Friday, 30 September 2016

After the storm......

727 Pink feet went south past Whitburn Obs by 10.45 this morning. After yesterdays gale i was expecting a nice easy gentle sea chance it went mad
The Geese started moving from first light but sadly most were distant though one skein was overhead with the distinctive call,  always a joy to hear

An unexpected Jack Snipe went past close inshore and later a male Marsh Harrier so not quite the quiet day then, Sir Ian and Hoggie joined me late on and enjoyed the Harrier when i called it, a nice way to end the month.

This is what i saw in order of appearance

Friday 30th September 06.35- 10.45 SW1-2 then 2-3 cloud 6/8

Cormorant 23n 306s
Common Gull 24n 84s
Grey Heron 1n 2s
Pink footed Goose 33n 727s
Black h Gull 103n 251s
Eider 6n 5s
Common Scoter 2n 10s
Curlew 4n 1s
Red th Diver 2n 24s
Dunlin 1n 4s
Shag 2n 8s
Redshank 1s
Goosander 1n 1s
Med Gull 1s 2nd sum
Sandwich Tern 14s
Common Tern 3s
Knot 4n
Arctic Skua 2s
Jack Snipe 1s 08.37
Shelduck 2n
Arctic Tern 3n
Redpoll 1s
Marsh Harrier 1s male 09.40
Golden Plover 6s
Puffin 1n
Swallow 1n 6s
Meadow Pipit 150s
Skylark 1s
Brent Goose 1s pb
Grey Partrige 7 in obs field

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Shearwater pick and mix.....

Balearic, Sooty and Manx Sheawaters were all off Whitburn Obs today in a feeding flock which included Little Gulls. Sir Ian joined me today and i mentioned id seen a few Little Gulls in a distant feeding flock, he said he had seen a similar flock yesterday so we set about finding it. The feeding flock was distant and you needed the Hubble telescope to look at it, fortunately Ian had brought it he was trying out the 95mm Swarovski courtesy of Chipshop Steve.

He called  a Shearwater in the flock and on closer inspection we could see it was a Balearic. A Manxie was in the flock as well so when Hoggie arrived who needed Balearic he had to borrow the Hubble to nail it. A Sooty joined the flock and it was like a pic n mix even Wal had a dip

When unlucky Dave arrived we knew the fun was over so i headed off, 2 large Pipits flew south low over the Obs field toward the Range as i headed back to my car but i could not relocate them. The fields south of the obs had Skylarks and Pipits and need watching

This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 27th September 06.30-10.15 S3-4 cloud 7/8

Cormorant 9n 265s
Common Gull 20n 25s
Grey Heron 1n 2s
Common Scoter 86n 20s
Black h Gull 4n 28s
Golden Plover 600 plus went south
GBBGull 115s
Curlew 12n 1s
Arctic Skua 6n 4s
Scan Herring Gull 3s
Teal 4n 1s
Redshank 13s
Shag 1s
Fulmar 1n
Little Gull 16s (7 ad) this is an under estimate as birds were moving south from the feeding flock often
Dunlin 3s
Red th Diver 3n 7s
Wigeon 14n 3s
Sooty Sheawater 3n
Puffin 3n
Manxie 1s
Balearic Shearwater 1s
Brent Goose 1n

Sunday, 25 September 2016

Sunday best.....

45 Little Gulls and 14 Arctic Skuas passed Whitburn Obs by 11 o'clock this morning. The light was good but the birds were slow to get going till after the rain had stopped. Its been great catching up with Magic Mark after his Californian adventure and good to have his long distance skills back.
I called the first 2 Little Gulls going south at a reasonable distance then Mark picked up the first of the distant birds going north high up. It was enjoyable with plenty of birds but no super star, Kits were moving and we could smell a Sabs...still would take this any day of the week
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 25th September 06.20-11.00 SW2 cloud 8/8 till late on

Black h Gull 66n 51s
Cormorant 11n 279s
Common Gull 46n 17s
Common Scoter 45n 12s
Grey Heron 1n 2s
Red th Diver 5n 25s
Curlew 1n 2s
Shag 5s
Eider 1n 7s
Tufted Duck 5n
Common Tern 35n 7s
Arctic Tern 8n
Little Gull 40n 5s
Bonxie 2n
Puffin 5n
Teal 31n 23s
Manxie 6n 19s
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Arctic Skua 13n 1s
Sandwich Tern 8n 2s
Yellow legged Gull 1s 1st w
Wigeon 1n 3s
Dunlin 34n 9s
Sanderling 7n
Turnstone 1n 3s
Ringed Plover 5n
Peregrine 1n
Sooty Shearwater 1n
Bar t Godwit 2n

Saturday, 24 September 2016

That's Magic......

