Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Is That It...........

Black throated and 2 Great Northern Divers passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 this morning. Stoney was in the house and our expectations were low, a westerly and no cloud didn't add up to a good watch. However we did our best to eek out some decent birds. Pink Floyd joined us and called a Great Northern which turned out to be two. It was becoming hard work and as Bob Geldolf said 'is that it' so we bailed out before the crab sandwich boys arrived and will try again tomorrow
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 29th November 07.20-09.30 W1-2 cloud 0/8

Black h Gull 7n 71s
Eider 10n 4s
Common Gull 13n 19s
Shag 2n 5s
Common Scoter 22n 8s
Red th Diver 4n 5s
Cormorant 2s
Long tailed Duck 2n
Velvet Scoter 1s
Little Gull 1n
Curlew 3n 3s
Goldeneye 2n
Red br Merganser 1n
Grey Heron 1n
Black th Diver 1n
Gannet 2n
Wigeon 8n 8s

Fulmar 1s
Great Northern Diver 2n
Shelduck 1s

Monday, 28 November 2016

Duck Tales.....

50 Long tailed Ducks passed Whitburn Obs by 13.15 today on another record breaking day. Stoney beat me in and we had high hopes of more of the same of yesterdays first class watch. We were not disappointed and it was quality from the start. The first flock of Long tailed Ducks was nine the largest of the day, as they kept coming word came from Magic Mark that the record day passage was 48, we got to 46 before we left and Kieth McAlpine got us over the line with another 4. So the new day record is 50, unless of course someone else goes into the obs today.
The supporting cast was substantial and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 28th November 07.25-11.20 SE2 cloud 7/8

Black h Gull 11n 233s
Common Gull 7n 23s
Fulmar 15n 1s
Common Eider 18n 11s
Pom Skua 1n 1s
Wigeon 51n
Long tailed Duck 45n 5s
Cormorant 2n 3s
Common Scoter 510n 42s
Velvet Scoter 5n
Red th Diver 10n 13s
Shelduck 1n
Golden Plover 100n
Dunlin 9n
Little Auk 1n
Mallard 5n
Goldeneye 38n 7s
Teal 1n
Great Northern Diver 1n
Shag 1n 15s
Long eared Owl 1 in off
Goosander 3s
Red br Merganser1s
Brent Goose 5n pb
Scaup 2n
Redshank 1s

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Proper Ducks........

Little Auk and Sooty Shearwater passed Whitburn Obs on this mornings watch but the stars of the show were the ducks. Proper sea ducks giving great views. Both Marks made it in and we were joined by Stevie Makem and Stevie Thunder, Stoney was in the house. Another northerly guaranteed good birds even at the end of November, it was a slow start but we all agreed a great watch in good light. Long tailed Ducks continued this years record passage hitting 159 so far, the previous best being 110 in 1990. The Scaup were just delicious.....
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 27th November 07.20-11.20 NNE3 cloud 7/8

Shelduck 1n
Common Gull 37n 5s
Shag 2n 2s
Black h Gull 28n 17s
Goldeneye 15n
Cormorant 5n 2s
Common Scoter 154n 190s
Fulmar 29n 4s
Common Eider 36n 7s
Red th Diver 23n 35s
Great n Diver 1s
Med Gull 1n 1s ads
Sooty Shearwater
Long tailed Duck 5n 4s
Porpoise 1
Pom Skua 1s
Curlew 1n
Goosander 1n
Peregrine 1n
Red br Merganser 1n
Velvet Scoter 2n 5s
Little Auk 1n
Wigeon 6n 10s
Scaup 4n
Scan Herring Gull 3n
Teal 1s
Dunlin 2n

Thursday, 24 November 2016


Black throated and Great Northern Diver passed Whitburn Obs by 11.15 on an historic day. I was joined by Jack the Lad and Stoney was in the house, little did we realise early on that we would break yet another day passage record from the Obs. A few Shag started to move then Rob called a distant flock of 80, a steady trickle continued with a notable flock off 66 being the only other large flock. I left before the previous record of 216 was beaten but Pink Floyd sent a text to confirm 220 had gone south by 11.15. To add to the occasion one of the last birds seen was an all white leucistic Shag. I managed some very poor record shot only footage which i will include in the text
It was Jacks first visit and he did well calling his first birds 5 Velvets going north. It was quiet at times but Whitburn Obs showed again what a great location it is turning up some quality birds on an ordinary day weather wise
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 24th November 07.10-11.00 NNW2 cloud 6/8

