Sunday, 31 July 2016

Back home......

Roseate Tern and 3 Arctic Skuas passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 this morning. I was as happy as a 1966 World Cup winner to be back in the Obs after a canny family week in Majorca. Pink Floyd beat me in after sleeping int obs and Magic and Saint Mark joined us for a pleasant watch in pretty crap conditions
The highlight, after having just discussed the chances of one, was a Cuckoo flying south close in front of the Obs. Bringing my year list to154, to put that in context it was 145 at the end of August in 2015
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 31st July (already) 04.45-09.30 W2 4/8 cloud clearing

Eider 1s
Mallard 2n
Oyster Catcher 12s
Common Gull 6n 5s
Sandwich Tern 21n 462s
Shag 5n 7s
Common Tern 28n 15s
Dunlin 1n
Common Scoter 34n 1s
Grey Plover 1n (only the 3rd of the year)
Golden Plover 11s
Arctic Skua 3n
Black h Gull 3n 2s
Manxie 1n 11s
Puffin 2n 2s
Turnstone 6n 2s
Redshank 1n 3s
Whimbrel 2s
Curlew 2n 3s
Grey Heron 1s
Roseate Tern 1n
Shelduck 6n
Arctic Tern 3n 1s
Swift 4s
LBBGull 1n 1s
Kestrel 1n
Siskin 1s
Ringed Plover 3n
Sanderling 1n
Cuckoo 1s yeahhh
House Martin 1n

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Not Knot.........

16 Black tailed Godwits and 80 Knot went south past Whitburn Obs today on a good wader passage day. Saint Mark joined me and i was glad for his help, the light was poor and we had heat haze so identifying all those waders was a daunting task.
Despite the light we enjoyed our watch but sadly both of us had to head to work. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 20th July 04.45-07.30 SE2 cloud 6/8

Manx Shearwater 22n 20s
Black tailed Godwit 16s
Knot 80s
Dunlin 35s
Black h Gull 14n 4s
Common Gull 2n 4s
Arctic Tern 12n 17s
Common Scoter 279n 52s
Redshank 34s
Puffin 13n 4s
Sanderling 17s
Common Tern 13n 3sSandwich Tern 6n 90s
Arctic Skua 1s
Golden Plover 1s
Shoveler 2n
Curlew 1as
Teal 11n 3s
Wigeon 1n
Whimbrel 2n 2s
Swift 1s
Turnstone 5s

Monday, 18 July 2016

Any Whale will do.....

White beaked and Bottlenose Dolphins were seen off Whitburn Obs this morning as well as Porpoise. So once again the birds took a back seat as cetaceans stole the show. Stoney and myself fancied a four cetacean species day and after Saturdays Minke Whales on a flat calm sea anything was possible.....but we were not fussy any species of Whale would do and Rob deserved it for calling two of the pods. Sadly it wasn't to be but watch this space things are hotting up

We were busy at times with decent numbers of birds passing and i struggled to look up at the birds for recording them in the log, its about time i got an apprentice. Foss popped in and called the Med Gull, a cracking bird but gone in a flash as it was very close inshore
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 18th July 04.35-09.00 SW1-2 cloud 4/8 flat calm sea

Gropper still reeling
Black h Gull 9n 4s
Common Gull 7n 4s
Common Term 7n 39s
Sandwich Tern 18n 195s
White beaked Dolphin 3s the usual large male with a female and fairly mature youngster i think 04.42-05.10
close at first but moved out to circa 1km
Sand Martin 59s
Arctic Tern 4n 33s included the 1st sum bird
Red th Diver 1n 1s
Manxie 92n 5s
Puffin 26n 1s
Whimbrel 6s
Common Scoter 129n 19s
Porpoise 2s
Redshank 2n 1s
Red br Merganser 2n 1s
Common Sandpiper 2s
Curlew 2n 2s
Bonxie 1n
Bottlenose Dolphin 12 plus north but distant circa 1.5 km spread out over a large distance 06.15-06.45
Eider 2n
Great crested Grebe 2n
Knot 1n
Med Gull 1s 2nd sum a real cracker
Ringed Plover 1n
White beaked Dolphin at least 5 came north but distant 1km off 06.45-07.05
Dunlin 5s
LBBGull 2s
Swift 6n 3s
Teal 8n

The Dolphins were not seen again after 07.05 they just seemed to disappear hopefully to return tomorrow

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Stop the Pigeon.....