3 Pom Skuas and 20 plus Little Gulls passed Whitburn Obs by 10.15 today. Magic Mark is back from California and it didn't take him long to conjure up some birds, Rob who...
Strange morning really who nicked all of our ducks was going through my mind when 4 yes 4 Pochard went south, the rarest of Ducks these days. Mark called the Poms and distant Little Gulls and Hoggie joined the party. I left early but happy
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 24th September 06.20-10.15 S3 cloud 6/8 rough sea

Common Gull 5n 19s
Black h Gull 39n 147s
Scan Herring Gull 2s
Teal 5n 8s
Curlew 2n 2s
Manxie 5n 12s
Eider 5n
Cormorant 12n 192s
Red th Diver 6n 6s
Common Scoter 8s
Shag 1n 2s
Arctic Tern 1n
Arctic Skua 1n 2s
Little Gull 12n 9s and at least 10 different birds feeding offshore
Pochard 4s
Common Tern 2n 3s
Pom Skua 3n (1 juv)
Sooty Shearwater 1n
Puffin 6n
Redshank 2n
Turnstone 1n
Greylag Goose 67s
09.05 2 Dolphin sp went south
Bonxie 1n
Peregrine 1s
Wigeon 10n

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Autumn equinox starts here....

Pom Skua and 18 Little Gulls passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 today. Stoney was in the house for the last time before heading to the Scilly's for a month! he will be missed, the Birtley Bshop showed well for the first time this year and got a few year ticks
It was a good start to autumn migration with a bit of everyhing, not bad on a southerly

This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 22nd September 06.20-09.30 S2-3 cloud 8/8 then 3/8 at the end

Common Gull 54n 19s
Teal 280n 4s
Wigeon 263n 7s
Shoveler 5n
Black h Gull 45n 88s
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Curlew 2s
Snipe 2n
Shag 6s
Common Scoter 128n 18s
Dunlin 21n
Brent Goose 3n db
Red th Diver 2n 15s
Eider 2n
Manxie 7n 10s
Redshank 3n 3s
Turnstone 5n
Pintail 1n 2s
Grey Heron 1n 2s
Sandwich Tern 8s
Little Gull 18n 2 ads
Puffin 2n
Arctic Skua 1n
Pom Skua 1n juv
Med Gull 1n juv
Bar t Godwit 3n
Ringed Plover 2n
Common Tern 1s
Porpoise 1

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

I see no ships........

Long tailed Skua 2 Sooty Shearwaters and a Velvet Scoter passed Whitburn Obs by 10.15 this morning. A large ship has been anchored on the horizon in front of the Obs for a couple of weeks now, it has been a valuable aid in getting birders onto birds. The Cory's and Great Shearwaters come to mind, i looked up this morning and said to Stoney 'i see no ships' alas is was gone,  i now know how Nelson felt.

The day started with a Red legged Partridge, a new Obs tick for me. It flew calling from the newly scoured stubble field into the nature reserve as i opened the obs door. It was my 170th Obs tick of the year setting a new record. This was later over taken when a Yellow browed Warbler was in the hedge by the obs before flying up the path towards Shearwater Estate, a canny day all told

This was what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 21st September 06.15-10.15 S2-3 cloud 8/8
Cormorant 14n 273s
Teal 72n 30s
Shag 7n 2s
Black h Gull 128n 59s
Common Gull 11n 11s
Wigeon 161n
Puffin 2n
Common Scoter 50n 10s
Red th Diver 7n 25s
Arctic Tern 17s
Dunlin 30n
Ringed Plover 2n
Long tailed Skua 1n ad 06.55
Turnstone 12n 5s
Sandwich Tern 9n 19s
Eider 9n
Velvet Scoter 1n
Shoveler 10n
Manxie 4n
Bar t Godwit 1n 3s
Redshank 23n 3s
Swallow 19s
Pintail 4n
Common Tern 2n
Sooty Shearwater 2n
Yellow browed Warbler 1w
Curlew 3n
Sanderling 7n
Arctic Skua 2n

Monday, 19 September 2016

A Lora Larus Gulls.......

