Sunday, 31 May 2015

Here comes the rain again....

A Bonxie and 20 Manxies passed Whitburn Obs by 10 o'clock this morning. The rain lasted most of the sea watch but Magic Mark and myself stuck it out. That was May.......
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 31st May 04.45-10.05 SSE2-3 rain

Sandwich Tern 3n 410s
Gannet 730n 61s
Puffin 231n 12s
Turnstone 7n
Common Scoter 52n 23s
Manxie 15n 5s
Sanderling 19n
Red br Merganser 1n
Tufted Duck 1n
Arctic Tern 47n 1s
Common Tern 15n 2s
Red th Diver 3n 2s
Common Gull 3n
Gadwall 7n
Shag 1n
Eider 1n
Bonxie 1n
Little Tern 2n

Saturday, 30 May 2015

And then came the last days of May........

A Bonxie and 3 Little Terns passed Whitburn Obs by 10 o'clock this morning. And with a movement of Canada Geese we had a watch with plenty of variety. Magic and Saint Mark joined me and later Pink Floyd this is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 30th May 04.40-10.00 WNW2 bright sun

Black h Gull 41s
Sandwich Tern 15n 315s
Gannet 255n 40s
Common Gull 23s
Puffin 7n 14s
Common Tern 6n 3s
Common Scoter 5n 3s
Red th Diver 9n 5s
Swift 6s
Arctic Tern 2n 1s
Bonxie 1n
Canada Goose 54n
Sanderling 10n
LBBGull 1s
Turnstone 3n
Ringed Plover 1n 2s
Shag 2s
Shelduck 7s
Greylag Goose 3n
Eider 2s
Little Tern 3n

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Coming up roses.....

2 Roseate Terns went south past Whitburn Obs early morning. At last my first Rosy's of the year on an otherwise difficult morning for sea watching. A blasting westerly and bright sun does not make for ideal conditions and bird numbers were well down
This is what i did manage to see in order of appearance

Thursday 28th May 05.10-07.00 W3-4 bright sun

Gannet 159n 31s
Curlew 1n
Sandwich Tern 3n 79s
Common Gull 4n 2s
Red th Diver 1n
Arctic Tern 1s
Barnacle Goose 1s
Common Scoter 1n 1s
Roseate Tern 2s
Common Tern 1s
Black h Gull 3s
Puffin 1s

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Is that a Swan i see before me.....

a Whooper Swan went north past Whitburn Obs this morning. When i saw a single Swan coming north close in i was expecting it to be an Obs year tick Mute Swan, but when i lifted my bins i was surprised to see it was a Whooper. Yesterdays watch had no Swans, Geese or Ducks but no two days are alike in the obs..............
This is what i saw today in order of appearance 

Wednesday 27th May 04.50-07.00 WNW2 bright sun

Gannet 191n 24s
Sandwich Tern 4n 110s
Common Gull 2n
Common Scoter 5n
Eider 5s
Red th Diver 4n
Dunlin 1n
Puffin 2n
Whimbrel 2n
Black h Gull 9s
Canada Goose 36n
Whooper Swan 1n 05.53
Shag 1n 1s
Curlew 1s
Common Tern 1n 1s
Greylag Goose 1n
Arctic Tern 2s

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Herald in a Rosy.....

3 species of Diver and a Blue Fulmar passed Whitburn Obs by 10 o'clock this morning. Saint and Magic Mark were back , and Stevie Thunder made his monthly appearance. I had put my moth trap on last night and the only catch was a Herald, i was hoping it would herald in a new obs year tick we all still need Roseate Tern but not today. This is what we did see in order of appearance
Saturday 23rd May 04.55-10.00 ESE 1-2 mainly cloud cover and calm sea

Sandwich Tern 27n 394s
Common Tern 12n 44s
Arctic Tern 8n 2s
Puffin 14n 4s
Shelduck 6n 4s
Common Gull 20n 29s
Porpoise 3s
Black h Gull 2n 2s
Manxie 35n 3s
Dunlin 14n
Blue Fulmar 1s L
Red th Diver 12n 6s
Common Scoter 10n 3s
Gannet 203n 22s
Kestrel 2s
Ringed Plover 4n
Turnstone 2n 3s
Shag 6n
Eider 1s
Black th Diver 1n 08.50
Great n Diver 1n 09.05

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Peaceful easy feeling..........