2 Minke Whale went north past Whitburn Obs this morning. Saint Mark called the first and Stoney and myself quickly got on the right area thanks to his precise instructions, the North Sea can look very big. It surfaced three times and was Stoneys first ever and my first for a couple of years which is daft saying as i spend 1000hrs a year in the obs. Mark picked up the second a bit further out and they were never seen again which is the norm for Whitburn. We do get Whales breaching and feeding sometimes but with Minke more often than not they are in a hurry
The birds took second place but we had some great birds as well, star birds being the Little Gulls that showed well at a good distance to enjoy them
Why stop the pigeon you may ask, well we had a 2nd summer Arctic Skua hanging around and at one point it was like Dastardly & Muttley (remember them stop the pigeon stop the pigeon) as it chased a terrified Pigeon looking for breakfast
All in all a great few hours, this is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 17th July 04.35-09.30 WNW1-2 cloud 8/8 calm sea superb conditions

Gropper reeling still
Manxie 51n 6s
Common Sandpiper 2s
Common Gull 5n 5s
Black h Gull 30n 12s
Common Scoter 308n 43s
Swift 1n 2s
Redshank 8n 24s
Puffin 82n 3s
Whimbrel 4n
Porpoise 1n 2s
Red th Diver 2n
Common Tern 18n 16s
Sandwich Tern 16n 175s
Sand Martin 9s
Arctic Tern 4n (1 1st sum) 25s
Dunlin 2s
Little Gull 2n ad 1s 2nd sum
06.20 Minke Whale 2n circa 1.5km offshore first seen to surface 3 times the 2nd just once....magic
Arctic Skua 1n then hanging around 2nd sum
Curlew 2n 1s
LBBGull 1s
Bonxie 1n

Happy Birthday Bro xx

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Swiftly moving on.......

Adult Long tailed Skua went south past Whitburn Obs this morning. I called the Skua and Stoney was quickly onto it and we could see it was an adult Long Tail but it dropped onto the sea so views were not as prolonged as we would have liked, however 25minutes we picked it up again as it had got up off the sea and watched it with Kittiwakes. The main feature of the morning before the excitement of the Skua was the southerly movement of swifts. We don't log a lot as they tend to move behind us so 125 south was mega. Boy Wonder and Pink Floyd joined us after the excitement and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 16th July 04.35-10.00 W2 then 3-4 cloud 2/8

Gannet 29n 79s
Manxie 3n 2s
Swift 125s
Redshank 10n 5s
Common Gull 4n 15s
Common Scoter 147n 31s
Sand Martin 25s
Sandwich Tern 9n 34s
Curlew 1n 5s
Arctic Tern 5n 40s
Shoveler 4n
LBBGull 3s inc 2nd sum
Black h Gull 3n 6s
Puffin 5n 5s
Shag 1n
Golden Plover circa 450s
Turnstone 1n 1s
Ringed Plover 1n
Common Tern 2n 10s
Teal 27n
Long tailed Skua ad 1s 06.10-06.35
Red th Diver 1s
Whimbrel 1n 1s
Kestrel 1s
Dunlin 1n 1s
Grey Heron 2n
Common Sandpiper 1s
Bar tailed Godwit 1n

Friday, 15 July 2016

More eyes see more.....

