Monday, 29 June 2015

All quiet on the Obs front.....

2 Manxies and 5 Red throated Divers passed Whitburn Obs by 7am today. After yesterdays excitement and quality birds it was business as usual today with no particular highlights. Stoney was in the house(a day late) and i left him in charge
This what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 29th June 04.45-07.00 W1-2

Curlew 3n 5s
Sandwich Tern 9n 167s
Common Tern 6n 33s
Puffin 5n
Black h Gull 3s
Arctic Tern 2n 8s
Swift 5s
Red th Diver 5s
Turnstone 2n
Manxie 2n
Common Scoter 27n 11s
Common Gull 1s
Ringed Plover 1n

Sunday, 28 June 2015

The Black and White Tern Show....

White Winged Tern and Roseate Tern went south past Whitburn Obs today also a Long tailed Duck and White beaked Dolphins north. What a sea watch, i was joined by Magic and Saint Mark and we left the Obs happy today. I called the Tern as Black but as it went past we all saw the pure white rump, both Marks quickly saw it was White Winged a new Obs tick ..........
This is what we saw today in order of appearance

Sunday 28th June 04.50-09.30 S1-2 then later S4 full cloud cover nice grey sea

Whimbrel 1s
Curlew 11n 2s
Common Scoter 293n 45s
Sandwich Tern 41n 386s
Common Tern 3n 68s
Puffin 61n 44s
Red th Diver 5s
Turnstone 1s
Arctic Tern 4n 21s
Manxie 4n 4s
Ringed Plover 5s
Kestrel 1s
Swift 53s
Black h Gull 1n 2s
06.39 White Winged Tern 1s close inshore
Dunlin 5s
07.25 White beaked Dolphin 3n
Long tailed Duck 1n
Shoveler 1n
Little Gull 1n 1st summer
Shag 2n
Common Gull 3n
09.29 Roseate Tern 1s (nice call Mark)

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Swifts are heading home

Arctic Skua and 7 Manxies passed Whitburn Obs by 8 o'clock this morning. Saint Mark was back and we had a right mixed bag.It was sad to see our Swifts starting to head home they don't stay long. We cut our sea watch short to go looking for some of the County's scarcer birds in the south west with mixed results as you would expect but still a great days birding
This is what we saw on our sea watch in order of appearance

Saturday 27th June 04.45-9.00 WNW2 broken cloud calm sea

Sandwich Tern 27n 201s
Puffin 61n 10s
Common Tern 8n 21s
Arctic Tern 4n 19s
Common Scoter 133n 25s
Common Gull 1n 2s
Swift 4n 60s
Manxie 7n
Black h Gull 1n 3s
Red th Diver 1n
Grey Heron 2n 1s
Porpoise 2n
Eider 3s
Shelduck 1s
Arctic Skua 1n
Redshank 3n
Ringed Plover 1n
Curlew 1s
Great crested Grebe 1n

Friday, 26 June 2015

It's all about the Scoter, no Surfer............

786 Common Scoter passed Whitburn Obs by 7 o'clock this morning.That brings the total since Saturday 20th to 3343 north and 216 south. I didn't have much variety this morning but plenty of birds to check, just think that next Tern might be the Bridled..........
This is what i saw today

Friday 26th June 04.45-07.00 SE1-2 cloud cover some mist and rain

Sandwich Tern 24n 341s
Common Tern 2n 42s
Common Scoter 762n 24s
Eider 2n
Puffin 90n 2s
Arctic Tern 1n 12s
Shag 1s
Gadwall 4s

Thursday, 25 June 2015

Cetacean alert!