Black h Gull 60n 34s
Red th Diver 26n 17s
Common Gull 21n 26s
Common Scoter 34n 28s
Fulmar 15n 7s
Cormorant 9n 17s
Grey Heron 1n
Common Eider 18n 3s
Shag 12n 208s including leucistic bird
Velvet Scoter 5n
Wigeon 8n
Rock Pipit 3n
Dunlin 4n
Black th Diver 1s
Pink footed Geese 160s
Red br Merganser 1n
Curlew 1n
Goldeneye 2n
Turnstone 3s
Teal 1n
Great Northern  Diver 1n
Shelduck 1n
Med Gull 1n ad

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Nowt so queer as folk.....

6 Great Northern and a Black throated Diver passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 today. It was a quieter Obs and a quieter watch but still plenty of quality to be seen. I always find it queer when people ring and say is it worth coming to the obs, it happened again today, being such a sea watch fan the answer from me is always gong to be yes, anything can happen in the Obs.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 23rd November 07.10-10.30 NW2-3 cloud 6/8

Red th Diver 33n 9s
Common Gull23n 39s
Black h Gull 29n 33s
Manxie 1n
Fulmar 27n
Eider 27n 3s
Cormorant 6n 9s
Common Scoter 21n 3s
Great Northern Diver 4n 2s
Black th Diver 1n
Scan Herring Gull 1n 1s
Shag 7n 22s
Bonxie 4n 2s
Dunlin 4n
Porpoise 1n
Red br Merganser 1n 1s
Wigeon 5n
Great crested Grebe 1n 1s
Pom Skua 3n
Little Gull 3n
Velvet Scoter 1n
Goldeneye 1n

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Bye Bye Blackbird.....

Glaucous Gull and 28 Little Gulls passed Whitburn Obs by 12.15 today and so much much more. The northerly continued and the Obs was busy with the front row sold out and the warmer back row with limited spaces. Pink Floyd came in coughing and spluttering freely sharing his germs, Unlucky Dave had forgot his bins but was lucky and got a couple of year ticks...it was that sort of day
It was not such a lucky day for a Blackbird coming in off that fell exhausted onto the sea yards from safety and another taken by a Bonxie.
It was a quiet start for Magic Mark and myself, it was only when the low cloud cleared through that things began to happen. It ended up being a memorable sea watch and Stoney was glad he was in the house. I had to leave at midday for an imminent dentists appointment so i hope the guys didn't get anything special
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 22nd November 07.15-12.15 NNW4 cloud 8/8 heavy swell

Black h Gull 59n 65s
Shag 4n
Common Gull 39n 11s
Eider 23n 3s
Fulmar 337n (you could say they are back)
Gannet 193n
Guillemot 632n
Common Scoter 65n 9s
Red th Diver 9n 4s
Turnstone 6n 1s
Cormorant 5n 1s
Long tailed Duck 8n 3s
Bonxie 8n 7s
Scan Herring Gull 1n 3s
Wigeon 4n
Red br Merganser 3n
Redpoll 1 in off
Great Northern Diver 5n 1s
Scaup 16n

Teal 34n 1s
Little Auk 2n
Mallard 1s
Sooty Shearwater 5n
Little Gull 28n
Bar t Godwit 1n
Rock Pipit 1n
Porpoise 1
Dunlin 42n
Knot 6n
Pom Skua 1n 2s
Great crested Grebe 1n
Velvet Scoter 1s
Sandwich Tern 1s
Black th Diver 1n
Glaucous Gull 1n juv

Monday, 21 November 2016

Double Top.....