7 Little, 609 Black headed and 59 Common Gulls passed Whitburn Obs by 11.00 this morning. We had a fantastic movement of small gulls at Whitburn this morning in great light, a lora lora gulls. but i was disappointed  we couldn't find a Med amongst them. The ducks are still moving but less in a northerly

This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 19th September NW 1-2 cloud 8/8

Common Gull 51n 8s
Black h Gull 544n 65s
Fulmar 15n
Common Scoter 79n 7s
Teal 357n 41s
Red th Diver 9n 31s
Arctic Skua 2s
Eider 1n 5s
Turnstone 14n 8s
Curlew 3n 3s
Redshank 6n 11s
Cormorant 24n 232s
Porpoise 4
Common Tern 5n
Manxie 20n 25s
Gannet 183n 73s
Rock Pipit 1n 1s
Sanderling 2n
Wigeon 180n 6s
Knot 10n
LBBGull 4n
Goosander 1n
Sandwich Tern 9s
Little Gull 7n (1 ad)
Pintail 1n
Red br Merganser 2n
Ringed Plover 1n 2s
Swallow 11n 4s
Grey Wagtail 5n
Wheatear 1n
Shag 4s
Shoveler 2n
Grey Heron 2n 1s
Bonxie 1s
Tufted Duck 1n
Sand Martin 2n
Dunlin 6n
House Martin 1n

Sunday, 18 September 2016

It's all about the Ducks no Sooty's......

944 Teal, 461 Wigeon and 279 Scoter passed Whitburn Obs by 10.15 this morning. Shearwaters were thin on the ground with only 2 Manxies until the last few minutes and no Sooty's or Great's.  It was all about the Ducks and we have had a fantastic passage n the last few days with a decent supporting cast of waders
This is what we saw n order of appearance

Sunday 18th September 06.10-10.15 SE1-2 cloud 0/8

Wigeon 461n
Teal 933n 11s
Common Scoter 279n
Black h Gull 135n 83s
Porpoise 3n 1s
Curlew 20n
Whimbrel 3n
Bar t Godwit 2n
Common Gull 9n 1s
Dunlin 51n
Knot 25n
Red th Diver 6n 30s
Sandwich Tern 3n 43s
Redshank 26n 3s
Shag 27s
Turnstone 3n 6s
Pintail 13n
Shoveler 6n
Manxie 22n 2s
Common Tern 19n 1s
Eider 3n 3s
Grey Wagtail 2s
Ringed Plover 1n
Mallard 1n
Sanderling 5n
Velvet Scoter 1n
Shelduck 3s
Arctic Tern 3n
Golden Plover 18n
Arctic Skua 1n 1s
Swallow 9n 2s
Sand Martin 18s
Ruff 1n
Tufted Duck 1n
LBBGull 2n
Puffin 6s

Saturday, 17 September 2016

Great Great sea watch...

2 Great, 283 Sooty and 648 Manx passed Whitburn Obs this afternoon. Yes it was a Great great sea watch as we managed to see both Great Shears sent to us by Flamborough (thanks guys) and thanks to Fos for calling them both. It has been a wonderful days sea watching and here are the results of this afternoons watch from the Whitburn jury in order of appearance

Saturday 17th September -19.00 NW2 then NE2
Bar tailed Godwit 1s
Grey Heron 2n
Common Scoter 48n
Common Tern 17n 5s
Sandwich Tern 3n 17s
Cormorant 32n 14s
Brent Goose 31n pb
Red th Diver 1n 30s
Sooty Shearwater 280n 3s
Black h Gull 52n 23s
Manx Shearwater 647n 1s
Pintail 13n
Wigeon 375n
Arctic Skua 7n 3s
Shoveler 2n
Teal 233n
Redshank 1n 1s
Arctic Tern 19n
Common Gull 2n 2s
Shag 1n
Dunlin 8n
Ringed Plover 10n
Sanderling 35n
Tufted Duck 1n 2s
Bonxie 1n 5s
Gadwall 3n
Great Shearwater 1n 14.05
Velvet Scoter 2n
Little Gull 3n 1st w
Goosander 2n
Great Shrearwater 1n 17.05 get in


2 Sooty Shearwaters and 26 Manxies passed Whitburn Obs by 10.15 today. An almost full obs was yet again treated to a fantastic sea watch with loads of birds seen. The light was great till 9ish when the sun broke through and changed things. A few year Lister's were in and they were disappointed as no headline birds so far today.....Great and Balearic may be on the way tho

For me the star birds were 9 Mute Swans that left me speechless. That equals the best ever day maximum past the obs, i guess you need to be a regular to realise just how scarce they are these days. I was writing the species list into the log book when i looked up and they were right in front of us close in at eye level....just how the front row managed to miss them i cant imagine

Just after i left a new record day passage of Pintail was logged, 20 beating the previous record of 19 set in 2011, not a bad day so far
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 17th September NW2 06.15-10.15 cloud 8/8 till 9ish then 3/8