5 Dolphin and 2 Porpoise were off Whitburn Obs today on a flat calm sea. If you would like to watch some cetaceans off our coast today would be a good day to look. The Dolphins were north of the Obs and heading north, on the views i got i would say probably Bottlenose. White beaked are about as well so plenty to choose from. Birds were quiet but Common Scoter continued to feature although some were more distant than of late
This is what i saw today in order of appearance

Thursday 25th June 04.45-07.00 SW1-2 flat calm sea, broken cloud

Common Tern 38n 48s
Puffin 223n
Sandwich Tern 14n 102s
Arctic Tern 7n 16s
Swift 2s
Common Scoter 148n 7s
05.12 Dolphin sp 5 north  probably Bottlenose but would have liked a better look
Curlew 3n
Black h Gull 1n
Manxie 4n
Shelduck 2s
Great crested Grebe 1n
Shag 2n
Porpoise 2

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Surfs (not) up

258 Common Scoter passed Whitburn Obs by 7am, adding to yesterdays total of  1671, but the Surf Scoter hasn't showed, maybe later today...........It was a quieter day with the wind moving around to the west but still interesting with a flat calm sea, looks perfect for a Stormie
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 24th June 04.45-07.00 WNW1-2 broken cloud calm sea with moderate swell

Puffin 272n
Common Tern 32n 39s
Manxie 21n
Sandwich Tern 39n 91s
Common Scoter 223n 35s
Arctic Tern 6n 7s
Red th Diver 1n
Little Tern 1s
Porpoise 1
Blk h Gull 1n

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Oil yer clickers......

3 Velvet Scoter and 2 Bonxies passed Whitburn Obs by 7 am. The overnight northerly continued and it was obvious from the start that it was going to be a canny watch . Magic Mark joined me and we were full of expectation, sadly for me work beckoned but Marks off today so i left him to enjoy it
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 23rd June 04.45-07.00 NNW3 cloud cover, perfect conditions

Gannet 250n
Sandwich Tern 38n 50s
Bar tailed Godwit 3n
Common Scoter 551n 9s
Puffin 243n
Manxie 33n 2s
Common Tern 6n 11s
Arctic Tern 2n
Curlew 18n
Whimbrel 1n
Bonxie 2n
Velvet Scoter 3n
LBBGull 2n
Blk h Gull 3n
Red th Diver 1n

Monday, 22 June 2015

Roll up, roll up for the mystery tour..............

Black throated Diver and a Little Gull passed Whitburn Obs by 7 o'clock this morning. However the stars of the show were the White beaked Dolphins who answered my plea from a couple of days ago and returned to put on a spectacular show. Yes it was a magical mystery tour today. At Whitburn your never sure, it can be exhilarating or just plain dull .It wasn't dull today, I first saw them just after 6 it was hard to judge how many were moving through but i would say at least 12 and probably more. My first sighting involved 7 adults and then later and more distant 3 adults and 2 youngsters, these did a lot of breaching,  i got a bit video but they were distant, if its any good i will put it on my youtube channel later. Lets hope they become a regular feature as in recent years
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 22nd June 05.00-07.00 W1-2 cloud cover and calm sea

Sandwich Tern 3n 180s
Puffin 35n
Common Tern 3n 2s
Common Scoter11n 3s
LBBGull 1n
Arctic Tern 1n 5s
Black h Gull 2n
Siskin 1n
Little Gull 1s 1st sum type
Whimbrel 1s
Kestrel 1n
Black th Diver 1n 06.00 almost sum plum
06.05 White beaked Dolphin 7n till 06.15
06.20 circa 5 north two of them small juvs breaching, they headed off north and i lost them by 06.40

Sunday, 21 June 2015

too little too late

Roseate Tern and a Little Gull went south past Whitburn obs by 10 o'clock. It was a short watch for me today as i had my BTO breeding bird survey to do on the moors at first light. I joined Magic Mark and Stevie Thunder at 7.30 and these are a few of the sightings from then. I didn't miss much apart from an Arctic Skua. Too little too late refers to a bird i saw going north that i noticed had a short stout black bill but wasn't able to nail the plumage id as it was already well north..............
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Sunday 21st June 07.30-10.00 W1-2 broken cloud

Little Gull 1s 1st sum
Red th Diver 2n
Black h Gull5n 1s
Swift 27s
Common Scoter 251n 4s (475 passed over the complete watch)
Arctic Tern 5n
Curlew 6n 1s
LBBGull 2n 1s
Manxie 1s
Roseate Tern 1s
Ringed Plover 1s
mystery bird 1n 09.30

Saturday, 20 June 2015

bring on the white beaked please...