Little Auk and Red necked Grebe passed Whitburn Obs by midday on what can only be described as a cracking sea watch. The northerly continued and although we didn't see huge numbers of birds you cant dispute the quality. Any day you see two species of grebe pass the obs is a good day, they are top birds and the Red necked Grebe Rob called was only our fourth of the year. It was odd seeing it fly close to a Guillemot to note how slight it was in comparison. The Peregrine was attempting to catch Auks a couple of miles offshore, it would have been better off reducing our Feral Pigeon population along the shore
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 21st November 07.10-12.00 NE4 cloud 8/8

Common Eider 12n 1s
Common Gull 63n 3s
Black h Gull 54n 6s
Red th Diver 53n 16s
Common Scoter 34n 39s
Golden Plover 300n
Shag 4n 12s
Sparrowhawk 2n
Fulmar 20n 31s
Wigeon 64n
Porpoise 1n
Long tailed Duck 5n
Lapwing 70n
Great Northern Diver 4n
Black th Diver 2n
Med Gull 1n ad
Pom Skua 3n
Velvet Scoter 2
Goldeneye 4n
Cormorant 1n 1s
Bonxie 2n
Great crested Grebe 1n
Peregrine 1n
Little Auk 1n
Red necked Grebe 1n
this one from Seaton Pond 

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Short and sweet...

4 Great Northern Divers passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 this morning edging us closer to a new annual passage record, we just need another 16 and with 6 in the last 3 days we are looking good. Both Marks joined me this morning and Stoney was in the house. It had to be a short watch for me today due to Grandad taxi duties but it was certainly sweet. As on the previous two days we had all the ingredients of a good winter sea watch with Pinks Whoopers and big divers, perfecto mondo as the Fonzie would say

This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 19th November 07.05-09.30 WSW 2 cloud 4/8

Black h Gull 28n 131s
Common Gull 17n 30s
Red th Diver 14n 14s
Whooper Swan 1n 31s
Eider 4n 5s
Common Scoter 18n 7s
Turnstone 2s
Great Northern Diver 2n 2s
Pink footed Goose 16n 170s

Redshank 6n 7s
Cormorant 1n 11s
Sanderling 1s
Porpoise 2n
Shag 9s
Greylag Goose 2s

Friday, 18 November 2016


Great Northern Diver and 2 Sandwich Terns passed Whitburn Obs by 10.05 this morning. Stoney was in the house and we enjoyed another fantastic winter sea watch very similar to yesterdays in fact ditto.
The Sandwich Terns Rob called were the third latest ever recorded at Whitburn Obs.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 18th October 07.05-10.05 W1-2 cloud 6/8

Black h Gull 51n 140s
Common Gull 28n 10s
Red th Diver 6n 18s
Curlew 5n 95s
Golden Plover 248n 172s
Cormorant 1n 6s
Shag 17s
Eider 4n 3s
Common Scoter 31n 1s
Redshank 5n 26s
Brent Goose 7 still
Turnstone 14n 9s
Long tailed Duck 1n
Sandwich Tern 2n
Wigeon 1n
Whooper Swan 5s
Pink footed Goose 160s
Great northern Diver 1s

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Winter warmers.......

2 Great northern Divers and a Pom Skua went south past Whitburn Obs by 10.15 this morning. It was brass monkey weather in the obs this morning, Stoney was in the house and for the first time this year it had a real winter feel. The quality of the winter birds warmed our cockles with Pinks and Whoopers on the move.
We left Hoggie and Walter shivering to save ourselves for another day after an enjoyable watch. This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 17th November 07.05-10.15 SW3-4 cloud 4/8

Common Gull 5n 68s
Dunlin 16n
Black h Gull 14n 44s
Red th Diver 8n 9s
Cormarant 4n 8s
Shag 1n 17s
Turnstone 3n 1s
Common Scoter 12s
Long tailed Duck 1n
Teal 2s
Brent Goose 7 pb still in obs field
Pink footed Goose 355s
Whooper Swan 17s
Pom Skua 1s
Great northern Diver 2s
Grey Heron 1s
Golden Plover 290s
Scan Herring Gulls 4s
Redshank 3n 2s
Curlew 1n 1s

