Monday, 30 November 2015

Happy Mondays..........

Balearic Shearwater 2 Little Auks and a Little Gull were off Whitburn Obs today. Mondays are always happy for me now as i no longer work them. Stoney was in the house and it looked dire, none of the forecasted wind, rain on the way and bugger all moving. Still i always say you will always see something from the Obs. I picked up a Balearic Shearwater well north of us then a couple of Little Auks sat on the dead calm sea. Rob called the Little Gull feeding offshore, throw in a Great northern and add to that more Porpoise than we've seen for ages. Yes happy Monday indeed, we left as the forecast rain started. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 30th November 07.30-10.00 W1 calm sea cloud cover

Curlew 6n 17s
Common Gull 1n 10s
Red th Diver 12n 21s
Black h Gull 27n 31s
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Turnstone 15s
Eider 2n
Shag 2n
Porpoise at least 7
Little Auk 2 on the sea
Balearic Shearwater 1n 08.40
Great n Diver 1n
Little Gull ad feeding offshore

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Wot no big Divers....

Pom Skua and a Little Gull passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 today. It was back to normal today with both Marks and Stoney was in the house. Sadly despite four pairs of well trained eyes we struggled, it was the first sea watch in ages when we didn't see a larger Diver sp
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 29th November 07.20-10.30 SW2-3 cloud cover

Black h Gull 29n 32s
Eider 2n
Red th Diver 12n 20sShag 4s
Common Gull 2n 13s
Turnstone 11s
Mallard 1n
Kittiwake 2n
Redshank 7s
Curlew 1n 2s
Little Gull 1n ad close inshore was bird of the watch
Gannet 28n 1s
Pom Skua 1n juv
Scan Herring Gull 4n
Golden Plover 1392s
Porpoise 2s
Little Auk 2s
Common Scoter 1n

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Who stole all our ducks...

3 Black throated Divers and 3 Little auks passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. Saint Mark was back from Borneo and Stoney was in the house.. We managed to find a bit of quality to make it more than just a typical winter watch. Seems to be a lot less ducks around this winter. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 28th November 07.15-10.35 SW3-4 cloud cover

Curlew 46 from the roost
Black h Gull 16n 70s
Common Gull 9n 12s
Velvet Scoter 1n
Shag 1n 5s
Eider 9n 3s
Little Auk 3n
Red th Diver 9n 16s
Golden Plover 989s
Common Scoter 1n 3s
Redshank 1n 1s
Kittiwake 5n
Black th Diver 2n 1s
Fulmar 1n 1s
Little Gull 2s
Snow Bunting 1n
Turnstone 1n 1s
Bonxie 1n

Monday, 23 November 2015

After the Lord Mayor's Show

21 Little Auks and a Great northern Diver passed Whitburn Obs in 3 hours this morning. Magic Mark joined me and Stoney was in the house but it was always going to be a bit quiet on a south westerly after yesterdays northerly blast. We still did ok tho, of interest one of the Whooper Swans that went north was Kinky, a swan we saw last year with a kinky neck.
No records today but this is what we did see in order of appearance

Monday 23rd November 07.15-10.15 SW2-3 cloud cover

Black h Gull 10n 17s
Common Gull 33n 37s
Teal 4n 4s
Golden Plover 15n 299s
Common Scoter 12n 1s
Shelduck 3n
Red th Diver 20n 20s
Eider 24n 1s
Curlew 2n
Red br Merganser 5n 1s
Goldeneye 24n 4s
Little Auk 21n
Wigeon 8n
Kittiwake 1n
Red necked Grebe 1n
Greylag Goose 2s
Mallard 2n 3s
Whooper Swan 2n
Grey Plover 1n
Fulmar 1n 2s
Long t Duck 2n
Woodcock 1 in off
Redshank 5s
Starling 3 in off
Shag 1n 14s
Great northern Diver 1n

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Record Breakers.....