A Great northern Diver went south past Whitburn Obs early morning. It was a very sedate watch in calm conditions, like the Eagles said, i got a ..............
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 16th May 05.00-07.00 W1-2 broken cloud calm sea

Gannet 93n 4s
Sandwich Tern 1n 255s
Black h Gull 15s
Common Scoter 3n 4s
Common Gull 21s
Arctic Tern 2s
Common Tern 2n
Shelduck 2n 4s
Red th Diver 1n 2s
Great n Diver 1s
Shag 4s
Eider 1s

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Dolphin surprise....

a Black Tern and 26 Bottlenose Dolphins passed Whitburn Obs by 10am. The first thing i saw when i opened the Obs shutters was a Bottlenose Dolphin moving south close inshore with the youngster breaching occasionally, what a nice surprise. Soon Magic Mark joined me and thankfully more Dolphins went north, again close inshore giving great views so he didn't miss out. Mark called the adult Black Tern going south, just as well as i hadn't picked it up, i don't call him Magic for nothing.
What an amazing place  Whitburn Obs is..must try and go more often
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 17th May 04.55-10.00 SW2 broken cloud some drizzle/rain at times

Bottlenose Dolphin 3s 04.55-05.05
Sandwich Tern 26n 338s
Common Scoter 12n 13s
Gannet 316n 10s
Common Gull 17n 205s
Manx Shearwater 11n
Common Tern 24n 28s
Eider 4s
Swallow 9s
Whimbrel n1n 1s
Black h Gull 3n 36s
Red th Diver 1n 1s
Puffin 2s
Black Tern 1s ad 06.16
LBBGull 1s
Arctic Tern 3n 1s
Shelduck 1n 2s
Turnstone 6s
Curlew 3n
Shag 1s
Bottlenose Dolphin 9n 08.15-08.20
Bottlenose Dolphin 14n 08.25-08.40
Sanderling 1n
Stock Dove 1s (an obs mega)

Saturday, 16 May 2015

Show me the honey mummy......

a Little Egret and a Peregrine passed Whitburn by 9am this morning. It was a quieter day with a stiff westerly and bright sun to start making viewing difficult. Northumberland had a Honey Buzzard go west can i have one please. Star bird was the Little Egret which landed in the nature reserve, not sure if it hung about. Pink Floyd came in late on
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Saturday 16th May 05.00-09.00 W2-3 bright sun early on but broken cloud later

Gannet 153n 5s
Common Gull 8n 41s
Peregrine 1n sub ad
Little Egret 1n 05.10
Black h Gull 2n 23s
Common Tern 2n 8s
Little Tern 6n
Arctic Tern 9n
Swallow 16s
Eider 3n
Shelduck 5n
Swift 1s
Sandwich Tern 5n 184s
Turnstone 9n
Greylag Goose 1n
Ringed Plover 1n
Common Scoter 8s
Red th Diver 1s

Friday, 15 May 2015

Obs Mega steals the show

Arctic Skua and a Bonxie passed Whitburn Obs by 7.30 this morning. And Magic Mark was back and called the Obs mega, an Avocet north only the second ever record. Stoney was in the house as he was with me when the first ever Avocet passed. It was a great sea watch but i had to leave the guys and head to work, always dangerous, this is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday15th May 04.50-07.30 N1-2 cloud cover

Gannet 213n 8s
Puffin 25n 16s
Sandwich Tern 210s
Common Gull 55n 5s
Common Scoter 20n 4s
Manxie 39n
Red th Diver 5n
Dunlin 23n
Porpoise 1n 2s
Arctic Tern 1s
Common Tern 18n 19s
Black h Gull 1n 2s
Bonxie 1n
Shelduck 3s
Eider 1n
Arctic Skua 1n
Wigeon 2n
Blue Fulmar 1n L
Whimbrel 3n
Ringed Plover 2n
Avocet 1n 07.10
Great n Diver 1s
Shag 2n
Red br Merganser 1n

Thursday, 14 May 2015

Sea watchers required apply Whitburn Obs

2 Great northern Divers and 118 Manx Shearwaters and a Blue Fulmar passed Whitburn Obs by 07.30 this morning. Yes we need more observers, bins essential scope optional, ability to take notes and count would help
It was a busy sea watch this morning in calm conditions and good light, loads of birds were moving on a light ENE wind. This is what i saw in order of appearance