Monday, 14 November 2016


Glaucous Gull and two Long tailed Ducks passed Whitburn obs early morning. Stoney was in the house and we were joined by Stevie Makem but he had already missed the bird of the watch. A very close in Glaucous Gull went south, another juv but hard to say if it was the same bird as the other day which is featured in the attached video. We kept up the Long tailed Duck run with our 13th consecutive day sighting
Half decent cloud cover and a southerly wind should have been enough to keep us in the obs but the lack of wind strength meant that little was moving so we finished early and will be back tomorrow. Sir Ian arrived as we were leaving and i said to the guys he can have anything he wants except Albert Ross, you know Ian more jam than Hartley's.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 14th November 07.05-09.30 S1-2 cloud 6/8 calm sea

Common Eider 5n 11s
Black h Gull 17n 53s
Common Gull 6s
Glaucous Gull 1s juv 07.23
Rock Pipit 1s
Cormorant 1n 4s
Porpoise 5 (we saw two adults with young and a separate adult)
Red th Diver 21n 25s
Common Scoter 5n 9s
Long tailed Duck 2n
Curlew 3n 2s
Teal 30n 1s
Redshank 1s
Shelduck 1n
Fulmar 1s
Brent Goose 7 still in obs field
Goldeneye 2n
Med Gull 1s ad
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Lapwing 11s
Shag 1s
Siskin 1s

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Arc of a Diver......

2 Great northern and 66 Red throated Divers passed Whitburn Obs by 10 o'clock this morning. The front row was full with the usual suspects but we were unlucky not to have the cloud cover or birds of the previous day. Still we made the most of it and its not every sea watch you get 2 Snow Buntings flying over calling. Long tailed Ducks continue to be a feature and today's bird was the 12th consecutive day we have recorded one, wonder if we will get one tomorrow

It turned into the Red throated Diver show today and a new record passage for the year has already been achieved with 3162 birds. The previous best was 2975 in 2014. You may have noticed I've started to include a short video on some of my blogs, just to mention they will not always be of the birds seen that day but may be from my archive. They will always be my videos and as it happens today's is of birds seen today. I'm sure that when Steve Winwood wrote Arc of a Diver he was thinking about the profile of a Red throat....well maybe not

This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 13th November 06.55-10.00 WNW2 cloud 4/8 at best

Common Gull 23n 21s
Black h Gull 68n 85s
Red throated Diver 16n 50s

Cormorant 5n 4s
Grey Heron 1n 1s
Eider 8n 6s
Shag 7s
Snow Bunting 2n
Song Thrush 1
Redshank 6n 3s
Goosander 4n
Lapland Bunting 1 in obs field again
Med Gull 1n ad
Common Scoter 12n 8s
Meadow Pipit 18 in off
Wigeon 3n
Pied Wagtail 1s
Curlew 1s
Teal 61s
Long tailed Duck 1n
Scan Herring Gull 1n
Fulmar 2n 1s
Great northern Diver 1n 1s
Turnstone 1n 2s
Coal Tit 1
Scaup 1n

Saturday, 12 November 2016

When they were up they were up.....

Arctic Tern and Jack Snipe passed Whitburn Obs on an exciting sea watch this morning. Stevie Makem was in and he usually times it right so along with Saint Mark we enjoyed a real good mix up, 
Stoney was in the house. It was like the Grand Old Duke of York nursery rhyme trying to direct folk onto the incoming migrants some times they were up then they were down and sometimes...

On a nothing wind with no expectations we were all royally entertained, loads of ducks a few waders and lots coming in off,  Stevie Thunder would have loved it. Sergent Wilson joined us late on and kept his eye on the normal passing birds as we tracked down the in offs
It all fell apart when news of a Yellow browed came through from Adam Ant as we all bailed out just in case...

This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 12th November 06.55-11.25 S2-3 cloud 8/8

Common Gull 2n 32s
GBBGull 435s
Black h Gull 11n 33s
Cormorant 6n 8s
Scan Herring Gull 2s
Common Eider 28n 4s
Goldeneye 2n 3s
Teal 19n 226s
Snipe 1s
Starling 17 in off
Pintail 1s
Shelduck 27n 22s (beating the previous best November day count of 30)
Red th Diver 7n 21s
Common Scoter 16n 2s
Fieldfare 22 in off
Red br Merganser 1n 3s
Redwing 8 in off
Wigeon 7n 16s
Curlew 2n 2s
Redshank 7s
Mallard 3s
Brent Goose pb 7 into obs field
Lapwing 3 in off
Long tailed Duck 3n
Bar tailed Godwit 4s
Knot 4s
Pochard 3s
Shag 1s
Golden Plover 1n
Tufted Duck 8s
Bunting sp 2 in off
Woodcock 2 in off
Jack Snipe 1s
Arctic Tern 1s
Dunlin 6s
Skylark 1 in off
Grey Heron 1s
Turnstone 1n
Brent Goose 1n db

Friday, 11 November 2016

Bad light stops play....

