Thursday, 30 July 2015

Better late than never .....

2 Little Gulls and a Blue Fulmar passed Whitburn Obs by 8.15 this morning. I was late into the Obs this morning following a late night encounter with a Leach's Petrel(thanks Kieran). I was a little disappointed with the lack of birds in my first hour but it did start to improve, sadly work beckoned.
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Thursday 30th July 05.55-08.15 N2 cloud cover then broken cloud, heavy swell

Sandwich Tern 7n 50s
Arctic Tern 14n
Gannet 380n
Arctic Skua 1n
Common Gull 2n
Common Tern 5n 3s
Black h Gull 4n
Grey Wagtail 1s
Puffin 10n
Manxie 23n
Little Gull 2s (1 ad)
Blue Fulmar 1n
Bonxie 1n
Goosander 1n

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Daydream Believer.............

2 Arctic Skuas 2 Med Gulls and a Blue Fulmar passed Whitburn Obs by 7am this morning. Good light and a nice mix of birds made for an enjoyable watch. No cetaceans on my watch today. As i was leaving another watcher arrived he asked what i had seen and said he had come down to see Pom Skua and Sooty Shearwaters. I wished him good luck and thought dream on mate, dream on
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 29th July 05.00-07.05 WNW2-3 cloud cover

Curlew 2n
Gannet 606n
Manxie 14n 1s
Grey Heron 1n in/off
Arctic Tern 32n 3s
Common Tern 5n 6s
Puffin 15n 1s
Med Gull 2n (2nd sum and juv)
Swift 1sGoosander 4n
Blue Fulmar 1s L
Common Scoter 1n 7s
Arctic Skua 1n 1s
Turnstone 2n
Sandwich Tern 5n 9s
Bar t Godwit 1n

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Is that a Skua i see before me

5 Bonxies and 7 Arctic Skuas passed Whitbun Obs by 09.00 this morning. No two days are alike in the Obs and yesterdays Arctic Tern passage was not repeated. However the Bottlenose Dolphin passage was. What seemed like the same size pod 7/8 animals moving north at much the same time as yesterday, but as they were well north it became obvious not all had been showing and i counted 15 at least. Yesterday they came south again at 12.30, but I'm not sure if anyone will be in to see them today
I was joined by Magic Mark and Steve Chinnery and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 28th July 04.50-09.00 NW2-3 full cloud cover calm sea

Black h Gull 10n 2s
Curlew 2n 2s
Common Gull 15n 3s
Arctic Skua 5n 2s
Med Gull 1n ad
Manx Shearwater 116n 8s
Dunlin 2n
Common Scoter172n 123s
Sandwich Tern 8n 56s
Bonxie 5n
Common Tern 5n 22s
Puffin 6n 2s
Arctic Tern 79n 20s
Eider 1s
Little Gull 1s ad
07.55-07.50 Bottlenose Dolphin circa 15 north
08.10-08.12 Porpoise 1n 1s
Redshank 2n
Blue Fulmar 1n

Monday, 27 July 2015

Arctic Storm.....

2117 Arctic Terns passed Whitburn Obs in 13 hours today, smashing the previous record of 1171 in July 2013. Thanks to Steve Chinnary, Derek Charlton. Colin Wilson, Magic Mark and 3 birders from Teeside for putting in the time
Here is what was seen during the watch in no particular order

Monday 27th July 04.55-18.00 ENE 4-5 full cloud cover rough sea

Manx Shearwater 209n 13s
Gannet 630n till 08.30 only
Common Scoter 302n 150s
Curlew 2n 3s
Black h Gull 7n
Common Gull 2s
Wigeon 3n
Common Tern 52n 1s
Sandwich Tern 149n 41s
Arctic Tern 2117n
Arctic Skus 1n 4s
Puffin 42n 1s
Sooty Shearwater 1n
Bonxie 8n
Velvet Scoter 1n
Red necked Grebe 1n
Teal 5n
Little Gull 6n 1st sum
Pom Skua 1n ad dark phase with spoons
Turnstone 1n 10s
Bar tailed Godwit 1n
Knot 2n
Whimbrel 2n
Dunlin 1n
Red th Diver 1n
Bottlenose Dolphin 7n 07.40-07.50 then 7s 12.30-12.40

Arctic Blast.......

