Wednesday, 31 August 2016

When i'm calling youuuuu......

Pom Skua and a Green Sandpiper passed Whitburn Obs by 08.15 this morning. Even on a sea watch bird calls are important, often its the call that alerts you to a wader passing and today we had a few. A knot going north was picked up after hearing its flute like call and later a Green Sandpiper called as it nearly flew into the obs.Curlew, Turnstone and Ringed Plover all joined our calling birds today. It would be nice to hear an Avocet in the morning....
I had to leave early for my last day at work to hand over my car and other stuff, i missed a close in Cory's going south which was a shame, i think it's called sod's law. Magic Mark and myself started at first light and Stoney was in the house and it was a pretty good watch the only down side being the heat haze
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 31st August 05.50-08.15 S1-2 cloud 6/8

Curlew 14n 5s
Black h Gull 5n 18s
Common Scoter 37n 6s
Golden Plover 3n 3s
Sandwich Tern 6s
Common Gull 2s
Shag 2s
Common Tern 13n 170s
Red th Diver 3n 4s
Teal 10n 1s
Arctic Skua 1n 7s
Manxie 1n 35s
Dunlin 3s
Turnstone 2s
Whimbrel 3s
Arctic Tern 6s
Redshank 10s
Knot 1n
Green Sandpiper 1s
Pom Skua 1n ad
Peregrine 1s juv
Ringed Plover 1s

AAAAgggggghhhhhhhhh, thats the call of a birder who has dipped a Cory's

Monday, 29 August 2016

After the lord mayor's show...

7 Little Gulls and a Roseate Tern passed Whitburn Obs by 9am his morning. It was always going to be a hard act to follow after yesterdays first class watch, so it did feel like it was after the  lord mayor's show. I was joined by Saint Mark and Stevie Makem and Stoney was in the house. The bright sun made viewing difficult but we made the most of it and did ok in the end but didn't hang about
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 29th August 05.40-09.00 W2 cloud 2/8

Curlew 7n
Black h Gull 12n 8s
Common Gull 5n 13s
Arctic Tern 6n 6s
Common Tern 24n 2s
Dunlin 19n 13s
Red th Diver 2n 2s
Common Scoter 4n
Teal 9n 3s
Sandwich Tern 3s
Redshank 4n 19s
Little Gull 4n 3s all juvs
Manx Shearwater 16n 32s
Turnstone 23n
Roseate Tern 1n juv
Arctic Skua 3n 5s
Shag 1n 2s
Goldcrest 1 in obs
Eider 1n 1s
Porpoise 2n
Ringed Plover 16s
Sooty Shearwater 1n
Whimbrel 1s

Sunday, 28 August 2016

It's raining birds hallelujah!.....

Long tailed and 32 Arctic Skuas, 9 Roseate and 3 Black Terns passed Whitburn Obs by 11.30 today. Add to that the Little Gulls Velvets and Grey Plover....phew. When Magic Mark called a Black Tern going north at the start of the watch we knew i would be a good one. The front row ended up packed and both Boy Wonder and Stevie Thunder were threatened with eviction for double calling. It never stopped raining but at least it was also raining birds...
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 28th August 05.50-11.30 NE2-3 cloud 8/8

Curlew 2n 3s
Teal 160n 65s
Common Gull 2n 4s
Black h Gull 6n 8s
Whimbrel 1n 1s
Black Tern 2n 1s
Wigeon 17n 1s
Shag 16n 16s
Common Tern 58n 160s
Tufted Duck 1s
Common Scoter 301n 14s
Grey Heron 1n
Arctic Skua 4n 28s
Arctic Tern 7n 22s
Sandwich Tern 14n 37s
LBBGull 1n
Red th Diver 1n 9s
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Roseate Tern 5n 4s
Velvet Scoter 2n
Grey Plover 2n
Dunlin 8n 4s
Manxie 28n 3s
Turnstone 2n
Golden Plover 1n
Puffin 1n
Sooty Shearwater 1n 2s
Shelduck 4n
Redshank 1s
Little Gull 2n 1s all juvs
Pintail 1s
Shoveler 1s
Ringed Plover 2n
Fulmar 56n
Long tailed Skua 1n juv
Knot 12s

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Pull back and go.......

