Monday, 28 March 2016

Katie lays an egg....

A disappointing end to the Easter break as nothing of note passed Whitburn Obs by 10 this morning. We thought storm Katie might blow up a few surprises but it only blew a raspberry. Magic Mark joined me and Stoney was in the house
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 28th March 06.35-10.00 NE then N4 full cloud cover

Eider 1n 9s
Black h Gull 192s
Common Gull 2n 145s
Gannet 43n 3s
Common Scoter 10n 25s
Teal 18n 3s
LBBGull 2n
Shag 1s
Red th Diver 4s
Wigeon 2n 1s
Dunlin 1n
Shelduck 2n

Sunday, 27 March 2016

After the Lord Mayor's show...

Black throated Diver and 44 Whooper Swans passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. Magic Mark was back and we managed to see a few decent birds but it always felt a bit like after the Lord Mayor's following yesterdays mega watch
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 27th March 06.25-10.30 SSW3 sun then broken cloud

Common Gull 50n 31s
Eider 7n 11s
Gannet 130n
Black h Gull 13s
Common Scoter 14n 11s
Sandwich Tern 3s
Red th Diver 1n 3s
Scan Herring Gull 1n
Porpoise 1s
Black th Diver 1n
Shag 3n 1s
Peregrine 1s ad
Whooper Swan 44n
Purple Sandpiper 3s

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Simply the best....

Iceland Gull and 93 Whooper Swans passed Whitburn Obs by 11am today. Saint Mark and Boy Wonder joined me on a day when the obs was simply the best place to be. Its brass monkeys and blowing a hooley and sea watching paid off with year ticks galore and quality birds. St Mark was in great form but all the team contributed to a memorable sea watch. My obs list leapt to 105 species
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 26th March 05.40-11.00 S4 then 5 full cloud cover

Common Gull 78n 15s
Alba Wagtail 2n 5s
White Wagtail 1s
Eider 21n 5s
Common Scoter 41n 33s
Black h Gull 2n 72s
Curlew 25n 3s
Gannet 132n 10s
Shag 6n 1s
Red br Merganser 1n 3s
Porpoise 1s
Red th Diver 1s
Merlin 1in/off north at 06.30
Black th Diver 1n
Redshank 1s
Gadwall 1s
Goosander 1n 2s
Shelduck 3n 4s
Whooper Swan 93n (19,13,17,19,25)
Pink footed Goose 2s
Iceland Gull 1n ad
Meadow Pipit 33 in off
Sand Martin 1n
Scaup 1n f
Fieldfare 1 in off
Turnstone 7s
Sandwich Tern 1s

Friday, 25 March 2016

Good Friday ?

Med Gull passed Whitburn Obs by 09.45 this morning. Magic and Saint Mark joined me but we didn't last as long as we would have liked with bright sun in our faces making viewing difficult. The 2nd summer Med Gull was our best bird, i called it as a possible Med but was struggling to id it in poor light but Magic Mark soon put me right.We had hoped for more but it wasnt a Good Friday, Its cloudy and southerly tomorrow....
Skinny Dipper was a late arrival but too late for the watch. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 25th March 05.35-09.45 W1-2 bright sun

Black h Gull 21n 6s
Red th Diver 3n 5s
Common Scoter 13n 22s
Curlew 16n
Mipit 8s
Eider 8n 5s
Alba Wagtail 10n
Common Gull 35n 14s
Shag 1n 1s
Wigeon 2n 1s
Carrion Crow 35n
Canada Goose 2n
Shelduck 1n 5s
Jackdaw 2s
Purple Sandpiper 1n
Dunlin 3n
Ringed Plover 2n
Porpoise 1
Med Gull 1s 2nd sum

Thursday, 24 March 2016

Welcome home, welcome....

