Wednesday, 29 June 2016

DD Delight........

522 Common Scoter passed Whitburn Obs by 7am this morning, add to that a fantastic Bottlenose Dolphin breaching. So it was double D, ducks and dolphins, double delight
This is what i saw in order of appearance before work beckoned

Wednesday 29th June 04.30-07.00 SW1-2 6/8 cloud cover

Swift 26s
Sandwich Tern 5n 180s
Puffin 28n 4s
Common Scoter 480n 42s
Manx Shearwater 15n 4s
Gannet 82n 101s
Eider 1s
Arctic Tern 1n 4s
Black h Gull 4n 16s
Common Gull 3s
Curlew 1n 1s
Tufted Duck 6s
Turnstone 2s
Common Tern 1n 14s
Ringed Plover 2n
Little Gull 1s
Goosander 2n
Bottlenose Dolphin circa 3 off 05.30-05.35 distant one breaching

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Tha she blows......

Black Guillemot 2 Roseate Terns and 2 Bonxies passed Whitburn Obs by 10.35 this morning. Magic Mark called the Whale blow and Boy Wonder,  Pink Floyd and myself discussed which cetacean it could be. Minke and Humpback were the most common off our coast so we waited for it to show. It did but distant,  then later again with multiple sightings closer inshore. Piecing together the jigsaw of features i would say Humpback is the most likely. At about 7.30 i was just saying how Magic Mark knows when to miss a sea watch. It had been good earlier despite the poor light but it was now very quiet and i said we would struggle to stay till 8am never mind the 9am planned finish.
At 07.40 i politely asked is that a duck coming north or a black auk, Saint Mark called Black Guillemot and everyone got on it even though a cool Boy Wonder left it till the death. From then on in it was just bonkers. First the Whale,  then as i nipped out for a call of nature i called Willow Tit, the rest as they say is history, a real Obs mega.
My Obs year list has made little progress in June and a Cuckoo seen yesterday was not from the obs mound so not countable. A Stonechat was seen behind the obs this week but i was unaware till it was mentioned in passing this morning so its a relief to get a couple of year ticks
I am currently having a cold beer, cheers!

This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 25th June 04.25-10.35 W1-2 bright sun 1/8

Gannet 166n 160s
Sandwich Tern 20n 163s
Puffin 15n 8s
Swift 9s
Black h Gull 1n 5s
Bonxie 1n 1s
Common Scoter 178n 3s
Arctic Tern 16n 16s
Common Tern 6n 24s
Common Gull 1n 9s
Manxie 43n 7s
Red th Diver 3n
Sandwich Tern 20n 163s
Little Tern 3s
Roseate Tern 2n
Shag 2n
Arctic Skua 1n
Redshank 1s
Porpoise 3
Black Guillemot 1n 07.40
Eider 3s
08.05 Whale Blow, large flipper noted and white on under tail on subsequant sightings till 09.18
Turnstone 4n
Ringed Plover 1n
09.25 Whale closer inshore small fin noted low on back not dolphin like, last seen 09.40
Teal 4n
Willow Tit 1s
Red br Merganser 1n

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Call of the wild.....

2 Roseate Terns and 69 Arctic Terns passed Whitburn Obs on my early morning watch today. It was a beautiful morning with little wind, full cloud and a dead calm sea just right for watching Terns passing
The Roseate Terns were calling as they passed close inshore, a strange eerie call, but by far the star birds were the Arctic Terns. Such an elegant sea bird, was a pleasure to watch them, not sure why they were heading south tho. I had to head south a little earlier than i would have liked due to nasty old work. This is what i saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 21st June 04.35-06.35 SE1 dead calm sea 7/8 cloud

Gannet 61n 16s
Puffin n52n 11s
Sandwich Tern 4n 206s
Common Tern 5n 24s
Canada Goose 44s
Greylag Goose 2s
Roseate Tern 2s
Black h Gull 1n 1s
Manx Shearwater 3n 1s
Curlew 2s
Arctic Tern 7n 62s
Eider 3s
Common Scoter 53n 7s
Redshank 1n
Porpoise 3n

Sunday, 19 June 2016

It's a bioblitz....

3 Arctic Skuas and 3 Bonxies passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 today. Its bioblitz day at  the National Trust and we managed to see 63 species of bird so far today to contribute. Thanks to Magic and Saint Mark and Stoney when he was in the house
We also had the highest counts of the year for Puffins and Manxies so a canny day all round. Mark was still at it when i left and over a thousand Puffins have now been seen
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 19th June 04.25-09.30 S2 cloud 5/8

Manx Shearwater 174n 5s
Sandwich Tern 36n 201s
Gannet 629n 32s
Common Tern 30n 9s
Red br Merganser 2n
Common Scoter 29n 5s
Puffin 958 n 13s
Arctic Tern 7n 2s
Eider 2n
Common Gull 3n 5s
Arctic Skua 3n
Canada Goose 18n
Oyster Catcher 5n
Bonxie 3n
Knot 2s
Grey Heron 2n 4s
Curlew 1s
Red th Diver 1n
Pied Wagtail 1n
Black h Gull 1s
Mallard 3s
Shelduck 3n
Goosander 1s

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Mr Blue Skyyy....