17 Great northern 1 Black throated and 94 Red throated Divers passed Whitburn Obs by 13.15 today. We smashed the day record of Great northerns past the Obs, it was 13. This was fast on the heels of beating the Dunlin record yesterday. I was joined by Foss, Boy Wonder, Stevie Makem and a few more also the Bikin Birder and Stoney was in the house. Sadly the Bikin Birder wasn't able to get a year tick but we did enjoy another fantastic sea watch. My note book was a mess we saw so much but here goes for what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 22nd November 07.20-13.15 N3 full cloud cover fairly calm sea

Black h Gull 143n 11s
Common Gull 65n 9s
Eider 22n 6s
Fulmar 40n 42s
Red th Diver 65n 29s
Goldeneye 34n 3s
Little Auk 106n 1s
Teal 108n
Common Scoter 197n 11s
Curlew 2n
Dunlin 306n
Wigeon 156n
Long tailed Duck 17n
Grey Heron 1n
Velvet Scoter 5n
Manxie 5n
Kittiwake 69n 29s
Red br Merganser 8n
Great northern Diver 17n
Short eared Owl 1 in/off
Shag 1n green ring 35s
Bar t Godwit 1n
Sanderling 2n
Pom Skua 2n juvs
Starling 32 in/off
Grey Plover 1n
Shelduck 19n
Pink footed Goose 100s
Knot 7n
Rock Pipit 2n
Tufted Duck 8n
Iceland Gull 1s different bird to yesterday
Purple Sandpiper 1n
Black th Diver 1n
Brent Goose 2n 1db 1pb
Bonxie 5n
Mallard 25n
Red necked Grebe 2n
Whooper Swan 1s
Med Gull 1s ad
Snipe 3n
Pintail 3n
Turnstone 3n
Kingfisher 1n
Goosander 1n
Great crested Grebe 1n 1 on sea
Sparrowhawk 1n
Kestrel 1n

Phew what a watch, Magic Mark is on his way to the obs to join the Bikin Birder and complete a day of watching at Whitburn
I had a Petrel north distant i couldn't get enough on to id.....

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Winter Wonderland....

294 Little Auks, 29 Long tailed Ducks and an Iceland Gull passed Whitburn Obs by 12.55. Snow greeted me as i left the house this morning, winter has arrived. The strong north westerly didn't disappoint bringing lots of anticipated Little Auks and a cracking sea watch. I was joined by the usual crowd, Hoggie, Pink Floyd the Boy Wonder et al, Stoney was in the House
It was non stop action i was struggling to keep the log with bird movements being shouted constantly. Most passage was close inshore making it memorable
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 21st November 07.05-12.55 NW4-5

Common Gull 220n
Black h Gull 134n
Goldeneye 78n
Dunlin 265n
Teal 14n
Shag 4n 9s
Common Scoter 17n 1s
Eider 10n 9s
Little Auk 294n
Red th Diver 19n 3s
Turnstone 9n
Wigeon 164n
Mallard 25n
Pom Skua 1s 2 on sea
Long tailed Duck 28n 1s
Kittiwake 90n 7s
Redshank 1n
Knot 1n
Bar t Godwit 8n
Bonxie 6s
Fulmar 4n
Little Gull 2n 1s
Velvet Scoter 6n
Red br Merganser 8n
Brent Goose 29n pb 1n db
Tufted Duck 8n
Pintail 1n
Goosander 3n
Shelduck 2n
Curlew 1n
Great northern Diver 1n 2s
Grey Plover 1n
Goldeneye 78n
Great crested Grebe 1n
Sanderling 5n
Rock Pipit 2n
Med Gull 1n 1s ads
Jack Snipe 1 in/off Iceland Gull 1n juv

I left Derek and a few others in to continue the watch, we are not many away from a record Dunlin count and sometimes it can be later in the day when Little Auks get going
The Jack Snipe was an Obs year tick bringing my total to 169 thanks to Boy Wonder

Friday, 20 November 2015

Calm before the storm....

Little Auk, Black throated Diver and 4 Scaup passed Whitburn Obs in 5 hours this morning. Magic Mark joined me at first light and Hoggie later for a memorable sea watch. Lots of birds were moving before the coming storm. Already a record number of Whooper Swans had passed the Obs this year and we kept the count going with another 85. Woodcock in off was the first bird in the note book and we saw a steady arrival of migrants as the morning went on with a fantastic 8 Woodcock seen
My Obs year list hit a new record when the White fronts went north, now 168 and counting
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 20th November 07.00-12.00 W2-3 cloud cover most of the time

Woodcock 8 in/off
Common Gull 11n 69s
Black h Gull 52n 144s
Eider 4n 2s
Blackbird 18 in/off
Mallard 9n 14s
Common Scoter 10n 15s
Red th Diver 22n 31s
Great n Diver 1n
Velvet Scoter 1n 3s
Teal 18n 1s
Wigeon 4n
Goldeneye 38n 2s
Great crested Grebe 1n
Starling 7 in/off
Whooper Swan 85s
White fronted Goose 4n juvs
Shag 6s
Redshank 2s
Bonxie 1n
Pink footed Goose 51n 200s
Little Auk 1n
Sparrowhawk 1s
Scaup 4n drakes
Snipe 4 in/off
Goosander 1s
Black th Diver 1s

Saturday, 14 November 2015

WatsApp Doc......