9 Little Gulls and a Long tailed Duck passed Whitburn by 10.00 this morning. It was an early finish for Stoney, Distant Dave and myself as the light was crap...
The best birds have both been regulars in recent weeks Long tailed Duck and Little Gull, a nice bit of quality. Still a good collection of ducks are passing but birds are scarce in the westerlies we are enjoying?
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 11th November 06.55-10.00 W1-2 cloud 1/8

Black h Gull 16n 10s
Shelduck 5n
Common Gull 7n 22s
Common Scoter 7n 11s
Red th Diver 12n 17s
Teal 1s
Eider 12n
Shearwater sp 1n manx or balearic we couldn't nail it
Fulmar 9n
Mallard 1n 1s
Goldeneye 4n
Pintail 1n
Wigeon 5n 4s
Manx Shearwater 1n
Cormorant 1s
Dunlin 4n
Brent Goose pb 7 in obs field
Brent Goose db 2n
Turnstone 1n
Knot 14n
Shag 1n 27s
Little Gull 6n 3s
Long tailed Duck 1n
Grey Wagtail 1s

Thursday, 10 November 2016

Bog standard sea watch.....

2 Velvet Scoter passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 and the Brent Geese were still in the obs field. Its very much after the Lord Mayor's show now with bog standard winter birding. A few decent ducks were about but it was cold and quiet. Stoney was in the house and Distant Dave sent me a Lapland Bunting that was flushed out of the obs field a couple of times by an elusive raptor. That brings my Obs list for the year to 185....cant be many more ticks surely....
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 10th November 06.55-10.30 WSW2 cloud 4/8

Sparrowhawk 1s
Common Gull 11n 29s
Black h Gull 50n 43s
Common Eider 12n 5s
Red th Diver 11n 8s
Cormorant 5n 11s
Brent Goose pb 7 flew into obs field
Porpoise 1s
Fulmar 1n
Common Scoter 10n 1s
Dunlin 8n
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Lapland Bunting 1 in Obs field

Turnstone 2n 11s
Shag 1n 13s
Curlew 1n
Red br Merganser 1n
Velvet Scoter 2n
Goosander 1n

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Rain stopped play.....

Black throated Diver and 6 Little Gulls passed Whitburn Obs by 10.45 this morning. Stoney was in the house and from the off we were surprised at the variety of ducks moving but as the rain got heavier the birds dried up. Distant Dave turned up as the rain stopped but the hoped for rush of birds never happened it was a case of rain stopped play
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 9th November 06.55-10.45 WSW1-2 cloud 8/8 rain

Black h Gull 14n 44s
Common Gulkl 4n 15s
Teal 65n
Common Eider 16n 3s
Goldeneye 4n
Little Gull 5n 1s
Tufted Duck 1n
Red th Diver 17n 2s
Common Scoter 38n 4s
Wigeon 61n
Fieldfare 1 in off
Black th Diver 1n winter plum
Fulmar 1n 4s
Shelduck 7n
Dunlin 2n
Bar t Godwit 1s
Starling 16 in off
Goosander 1n
Brent Goose 7 in obs field still

Rock Pipit 1s
Velvet Scoter 4n
Redshank 1n
Porpoise 2s
Cormorant 1n 1s
Pintail 1n
Greylag Goose 1s
Long tailed Duck 1n
Shag 1s

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

DUCKS R US........

King Eider, Cory's Shearwater and a Shorelark went north past Whitburn Obs by 1pm today. Can you adam and eve it and not an Obs year tick amongst them. Stoney was already in the Obs when i arrived after a late night at the Sage watching Ian Hunter. It soon filled up with the Tuesday crab sandwich brigade and Distant Dave came in as well instead of kicking bushes and doing his vismig.