Common Gull 26n 14s
Black h Gull 134n 116s
Shag 8n 29s
Cormorant 37n 411s
Gannet 254n 95s
Fulmar 27n
Common Scoter 30n 11s
Teal 353n 59s
Red th Diver 4n 28s
Goosander 5n
Curlew 12n
Grey Plover 3n
Manxie 26n
Wigeon 468n
Arctic Skua 3n 1s
Dunlin 26n
Sanderling 1n
Lapwing 1s
LBBGull 3n
Pintail 11n
Ruff 2n
Rock Pipit 1s
Siskin 1s
Grey Wagtail 4s
Tufted Duck 2n
Scan Herring Gull 1n
Meadow Pipit 17n
Turnstone 11n 1s
Grey Heron 2n 2s
Bonxie 8s
Golden Plover circa 1000n
Common Tern 21n 9s
Redshank 13n
Sandwich Tern 2n 9s
Arctic Tern 5n
Sooty Shearwater 2n
Wheatear 1
Puffin 1s
Alba Wagtail 2s
Knot 2n
Brent Goose 3n pb
Sand Martin 3n
Swallow 3n
Eider 2s
Mute Swan 9n

Friday, 16 September 2016

Ducks deluxe.....

3 Sooty Shearwaters a Curlew Sandpiper and a Blue Fulmar were amongst the hordes of birds passed Whitburn Obs this morning. Boy Wonder was back and Stoney was in the house and at last we could see the horizon. Things started slowly but the birds just kept coming especially the ducks, 1475 passed the obs today. We had to drag ourselves away in the end so we can do it all again tomorrow
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 16th September 06.20-11.10 NW2 cloud 8/8 rain

Common Gull 18n 4s
Black h Gull 141n 30s
Gannet 516n 112s
Tufted Duck 2n
Common Scoter 182n 266s
Fulmar 75n
Cormorant 25n 282s
Curlew 4n
Teal 408n 157s
Red br Merganser 1n
Redshank 17n
Common Tern 45n 18s
Manxie 23n 18s
Red th Diver 6n 33s
Sooty Shearwater 2n 1s
Shag 3n 8s
Dunlin 213n 1s
Sanderling 16n
Porpoise 1n
Wigeon 419n 25s
Swallow 52n
Arctic Skua 7n 5s
LBBGull 1s
Sand Martin 3n
Golden Plover 1n
Black t Godwit 3s
Turnstone 4n 6s
Sandwich Tern 5n 23s
Eider 9s
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Grey Wagtail 1s
Arctic Tern 1n
Curlew Sandpiper 1n Pintail 2n
Grey Heron 1s
Knot 12n
Shoveler 1n
Bonxie 2s
Ringed Plover 2n 5s
Grey Plover 2n 1s
Blue Fulmar 1s DD
Gadwall 5n

Thursday, 15 September 2016

More Teal vicar?......

595 Teal, 186 Wigeon and 214 Common Scoter went north past Whitburn Obs during a mad hour of migration this morning. Its that time of year again when the old puns like 'more Teal vicar' can be used, we missed a canny few that we lost in the fog before but still managed to log a lot of the birds moving. It was a second day of bins only with fog from the off but it lifted for a while at about 7am and it was a bird frenzy for Stoney. Fos and myself before the fog rolled back in on the light easterly circa 8am.

And we almost had Yellow-browed in the hand......
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 15th September 6.15-10.00 NE1-2 mist fog

Black h Gull 52n
Turnstone 3s
Pied Wagtail 2n 2s
Wigeon 186n  11s
Gannet 126n
LBBGull 3n
Common Scoter 214n
Tree Pipit 1s
Common Gull 9n
Redshank 1n 2s
Dunlin 199n 11s
Snipe 3n
Curlew 2n 1s
Mallard 3n
Meadow Pipit 36s
Shag 1s
Common Tern 30n 2s
Red th Diver 4s
Manxie 2n
Arctic Tern 1n
Shoveler 1n
Grey Plover 11n 1s
Shelduck 1w
Golden Plover 3n 2s
Knot 1n
Eider 1s
Sparrowhawk 1s
Brent Goose 4n pb
Arctic Skua 1n
Sandwich Tern 2n 2s
Ringed Plover 12n
Bar tailed Godwit 8n
Pintail 1n
Grey Wagtail 1n
Swallow 3s
Sand Martin 2s

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Record breakers....