2 Roseate Terns and an adult Little Gull went north past Whitburn Obs by 09.30 this morning. Saint Mark and Stoney joined me for a memorable sea watch. The sky was solid grey till the last hour when for the first time in what seems like ages some blue sky emerged.
Don't forget its bioblitz from 6pm today for 24 hours so come along tomorrow and join in
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 18th June N3 full cloud cover then 6/8

Sandwich Tern 36n 32s
Fulmar 104n
Gannet 344n 41s
Eider 4s
Puffin 120n 20s
Common Scoter 136n 8s
Arctic Tern 58n
Common Tern 19n 2s
Manx Shearwater 83n 1s
Arctic Skua 2n 1s
Curlew 4n
Red th Diver 2n 1s
Little Gull 1n ad
Roseate Tern 2n
Black h Gull 1s
Common Gull 1n

Friday, 17 June 2016

It's It's a Bioblitz......

Great northern Diver and 2 Roseate Terns passed Whitburn Obs by 9 o'clock this morning. Not long now till the bioblitz, it starts at 18.00 on Saturday for 24 hours so get yourself along to Whitburn and help the National Trust to record as many species as possible. The Obs crowd will be doing its best to contribute .

Stoney was in the house today and i needed his help as i was struggling on my own to record near and distant birds. We had another great northerly sea watch and the 37th Great northern Diver of the year
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 15th June 04.40-09.00 NNW2-3 full cloud cover

Fulmar 89n
Puffin 134n 12s
Gannet 352n 15s
Sandwich Tern 114n 19s
Common Tern 48n 1s
Curlew 6n
Common Gull 5n 3s
Manxie 86n
Arctic Tern 38n
Common Scoter 173n
Roseate Tern 2n
Eider 2n 6s
LBBGull 6s
Bonxie 1n
Black h Gull 2n
Ruff 1n
Shag 1s
07.50 Great n Diver 1n sum plum
Red th Diver 2n
Teal 1n
Ringed Plover 2n

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Attack Attack Attack.......

3 Arctic Skuas and 45 Manx Shearwaters passed Whitburn Obs by 07.45 this morning. The Arctic Skuas were in attack mode which is just how we want the England team to be later today, howay the lads.
Magic Mark joined me for a cracking early morning watch and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 16th June 04.30-07.45 N2-3 full cloud, mist,rain

Arctic Skua 2n 1s
Fulmar 81n
Gannet 609n 18s
Puffin 206n
Sandwich Tern 12n 16s
Manx Shearwater 45n
Common Gull 2s
Goosander 3n
Common Scoter 15n
Ruff 1n
Curlew 1n
Arctic Tern 4n
Common Tern 11n 1s
Turnstone 4n
Shag 1n
Grey Heron 1n
LBBGull 1n
Red th Diver 3n

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

I see no ships.....

2 Roseate Terns and a Bonxie passed Whitburn Obs by 06.15 this morning. Yesterdays sea watch was aborted as it was a pea souper when i arrived at Whitburn,  but today was back to normal with full visibility and 80% cloud cover when i started, birds were moving but then at 05.45 the fog rolled in and i rolled off to work. I couldn't see any ships or Gannets or .....

Lets hope for better at the weekend when the Obs is taking part in bioblitze in conjunction with the National Trust and the Seawatch Foundation. We will be recording birds, cetaceans and anything else that moves. All are welcome and we need to try and have observers to cover all daylight hours if possible on both the 18th and 19th of June. Be warned if your walking down early before the country Park is open as the vegetation along the footpath is very long and can be very wet as Rob will testify. The weather looks good for a seawatch with a light northerly on Saturday and a light southerly on Sunday,  cloud cover both days with no rain forecast so far...looks good

This is what i saw in order of appearance today before the fog rolled in

Tuesday 14th June 04.35-06.15 N2 clear then fog from 05.45

Red th Diver 1n 1s
Gannet 171n 46s
Sandwich Tern 7n 33s
Common Tern 5n
Puffin 4n15s
Common Scoter 42n
Manxie 9n
Arctic Tern 6n
Roseate Tern 2 n
Curlew 9n
Whimbrel 1n
Bonxie 1n
Red br Merganser 1n
Common Gull 2s
Black h Gull 2n
LBBGull 1n
Eider 9n
Swift 2s

Saturday, 11 June 2016

East wind blows no good....