320 Arctic Terns and 2 Arctic Skuas passed Whitburn Obs by 08.00 this morning. It was an Arctic blast as i fought my way to the Obs this morning with my brolly getting blown inside out. The Arctic Tern passage was fantastic and a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins going north at the end of my watch was a real bonus on the National Whale & Dolphin watch fortnight.
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 27th July 04.55-08.00 ENE4-5 rain, rough sea

Curlew 2n 1s
Fulmar 36n
Gannet 630n
Black h Gull 1n
Arctic Tern 320n
Manxie 29n
Common Scoter 1n 2s
Sandwich Tern 16n 30s
Common Tern 4n 1s
Common Gull 1s
Puffin 1n
Arctic Skua 1n 1s
07.70 Bottlenose Dolphin 7+ north close in shore till 07.50
Wigeon 3n

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Eye strain stops play....

7 Arctic Skuas and 164 Manxies passed Whitburn Obs by 08.30 this morning.Saint Mark and Robin Hood joined me on a frustrating watch.early on movement was brisk but it soon died off and the light was always difficult. After yesterdays marathon watch my scope eye is done in so i packed in early to save it for the forecasted northerlies next week. Still managed a 4 hour watch and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 26th July SW2 bright sun then thin cloud calm sea

Common Scoter 51n 1s
Common Tern 7n 40s
Sandwich Tern 35n 218s
Arctic Tern 16n 27s
Manxie 124n 40s
Arctic Skua 6n 1s
Shelduck 6s
Common Gull 5s
Puffin 10n 5s
Teal 7n
Curlew 2n 6s
Oyster Catcher 37s
Black h Gull 3s
Redshank 5n 10s
Red th Diver 1s
Whimbrel 1n 1s
Dunlin 1s
Turnstone 1n
Sadly no cetaceans today even though it was a nice calm sea..... maybe tomorrow

Saturday, 25 July 2015

The longest day....

61 Manxies and the Red Arrows passed Whitburn Obs this afternoon. Yes 04.30am start and i left the CCG BBQ at Souter Lighthouse at 07.30 to head home...phew. An excellent time was had at the annual Coastal Conservation Group BBQ a great social gathering and a chance to catch up with a few friends thanks. Sadly i left before the White beaked Dolphins showed up but hope to see them early tomorrow. I was joined by Derek Charlton and friends and this is what we saw

14.25-17.30 Whitburn Obs

Common Tern 32n 1s
Black h Gull 2n 2s
Sandwich Tern 25n 10s
Manxie 61n 1s
Arctic Tern 25n
Common Scoter 3n
Golden Plover 70n
Curlew 2s
Turnstone 13n
Red th Diver 1s
Common Gull 1n
Puffin 4n

17.45- ...   Souter Lighthouse
Porpoise 1 at 18.45
Whit beaked Dolphins at 20.24 still waiting to hear details

Off to bed now and back int Obs first light

Hang on Sooty....Sooty hang on...

A Sooty Shearwater 3 Bonxies and 2 Arctic Skuas passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. I was joined by Magic Mark, Saint Mark with Robin Hood, Pink Floyd was back from a hat full of holidays and Hoggie and Walter arrived late on. It was my first Sooty of the year and it was over far too quickly, more soon I'm sure.
I made an early start as its the first day of the 2015 National Whale and Dolphin watch fortnight. Just as well as my only sightings were early on, but its nice to get some scores on the doors
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 25th July 04.30-10.30 NNW4 broken clourd rough sea

Curlew 7n 3s
04.42 White beaked Dolphin one breached close inshore
Fulmar 62n
Common Scoter 218n 78s
Manxie 122n 2s
Gannet 945n
05.00 White beaked Dolphin 2 north close inshore
Puffin 115n 25s
Common Tern 25n 5s
Turnstone 5n 1s
Arctic Tern 156n 1s
Common Gull 1n 5s
Bar tailed Godwit 7n 1s
LBBGull 6n
Tufted Duck 2n
Shag 3s
Black h Gull 4n 6s
Grey Plover 1n
Teal 65n
Arctic Skua 2s
Red th Diver 3n
Swift 3n
Whimbrel 2n
Mallard 2n
Bonxie 3n
Oyster Catcher 15s
Sooty Shearwater 1n

Friday, 24 July 2015

Whitburn's Whitebeaks head south for the day........