4 Yellow-legged Gulls and 13 Snipe passed Whitburn Obs by 11.15 today both setting new Obs records. The previous best being 1YLGull and 8 Snipe. It was a great disappointment when Stoney and myself arrived at the obs in a northerly to find the mist and fog restricting us to bins only. That's how it stayed for the whole watch and it proved to be a fantastic benefit as we concentrated on the close birds pushed in by the fog.
It was very fortunate that Fos called by as being 'the Gull man' he put us onto the Yellow-legged Gulls and i even called one myself. They were part of a massive large gull movement involving a few thousand birds. Hoggie even jammed onto the 4th bird though sadly Sir Ian had left to search out migrants.
So no Shearwaters today as hoped for but it turned out ok in the end
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 14th September 06.05-11.15 NNW 3 mist/fog

Curlew 3n 3s
Gannet 313n
Black h Gull 54n 5s
Goosander 6s
Common Tern 71n
Wigeon 299n
Teal 163n
LBBGull 7n 2s
Common Gull 9n
Scan Herring Gull 3n
Yellow-legged Gull 4n all 1st w
Redshank 5n
Turnstone 12n
Sand Martin 1n
Golden Plover 8n 12s
Shag 1n 1s
Pintail 6n
Ruff 1n
Sandwich Tern 5n
Brent Goose 8n pb
Common Scoter 2n
Shelduck 1n
Dunlin 51n
Bar t Godwit 1n 1s
Gadwall 1n
Snipe 12n 1s
Knot 1n
Ringed Plover 1n
Eider 1n
Arctic Skua 2n

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Apprentice wanted.....

Balearic Shearwater and a Black throated Diver passed Whitburn Obs by 9am today. Stoney was in the house and we had loads of birds passing, sadly the light conditions were poor with bright sun and thin cloud which is a shame as the birds were first class
From the off Ducks were coming at me from every direction and after Rob arrived we struggled to catch everything, Fos called in and called a mixed flock of ducks well north and high up that we had missed but his stay was brief. It got us thinking we could do with a bins only apprentice to mop up on busy passage days so apply at the obs please :)
We both had other business so it was an early finish and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 13th September 06.00-09.00 SSE2 cloud 2/8

Cormorant 15n 217s
Black h Gull 6n 30s
Teal 110n 94s
Common Tern 94n 54s
Wigeon 149n 2s
Pintail 8n
Common Gull 2n 3s
Arctic Tern 2n 5s
Shag 13s
Redshank 7s
Sandwich Tern 3n 7s
Curlew 1n 1s
Manxie 4n 1s
Common Scoter 85n
Shoveler 3n
Red th Diver 3n 7s
Golden Plover 3n
Black th Diver 1s 07.30
Knot 1n 1s
Dunlin 19n 7s
Eider 6s
Sooty Shearwater 1n
Sand Martin 4s
Swallow 15s
Turnstone 2n 2s
Shelduck 15n 2s
Balearic Shearwater 1s 08.00
Bar tailed Godwit 1n
Grey Plover 1s

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Goosie goosie gander.........

2 Arctic Skuas north past Whitburn Obs were the best of a bad bunch by 09.15 this morning. The more interesting birds were Goosander, another 6 went north this morning (and 2 south) bringing the sightings this September to 47 birds, and total passage for the year is 154 to date. Considering that October is the month we normaly see the highest passage we have a good chance of beating the best annual total of 186. And to think some local listers still need it.....
The sea watch was abandoned as the local farmer was spreading horse muck in the obs field, should be rather unpleasant for a few days 
A very quiet morning but this is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 11th September 06.00-09.15 W2 cloud 4/8

Black h Gull 32n 53s
Cormorant 28n 284s
Turnstone 3n
Redshank 4n 3s
Sanwich Tern 3n 9s
Red th Diver 1n 10s
Common Tern 32n 13s
Shag 11s
Common Gull 2n 5s
Common Scoter 6n 3s
Teal 7n
Eider 2s
Curlew 2s
Grey Heron 1n
Goosander 6n 2s
Sand Martin 26s
Meadow Pipit 468s
Grey Wagtail 1s
Dunlin 1s
Kestrel 1s
Arctic Skua 2n

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Almost, but not quite.....

Long tailed Skua , 2 Med Gulls and 8 Brent Geese passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. The sea was a lovely grey colour but with full cloud cover it was dark for distance id, and at times we were frustrated. It could have been a mega watch, possible Little Shearwater was reported going south distantly with Manxies and a Balearic was reported heading north from the snook but sadly we didn't nail either bird.
This is what we did see in order of appearance

Saturday 10th September 06.00-10.30 W1-2 cloud 8/8

Cormorant 41n 379s
Black h Gull 63n 45s
Bar tailed Godwit 1n 1s
Grey Heron 1n 3s
Teal 43n 60s
Sandwich Tern 23n 40s
Redshank 7n 8s
Manxie 6n 7s
Red th Diver 4n 18s
Common Tern 113n 22s
Knot 3n
Common Gull 7n 14s
Common Scoter 34n 11s
Turnstone 3n 3s
Ringed Plover 14n
Sanderling 2s
Dunlin 5n 3s
Shag 2n 3s
Brent Goose 8n pb
Shelduck 5s
Redpoll 1s
Arctic Tern 1n 1s
Rock Pipit 2s
Eider 3s
Long tailed Skua 1s juv 08.10
LBBGull 2n 1s
Med Gull 2s both juvs
Curlew 1s
Meadow Pipit 23s although many were reported by others they were behind us
Grey Wagtail 1s
Pied Wagtail 6s
Porpoise 2n 1s

Thursday, 8 September 2016

like a kick in the Balearics......