2 Velvet Scoter and an Arctic Skua passed Whitburn Obs by 10 o'clock this morning. Magic Mark joined me and later Pink Floyd. It was a nice calm sea and we were disappointed that a few Porpoise were the only Cetations.White beaked Dolphins are back in our waters but have yet to show for the Obs
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 20th June 05.40-10.10 S1-2 cloud cover and some drizzle

Sandwich Tern 374n 52s
Puffin 383n 45s
Manxie 90n
Common Tern 18n 38s
Black h Gull 1n 5s
Common Scoter 122n 1s
Red th Diver 3n
Great crested Grebe 2n
Porpoise 2n 1s
Curlew 9n
Velvet Scoter 2n
Common Gull 3n 1s
Arctic Tern 6n
Shag 1 on sea
Goosander 2n
Arctic Skua 1n
Mallard 2n 1s

Friday, 19 June 2015

Mister Bluebirds on my shoulder.....

80 Manx Shearwaters went north past Whitburn Obs by 7 am this morning. And yes its a wonderful day, lovely conditions for sea watching. was a total pleasure to be in the Obs this morning
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Friday 19th June 04.55-07.05 WNW2 cloud cover then broken cloud

Sandwich Tern 10n 237s
Puffin 105n 4s
Black h Gull 3n 8s
Curlew 1n
Manxie 80n
Common Gull 1n
Common Tern 4s
Arctic 2s

Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Ducks galore.....

283 Common Scoter went north past Whitburn Obs by 7 o'clock this morning. I suspect passage will continue throughout the day.....
This is what i saw today in order of appearance

Tuesday 16th June 05.00-07.00 NW1-2 calm sea with moderate swell
Gannet 241n 76s
Sandwich Terns 11n 108s
Common Gull 5n 2s
Common Tern 8n 12s
Arctic Tern 6n 9s
Porpoise 1s
Puffin 137n 4s
Common Scoter 283n
Swift 3n
Black h Gull 2n
Manx Shearwater 5n
Curlew 2n

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Northerly gets the birds moving....

2 Arctic Skuas and 106 Manxies passed Whitburn Obs by 10.00 this morning. I was joined by Saint Mark, back from his travels in Croatia and beyond to help me sort through the increased volume of birds todays northerly had brought. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 14th June 04.50-10.00 NNE2 then 3-4 full cloud cover rain at times rough sea

Gannet 866n 75s
Puffin 417n 86s
Common Gull 7s
Manx Shearwater 106n 1s
Common Tern 24n 3s
Common Scoter 18n 22s
Arctic Skua 1n 1s
Scan Herring Gull 1n
Turnstone 2n
Tufted Duck 1n
Red th Diver 1n

Saturday, 13 June 2015

Little and Large......

2 Little Gulls and a Bonxie passed Whitburn Obs by 10.15 this morning. The change did come in the form of a north easterly but it hasn't brought many birds yet, maybe tomorrow....
Stevie Thunder joined me for a while and Pink Floyd and Hoggie joined the party
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 13th June 04.50-10.15 NE 1-2 cloud cover and calm sea

Puffin 56n 177s
Sandwich Tern 22n 188s
Common Gull 5s
Brent Goose 2s db
Manxie 3n
Common Tern 22n 19s
Red th Diver 1n
Arctic Tern 2n
Ringed Plover 3n
Swift 1s
Black h Gull 1s
Bonxie 1s
Little Gull 2s 1st sum

Friday, 12 June 2015

A change is gonna come.......