2 Sandwich Terns passed Whitburn Obs by 076.45 this morning. Magic Mark joined me and stayed on for more, sadly i had to leave for work. It was great to log our first Sandwich Terns of the spring a welcome return. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 24th March 05.55-07.50 SW2 cloud cover

Common Gull 3n 6s
Eider 6n
Common Scoter 12n
Curlew 22n 3s
Gannet 24n 9s
Porpoise 1n
Shag 1n 2s
Greylag Goose 2n
Grey Wagtail 1s
Black h Gull 15s
Pied Wagtail 1s
Turnstone 1s
Red th Diver 4n
Sandwich Tern 2s
Shelduck 1s
Puffin 1n

Monday, 21 March 2016

Sawbills bite back....

4 Red breasted Merganser's and 2 Pintail were my best past Whitburn Obs in 3 hours this morning. It was a quiet winter for Mergansers with its cousin the Goosander being seen more often. 10 in the last 8 days shows spring passage is well under way for this attractive duck
It was another quiet watch and this is what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 21st March 05.55-09.00 early cloud then broken

Fulmar 40n
Gannet 16n 1s
Common Gull 31n 9s
Common Scoter 6n 18s
Black h Gull 36n 16s
Red Br Merganser 4n (3 dr)
Eider 12n 9s
Curlew 4n
LBBGull 1n
Shag 2n 2s
Pintail 2n
Pied Wagtail 4n
Red th Diver 1n
Turnstone 1n
Heron 1n
Redshank 1n
Ringed Plover 1n
Great spotted Woodpecker 1 seen from obs mound

Saturday, 19 March 2016

The wind of change..........

A Long tailed Duck went south past Whitburn Obs by 09.30. I had to leave early on Grandad taxi business. Glaucous Gull was predicted and i still need it....juv Iceland passed at 10.15 phew!.
Yes northerlies at this time of year don't produce a lot, its forecast for north westerly tomorrow lets hope a change in the wind direction shakes things up. The usual crowd were in and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 19th March 05.50-09.30 N3 cloud cover

Common Gull 16n 3s
Scan Herring Gull 3n
Black h Gull 7n 1s
Fulmar 116n
Red th Diver 4n 1s
Gannet 173n
Eider 2n 9s
Common Scoter 6s
Shag 2n 3s
Curlew 6n
Shelduck 1s
Goldeneye 2n 1s
Long tailed Duck 1s dr
Bar t Godwit 1n
Turnstone 7s

Friday, 18 March 2016

You'll like this.....

A pod of Bottlenose Dolphins went north close inshore past Whitburn Obs 09.50-10.00 this morning. The sea watch was very poor despite the northerly and nice grey sea, i was just thinking i wasn't liking it a lot and could do with Paul Daniels conjuring me some magic when hey presto! Thanks Paul
I could see some Dolphins moving north close in with Gulls following which always helps to keep track on them. I managed to get some film so if its any good i will post it
This is what i saw today in order of appearance

Friday 18th March 05.55-10.10 N2-3 cloud cover drizzle at times

Common Gull 43n 2s
Black h Gull 6n 5s
Fulmar 109n
Gannet 31n
Common Scoter 16n
Shelduck 2s
Red th Diver 1n 1s
Eider 3s
Goldeneye 6n 1s
Shag 3s
09.50-10.00 Bottlenose Dolphin pod of 6 plus north close inshore tracked by gulls
Long tailed Tit 4ish around Obs as i left

Sadly my morning was spoiled by the actions of some local vandals, i heard the crack of wood as i went up the obs path and turned the corner to see 4 youths standing next to the broken no bridle path sign. I challenged them but 3 ran toward the car park and one towards the obs. I couldn't give chase as I've injured my leg and can hardly walk. They were school kids on an outing at the country park so i made a call and hopefully they will get a lecture and behave better in future

Sunday, 13 March 2016


Whooper Swan and Snow Bunting passed Whitburn Obs 9.45 this morning. The usual crowd were in and Stoney was in the house. We had a good selection of birds and most importantly 2 year ticks for me. The Snow Bunting was a pull back and Stock Dove, a very scarce bird from the obs, was my 100'th bird of the year. The mist today encouraged us all to leave early. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 13th March 06.05-09.45 S1 mist