2 Balearic Shearwaters were the stars of the show passed Whitburn Obs by 10 am this morning. Yes if you still need Balearic Shearwater for the year it must feel like a kick in the ....when you here the news from Whitburn. Rob is on a roll and called both of today's birds which were different birds. The second was so close i only just had time to get on it with my bins....We had a good supporting cast and the standouts for me were the 3 Bonxies flying south together and a magnificent 18 Goosanders going north together
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 8th September 06.00-10.00 S2 cloud 4/8 rough sea and some mist

Black h Gull 73n 52s
Common Gull 4n 8s
Teal 250n 13s
Wigeon 42n
Common Tern 20n 9s
Shelduck 9n 9s
Goldeneye 1n
Common Scoter 83n 17s
Shag 5n
Puffin 4n
Goosander 18n
Bonxie 3s
Arctic Skua 1n 2s
Bar t Godwit 3s
Golden Plover 1s
Sandwich Tern 14n 11s
Arctic Tern 22n
06.49 Balearic Shearwater 1n
07.53 Balearic Shearwater 1s
Grey Wagtail 4s
Turnstone 2s
Grey Heron 1s
Redshank 25s
Red th Diver 1n 12s
Manxie 4s
Ringed Plover 7n 40s
Shoveler 1n
Knot 4s
Whimbrel 1n
Curlew 2n

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

The black and white guille show....

Black Guillemot and Curlew Sandpiper passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 today along with a load of waders. It was a different watch to yesterday with dead calm sea and little wind so the duck passage all but disappeared as well as Tern movement. Stoney was in the house and in truth it was very leisurely apart from getting on and identifying the fast moving waders. I had started going through all the Kitts and Auks on the sea hoping for something good and Rob must have been doing the same as he found the Black Guillemot on the sea fairly close inshore. Probably the same bird i called north 2 days ago and it slowly drifted south still being seen an hour or so after we picked it up.
Hoggie had missed that bird in the panic on that day so when i rang him and he got over for sloppy seconds we were all pleased about that. Remarkable that he could get up get dressed drive across and walk down to the obs and still get the bird, well done Peter and well done to Rob who is on a roll
I tried for video but the full cloud cover was challenging, i got a bit and will put it on my youtube channel if its any good
I know a few people County ticked the bird today, a tricky species to catch up with unless your a regular sea watcher.

This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 7th September 06.00-09.30 S1 cloud 8/8 then 6/8
Black h Gull 4n 54s
Common Tern 19n 30s
Common Gull 2s
Golden Plover 4n
Bar tailed Godwit 1n 6s
Curlew 3s
Grey Heron 2n 2s
Ringed Plover 15n 66s
Common Scoter 31n 5s
Teal 40n
Dunlin 5n 48s
Shag 3s
Red th Diver 3s 2n
Turnstone 16n 2s
Sandwich Tern 20n 4s
Knot 7s
Red br Merganser 1s
Redshank 29s
Curlew Sandpiper 1s
Little Gull 1s juv
Porpoise 3s
Manxie 1n
07.20 Black Guillemot moulting adult drifting south close inshore
Eider 4n
Meadow Pipit 14s
Whimbrel 2s
Arctic Tern 2n
Black tailed Godwit 3s

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

Well stone me.......

Sabine's Gull and 5 Roseate Terns went south past Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. Septembers sea watching just gets better and better, Stoney was in the house today and called a juv Sabs Gull coming south into the sun affected area, sure enough as it came out of the sun and into view it was a Sabs and very close inshore giving amazing views as it moved south, well done Rob. That brings my Obs year list to 167 just 3 short of a new record total and loads of time to do it in.  In the last few days we have seen Cory's, Balearic, Long Tails, Poms, Black Guilli and now Sabs..bring on the Great Shearwaters
Its been another super watch with loads of Teal moving and a good supporting cast, this is what we saw in order of appearance (by the way I'm loving this retirement lark)

Tuesday 6th September 05.55-10.30 SW1-2 cloud 4/8
Curlew 7n
Cormorant 236s
Black h Gull 8n 35s
Shoveler 2n
Red br Merganser 2s
Common Tern 44n 114s
Sandwich Tern 13n 25s
Common Scoter 105n 5s
Teal 803n 35s
Turnstone 10n 6s
Whimbrel 1n
Wigeon 46n
Red h Diver 11n 14s
Grey Wagtail 2s
Arctic Tern 16n 6s
Sand Martin 65s
Common Gull 3n 2s
Manxie 1n
Goosander 7n
Knot 5n
Oystercatcher 1s
Redshank 34n 5s
Arctic Skua 2n
Dunlin 14n 5s
Grey Heron 1n
07.33 Sabine's Gull 1s juv
Shag 3n 2s
Pintail 2n
Porpoise 3s
Golden Plover 2n 2s
Meadow Pipit 3s
Green Sandpiper 1s
Wheatear 1s

Monday, 5 September 2016

Don't panic don't panic....