Things started quietly as they do this time of year when Rob called a Cory's Shearwater going distantly north. Pink Floyd managed to get on it for his first lifer of the day it took me awhile was it the rough sea or Robs instructions...its the latest ever recorded from the Obs September being the previous latest recorded. Long Nab Birder had seen a possible the day before and had given us the heads up but who could have imagined...

It some became obvious that it was a 'duck day' as a good variety and good numbers started going north on not a very strong wind. Eider began to move and Keith Mc called a distant line of 8 going north, just as they were coming up to straight out Distant Dave called the king of ducks. We could not believe our luck and for me it was the second in weeks, 'it was just beyond belief '. The birds were distant but it looked very similar to our bird of the 23rd October and it is the third record for County Durham and Pink Floyds second lifer of the day

We didn't want to leave and ducks were moving till the end but all things must come to an end and i will be back tomorrow.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 8th November 07.00-13.00 NW2 cloud 6/8

Snipe 5n
Red th Diver 22n 23s
Common Eider 191n 5s
Common Gull 60n 4s
Black h Gull 52n 44s
Common Scoter 124n 2s
Goldeneye 20n 4s
Sanderling 25n
Teal 141n
Turnstone 6n 6s
Wigeon 335n
Curlew 1n
Mallard 36n 2s
Redshank 6n
Long tailed Duck 9n
Cormorant 2n 31s
Whooper Swan 4n 16s
Dunlin 11n
Goosander 1n 4s
Scan Herring Gull 1n
Fulmar 5n
Cory's Shearwater 1n 08.28
Great northern Diver 1n
Shelduck 4n
Brent Goose pb 7 in obs field
Bar tailed Godwit 1n
Snow Bunting 3 in off
Shag 10n 39s
Goose sp 8s
Pintail 3n
Red br Merganser 4n
King Eider 1n dr 11.03
Starling 7 in off
Tufted Duck 9n
Shorelark 1n in off

Monday, 7 November 2016

Shag fest......

Black throated Diver and Iceland Gull went north past Whitburn Obs by midday along with another huge supporting cast. Its never easy keeping a log with the obs full and loads of birds passing, it was the same today with 14 species of wildfowl, waders and gulls and the odd diver and skua.
I called the first Iceland Gull of the season when a juv went north close inshore, great to have this quality bird back in the pack. We see Shag regularly but what a lot of Shags we got today a true fest...
Long tailed Ducks deserve a mention today's birds broke the previous best years total of 110 seen in 1990, and still a few week's to go this year
This is what we saw today in order of appearance

Monday 7th November 06.50-12.00 NW3 cloud 7/8

Common Gull 56n 12s
Black h Gull 46n 27s
Gannet 65n
Guillemot 1594n
Wigeon 79n 1s
Red th Diver 22n 10s
Fulmar 19n 1s
Common Scoter 113n 5s
Grey Plover 2n
Eider 22n 1s
Dunlin 54n
Long tailed Duck 13n 2s
Cormorant 6n 13s
Scan Herring Gull 3n
Goldeneye 14n 8s
Pom Skua 1n
Bonxie 5n
Mallard 27n 1s
Sanderling 7n 20s
Pink footed Goose 148n
Red br Merganser 1n
Velvet Scoter 1n 1s
Fieldfare 2 in off
Teal 29n 5s
Turnstone 5n 9s
Shag 5n 67s
Black th Diver 1n 08.20
Brent Goose 7pb south and in obs field again
Peregrine 1s male
Short eared Owl 2 in off 08.40 and 09.05
Snipe 1n
Woodcock 1 in off
Iceland Gull 1n juv
Bar tailed Godwit 3n
Great northern Diver 6n
Med Gull 1s ad
Redshank 1n
Sooty Shearwater 2n
Grey Wagtail 1n
Tufted Duck 3n
Little Auk 4n
Pochard 2n
Sanderling 7n 20s
Curlew 2n
Goosander 1s

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Shear Surprise.......

