Diver 1n
Iceland Gull 1n 2nd w our 9th Iceland of the year
Teal 2n
Red br Merganser 1n
Rock Pipit 1s