5 Sooty Shearwaters and 3 Roseate Terns passed Whitburn obs by 09.30 this morning. I had expected a quiet morning watch after yesterdays madness with the wind swinging round to southerly. I couldn't
have been more wrong as it was crazy busy from the off, my clicker was working flat out and ducks were like war planes coming at me from every angle, bandits at ten o'clock.....
I was panicking and hoping someone else would be in when Stoney arrived, phew
News of Cory's heading north from Long Nab gives us 4 hours ish to wait so I've headed home to freshen my flask and will be back int obs later
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 5th September 06.00-09.30 S2 cloud 4/8

Curlew 12n
Gannet 849n 53s
Black h Gull 92n 32s
Dunlin 11n
Teal 571n 21s
Common Tern 74n 212s
Knot 12s
Black tailed Godwit 2s
Red th Diver 7n 4s
Common Scoter 354n 49s
Oystercatcher 2s
Arctic Tern 2n 1s
Arctic Skua 6n
Goldeneye 1n
Sooty Shearwater 5n
Manx Shearwater 43n 2s
Roseate Tern 3s
Redshank 3s
Bar t Godwit 1n
Bonxie 3n
Goosander 6n
Sandwich Tern 4n 26s
Ringed Plover 3n 1s
Eider 3s
Turnstone 1s
Whimbrel 1n
Pintail 4n
Meadow Pipit 45s
Wigeon 28n
Pink footed Goose 6n
Mallard 1s

Sunday, 4 September 2016

Couldn't be nowt else......

Cory's, 4 Sooty and 106 Manx Shearwaters passed Whitburn Obs by 11.30 this morning bringing to 5 the species of Shearwater seen this weekend. Magic Mark predicts a Great next week to add o our haul while he is off to California. Stoney was in the house as well and Sir Ian, Hoggie and Walter joined us.
It was a hot and cold watch with frantic movement early on with Terns, Kittiwakes and Manxies passing close inshore.  Then it would go quiet at times as fronts moved through. As you will see the number of species and birds was impressive and once again we were surprised that so few observers were in on a NNW wind.
Hoggie called the Cory's as it passed by a large ship all but one of us managed to get on it as it headed south, but quickly the mist and fog hid its line from further detection. Hoggie was teased as to its identity but of course in his well known manner said 'it couldn't have been nowt else'. Great find Peter, thanks
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 4th September 06.00-11.30 NNW4 cloud 8/8

Curlew 11n
Fulmar 172n
Common Tern 376n 64s
Gannet 1941n 72s
Shelduck 4n 2s
Sandwich Tern 24n 12s
Shag 3n 2s
Roseate Tern 7n (2 juvs) 1s
Manxie 97n 12s
Black h Gull 72n 13s
Arctic Tern 9n 2s
Teal 832n 58s
Common Scoter 21n 11s
Sooty Shearwater 4n
Arctic Skua2n 4s
Ringed Plover 1n 1s
Common Gull 3s
Eider 2n
Bonxie 2n
Puffin 2n
Turnstone 5n 1s
Pintail 8n
Whimbrel 1s
Red th Diver 3n 8s
Porpoise 1n
Sparrowhawk 1n
LBBGull 1s
Oystercatcher 5s
Tufted Duck 2n
Wigeon 20n
Red br Merganser 1n
Goldeneye 2n
Knot 3n
Long tailed Skua 1s juv 09.25
Velvet Scoter 1n
Cory's Shearwater 1s 10.05
Grey Heron 1n 2s
Ruff 1n
Redshank 3n 1s
Golden Plover 1n
Dunlin 1s
Black tailed Godwit 17s

Saturday, 3 September 2016

Whole lotta rosie...