5 Little Auks and 37 Bonxies passed Whitburn Obs by midday, but it was the Shearwaters that surprised with new November day records and the Sooty's in particular with the previous best of 8 destroyed by this mornings 67
The Obs was nearly full everyone hoping for Little Auks galore but they haven't got going yet, the supporting cast was impressive with the Great Northern Divers and Bonxies being particularly memorable
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 6th November 06.25-12.00 NNE6 cloud 8/8 rain at times

Common Gull 52n 1s
Scan Herring Gull 23n
Black h Gull 47n 12s
Eider b12n
Red th Diver 15n 15s
Common Scoter 96n 91s
Goldeneye 24n 3s
Fulmar 11n
Long tailed Duck 20n 2s
Teal 10n 30s
Turnstone 2n
Red br Merganser 1n
Wigeon 62n 14s
Mallard 14n 1s
Black th Diver 1n
Redshank 2n 4s
Sooty Shearwater 67n
Shoveler 2n
Porpoise 1
Little Auk 5n
Brent Goose 7 pb in obs field
Great n Diver 6n
Bonxie 37n
Manxie 11n
Cormorant 1n
Shag 1s
Arctic Skua 8n
Black Guillemot 1n 09.34
Little Gull 9n
Med Gull 2s ads
Grey Plover 1n
Sanderling 2n
Pom Skua 4n
Golden Plover 1s
Tufted Duck 3s
Barnacle Goose 1s
GBBGull 480n

Saturday, 5 November 2016

Better late than never....

Little Auk and 12 Pom Skuas passed Whitburn Obs by 11.30 this morning. Magic and Saint Mark joined me to witness the welcome return of Boy Wonder and even Hoggie was in early. For the first year in many i didn't see Glaucous Gull in January so it was a case better late than never and we got one each way. Video of the Glauc will follow but i will have to brush up on my editing skills to beat the slow mo video from Seaton Sluice. The Obs year list ticked over onto 184...
Fantastic stormy seas on a canny northerly what more could a sea watcher want, this is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 5th November 06.35-11.00 N5-6 cloud 6/8 some rain

Common Gull 65n 4s
Common Scoter 72n 138s
Fulmar 3n 1s
Eider 7n 2s
Sooty Shearwater 7n
Red th Diver 7n 11s
Mallard 2n
Turnstone 15n
Scan Herring Gull 3n
Black h Gull 78n 3s
Shag 1n 1s
Long tailed Duck 5n 4s
Brent Goose pb 1s 7 in obs field
Bonxie 10s
Wigeon 68n 3s
Glaucous Gull juv 1n 08.00 1s 09.20
Velvet Scoter 2n 1s
Teal 14n 2s
Pom Skua 12s flocks of 5 and 7
Redshank 2n 2s
Purple Sandpiper 1n
Goldeneye 11n
Med Gull ad 1n 2s
Cormorant 3n
Red br Merganser 1n
Little Auk 1n
Curlew 2n

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Yo ho ho.........

2 Little Auks and 7 Long tailed Ducks passed Whitburn Obs by 11.30 this morning. Its often a good duck day after a northerly when it blows south west and that's what we got today. As soon as i sat down i could see Long tailed Duck and Goldeneye on the sea in front of the Obs and it wasn't long before i had my first Woodcock and Thrushes in off. It was going to be an exciting day. Stevie Makem and Chivs arrived Stoney was in the house as the ducks started to move high up, low down, close in , distant...a classic duck day. One of the many fishing boats on the horizon resembled a pirate ship, and it wasn't long before the cry of Long tailed Duck north under the pirate ship went up...shiver me timbers

Stevie called the small Auk which we soon id'd as Little Auk a fantastic close in fly by for the first of the season, we saw one more and probably missed a few as we patrolled the sky for ducks. It was upsetting to see Thrushes coming in off being caught and eaten by Greater black backs but we persisted as Waxwings were being recorded all up our coast and we were getting everything but. More observers arrived to make it a good crowd for the third day in a row. Eventually Stoney called two Waxwings as they came in off with a Blackbird phew...tho one observer who had called them as three Blackbirds said he would not tick them as 'ahh they could have been owt'

A great sea watch and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 3rd November 06.50-11.30 SW2 cloud 8/8