10 plus White beaked Dolphins went south past Whitburn Obs early morning. I am seeing them so often I've claimed them for the Obs. I first picked them up at 05.20 and they slowly went south through the flags feeding on the way, last noted at 05.55 off Roker. It is difficult to get an accurate count but i would say between 10-20. It was flat calm which helped as they can be amazingly elusive at times.
As you are all now aware its the 2015 National Whale and Dolphin watch from the 25th of July till the 2nd August so i am hoping they show again over the weekend. Unfortunately its the Airshow this weekend so parking and access will be a problem

Friday 24th July 04.55-07.05 W1-2 dead calm sea

Sandwich Tern 6n 92s
Common Tern 8n 29s
Black h Gull 3s
Common Scoter 11s
Arctic Tern 16n 23s
Manxie 4n 20s
Turnstone 1s
Common Gull 1s
Red th Diver 1s
Whimbrel 4s
Teal 2n
Knot 1s
Puffin 1n 3s
Eider 1s
Little Gull 1s ad
Redshank 3n
Shag 1s
White beaked Dolphins 10-20 south feeding through the flag line 04.55-05.55

Thursday, 23 July 2015

Time = Sightings

A Velvet Scoter and 24 Manxies passed Whitburn Obs on my early morning sea watch today. In the Obs we always say the more time you put in the more birds you will see. As the 2015 National Whale and Dolphin Watch takes place between the 25th July and the 2nd August its worth mentioning the same applies to Cetaceans, the more time you put in the more chance you have of seeing Whales and Dolphins. Please record what you see in the log book and i will forward the completed sightings forms to the Sea Watch Foundation
I did manage to see a Dolphin and some Porpoise today but only briefly, lets hope they hang around for the survey
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Thursday 23rd July 04.55-07.00 W1-1 broken cloud calm sea

Grey Heron 1s
Common Scoter 71n 9s
Black h Gull 1s
Whimbrel 2s
Common Tern 1n 23s
Sandwich Tern 13n 61s
Red th Diver 1s
Curlew 4s
Common Gull 2s
Manxie 16n 8s
05.20 White beaked Dolphin only 1 seen mid distance coming towards me, unusually i didn't see them again
Puffin 4n 1s
05.25 Porpoise 2 feeding
Arctic Tern 1n 26s
Knot 2s
Velvet Scoter1n
Redshank 6n 1s
Turnstone 1n

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Beauty and the beast........

2 Bonxies and 55 Manxies passed Whitburn Obs by 7am this morning. It was a case of beauty and the beast with 2 Bonxies and some fantastic elegant Arctic Terns passing, we should see more of them in coming days
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 22nd July 04.55-07.00 WNW1-2 cloud cover calm sea

Common Tern 7n 7s
Porpoise 2
Manxie 46n 9s
Common Scoter 12n
Bonxie 2n
Arctic Tern 18n 18s
Dunlin 2s
Common Gull 1s
Sandwich Tern 13n 122s
Teal 1n
Redshank 8n
Peregrine 1 over the sea

Just a reminder that the 2015 National Whale and Dolphin watch takes place from the 25th July till the 2nd August. We will betaking part again this year so please try your best to spend some time in the obs and record what you see in the log
Many Thanks

Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Black Velvet.........

2 Velvet Scoter went north past Whitburn Obs this morning and 5 White beaked Dolphins were on show for an hour. It was a mixed bag today but a nice start with the local fox starting my mammal list
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 21st July 05.00-07.00 SW2

Fox by the obs
Velvet Scoter 2n
Common Tern 2n 6s
Manxie 3n 2s
Arctic Tern 12n 12s
Common Gull 2n
Common Scoter 136n
Redshank 1n 2s
Grey Wagtail 1s
Eider 1n
Sandwich Tern 18n 36s
Puffin 1s
Curlew 2s
Swift 9s
Bar tailed Godwit 2s
White beaked Dolphin first seen at 05.07 till 06.00 circa 5 feeding and moving slowly north

Monday, 20 July 2015

Waders, what waders......