20 plus White-beaked Dolphins went south past Whitburn Obs early morning. The usual Saturday crowd joined me minus Boy Wonder and Stoney was in the house. Our fantastic run of cetacean sightings continued,as i picked up the Dolphins early on they were distant but gave great views on a dead calm sea. So far this year we have logged 163 Bottlenose on 21 dates (our best ever year) and following todays 20 we have logged 191 White-beaked over18 dates our 3rd best year so far.....
We did ok for birds as well today and by far the most important for me was the Little Egret. When your doing a year list pull backs are special and i missed the previous Egret due to alcohol consumption so when Stoney called his one i was a happy birder thanks Rob
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 27th August 05.40-09.30 W1 cloud 4/8 eventually

Arctic Tern 10n 11s
Ringed Plover 1n 3s
Common Tern 202n 76s
White-beaked Dolphin 20 plus south 05.45-06.45 a couple of mile offshore
Common Gull 1n 1s
Dunlin 2n 59s
Redshank 141s
Red th Diver 6s
Common Scoter 14n
Goosander 7n
Porpoise 4n
Eider 1n 2s
Puffin 1n
Shag 2n 8s
Turnstone 7n 1s
Golden Plover 2s
Black t Godwit 9s
Whimbrel 3s
Wigeon 8n
LBBGull 2n
Shelduck 2n 1s
Wheatear 2 on the fence
Little Tern 1n
Arctic Skuas 1n 1s
Oystercatcher 3s
Curlew 3n
Sandwich Tern 6n 6s
Teal 6n 12s
Little Egret 1n yeahhhhh

Friday, 26 August 2016

Sun sun go away.....

2 Roseate Terns and 7 Little Gulls passed Whitburn Obs in 3 hours this morning. The rhyme is normally rain rain go away but it was the sun that was a pain this morning. I was preying for clouds but gave in before they arrived, light is everything with sea watching and it was crap. Had plenty of goo birds tho and this is what i saw in order of appearance

Friday 26th August 05.40-08.40 W1-2 cloud 0/8

Common Gull 3n 1s
Oystercatcher 13s
Curlew 1n 3s
Knot 10s
Common Tern 20n 60s
Redshank 6s
Black h Gull 1n 4s
Whimbrel 2n 1s
Teal 7n
Arctic Tern 11n 4s
Grey Heron 1s
Turnstone 4s
Roseate Tern 1n 1s
Red th Diver 1n
Whinchat 1 on firing range fence
Arctic Skua 2n 5s
Sandwich Tern 16n 1s
Little Gull 7s (2 adults)

Monday, 22 August 2016

Wave goodbye........

Roseate Tern and 400 plus Common Terns went south past Whitburn Obs this morning. It was a case of wave goodbye as birds headed south, Arctic Terns are down to a trickle and Common Terns headed off en mass
The sight of a Grey Squirrel looking at me from the Obs wall and a Willow Warbler visit added to the variety of the watch and this is what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 22nd August 05.20-10.00 S1-2 cloud 8/8

Eider 3 on the sea
Black h Gull 3n 29s
Common Scoter 4n 1s
Shag 1n
Common Gull 1n 7s
Ruff 1s
Sandwich Tern 13n 117s
Common Tern 16n 323s in addition another 70 plus had congregated on the rocks below the obs
Arctic Tern 3n 3s
Cormorant 52n 423s that's probably a new day record
Swift 10s
Redshank 19n 53s
Knot 2s
Red th Diver 1s
Turnstone 1n
Willow Warbler 1 in obs a few more were calling
Kestrel 1s
Ringed Plover 49s
Sparrowhawk 1n 1s
Greylag Goose 1s
Grey Squirrel 1 on obs wall
Roseate Tern 1s ad
LBBGull 2s
Teal 2n
Wigeon 3s
Shelduck 8s
Curlew 2n 1s
Common Sandpiper 1s

Sunday, 21 August 2016

And for my next trick....

Whinchat and Spotted Flycatcher were amongst the tranche of species seen from Whitburn Obs today. Magic Mark the magician conjured up another couple of Obs year ticks for me today with Whinchat on the rifle range and a Spotted Flycatcher perched on the fence close by, well spotted Mark.
My Obs year list has hit 162 the same total as i finished on in my first year in 2013, my target is to beat last years 169
Saint Mark was back from the bird fair and Boy Wonder back from his local mega finds and we did our best but sea birds were hard to nail in bright sun on a westerly, still we did ok and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 21st August 05.20-09.30 W3 cloud 1/8

Black h Gull 4n 25s
Sandwich Tern 115n 37s
Common Gull 1n 17s
Common Tern 16n 136s
Arctic Tern 12n 2s
Curlew 3n
Common Scoter 14n 11s
Redshank 1n 3s
Turnstone 8n 3s
Shoveler 2n
Arctic Skua 1n 4s
Knot 1n 1s
Shelduck 9n 2s
Whimbrel 2n 1s
Manxie 3n 9s
Oystercatcher 18s
Teal 29n 5s
Ringed Plover 1s
Mallard 1s
Porpoise 2n
Dunlin 2n
Black tailed Godwit 3s
Heron 1n 1s
Spotted Flycatcher 1 on fence then obs wall
Swift 4s
Ruff 1s
Willow Warbler 1 in front of obs
Whinchat 1 on rifle range
Yellow Wagtail 1n

Friday, 19 August 2016

Wood you believe it.........