Common Scoter 188n 37s
Black h Gull 39n 75s
Common Gull 15n 18s
Woodcock 5 in off
Curlew 1n
Eider 5n 5s
Dunlin 23n
Brent Goose 11n pb 6s db (the 11 north includes the birds that were in the obs field)
Goldeneye 40n 11s
Long tailed Duck 7n
Cormorant 2n 4s
Red th Diver 28n 22s
Blackbird 10 in off
Wigeon 242n 2s
Little Auk 2n
Red br Merganser 6n
Teal 324n
Turnstone 2n
Redshank 1n
Peregrine 1s
Mallard 40n 8s
Starling 22 in off
Bottlenose Dolphin 2n 08.30
Shag 1n 4s
Porpoise 1n 1s
Fieldfare 30 in off
Redwing 13 in off
Snow Bunting 1 in off
Goosander 4s
Whooper Swan 19s including 3 juvs
Grey Heron 3n
Shelduck 1n
Waxwing 2 in off
Skylark 4 in off

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Whitburn Menagerie.....

2 Black throated, 2 Great northern and 89 Red throated Divers passed Whitburn Obs by 11 o'clock this morning. Magic Mark joined me from first light and we had another full house minus the actual crab sandwiches and Stoney was in the house. Over the last two days we have seen a menagerie of birds, and what a collection with nearly 50 species being seen. This included 3 species of each of both Divers and Skua's, 18 species of wildfowl and 5 of raptors. Add in the winter speciality birds like Shorelark Snow Bunting and Waxwing and why would you want to go anywhere else.
We had word from our friends at Long Nab of a probable GW Egret coming north but i had to head at eleven today so i hope the guys still watching get it. I dipped the Waxwing but maybe tomorrow...
This is what we saw today in order of appearance

Wednesday 2nd November 06.40-11.00 NW2 cloud 4/8

Eider 3n 7s
Common Gull 31n 59s
Black h Gull 82n 101s
Goldeneye 81n 5s
Red th Diver 13n 76s
Woodcock 1s
Red br Merganser 1n
Cormorant 5n 26s
Common Scoter 35n 11s
Shag 1n 6s
Merlin 1n female
Curlew 3n 1s
Tufted Duck 4n 4s
Goosander 1n 10s
Sandwich Tern 1s
Brent Goose 1s pb
Scan Herring Gull 2s
Pochard 1n
Med Gull 1s
Black th Diver 2s winter plumage birds
Mallard 7n
Great n Diver 1n 1s
Bonxie 20s
Long tailed Duck 8n (5dr)
Pink footed Goose 1n
Pom Skua 1s
Sooty Shearwater 1n
Kestrel 1n
Peregrine 1n male
Velvet Scoter 3n 1s
Goldeneye 81n 5s
Manxie 1n
Wigeon 22n
Redshank 1s
Mute Swan 1s
Snow Bunting 1n
Waxwing 1s

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Full house......

6 Great northern and 60 Red throated Divers passed Whitburn Obs by mid day. It was a full house with the number of species we saw and it was a full house. Magic Mark and myself were in from first light joined by the crab sandwich brigade a couple of stragglers and Stoney was in the house, almost standing room only. We saw a vast array of birds, Shore Larks and Buzzards included and all the winter ducks a birder could want...almost.

This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 1st November 06.40-12.00 N2 cloud 8/8 then 3/8 at the end

Common Gull 37n 17s
Common Scoter 113n 47s
Black h Gull 30n 39s
Gannet 346n
Grey Heron 4n 1s
Eider 1n 3s
Scan Herring Gull 6n
Shag 1n 2s
Goldeneye 10n 2s
Whooper Swan 2n 65s
Red th Diver 12n 48s
Bonxie 6n 1s
Cormorant 4n 2s
Snow Bunting 5n
Curlew 1n 1s
Shelduck 1n
Wigeon 14n 5s
Scaup 9n (4dr)
Fulmar  1n
Great northern Diver 2n 4s
Mallard 1n 1s
Tufted Duck 3n 1s
Shorelark 2n
Arctic Skua 1s
Skylark 1n
Velvet Scoter 3n 4s
Teal 1n
Pom Skua 2s
Common Buzzard 2n
Long tailed Duck 1n
Brent Goose1n pb
Pintail 1n