2 Bonxies and an Arctic Skua went north at Whitburn Obs this morning. The cream of the county's sea watchers were massed in the Obs today but to no avail. As the old sailors saying goes 'east wind blows no good'. Well it didn't today we worked hard but the pickings were slim
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 11th June 04.25-10.00 ESE1-2 full cloud cover

Sandwich Tern 67n 48s
Gannet 180n 63s
Common Tern 11n 11s
Arctic Tern 3n 1s
Puffin 123n 7s
Manxie 17n 1s
Swift 16n 10s
Little Tern 3n 1s
Common Scoter 207n 25s
Arctic Skua 1n
Common Gull 8n 4s
Bonxie 2n
LBBGull 1n 1s
Porpoise 2n 2s
Red th Diver 1n
Teal 51n 7s
Shag 5n 1s

Friday, 10 June 2016

Ducks in a row.....

Great northern Diver and Arctic Skua passed Whitburn Obs by 10.00 this morning. Hoggie came to enjoy the ducks and Stoney was in the house. From the off Common Scoter began passing in flocks of up to 20 at a time, when i left about 13 flocks had gone north a total of 271 birds. The guys were staying on for a while so that could increase, my eye was feeling the strain so ive saved myself for another day. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 10th June 04.35-10.00 NE1-2 early mist clearing and full cloud

Puffin 80n 9s
Common Gull 9n 5s
Gannet 185n 14s
Sandwich Tern 28n 42s
Manxie 26n 1s
Common Tern 16n 5s
Common Scoter 271n 26s
Arctic Tern 13n
Black h Gull 3n 2s
Great n Diver 1n 07.25 sum plum
Red th Diver 2s
Arctic Skua 1n
Shag 2n
LBBGull 2n
Great crested Grebe 1s
Kestrel 1n

Saturday, 4 June 2016

Gannets in the mist...

Velvet Scoter and an Arctic Skua passed Whitburn Obs by 10 this morning. The mist and fog meant it was bins only till 8 at least so Magic Mark, Pink Floyd and myself had to do without scopes, Stoney was in the house tho a bit late.We still managed a good variety of birds and a remarkable number of Gannets moving north pushed inshore by the fog.
The flock of Ruff that went north was a new record count for the obs
As we left the Obs we could see loads of Diamondback Moths in the grass and bushes
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 4th June 04.45-10.00 NNW2-3 mist/fog clearing by 08.30 ish

Gannet 521n 2s
Puffin 118n 5s
Common Gull 8n 1s
Sandwich Tern 19n 10s
Fulmar 80n
Common Tern 1n 5s
Tufted Duck 2s
Red th Diver 1n 2s
Teal 13n
Common Scoter 43n
LBBGull 1n
Ruff 25n
Sand Martin 8n
Swallow 8n
Arctic Skua 1n
Shag 1n
Velvet Scoter 1n
Shelduck 5s
Manxie 9n
Dunlin 1n
Swift 2n
Golden Plover 20s

Friday, 3 June 2016

Winter warmers.....

Black throated Diver and 2 Long tailed Ducks went north passed Whitburn Obs by 10 o'clock this morning. Stoney was in the house and later Sir Ian paid a visit. The weather reminded us of winter and so did the birds. Black throats and Long tailed Ducks are more usual in winter but they must have felt right at home in this northerly. Conditions were perfect and we had a cracking watch, star bird went to the sum plum Great northern Diver, what a stunner it certainly warmed us up
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 3rd June 05.00-10.00 NNW2-3 full cloud cover calm sea
Puffin 626n 6s
Common Gull 16n 4s
Gannet 592n 9s
Bonxie 1n
Sandwich Tern 11n 38s
Red th Diver 2n 3s
Arctic Tern 14n
Common Tern 4n 4s
Manxie 12n
Black h Gull 1s
Common Scoter 25n 23s
Great crested Grebe 2n
LBBGull 2n 1s
Porpoise 1n
Long tailed Duck 2n 07.30
Grey Heron 1n
Black th Diver 1n 08.16
Teal 2n
Shag 1s
Great n Diver 1n 09.27 sum plum
Turnstone 1n
Ringed Plover 2n

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Flamin heck........

2 Roseate Terns and 2 Arctic Skuas passed Whitburn Obs by 07.30 this morning. The tempratrure was 8 degrees and felt like 2,  flamin June it aint.
Stoney was in the house and i left him freezing his ...when i went to work
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 2nd June 04.40-07.30  N3-4 full cloud cover
Gannet 297n 1s
Fulmar 152n
Sandwich Tern 12n 6s
Puffin 336n
Common Gull 1n
Manx Shearwater 5n
Common Scoter 2s
Eider 2s
Arctic Skua 2n
LBBGull 1n
Roseate Tern 2n