3 Manxies passed Whitburn Obs first thing on a very quiet morning, however looking at this weekends weather a change is gonna come....
This is what i saw this morning in order of appearance

Friday 12th June 04.45-07.00 S1-2

Puffin 10n 14s
Common Tern 2n 14s
Sandwich Tern 7n 127s
Common Scoter 67n 21s
Manxie 3s
Arctic Tern 1s
Red th Diver 1n 1s
Shelduck 2s
Swift 3s
Turnstone 3n
Teal 4n
Little Tern 2s
Greylag Goose 18n

Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Shear Delight....

75 Manxies went north past Whitburn Obs by 7am this morning continuing yesterdays movement. Over 400 passed yesterday and as i left for work conditions were perfect with a calm sea state and good light for more of the same if anybody looks
This is what i saw today in order of appearance

Tuesday 9th June 04.40-07.00 NW2 broken cloud

Sandwich Tern 9n 170s
Puffin 83n
Gannet 430n
Common Tern 16n 27s
Manx Shearwater 75n
Fulmar 37n
Common Scoter 32n
Red th Diver 2n 4s
Arctic Tern 1n 6s
Common Gull 4n 3s
Porpoise 1n
Black h Gull 2s
Shag 1n 

Sunday, 7 June 2015

Pleased to meet you.......

Common Rosefinch and Common Buzzard were the pick of the birds at Whitburn Obs this morning. Magic Mark joined me and Pink Floyd at the death
Mark always says you have to do at least four hours for it to be a proper sea watch, anything less is just a glance. So despite it being a quiet sea watch in a strong westerly with bright sun we stuck it out in case something good happened. And as usual the Obs didn't disappoint, i had just completed the log when we heard the call 'pleased to meet you' Mark was quick to call it as a Rosefinch and we peeped out of the doors to see and photograph the bird so not to flush it.         
Pink Floyd had just called in for a chat and jammed on the bird as well. It showed well but briefly before flying of into the rape field
I was nearly back at my car when i got a call from Sir Ian about a Buzzard flying from Jackies beach so i dashed back to get it on my obs list...phew
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 7th June 05.00-09.15 W3-4 bright sun

Sandwich Tern 37n 73s
Common Tern 6n 18s
Gannet 72n 12s
Common Gull 5s
Puffin 4n 3s
Common Scoter 8n
Eider 1s
Black h Gull 14s
Arctic Tern 6s
Canada Goose 14s
Greylag Goose 1s
Swift 7s
Red breasted Merganser 1n
Manxie 6n
Goosander 4n 1s
Red th Diver 1n
Curlew 1s
Goose sp hybrid 1s
09.10 Common Rosefinch 1 singing by the obs

Saturday, 6 June 2015

Nice light shame about the sea watch.....

2 Roseate Terns went north past Whitburn Obs this morning on an otherwise disappointing sea watch. It was a case of the usual suspects but less of them. Pink Floyd came in to help me stay awake and Hoggie at the death
Some local news of interest to birders the Whitburn Lodge carpark is no longer open and has two rather large bolders blocking the road as well as a locked gate, no doubt houses will appear soon. Also the Doctors Garden is lost to birders as its having houses built on it soon, the end of an era, not sure where Cookie will find all of our megas now

This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 6th June 04.55-09.30 SW2-3 bright sun then SW3-4 cloud cover

Common Tern 5n 17s
Swift 9s
Gannet 173n 16s
Black h Gull 1n 5s
Common Gull 13s
Sandwich Tern 26n 72s
Arctic Tern 2n 9s
Common Scoter 2n 1s
Manxie 1n
Tufted Duck 1s
Roseate Tern 2n
Greylag Goose 7n
Canada Goose 21n 3s
Puffin 1s
Dunlin 4s
Ringed Plover 2s
Oyster Catcher 32s
Eider 6s

Friday, 5 June 2015

Cracking sea watch shame about the light....