5 Little Gulls and 25 Arctic Terns passed Whitburn Obs on my early morning watch by 7am today.
Yesterday it was all about waders with 830 smaller waders passing at a rate of circa 166 per hour. Today i saw 1 Knot in two hours!

Monday 20th July 05.00-07.00 WSW1-2 cloud cover calm sea

Manx Shearwater 7n 5s
Sandwich Tern 40n 206s
Whimbrel 2s
Black h Gull 1n 2s
Common Gull 2n 13s
Shelduck 7s
Puffin 4n 3s
Common Scoter 4n
Curlew 1n 1s
Little Gull 4n 1s ads
Arctic Tern 7n 18s
Red th Diver 1s
Knot 1s
Swift 2s

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Whitburn hit by wave of waders....

492 Redshank passed Whitburn Obs by 11 am this morning smashing the previous best day total of 187 set in August 2012, and giving us one of the best East Coast totals in modern times
Saint and Magic Mark were in attendance along with Stevie Thunder to enjoy our wave of waders.
Still no Green or spot shank for my obs year list but it was all about the wave
This is what we saw today in order of appearance

Sunday 19th July 04.45-11.00 S1-2 then 2-3 cloud cover and rain

Curlew 7n 2s
Redshank 14n 478s
Common Scoter 143n 3s
Porpoise 4-5
Black h Gull 11n 8s
Sandwich Tern 14n 630s
Manxie 6n 2s
Knot 99s
Common Tern 9n 37s
Arctic Tern 15n 29s
Teal 4n
Puffin 68n 7s
Black tailed Godwit 37s
Sanderling 66s
Swift 6s
Dunlin 153s
Red th Diver 2n 3s
Common Gull 1n 1s
Ringed Plover 2s
Turnstone 5n 3s
Little Gull 2s ads
Whimbrel 1n 2s
LBBGull 1s
Eider 3n

Saturday, 18 July 2015

An absurd little bird is popping up to say......... Cuckoo

An Arctic Skua and 2 adult Med Gulls passed Whitburn Obs this afternoon. Magic Mark rang me to say he was finished at work and was on his way to the Obs...Well that was all the encouragement i needed after the disappointment of no Obs year ticks this morning, a second chance. And it was a bird thats hard to catch up with in the Obs that popped up on a post, a juv Cuckoo.
It was a memorable watch that started slowly but as the tide rose the waders increased, maybe i would get my Greenshank after all......, maybe tomorrow
This is what we saw

Saturday 18th July 13.10-17.50  W2

Manxie 2n
Common Scoter 7n 4s
Grey Heron 3s all in/off
Golden Plover 1s
Dunlin 88s
Redshank 59s
Whimbrel 11s
Curlew 2n 4s
Arctic Skua 1n
Black h Gull 6n 8s
Common Gull 1n 9s
Med Gull 2n both ads
LBBGull 1n
Sandwich Tern 61n 52s
Arctic Tern 1n 1s
Swift 2s
Porpoise 2s
White beaked Dolphin 2-4
04.40 2 north close inshore
05.25 2 distant breaching

say hello wave goodbye.....

A Velvet Scoter and a mixed bag of waders was the best we could do past Whitburn Obs by 10am
Saint Mark joined me, if a little late, and we really did give it our best shot as we tried to find me an Obs year tick . At Spurn they had Honey Buzzard and Temminks, but Whitburn ain't Spurn. We enjoyed waving goodbye to our Swifts with our biggest count so far this year. Keep in mind that the vast majority go south behind us, so to get 105 south was good for us
This is what we did see in order of appearance

Saturday 18th July 04.50-10.00 WSW3 broken cloud

Swift 105s
Eider 8n
Common Gull 2n 9s
Puffin 18n 5s
Common Scoter 129n 23s
Sandwich Tern 16n 57s
Black h Gull 8n 24s
Redshank 42s
Manxie 2n
Porpoise 2
Red th Diver 1n
Velvet Scoter 1n
Common Tern 12n 12s
Arctic Tern 2n 2s
Turnstone 1s
Ringed Plover 1n 4s
Dunlin 8s
Curlew 5n 2s
Knot 11s
Golden Plover 17s
09.05 White beaked Dolphin 4 seen only briefly due to poor light from the bright sun reflecting on the water
Teal 3s
LBBGull 1s
Bar t Godwit 1s

Friday, 17 July 2015

All shook up............