12 Black tailed Godwits and 181 Manx Shearwaters passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 this morning. Good light, calm sea, plenty of birds, no observers. It was the sort of day you might get a Stormie past or get a better look at the Shearwaters and call a Balearic but it was not to be. More eyes might have helped and i tried to encourage someone to join me but had no takers.  A raft of Manxies not included in my passage numbers were lost to me as the conditions changed  the sea got rough and i lost them.
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Friday 15th July 04.30-09.30 WNW then WSW cloud 8/8 calm sea

Common Scoter 179n (19 flocks of birds)
Common Gull 6n 6s
Curlew 7n 3s
Puffin 43n
Black h Gull 4n 4s
Common Tern 12n 22s
Manxie 147n 34s
Gannet 493n 20s
Whimbrel 4n 2s
Eider 8s
Dunlin 1s
Sandwich Tern 29n 101s
Arctic Tern 5n 18s
Shoveler 7n
Porpoise 1s
Redshank 1n
Kestrel 1s
Black tailed Godwit 12s
LBBGull 1s
Arctic Skua 1n 1s
Teal 2n

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Goodness Gracious Great Northern Diver.....

Great Northern Diver and 26 Manxies passed Whitburn Obs by 07.15 this morning. Goodness Gracious indeed that's 40 Great Northern we've had at Whitburn so far this year as another went south early morning.
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Thursday 14th July 04.45-07.15 WNW2 cloud 4/8

Gannet 164n 34s
Manxie 26n
Puffin 16n
Common Scoter 7n 1s
Whimbrel 5n 2s
Black h Gull 16n 2s
Sand Martin 16s
Common Tern 5n 2s
Redshank 3n
Great northern Diver 1s 05.20 sum plum
Common Gull 1n 4s
Sandwich Tern 5n 18s
Arctic Tern 5n 4s
Bar tailed Godwit 1n
Red th Diver 3s
Red br Merganser 1n
Curlew 1n
Wheatear 1 along wall
LBBGull 1n
Eider 12n

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

It's a mystery it's a .....

Great northern Diver and 2 Arctic Skua's passed Whitburn Obs by 07.15 this morning. The identity of three of the birds i saw this morning is a bit of a mystery as Toyah would say. A large juv gull looked all biscuit in colour with no contrast but sadly it was flying east towards a distant trawler. One of my Arctic Skua's looked a little long winged but was mega distant..and finally the sum plum large diver going south was in all probability a Great northern but it dropped from high and i only got views of it going south, it's a mystery...but life would be boring if everything was straight forward.
After a very quiet start passage picked up today and another pair of eyes would have helped, this is what i saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 13th July 04.30-07.15

Swift 1s
Common Gull 2n 3s
Sandwich Tern 18n 103s a couple were fledgelings
Common Tern 7n 17s
Gannet 525n 19s
Manxie 37n
Puffin 17n
Common Scoter 40n
Black h Gull 2n 1s
Arctic Tern 3n 7s
Whimbrel 7n 3s
Redshank 8n
LBBGull 2s
Curlew 2n
Great northern Diver sum plum 1s 06.25
Arctic Skua 1n 1s

Saturday, 9 July 2016

That spoon that spoon that......

Pom Skua, Bonxie and a good few waders passed Whitburn Obs by 09.45 this morning. The normal Saturday club members were in except Magic Mark who was working. Autumn migration seems to have arrived with Wheatear seen by Rob on the walk down and waders are on the move. The superb adult Pom was my first of the year and yes its spoons were full.
I called a small wader going south had a white rump and i was happy to call it Curlew Sand but others felt White rumped couldn't be ruled out....
I headed home looking forward to processing my fridge full of moths, a decent number at last
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 9th July 04.50-09.45 S1-2 cloud 8/8

Common Tern 33n 27s
Puffin 72n 9s
Manxie 26n 12s
Common Scoter 114n 64s
Redshank 4n 54s
Arctic Tern 4n 1s 1st sum
Sandwich Tern 20n 184s
Common Gull 3n 3s
Red th Diver 1n 1s
Red br Merganser 1n
Whimbrel 3s
Black h Gull 4s
Porpoise 1
Swift 3s
Dunlin 3n 38s
Turnstone 3n 1s
Bonxie 1n
LBBGull 1n
Curlew Sandpiper 1s
Pom Skua 1n ad 08.20

Friday, 8 July 2016

Is that it........