Long tailed Skua 2 Roseate Terns and a Wood Sandpiper passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. It was an action packed watch and not one to miss.... Magic Mark joined me and was in fine form calling our third Long tail of he year.
The Wood Sandpiper was only the second recorded past the Obs ever, add to that Greenshank and Ruff  12 species of wader and youve got a cracking watch
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 19th August 05.30-10.30 SE2 cloud 8/8

Black h Gull 4n 12s
Curlew 2n 3s
Teal 261n 183s
Wigeon 6n 2s
Shag 1n 5s
Eider 2s
Arctic Skua 1n 7s
Redshank 61s
Sanderling 8n 3s
Red th Diver 1s
Common Tern 27n 193s
Whimbrel 3s
Manxie 12n 13s
Common Scoter 174n 146s
LBBGull 4s
Arctic Tern 21n 1s
Dunlin 20n 1s
Turnstone 2n 2s
Common Gull 1n 5s
Shoveler 3n
Sandwich Tern 2n 6s
Roseate Tern 2s ad and juv
Golden Plover 26s
Long tailed Skua 1s ad 08.25
Greenshank 1s was probably still on rocks below obs when we left
Oystercatcher 20s
Wood Sandpiper 1s
Ruff 1s
Knot 9s

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Ducks galore.......

688 Common Scoter and 369 Teal have passed Whitburn Obs in 8 hours over the last two days. Ducks galore! a lot more would have passed unrecorded so lets hope someone can carry on counting today. Plenty of other good birds are about so its worth a visit, please record your sightings in the log book
This is what i saw in 2 hours this morning

Wednesday 17th August 05.10-07.10 S2 cloud 2/8

Curlew 9n
Black h Gull 8s
Heron 1n
Teal 209n 1s
Common Tern 15n 12s
Sandwich Tern 11n 13s
Common Scoter 92n
Med Gull 1n ad
Dunlin 8n
Whimbrel 1n
Shag 2s
Shoveler 1n
Arctic Tern 10s
Common Gull 5n
Mallard 2n
Redshank 1n
Wigeon 1n
Manxie 9n 6s

Monday, 15 August 2016

Shear heaven...

Balearic and 168 Manx Shearwaters passed Whitburn Obs in four hours this morning. Stoney was in the house and in flat calm conditions we had a cracking watch with loads of birds offshore. It was our first Med type Shearwater of the season and hopefully more will follow after a quiet year in 2015.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 15th August 05.05-09.05 SW1-2 cloud 6/8

Curlew 2n
Turnstone3n 3s
Common Tern 37n 43s
Oyster Catcher 31s
Teal 30n 2s
Black h Gull 1n 2s
Redshank 36n 96s
Dunlin 8n 16s
Sandwich Tern 17n 7s
Manxie 98n 70s
Porpoise 6n
Arctic Skua 1n
Shag 3n 1s
Velvet Scoter 1n 2s
Sanderling 10s
Ringed Plover 1n 20s
Shelduck 2n
Balearic Shearwater 1n 06.35
Shoveler 3n
Arctic Tern 30n 8s
Eider 1n
Peregrine 1s juv
Great crested Grebe 1n
Common Sandpiper 1n

Friday, 12 August 2016

Well Spotted......

Spotted Redshank and 2 Arctic Skuas passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 this morning. Stoney was in the house and called the Spot Shank as it went south behind some Oiks, a mega Obs year tick sorted. When The Sheriff called it going back north later i didn't get on it....phew. My Obs list is now on 159 just 10 short of last years record breaking 169, so on target with plenty of time left
It was another westerly with poor light at times bu we enjoyed our watch, his is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 12th August 05.15-09.30 W2 cloud 7/8 then 2/8 later

Common Scoter 64n 8s
Cormorant 36n 403s
Oyster Catcher 8s
Manxie 8n 3s
Common Gull 2n 4s
Curlew 6n 1s
Red th Diver 1s
Grey Heron 2n
Common Tern 13n 29s
Arctic Tern 13n
Eider 1s
Sandwich Tern 28n 4s
Black h Gull 1s
Swift 3s
Shelduck 2n 3s
Spotted Redshank 1s 07.10 1n 09.05
Ringed Plover 6n
Dunlin 1s
Arctic Skua 2n
Teal 4s
Porpoise 4n
Red br Merganser 1n
Sparrowhawk 1n
Goosander 1n
Whimbrel 1n 1s
Gannet 141n 37s

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Skua surge....