Med Gull and 786 Common Scoter and a good selection of waders passed Whitburn Obs by 07.45 this morning
A change in the weather with stronger winds was just what we needed to shake things up and it proved to be an excellent and exciting watch, Stoney was in the house to share the experience

Friday 17th July 04.55-07.45 SSE3-4 full cloud cover some rain and a nice rough sea

Manxie 3n 24s
Curlew 5s
Common Scoter 786n
Black h Gull 79n 7s
Knot 45s
Dunlin 15s
Puffin 9n 9s
Great crested Grebe 1 on sea then went south
Common Tern 4n 8s
Whimbrel 2s
Bar t Godwit 1s
Common Gull 2n 2s
Teal 1s
Sandwich Tern 121s
Arctic Tern 1n 16s
Med Gull 1n 1st sum
Eider 7n
Tufted Duck 1n

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Welcome to the house of fun..................

3 Arctic Skuas and 2 Velvet Scoters passed Whitburn Obs by 07.30 this morning. I was joined by Magic Mark and we were royally entertained by our local White beaked Dolphins, i first picked them up at 05.25 and they were feeding offshore till 06.45 when they headed off south.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 16th July 04.50-07.30 NNW2 cloud cover at first then broken cloud

Black h Gull 9n 2s
Manxie 109n 3s
Common Scoter 80n 5s
Puffin 18n 8s
Arctic Skua 3n
Common Tern 14n 10s
Dunlin 2s
Arctic Tern 10n 28s
Sandwich Tern 4n 74s
05.25 White beaked Dolphin 5 ad 2juvs feeding close in, total of circa 10 around untill 06.45. We even witnessed some bow riding of a local fishing boat the first time I've witnessed this from the Obs
Teal 6n
Red th Diver 1s
Bar t Godwit 1n
Velvet Scoter 2n
Common Scoter 80n 5s
Curlew 1s

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Obs list update.....

2 adult Little Gulls went north past Whitburn Obs early morning again they must roost nearby. Good light and a nice calm sea deserved something special but sadly on my shift it was not to be. My Obs year list is 138, by the same date last year i had seen another 16 species that i haven't connected with so far this year
On the plus side I've seen 8 species this year that didn't figure in my 167 for last years total so its all still to play for.
I did get a moth lifer by the Obs this morning, a Cinnabar Moth, but id rather have seen a Greenshank!
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 15th July 04.50-07.05 W1-2 full cloud cover and calm sea

Black h Gull 4n 4s
Puffin 17n 1s
Porpoise 1
Manxie 10n 4s
Sandwich Tern 12n 296s
Common Tern 11n 12s
Arctic Tern 1n 17s
Common Scoter40n
Curlew 1n 1s
Swift 3s
Little Gull 2n adults
Red th Diver 1n
06.45 2 Dolphin sp just to the north and mid distance i could see the large sickle fins on the surface but not enough of the animals to be certain of White beaked
Whimbrel 1s

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Fox on the run......

71 Manxies passed Whitburn Obs by 7 am, an update for those of you wondering whether to pop in with this latest northerly. I passed the local Fox on the way to the Obs, they still haven't got him yet,shhh

Tuesday 14th July 04.55-07.05 NNE 2 mist/fog/rain/drizzle all clearing to nice full cloud and good conditions

Manxie 60n 11s
Arctic Tern 16n 2s
Puffin 61n 5s
Gannet 325n
Common Tern 21n 1s
Fulmar 17n
Sandwich Tern 3n 21s
Ringed Plover 4n
Whimbrel 1n
Redshank 3s
Common Gull 1s
Black h Gull 1s
Common Scoter 39n
Curlew 1n 1s
Fox 1 on the run

Monday, 13 July 2015

Dolphins in the dark....