2 Long tailed Ducks and 13 Whooper Swans passed Whitburn Obs by 11.30 today along with 106 Divers. Boy Wonder joined me along with the Doc and later Pink Floyd. I was glad for the extra eyes, birds were moving and you can miss more than you see if your on your own.

 The topic of conversation turned to sea watching news and how it should be broadcast, no one was a fan of the WatsApp option but would prefer Twitter, RBA, Birdguides etc. It may suit other birding news but not sea watching was the view. Its important to get quick information with often less than an hour between sea watching sites like Hartlepool Whitburn and Newbiggin, and for birds to be tracked like the Fea's say

Today started similar to yesterday with early passage of the larger Divers, and the Red throats didn't know when to group of ten had a leucistic bird bringing up the rear with ivory bill...It was a Red throat tho.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 14th November 07.00-11.30 SW3 full cloud cover

Common Gull 93s
Curlew 7n 16s
Black h Gull 10n 183s
Common Scoter 7n 5s
Red th Diver 14n 85s
Black th Diver 3s
Turnstone 10s
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Eider 4s
Kittiwake 1n 3s
Goosander 1s
Goldeneye 8n 4s
Great northern Diver 4s
Grey Heron 1s
Golden Plover 560s
Redshank 1n 1s
Manxie 1n
Whooper Swan 1n 12s
Little Gull 1n 5s
Shag 2s
Wigeon 2n
Med Gull 2s ads
Snow Bunting 1s
Long tailed Duck 2n
Pink footed Goose 22s

Friday, 13 November 2015

Somewhere over the rainbow.....

2 Black throated and 5 Great northern Divers passed Whitburn Obs by 11.05 today along with a fantastic supporting cast. Magic Mark joined me and Stoney was in the house for a busy sea watch.It had  everything except maybe the bird we dared to dream for... Pallid Harrier as we looked out through two rainbows..
Bird of the watch was one of the Great northerns in full sum plum still, it gave stunning views
The doc and polly popped in and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 13th November 06.55-11.05 SW4 broken cloud

Black h Gull 49n 104s
Curlew circa 50n from the roost
Common Gull 43s
Little Gull 1s
Black th Diver 1n 1s (different birds and all over by 07.05)
Red th Diver 20n 35s
Eider 6s
Red necked Grebe 1n
Turnstone 3n 5s
Common Scoter 31n 1s
Great northern Diver 1n 4s
Golden Plover 750s
Goldeneye 1n
Goosander 1n
Pink footed Goose 350s
Redshank 1n
Kittiwake 2n 1s
Velvet Scoter 1n 2s
Scan Herring Gull 4s
Arctic Skua 1n
Whooper Swan 8s
Grey Heron 1n 1s
Wigeon 5n
Arctic Tern 1s
Kingfisher still about

Monday, 9 November 2015

Cream of the crop...

Marsh Harrier and 2 Merlin passed Whitburn Obs by 10.45 today. Stoney was in the house and arrived just in time to see the Merlin's fighting over breakfast, probanly a Pipit. Not much was going on in the blasting wind so a close cream crown Marsh Harrier going north was a real bonus

Monday 9th November 07.05-10.45 SW3-4 and later 6-7 before dropping again

Common Gull 14s
Eider 2n 5s
Red th Diver 5n 2s
Bonxie 1s
Kittiwake 15s
Scan Herring Gull 2s
Merlin 2 hunting over the sea
Manxie 1s
Black h Gull 2n 8s
Curlew 2n
Goldeneye 1s
Redshank 1n 3s
Grey Heron 2s
Greylag Goose 4n
Fieldfare 1s
Marsh Harrier 1n 09.32

Sunday, 8 November 2015

the long and short of it....

17 Bonxies passed Whitburn Obs by 10.40 today. Magic Mark joined me as usual and later Boy Wonder made a rare appearance. We had a good selection of birds and the Bonxie total was our 2nd highest of the year. I only need one more species to set a new Obs year list record and when a Snipe went north i was hoping for Jack...but it had a long bill.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 8th November 07.00-10.40 SSW3 then 3-4

Eider 4n 4s
Scan Herring Gull 5s
Common Scoter 12n 12s
Goosander 4s
Red th Diver 7n 13s
Black h Gull 13n 83
Common Gull 6n 56s
Grey Heron 4s
Turnstone 1s
Manxie 1n
Bonxie 14n 3s
Curlew 3s
Kittiwake 8n 3s
Little Gull 2n 9s
Great n Diver 1s
Redshank 3s
Golden Plover 585s
Arctic Skua 1n
Whooper Swan 7s
Goldeneye 1n 1s
Velvet Scoter 3n
Knot 1s
Pink footed Goose 130n
Snipe 1n

Saturday, 7 November 2015

Its raining Gulls, hallelujah....