Roseate Tern and 19 Manxies passed Whitburn Obs by 07.30 this morning. Magic Mark joined me and i was glad to see him as it was busy. Shame about the poor light at times, i left Mark in the Obs when i had to go to work, which is very dangerous
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 5th June 04.35-07.30 SE2 rough sea

Sandwich Tern 23n 150s
Gannet 243n 45s
Common Tern 22n 39s
Puffin 29n 30s
Common Gull 2n 2s
Arctic Tern 1n 8s
05.00-05.05 Bottlenose Dolphins circa 5 south very close inshore but hard to see in the choppy conditions
Shag 3n
Common Scoter 297n 85s  a big increase in passage
Manxie 11n 8s
Porpoise 1
Canada Goose 27n
Red th Diver 3n
Teal 2n
Eider 2n 1s
Roseate Tern 1n

Thursday, 4 June 2015

2 blog or not 2 blog.....that is the question

Great northern Diver and 17 Manxies passed Whitburn Obs early am. No Dolphins today in similar conditions but am sure they are still about. Stoney joined me briefly before heading off on the quest for the Woodchat. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 4th June 04.50- 07.00 W1-2 bright sun

Gannet 247n 13s
Common Tern 5n 27s
Sandwich Tern 33n 198s
Puffin 12n 1s
Common Scoter 84n 8s
Common Gull 1n 3s
Eider 3n
Red th Diver 1n
Greylag Goose 6s
Manxie 17n
Black h Gull 8n 4s
Arctic Tern 4n
Sanderling 25n
Tufted Duck 1n
Great n Diver 1n
Canada Goose 37n

Wednesday, 3 June 2015

It never rains it pours....

2 Roseate Terns went south past Whitburn Obs this morning at the same time as a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins went north. Typical it never rains but....I was trying to identify, count and film the Dolphins going north when i heard the Terns going south. I could only give them a quick glance, the Dolphins won on this occasion. When i noted my sightings in the log i noticed a similar sized pod passed the obs yesterday morning
It was a lovely morning with good viewing conditions, the westerly wind had dropped and cloud cover helps.
Just heard from Stoney my Whooper Swan with the wonky neck is at East Chevington this morning
This is what i saw today in order of appearance

Wednesday 3rd June 05.00-07.00 W2 cloud cover breaking later

Gannet 186n 26s
Sandwich Tern 5n 95s
Ringed Plover 1n
Swift 1s
Common Gull 6s
Turnstone 3n
Puffin 14n 3s
Common Scoter 13n 10s
Black h Gull 3s
House Martin 3s
05.52-06.05 Bottlenose Dolphin circa 15 north close inshore. One of them who i have named Pearl had a necklace of white dots around the base of her dorcel fin. Video will be on my Youtube channel later, not sure if the necklace is on show
Roseate Tern 2s
Arctic Tern 3n
Manxie 4n
Red th Diver 2n
Canada Goose 8s

Monday, 1 June 2015


A Whooper Swan went north past Whitburn Obs this morning. One of a number of bizarre events that occurred this morning leaving me thinking wtf...... Firstly i was woken circa 4.30am by the honking of Canada Geese over my house in Washington, not a regular occurrence.  Next two Canada Geese were flying south past the Obs with another bird in formation it had me puzzled at first but it was a large gull of similar wing span to the Geese and they all continues south together. Later a Swan was flying north toward me and as last week i was thinking yes a Mute, but no it was another Whooper. This ones neck looked like it had been run over by a truck, it was bent at odd angles. A Grey Heron tried to come in off for what seemed an age but the local gulls give it a hard time. And finally as i locked the Obs door a skein of Canada's came in off and appeared to land on Jackie's beach. It all left me thinking wtf..............

This is what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 1st June 05.10-06.50 SW1-2 bright sun

Black h Gull 1s
Sandwich Tern 2n 67s
Gannet 59n 24s
Arctic Tern 6n
Common Tern 4n 2s
Canada Goose 21s (2,2,17)
Greylag Goose 1s with Canada's
Puffin 3s
Common Gull1s
Red th Diver 1n
Whooper Swan 1n 06.35
Grey Heron 1s
Eider 3n