Eider 2n 15s
Fulmar 194n
Red th Diver 12n 3s
Common Gull 17n 25s
Black h Gull 11n 5s
Gannet 15n
Pied Wagtail 3n 3s
Shelduck 6n 2s
Grey Wagtail 1n
Red br Merganser 3n
Shag 8n
Common Scoter 6n 5s
Dunlin 4s
Greylag Goose 2n 3s
Great crested Grebe 2n
Goosander 3n
Sky Lark 2s
Whooper Swan 1n
Turnstone 10n
LBBGull 1n
Snow Bunting 1s
Canada Goose 2s
Porpoise 1n
Purple Sandpiper 1n
Ringed Plover 3s
Teal 2s
Redshank 1s
Stock Dove 1n
Iceland Gull juv went north at 07.30 per Fos, it flew over the obs

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Spring is in the air......

2 Iceland Gulls and 73 Whooper Swans passed Whitburn Obs by 11 o'clock this morning. I was joined by Magic and Saint Mark, Pink Floyd and the on form Boy Wonder who called both Iceland's. Spring has arrived the sun shone Whoopers and Pinks moved north, Skylarks and Wagtails south, add to that a bit of wildfowl movement and you get a cracking sea watch.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 12th March 06.00-11.00 S2 early mist, broken cloud

Black h Gull 35n 156s
Common Gull 1n 20s
Red th Diver 2n 5s
Eider 13n 21s
Cormorant 17n 23s
Gannet 8n 1s
Common Scoter 11n 4s
Ringed Plover 4n
Whooper Swan 73n (28,1,14,17,13)
Shelduck 4n 2s
Turnstone 11n 8s
Pied Wagtail 1s
Pintail 1s
Greylag Goose 2n
Goosander 3n
Iceland Gull 2n (ad and 2nd w)
Skylark 1s
LBBGull 1n 1s
Purple Sandpiper 1s
Shag 3n
Wigeon 1s
Grey Wagtail 1s
Porpoise 1
Gadwall 2s
Pink footed Goose 195n (65,130)

Friday, 11 March 2016

Brass Monkeys.....

2 Great crested Grebes were the best i could muster from my sea watch in over 3 hours this morning. I misjudged the weather and expected it to be warmer than it was so by the time my coffee was finished and the sun came out at 9 0'clock i was brass monkeys....Low cloud and mist with a light south westerly wind produced what you would expect, not a lot. I did manage a year tick when 6 Long tailed Tits hung around for a while, i hadn't previously ticked them until October!. It was a mixed bag and this is what i saw in order of appearance

Friday 11th March 06.05-09.45  SW1-2 cloud and mist

Black h Gull 52n 32s
Eider 10n 1s
Common Scoter 4n 2s
Common Gull 7n 5s
Kittiwake 148n 9s
Porpoise 3n
Shelduck 8n 9s
Red th Diver 1n
Cormorant 3n 10s
Gannet 1n 2s
Great crested Grebe 2n
Greylag Goose 1s
Mallard 4
Jackdaw 3s
Shag 7s
Long t Tit 6
Turnstone 4s
Skylark 2s

Monday, 7 March 2016

The Boy from Brazil....

Black throated and Great northern Diver passed Whitburn Obs by 9am today. Yes this boy is back from the steamy Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil to the freezing cold Obs. I didnt last long due to travel tummy problems, enough said. The Obs year list moved to 94 with the addition of LBBGull and Skylark.This is what i saw in order of appearance.

Monday 7th March 2016  06.55-09.00 NW3 broken cloud

LBBGull 1n
Fulmar 21n
Common Gull 3n 35s
Black h Gull 1n 4s
Cormorant 3n 2s
Scan Herring Gull 2n
Red th Diver 2n 2s
Shelduck 1n
Blue Fulmar 1n L
Eider 1n 2s
Great northern Diver 1n
Kittiwake 3n
Shag 1s
Black th Diver 1n
Porpoise 1n