2 Little Gulls and a Med Gull passed Whitburn Obs early morning. On a dead calm day i thought i might have a chance of getting some video of our regular White beaked Dolphins, they have proved secretive to date. They turned up as expected if a little late i got the camera on them but it was so dark with the low thick cloud it would not focus, bugger........
With little or no wind not much was moving but this is what i did see in order of appearance

Monday 13th July 04.55-07.00 NW1 cloud cover dead calm sea

Little Gull 2n ads
Puffins 8n 15s
Dunlin 4s
Common Tern 2n 14s
Arctic Tern 15s
Red th Diver 1n
Sandwich Tern 4n 69s
Common Scoter 22n 7s
Black h Gull 8s
Tufted Duck 1s
Med Gull 1s ad
Whimbrel 3s
White beaked Dolphin movements:
05.30 7 fairly close feeding through the flags
05.40-05.55  1 distant
06.00 5 distant 3 closer
06.25 -06.30 still 5 distant
suspect was 10-12 total

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Owlzat ! ...............

3 Owls came in off at Whitburn Obs this morning. The Ozzie's were bowled out and we were bowled over when 3 Owls came in off this morning, 2 long eared and 1 shortie. I was joined by Saint and Magic Mark, Stevie Makem and Chivs, and Stoney was in the house.
The chat was lively on subjects as varied as posh folk, salmon and trout eaters, milfs and cougars and Gateshead birders
We saw shed loads of birds, this is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 12th July 04.50-10.00 SE1-2 early cloud then bright sun calm sea

Common Tern 25n 37s
04.55 White beaked Dolphin 5 and 1 juv nth
Sandwich Tern 8n 71s
Puffin 49n 21s
05.03 White beaked Dolphin another different 5 north
Common Scoter 250n 244s
Redshank 3s
Manxie 33n 1s
Arctic Tern 8n 71s
Ringed Plover 2s
Swift 56s
Black h Gull 9s
Whimbrel 3n 4s
Grey Heron 2n 2s
06.05 Black Tern n another Magic Mark gem
Porpoise 2s
Dunlin 2s
Red th Diver 3n
Little Tern 2s
Curlew 2n 9s
Little Gull 2s ads
Bar t Godwit 1n 3s
Common Gull 1n 3s
LBBGull 2s
08.20 Long eared Owl in off
09.00 Long eared Owl in off 2nd bird
Arctic Skua 1n
Siskin 1s
Teal 14s
09.30 Short eared Owl in off
09.35 White beaked Dolphin 1s

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Good old Blighty......

A Black throated Diver was on the sea off the Obs as we finished a canny sea watch. Saint Mark was with me and we saw lots tho it did quieten down by 8 0,clock
Ringlets were on the wing, Swifts and House Martins swooping overhead, the Aussies are on the rack and that Scotsman is out in the tennis, and my Moth trap runneth over, good old blighty indeed
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 11th July 04.35-08.45 SW1-2 flat calm sea cloud cover at first...
Curlew 5n 11s
Common Scoter 814n 138s
Black h Gull 1n 2s
Common Tern 25n 34s
Puffin 82n 22s
Sandwich Tern 24n 103s
Redshank 4s
Little Gull 1n 4s
Manxie 49n 2s
Common Gull 3n 1s
05.00 White beaked Dolphin 5 plus 1juv didn't hang around but left after some nice breaching, sadly to distant for video
Swift 5s
Arctic Tern 9n 71s
Whimbrel 1n
Dunlin 4s
Porpoise 1
Arctic Skua 3n 3s
Red th Diver 2n 1s
Bonxie 1s
07.50 White beaked Dolphin 4 seen going north probably the same group
Ringed Plover 1n
Black th Diver one on the sea off the obs drifting south

Friday, 10 July 2015

Rain didnt stop play.........