2 Roseate Terns and an Arctic Skua went south past Whitburn Obs by 08.30 this morning. Conditions were nice with good light and a calm sea but bird movement was quiet i felt myself asking like Sir Bob, is that it.
Interestingly the Rosy Terns passed at exactly the same time as yesterday. Although i had nowhere better to be it wasn't busy enough to keep me at the Obs, maybe tomorrow....
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Friday 8th July 04.30-08.30 WSW2 cloud 6/8

Gannet 53n 23s
Common Gull 4n 2s
Common Tern 15n 22s
Puffin 25n
Manxie 3n
Eider 1n
Sandwich Tern 11n 230s 1 fledgling, first of year
Black h Gull 2n 6s
Redshank 26s
Ringed Plover 1s
Arctic Skua 1s
Common Scoter 29s
Whimbrel 1n 8s
Swift 3s
Bonxie 1s
Arctic Tern 2n
Roseate Tern 2s 07.01
LBBGull 1n
Gropper still reeling behind obs

Monday, 4 July 2016

Dippedy doo dah......

Great northern Diver and 6 Black tailed Godwits passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 today. Yesterday Hoggie rang me about a Little Egret on the nature reserve pool, an obs year tick. I rang Harperbirder who lives nearby and needed it but he said the bird was gone so i didnt go for it. Sadly i was relaxing and had a couple of beers only for the bird to turn up later, and yes it was seen from the obs. Oh well another day another dip.
This is what i did see in order of appearance

Monday 4th July 04.25-09.30 W1-2 7/8 cloud cover

Gannet 101n 20s
Black h Gull 12n 5s
Sandwich Tern 10n 228s
Common Tern 10n 20s
Common Gull 3s
Redshank 3s
Puffin 43n 9s
White-beaked Dolphin 3n 04.50-05.00 viwed well north of obs
Eider 1n
Porpoise 1
Curlew 1n 2s
Manxie 5n 4s
Common Scoter 163n 24s
Great n Diver 1n not sum plum
Red th Diver 1n
Arctic Tern 1n 7s
Teal 4s
LBBGull 1s
Black tailed Godwit 6s stunners

Saturday, 2 July 2016

Cetacean city.......

2 pods of White-beaked and a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 this morning. It was a bit quiet on the bird front as it can be this time of year but never fear its cetacean city in the obs. Magic and Saint Mark were in to enjoy it as well as Boy Wonder and Pink Floyd, Stoney was in the house. So a packed front row enjoyed the show, it was the Bottlenose that won as the White-beaked played hard to get
Video of the Bottlenose Dolphins will be on my youtube channel soon
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday2nd July 04.30-09.30 SW2 cloud 6/8

Common Tern 9n 50s
Sandwich Tern 16n 226s
Gannet 168n 352s
Common Scoter 17n 2s
Puffin 47n 9s
Goosander 1n
05.00-05.20 White-beaked Dolphin 3 went north on the close flag line but kept well down
Red th Diver 1n 3s
Manx Shearwater 5n 10s
Arctic Tern 5s
Curlew 3s
Redshank 1n 2s
Eider 3s
Ringed Plover 1n 3s
06.08-06.15 White-beaked Dolphin a second small pod of 3 plus went north on the close flag line again not showing well
Black h Gull 2n 8s
House Martin 1s
LBBGull 1s
Turnstone 1s
Tufted Duck 1s
Mallard 1n
Knot 1s
Swift 1s
08.15-08.45 Bottlenose Dolphin 20 plus went south close inshore thanks to Jason for the tip off. They gave stunning views as they slowly moved south, and included floppy fin and a Dolphin with a white line on its dorsal fin

Friday, 1 July 2016

Breakfast with the Dolphins.......

White-beaked Dolphins were performing for me this morning off Whitburn Obs. They were distant but i managed a little video

Otherwise it was a very poor sea watch in a strong westerly with poor light, this is what i saw in order of appearance

Friday 1st July 04.30-07.00 W2-3 cloud 1/8

Puffin 4n
Gannet 83n 10s
Fulmar 13n
04.50 6 plus White-beaked Dolphins north and breaching
Common Tern 2s
Common Scoter 1s
Sandwich Tern 1n 14s
Manx Shearwater 2s
Curlew 1n
Eider 1n
Red br Merganser 1n
Arctic Tern 1s
Grey Heron 1s