Thursday 13th May 05.15-07.30 ENE1-2 cloud cover calm sea

Gannet 390n 22s
Common Gull 16n 8s
Sandwich Tern 9n 227s
Common Tern 28n 5s
Swallow 5n
Puffin 48n
Manx Shearwater 118n
Blue Fulmar 1n
Little Gull 3n 3s
Porpoise 1s
Red th Diver 1n 1s
Common Scoter 17n 5s
Shag 1n
Curlew 1n
Whimbrel 1n
Shelduck 1n
Dunlin 3n
Great northern Diver 2n (one beast of a bird moulting into summer plum, would have liked a closer look at its bill)

roll on tomorrow morning

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Quality Street

An Iceland Gull went south past Whitburn Obs early morning. A stiff south westerly encouraged a movement of Gulls and Terns and with sea watching the more time you put in the more chance you have of some quality birds and today it was the Iceland Gull, continuing our excellent run this year. Black headed Gulls are back with a vengeance and over 500 Sandwich Terns went south by far the largest count of the year
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 12th May 05.00-07.00 SW3 cloud cover

Sandwich Tern 4n 523s
Black h Gull 2n 58s
Swallow 7s
Whimbrel 3n
Gannet 20n 17s
Swift 1s
Iceland Gull 2nd W 1s 05.25
Sand Martin 3s
Common Gull 2n 12s
Common Tern 7s
Eider 1s
Oyster Catcher 5n
Common Scoter 6s
Dunlin 11n 1s
Ringed Plover 7n
Curlew 3n
Red th Diver 3s

Sunday, 10 May 2015

are you Cory's in disguise, are you Cory's in.........

Curlew Sandpiper and 5 Manxies passed Whitburn Obs by 10 o'clock this morning. 2 Manxies came south giving fantastic close views and they didn't flap their wings at all, resembling Cory's in flight. I had asked Stevie Thunder to join me this morning after the volume of waders passing yesterday i needed more eyes, but no two days are alike. It was only after he had left that a few small waders started to move north and amongst them i managed to see a Curlew Sandpiper. Hoggie and Pink Floyd had joined me by this time and Hoggie got the Sandpiper but sadly the Floyd didn't. That's 10 hours of birding I've done in the obs this weekend and i have to say I've enjoyed every moment
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 05.00-10.00 S2 cloud cover

Grasshopper Warbler and Blackcap were singing as i arrived
Sandwich Tern 5n 192s
Common Tern 7n 8s
Common Gull 12n 3s
Gannet 169n 20s
Red th Diver 8n
Common Scoter 2n 10s
Black h Gull 2n 12s
Curlew 4n
Puffin 2n 2s
Sand Martin 1n 5s
Manxie 3n 2s
Goosander 1n
Dunlin 2s
Whimbrel 1n 1s
Shelduck 7s
Gadwall 2n
Swift 1s
Arctic Tern 5n 5s
Oyster Catcher 7n
Tree Sparrow 4s
Grey Wagtail 1s
Kestrel 1n
Shag 1n
Turnstone 8n
Ringed Plover 8n 1s
Curlew Sandpiper 1n

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Migration Mayhem.....

a Black throated Diver and 2 Scaup passed Whitburn Obs by 10am this morning. However that wasn't the highlight, that went to the passage waders and Swallows. With both Marks away in foreign climes it was down to me. I wasn't expecting much based on the last few days but it soon became apparent that the number of Swallows and Waders passing were not as normal, i was panicking as i was missing more than i was seeing but the cavalry arrived when Pink Floyd walked in. We logged good numbers of birds but if we saw over 200 Swallows going north looking out to sea how many went behind us. Desperate Den was a late arrival sheltering from the rain and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 9th May 05.10-10.10 WNW1-2 then freshening to 3, early mist then rain

Gannet 57n 86s
Common Gull 30n 16s
Sandwich Tern 8n 203s
Eider 2n 4s
Shelduck 3n
Common Tern 33n
Swallow 213n
Ringed Plover 70n 2s
Dunlin 73n
Redshank 2n
Whimbrel 3n 13s
Oyster Catcher 41n 30s
Common Scoter 10n
Black h Gull 5n 1s
Turnstone 61n 2s
Curlew 1n
House Martin 10n
Black th Diver 1n
Scaup 2s
Swift 2n

Swift was my first of the year and brought my Obs year list to 118
Cant wait for tomorrow morning......

Friday, 8 May 2015

Lets hear it for the common people....