Balearic Shearwater and 7 Roseate Terns passed Whitburn Obs by 10.40 this morning. That makes 28 Roseate Terns ive seen in the last 7 days, a whole lotta Rosie. The Saturday club were all in except Saint Mark off on his hols. It was another bumper watch with loads of birds, the 1st w Little Gull was a real stunner and the waders were magic in the great light
This is what we saw in order of appearance, so many birds

Saturday 3rd September 05.50-10.40 SW2 cloud 8/8
Oystercather 9s
Redshank 97s
Common Tern 66n 362s
Black h Gull 55n 117s
Fulmar 45n
Sandwich Tern 79s
Common Scoter 9n 11s
Red th Diver 1n 11s
Manxi 11n 8s
Shelduck 4s
Common Gull2n 15s
Ringed Plover 44s
Grey Wagtail 1s
Shag 3n 6s
Turnstone 4n 2s
Puffin 2n
Arctic Tern 2n 6s
LBBGull 1n 15s
Curlew 6n 1s
Bar t Godwit 3n
06.52 Balearic Shearwater 1n our 3rd
Arctic Skua 9n 9s
Dunlin 5n 11s
Goosander 8s
Purple Sandpiper 1n
Eider 2s
Yellow Wagtail 1s
Roseate Tern 2n (1 juv) 5s (1 juv)
Meadow Pipits 57s
Ruff 1s
Sand Martin 2s
Chiffchaff 1
Mute Swan 1n 1s
Knot 22n 39s
Little Gull 1s 1st w
Wheatear 2
Sparrowhawk 1n 1s
Reed Bunting 3n
Porpoise 2s

Friday, 2 September 2016

Cetacean mix up.....

Balearic Shearwater and a Black hroated Diver were off Whitburn Obs his morning as well as a load of Dolphins. Stoney walked in the house as i was watching a pod of Dolphin, i'd firstly identified them as White-beaked but as Rob and i watched them go south close inshore it became obvious some were Bottlenose. Ive never seen a mixed pod before and add in some Porpoise and youve got a Cetacean mix up.
After the Dolphin fun i called a Shearwater which landed on the sea and generally just loitered for 20 minuites it was our second Balearic of the year. Then Rob pointed out a Black throated Diver on the sea, what the....Did i mention the Curlew Sands, Med Gull, Skuas etc
We saw a load more decent birds including fantastic views of Roseate Terns, as i left the Bottlenose came back north capping a great mornings sea watch. Sadly we could not locate the Red backed Shrike photographed the previous day.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 2nd September 05.50-11.45 SW1-2 cloud 8/8

Black h Gull 22n 33s
Cormorant 16n 376s
Curlew 16n 2s
Redshank 7n 48s
Eider 3s
Peregrine 1s juv
Common Tern 107n 280s
Sandwich Tern 7n 35s
Shag 5n 1s
06.15-06.35 circa 12 White-beaked and 20+ Bottlenose Dolphin went south together close inshore
Manxie 3n 6s
Red th Diver 1n 6s
Dunlin 1n 24s
Balearic Shearwater 1s 06.40-07.00 lingering and landing on sea
Grey Plover 1s
Arctic Tern 2n 3s
Puffin 2n
Common Gull 1n 9s
Arctic Skua 3n 7s
Med Gull 1s 1st w
Ringed Plover 6s
Porpoise 4s (not together)
Black th Diver 1 on sea
Ruff 1n
Roseate Tern 9n (2 juvs) 1s
Teal 47n 4s
Turnstone 2n 12s
Bonxie 1n
Common Scoter 6n 8s
Curlew Sandpiper 2n
House Martin 6s
10.45-11.00 Bottlenose Dolphin 10 plus n

Thursday, 1 September 2016

Last of the summer wine....

2 Roseate Terns and 14 Arctic Skua's passed Whitburn Obs by 10.15 this morning. It's my first day of retired life and i was joined later in the watch by the local retired birders, it felt a bit like last of the summer wine, and its the first day of autumn to boot. Stoney was in the house, just as well some young eyes were in and alert as you never know when a good Shearwater could pass....
Magic Mark reliably informs me we finished August with 986 hours of coverage so far this year, 44 hours ahead of he same time last year and hopefully lots of extra hours to come now I'm done with work
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 1st September 05.45-10.15 cloud 4/8 SW1-2

Curlew 12n
Common Tern 39n 142s
Arctic Tern 1n 3s
Ringed Plover 1s
Red th Diver 1n 11s
Common Gull 4n 1s
Wheatear 1 on rocks 1 on range
Turnstone 1n 1s
Common Scoter 10n 1s
Sandwich Tern 3n 23s
Black h Gull 22n 23s
Redshank 70s
Whimbrel 1n 1s
Grey Heron 2n
Cormorant 15n 300s
Shag 1n
Dunlin 2n 3s
Arctic Skua 11n 3s
Meadow Pipit 35s
Golden Plover 5n
Teal 1n
LBBGull 1s
Roseate Tern 2s 1 ad
Porpoise 1s
Bonxie 1n
Swift 1s
Scan H Gull 1s
Puffin 1s