Balearic Shearwater and 3 Arctic Skuas passed Whitburn Obs by 7 o'clock this morning. The forecast was for quite heavy rain from 4am so i wasn't sure how much of a sea watch i would get and carried my big brolly to the obs with me. Thankfully the rain never came and i had a much better sea watch than yesterdays poor show
The Balearic Shearwater was my first of the year and with good numbers of birds moving and Dolphins on show i had a fantastic watch
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Friday 10th July 04.40-07.00 WNW1-2 dead calm moderate swell full cloud cover

Curlew 5n 1s
Puffin 225n 34s
Little Gull 3n 2s
04.50 White beaked Dolphin circa 5 off were feeding offshore till at least 05.35 never very showey
Common Tern 13n 29s
Sandwich Tern 14n 39s including my first fledged new bird of the year
Arctic Skua 3sRed th Diver 1n 2s
Black h Gull 4n 1s
Arctic Tern 4n 73s
Common Scoter 71n 16s
Manx Shearwater 86n 1s
Eider 1n
Redshank 8s
06.00 Balearic Shearwater 1s
Grey Heron 1n

Thursday 9th July 04.55 07.00NW2-3

common Tern 11n 1s
Sandwich Tern 7n 30s
Common Scoter 21n
Manxie 11n
Blk h gull 6n 2s
Curlew 3n
Eider 6s
Common Gull 1s
Redshank 1n
Arctic Tern 6s
LBBGull 1n
Puffin 9n
Red th Diver 1n

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Breakfast with the Dolphins...

An adult Little Gull went north past Whitburn Obs this morning. The White beaked Dolphins came on the scene quite early and were still in the area when we left.Stoney was in the house and this is what we saw in order of appearance, plus yesterdays sightings

Wednesday 8th July 05.00-07.00 WNW1-2 becoming NW2 full cloud cover/drizzle

Sandwich Tern 13n 130s
Common Tern 7n 20s
Swift 19s
Curlew 1n
Puffin 7n 1s
Black h Gull 1n 5s
Manxie 3n
05.40 White beaked Dolphin 5n distant
Little Gull 1n ad
Red th Diver1n
Arctic Tern 1s
Common Scoter 17n 12s
06.30 White beaked Dolphin 5/6 s close inshore
06.40 Whit beaked Dolphin 2s close inshore
06.55 White beaked Dolphin 6 plus south also 2 youngsters breaching close in shore
Its difficult to be sure how many Dolphins were about but i feel the early group going north were different

Tuesday 7th July04.50-07.00 S1-2

Common Tern 8s
Puffin 5n 6s
Common Scoter 156n 25s
Tufted Duck 1n
Manxie 5n
Common Gull 3s
Golden Plover 1s
Swift 4s
Sandwich Tern 2n 69s
Black h Gull 2n 3s
Great crested Grebe 1s
Arctic Tern 1n
Ringed Plover 1s
Redshank 1n

Sunday, 5 July 2015

White beaked or Bottlenose, that is the question...........

22 Black tailed Godwits went south past Whitburn Obs this morning as we enjoyed a bit of wader movement. Add to this 20 plus White beaked Dolphins on and off for almost 5 hours, not a bad sea watch
It was dead calm and the poor early light improved through the morning. We picked up the Dolphin's feeding well to the north and for a few hours were unable to get a positive id in the poor light. Eventually they went south to Roker then back north to Souter and we could clearly see they were White beaked Dolphin's. I was joined by Saint Mark and Stevie Makem, if a Bridled Tern had gone south we wouldn't have been surprised! the only missing ingredient was Magic Mark. Hoggie and fiends came in later and told us about a Lime Hawk Moth that had been released in the gardens at the lighthouse and we successfully twitched it later. It had been caught in the Petrel ringing nets the previous night
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 5th July 04.45-10.20 SE1-2 bright sun to start then light cloud cover

Sandwich Tern 7n 77s
Puffin 67n 32s
Common Tern 11n 24s
Curlew 2n 3s
Black h Gull 32n 28s
Common Gull 8s
Common Scoter 121n 93s
Manx Shearwater 11n 2s
Arctic Tern 8n 30s
Redshank 36n
Knot 13s
05.40 5 White beaked Dolphin feeding to the north growing to 20 plus for the rest of our watch,they were in small groups that sometimes joined up till 10.20 at least
Black tailed Godwit 22s
Red th Diver 4n
Swift 11s
Porpoise at least 4 feeding
Bar taled Godwit 1n
Shelduck 2s
Teal 6n 7s

Saturday, 4 July 2015

Like winter in July.....