Whmbrel, Redstart and Arctic Terns were my best birds this morning an increase in numbers of Common Gull and Common Tern was noticable...sadly no Common Scoter
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Friday 8th May 05.25-07.00 W1-2 broken cloud

Common Gull 63n 3s
Gannet 116n
Sandwich Tern 6n 77s
Common Tern 29n 16s
Arctic Tern 19n 1s
Eider 3n
Black h Gull 2s
Whimbrel 1n
Sedge Warbler 1 singing
Dunlin 14n
Oyster Catcher 8n
Redstart 1 female
Sand Martin 4n

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Shall i compare thee to a summers day.....

10 Arctic Terns and a Whimbrel passed Whitburn by 7 this morning. No headline birds today but a nice selection on a lovely morning
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Thursday 7th May 05.30-07.00 W1-2

Eider 2n
Sedge Warbler 1 singing from rape field
Common Scoter 2s
Ringed Plover 2s
Arctic Tern 10n
Gannet 19n 3s
Common Gull 6s
Sandwich Tern 1n 17s
Whimbrel 1n
Shag 3s
Common Tern 7n
Sand Martin 1n
Black h Gull 18s (back again)
Swallow 1n
Turnstone 4n
Lesser Whitethroat sing nearly in the obs
Shelduck 2s

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

Are the B's back in town...

2 Bottlenose Dolphins and a Barnacle Goose passed Whitburn Obs by 7 o clock this morning. Its that time of year when the B's are back in town, that's the Barnacles not the boys, lets hope it was the first of many
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 6th May 05.20-07.00 S3-4

Gannet 161n
Bottlenose Dolphin 2s 05.25 (may have been more but it was very chopy)
Swallow 1s
Sandwich Tern 1n 34s
Common Scoter 1n 4s
Eider 8n
Arctic Tern 5n
Common Tern 1n 3s
Sparrowhawk 1s
House Martin 1s
Black h Gull 1s
Shelduck 1s
Barnacle Goose 1s
Red th Diver 1n

Monday, 4 May 2015

Come what come May......

20 ArcticTerns and a Whimbrel passed Whitburn Obs in four hours this morning. Saint Mark joined me today in more pleasant conditions. Early passage quietened off by 8ish but we did have a little vis mig. Lesser Whitethroat and Yellow Wagtail were new for my Obs year list that now stands at circa 217, only 50 more needed to match last years mega total. It was my earliest star of the year and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 4th May 05.20-09.20 WSW1-2 broken cloud

Turnstone 12n
Red th Diver 1n
Sandwich Tern 17n 205s
Gannet 50n 19s
Common Gull 34n 3s
Common Tern 34n 3s
Sand Martin 6s 3s
Arctic Tern 20n
Dunlin 18n
Heron 1n
Common Scoter 1n 1s
Lesser Whitethroat 2
Shelduck 5n
Swallow 3s
Yellow Wagtail 2s
Wheatear 1
Whimbrel 1n
Porpoise 1

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May...

Blue Fulmar and a Manxie passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 today.In dreadful conditions i managed a four hour watch this morning.Shakespeare wasn't kidding when he said rough winds do shake the darling buds of May
This is what Saint Mark and myself saw in order of appearance
Surely it will be more like May tomorrow

Sunday 3rd May 05.30-09.30 SE5 rain

Gannet 62n 79s
Fulmar 74n 16s
Common Tern 11s
Sandwich Tern 3n 165s
Common Gull 15n
Guillimot 150n
Shelduck 2n
Razorbill 23n
Red th Diver 2n
Blue Fulmar 1n
Common Scoter b20n 14s
Eider 1 on sea
Manx Shearwater 1n
Arctic Tern 2s

Saturday, 2 May 2015


Slav Grebe, 3 Scaup and a Blue Fulmar passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30. Back from Panama i really felt the cold with the wind coming in at me, brrrr
Saint Mark beat me in and we had a terrific watch with 8 species of duck, the first Little Tern of the year and most importantly a Slav Grebe , an Obs mega

Saturday 2nd May 05.30-09.30 ESE 2 broken cloud

Red th Diver 4n
Shag 3n
Gannet 247n 29s
Manx Shearwater 2n
Slav Grebe 1n 09.00
Fulmar 29n 2s
Blue Fulmar 1n
Shelduck 2n
Shoveler 4n
Pochard 1n
Teal 4n
Wigeon 2n
Eider 8n
Common Scoter 9n 4s
Guillemot 4000n
Razorbill 600n
Sandwich Tern 29n 57s
Arctic Tern 9n 1s
Common Tern 12n 4s
Little Tern 1n
Common Gull 77n
Black h Gull 1n
Scaup 3s
Porpoise 1s
Grey Partridge 2