Black throated Diver and 6 Little Gulls went south past Whitburn Obs this morning. Magic Mark joined me and we hoped to get a few birds before the rain came. Thank goodness for the Little Gulls in the last hour as it was quiet in the rain. Stoney was in the house. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 7th November 06.55-11.00 SE2

Common Gull 3n 29s
Black h Gull 9n 34s
Kittiwake 1n 18s
Eider 2s
Common Scoter 34n 10s
Red th Diver 6n 14s
Black th Diver 1s
Kingfisher 1n
Teal 2n 5s
Wigeon 2n
Porpoise 1s
Gadwall 2n
Bonxie 1n
Scan Herring Gull 4s
Goldeneye 1s
Fulmar 1s
Little Gull 6s (3ads)
Curlew 120 in obs field roost

Friday, 6 November 2015

All gone south....

4 Great northern and a Black throated Diver went south past Whitburn Obs by 11 o clock this morning. Stoney was in the house and latter Hoggie, all of our hopes and dreams crashed when unlucky Dave arrived
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 6th November 07.05-11.-00 S2 cloud cover

Common Gull 63s
Eider 3n 1s
Red th Diver 3n 33s
Black h Gull 3n 18s
Shag 5s
Common Scoter 14n 21s
Goldeneye 14s
07.40 Great n Diver 2s
Curlew 1s
Little Gull 2s ad and juv
Fulmar 4s
Bonxie 1s
08.30 Great n Diver 1s
08.50 Black th Diver 1s
09.05 Great n Diver 1s
Fieldfare 1 in off
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Meadow Pipit 16s
Red br Merganser 2s
Whooper Swan 3s

Monday, 2 November 2015

The fog in the obs is all mine all mine.......

25 Whoopers and 2 Little Gulls passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 today. When i sat down looking into the fog i wasn't sure it was worth staying, then i heard what sounded like a large number of Whoopers going south calling but for the life of me i couldn't see them. Thankfully the fog cleared for a while and i did manage to see another 2 groups going south. Stoney was in the house and we had an interesting chat about a Snow Goose that was seen flying south with Pinkfeet yesterday. I don't understand Northumberland birders politics and don't want to but would expect the news to be put out as we would from the obs, and will continue to do. I don't have facebook on my phone but do have all the usual bird info sources. We saw nothing.
Hoggie joined us with bins only which he regretted.

This is what we saw before dashing off to Quarry Lane.

Monday 2nd November SW1-2 fog clearing

Whooper Swan 25s (12 and 13)
Mallard 2n 3s
Common Gull 5n 28s
Black h Gull 20n 134s
Redshank 2s
Common Scoter 22n
Eider 3n 2s
Skylark 2s
Red th Diver 3s
Lapwing 1s
Golden Plover 25s
Turnstone 1n 1s
Bonxie 1 on sea
Little Gull 2s juvs

Sunday, 1 November 2015

Moving Swiftly On......

Black throated Diver and 3 Lapland Buntings passed Whitburn Obs this morning. No time to bask in the glory of Pallid Swift from the Obs yesterday, loads of birds were moving today as well and the Lapland Buntings were an Obs year tick bringing the total so far to 166. That is one short of last year and two short of a new record with two month to go....
Magic Mark joined me and Stoney was in the house, this is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 1st November 06.40-11.15 SW2 sun and mist

Black h Gull 77n 88s
Common Gull2n 14s
Brent Goose 2n db
Red th Diver 13n 18s
Common Scoter 20n
Eider 14n 6s
Pochard 1n 1s
Teal 27n 6s
Dunlin 1n
Wigeon 7s
Shelduck 7n
Siskin 1s
Knot 1s
Whooper Swan 40s
Red br Merganser 3n
Little Gull 5s
Shag 1n 16s
08.40 Great northern Diver 2n
Pink footed Goose 80n 345s
08.50 Black th Diver 1n
09.05 Short eared Owl in/off
Heron 1s
Med Gull 1s ad
09.45 Lapland Bunting 3s
Porpoise 3n
Lapwing 28s
Bullfinch still