2 Sooty Shearwaters and 15 Arctic Skuas passed Whitburn Obs by 07.30 this morning. Magic Mark joined me and Stoney was in the house. It was a nice change to see some Skuas as they have been very thin on the ground so far this year, shame the light was rubbish,
I left Mark and Rob int obs as i headed for work
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 10th August 05.00-07.30 N2 cloud 2/8

Common Gull 4n 3s
Sandwich Tern 66n 18s
Manxie 97n 2s
Common Tern 36n 12s
Fulmar 75n
Arctic Skua 4n 11s
Gropper still reeling
Arctic Tern 4n
Redshank 3n
Turnstone 1n
Sooty Shearweater 2n
Dunlin 2s
Shag 1s
Bonxie 1n
Oyster Catcher 1s
Common Scoter 3n 1s
Porpoise 1n

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Guilty pleasures.....

Storm Petrel and a Roseate Tern went north past Whitburn Obs in 4 hours this morning. I tend to be first in the obs and always feel guilty if i see something decent before other sea watchers arrive. It was no different this morning when a Stormy went north under my nose before it was hardly light and before Saint Mark and Stoney had arrived, sorry...
Otherwise it was a disappointing morning and unbelievably after yesterdays cetaceans none were seen today. Rob called the only Shearwater of the watch in the last 10 minutes and Mark was on form finding the Little and Rosie Terns, a 5 Tern day cant be all bad
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 7th August 05.00-09.00 WSW 3 cloud 4/8

Common Gull 2n 22s
Storm Petrel 1n 05.08
Curlew 2n
Black h Gull 2n 1s
Redshank 2n
Dunlin 6n 18s
Common Scoter 132n
Common Tern 24n 52s
Teal 26n
Sandwich Tern 160n 178s
Arctic Tern 15n 5s
Shoveler 5n
Gropper still reeling
Ringed Plover 1n 5s
Swift 13s
Knot 1n
Little Tern 1s
Turnstone 1n 1s
Sand Martin 17s
Roseate Tern 1n
Manx Shearwater 1n

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Mystery cetaceans at Whitburn.......

Dolphins stole the show at Whitburn Obs today. We had at least three different groups and they were on show from 07.30-09.30. Always distant they put on a good show for viewing through our telescopes.Two young White-beaked Dolphin were breaching for long periods and i will post some video later. However the talking point was the first group of Dolphins that were picked up at circa 4km offshore. As well as breaching they were blowing continuously, and not just small blows these were substantial. Some investigation is required and we are wondering about Risso's, but hey normally have an indistinct blow and this was substantial, watch this space
Bright sun and a westerly was challenging but his is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 6th August 05.05-09.45 W1-2 cloud 0/8

Curlew 6n
Common Gull 6n 25s
Sandwich Tern 38n 47s
Turnstone 5n
Common Tern 38n 9s
Manxie 16n
Black h Gull 4n 5s
Common Scoter 75n
Porpoise 4n
Shag 3s
Arctic Skua 5s
Oyster catcher 16s
Arctic Tern 6n
Redshank 1s
LBBGull 1n
07.33 Dolphin sp at least 6 circa 4km offshore splashing breaching and blowing. blows maybe 4 ft high till 08.15 moving north
Ringed Plover 3n
Teal 1n 3s
08.25- 08.40 White-beaked Dolphin circa 12 north 1km offshore with two youngsters breaching
08.40-09.30 probable White-beaked Dolphin 6 plus north circa 3km offshore

Friday, 5 August 2016

Come on Sooty, Sooty come....

2 Sooty Shearwaters and a Blue Fulmar passed Whitburn Obs by 10 o'clock this morning. Our first Sooty's of the year and yes come on, we want more please. I was joined by Magic Mark and Stoney was in the house. We all thought that the local Dolphins had gone for the year when Rob called a fin, we were wrong. The long staying family of three White-beaked were feeding close inshore south through the flag line. Not long after Mark picked up two distant White-beaked breaching and they gave a fine display. Add to that the increased number of Porpoise and it was an action packed watch. I added two to my Obs year,  list Stonechat (thanks to Ross and Rob) and the fore mentioned Sooty. The list is on 157 and well on track for the 170 i need for a new record
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 5th August 04.55-10.00 NW2 cloud 8/8

Gropper still reeling
Fulmar v134n
Common Gull 10n 8s
Oyster Catcher 57s
Sandwich Tern 311n 85s
Common Tern 37n 18s
Shag 6n 6s
Dunlin 5n
Manxie 102n
Sanderling 3n
Common Scoter 11n 2s
Purple Sandpiper 1n
Arctic Tern 11n 1s
Puffin 8n
Black h Gull 6n 5s
Porpoise 8n
LBBGull 1s
Redshank 4n 9s
Blue Fulmar 1s
Sooty Shearwater 2n
Arctic Skua 2s
Red th Diver 1n
Bonxie 1s
Yellow Wagtail 2n
Stonechat juv in Obs field
White-beaked Dolphin 3s close inshore 09.00-09.25 then north at 10 ish
Curlew 1n 5s
Swallow 5s
Turnstone 3n
Teal 3n
White-beaked Dolphin 2 breaching circa 4km offshore 09.40-09.50