Arctic Skua and a Bonxie passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. I waited in the car for a while this morning before braving the conditions to walk to the Obs in the rain, so it was a late start. Magic Mark did the brolly walk with me and later Saint Mark. Bomb the Bass were right its like winter in July.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 4th July 05.55-10.30 E1-2 cloud rain mist...

Black h Gull 29n 3s
Sandwich Tern 3n 2s
Common Gull 2n
Arctic Skua 1s
Red th Diver 1n 1s
Common Tern 12n 2s
Arctic Tern 5n
Puffin 32n 135s
Manxie 8n 6s
Swift 4s
Common Scoter 986n
Redshank 2n
Curlew 3n
Teal 5s

Friday, 3 July 2015

Its all about the Gulls ....

An adult Little Gull was on the sea feeding amongst the Black headed gulls this morning before moving south. Stoney was in the house and he called the Little Gull, it was nice to have some company on my early watch for a change
Rob thought he had a juv Med Gull amongst the gulls on the sea but we couldn't nail it
Worryingly a larger tern flying south close inshore with a Sandwich Tern looked very dark!... it was over in seconds......
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 3rd July 04.50-07.00 W1-2

Black h Gull 18n 41s
Red th Diver 2n 4s
Common Gull 1n 1s
Common Tern 9n 9s
Oyster Catcher 60n15s
Common Scoter 7n 72s
Redpoll 1s
Arctic Tern 3n 13s
Curlew 1s
Swift 2n 2s
Manx Shearwater 6n 2s
Sandwich Tern 3n 27s
Little Gull 1 adult on sea drifting south
Eider 5n
06.21 dark Tern sp south
Turnstone 1n

Willow Warbler calling was an obs year tick bringing my total to 134 species. I could do with some Sandpipers and waders in general to boost the list and its getting to that time....

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Who ate all the Sandwich Terns..............

An adult Mediterranean Gull went north past Whitburn Obs by 7am this morning. Black headed Gull numbers have increased this week and i always check them for something better and today it was a cracking Med Gull. One of these days i will nail that Bonaparte's past the Obs.
Sandwich Terns normally pass at 100-200 at least in my early morning watch, don't know what happened today but they were well down
This is what i saw today in order of appearance

Thursday 2nd July 04.55-07.00 broken cloud, early mist

Black h Gull 41n 31s
Sandwich Terns 11n 18s
Common Tern 13n 3s
Puffins 18n 10s
Gannet 26n 95s
Manxie 2n 2s
Red br Merganser1n
Common Scoter 54n 228s
Swift 2n
Common Gull 3n 3s
05.55 Med Gull ad nth
Arctic Tern 6n
Whimbrel 8s
Eider 2n 3s

Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Out with the old in with the new.............

445 Common Scoter passed Whitburn Obs by 7 o'clock this morning on what promises to be another good duck movement day, lets hope somebody gets in the Obs to record it. That was June that was and eyes down we are off and running in July,  lets hope for another rare tern this month. Here are the sea watch details for yesterday and today

Tuesday 30th June 04.55-07.00 S1-2

Common Scoter 380n15s
Sandwich Tern 11n 140s
Red th Diver 1n
Common Tern 3n 5s
Black h Gull 8n 2s
Puffin 7n 4s
Grey Wagtail 2s
Curlew 1s
Arctic Tern 2s
Swift 1s

Wednesday 1st July 04.55-07.00 S2 bright sun rough sea

Black h Gull 42n 41s
Sandwich Tern 17n 92s
Swift 9s
Common Gull 3n 8s
Common Scoter 445n
Puffin 7n 2s
Manxie 10s
Common Tern 2n 4s
Shag 1n
Curlew 5s
Whimbrel 1s
Arctic Tern 6s
Red th Diver 1n
Teal 11n
Tufty 1n
Eider 17n