Saturday, 24 June 2017

When the going gets tough.....

Roseate Tern and two Greenshank went south at Whitburn Obs this morning. Yes June is a tough month for Obs ticks so i needed to get going, i heard the Greenshank call and got on them as they headed south..a big Obs year tick. Only four new species seen in June so far, Spooner. Black Guille, Cuckoo and the Shank quality but not a lot. Boy Wonder joined me today (eventually) as both Marks are AWOL. He managed to come in after the Rosie and wasn't fast enough to....
Strangest bird of the day was a drake Goldeneye flying south
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 24th June 05.00-09.00 W2-3 3/8

Sandwich Tern 12n 52s
Gannet 121n 29s
Black h Gull 1n 6s
Red th Diver 5n 3s
Common Gull 1n 5s
Porpoise 1n
Manxie 46n 12s
Kestrel 1s
Swift 2s
Common Tern 1n 1s
Roseate Tern 1s 06.35
Puffin 11s
Arctic Tern 2s
Grey Heron 1s
Goldeneye 1s
Greenshank 2s
Common Scoter 11n
LBBGull 1n

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

ello ello ello.....

 2654 Common Scoter, 242 Manxies and a Bonxie passed Whitburn Obs by 09.45 today. I had a visit at the Obs from a local Booby and his dog but i told them Hoggie wouldn't be in till after 9 :). They were searching for a burglar that had headed my way but unfortunately i hadn't seen him so couldn't help. It wasn't the only excitement today though loads of birds were passing in good light on a North Easterly wind. Scoter were moving from the start and Junes passage now exceeds 10,000 birds and still only the 20th. Today the day passage record for the Obs was broken as over 3,000 have passed by 11.30 beating the 2863 set on 3/11/1998 and the guys are still watching.....So unlike last week the cavalry did arrive
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 20th June 05.00-09.45 NE2 7/8

Gannet 402n 57s
Red th Diver 3n 1s
Common Scoter 2534n 120s
Sandwich Tern 22n 173s
Common Tern 22n 9s
Puffin 66n 15s
Common Gull 6n 7s
Manx Shearwater 232n 10s
Black h Gull 1n 1s
Arctic Tern 8n 7s
Ringed Plover 2n
Sanderling 1n
Bonxie 1n
Shag 1n 2s
Arctic Skua 1s
Eider 5n
Curlew 4s
Teal 4n
Med Gull 1s ad
Some of todays record breaking Common Scoter passage

Thursday, 15 June 2017

One, two, three.......

 2743 Common Scoter passed Whitburn Obs in five hours this morning, making it the third highest day passage on record. More may well pass today but i was done in 81/2 hours of counting and 4388 Common Scoter seen over two days. I will be counting them in my sleep...one....two....three...
You try and count the birds in today's video which is recorded in real time, you don't get long
This is what i saw today in order of appearance

Thursday 15th June 05.00-10.00 SW2 7/8

Common Scoter 2393n 350s
Gannet 358n 79s
Puffin 11n 5s
Common Tern 8n 32s
Arctic Skua 1n
Teal 5n 2s
Sandwich Tern 24n 99s
Grey Heron 1n 2s
Manxie 13n 12s
Sanderling 2s
Swift 15s
Eider 8n 1s
Arctic Tern 1n 4s
Common Gull 2s
Shag 1n 1s
Black h Gull 2s

Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Ducked off......

1645 Common Scoter went north at Whitburn Obs by 08.30 this morning. Sadly i couldn't stay due to a dentists appointment, wish I'd looked after my teeth ....The top 5 day passage for Scoter are
3/7/2013 1945
2/7/2008 2116
22/10/1991 2523
21/10/1972 2813
3/11/1998 2863
It was looking good for a top five spot, i tried to coax some locals in but i forgot Wednesday's is Morrison's day.
It was a lovely calm morning and passage was good lets hope for more tomorrow, now what time am i at the Doctors tomorrow.
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 14th June 04.55-08.30 SW1 7/8

Gannet 259n 53s
Sandwich Tern 50n 231s
Puffin 53n 10s
Manxie 93n
Common Scoter 1645n included flocks of 230/180/150/120 etc

Common Tern 9n 13s
Common Gull 9s
Red th Diver 4s
Tufted Duck 2n
Shag 2s
Little Tern 2s
Arctic Tern 1s
Goosander 5n
Black h Gull 1s
Canada Goose 4n


Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Going Cuckoo.......

74 Manx Shearwaters went north at Whitburn Obs by 9am this morning. On a light westerly it was a quiet watch but with enough movement to keep my interest. I had to pop out for a comfort break and saw a Cuckoo flying around the Nature reserve, an Obs year tick and not the first under those circumstances. I managed to locate the Cuckoo sitting quietly in a bush but it was well hidden so no video today from this years bird. My list has limped along (like me) onto 147, it was 145 in 2016v at the end of June so still on target
This is what i saw today in order of appearance

Tuesday 13th June 05.00-09.00 WSW 1-2 4/8

Sandwich Tern 16n 220s
Puffin 16n 2s
Gannet 178n 21s
Arctic Tern 6n 11s
Common Tern 19n 21s
Common Gull 3s
Shelduck 8s
Manxie 74n
Black h Gull 4s
Shag 1n
Eider 2n
Little Tern 1s
Common Scoter 8n
Grey Squirrel 1
Kestrel 1
Grey Heron 2n then went back s
Cuckoo 1

Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Tystie very Tystie.....

A Black Guillemot went north passed Whitburn Obs early morning. It's June, it's cold and raining, I'm tired, should i stay in bed......Don't be daft it's Obs time.
It was raining and full cloud meant it was a bit dreak. Birds were teaming north at speed i was looking through my scope (wouldn't have seen it with bins) and blinking heck a Black Guillemot was flying north in front of five Guillemots. When I'd had a look i moved to camera and managed a little poor quality record shot video, I've slowed it down and you can just about make out the Tystie
I only stayed three hours not a ;lot of variety but lots of Gannets and Guillemots
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 6th June 05.05-08.05 SSE3 8/8 rain
Gannet 621n 126s
Fulmar 25n
Puffin 8n 3s
Black Guillemot 1n 05.12
Manxie 7n 5s
Sandwich Tern 8n 93
Common Tern 5n 13s
Arctic Tern 2s
Red th Diver 2n
Common Gull 1n
Shag 1s
Common Scoter 52n

Saturday, 3 June 2017

That spoon that spoon that Spoonbill...

2 Spoonbills flew south at Whitburn Obs this morning on a bog standard watch till that point. Magic Mark was my only companion and it's just as well as it was a Mark special, he is the best. It was a grip back for me as i have never seen Spoonbill from the Obs and Saint Mark had one a while ago.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 3rd June 04.50-09.00 WNW2 4/8

Gannet 255n 14s
Puffin 13n 11s
Sandwich Tern 42n 86s
Fulmar 50n 3s
Common Gull 12n 11s
Common Scoter 62n 26s
Manxie17n 2s
Arctic Tern 18n 3s
Common Tern 22n 47s
LBBGull 2n
Canada Goose 3n
Black h Gull 1n 2s
Shag 1n 3s
Shelduck 1n
Mallard 2s
Sanderling 20n
Swift 2s
Goosander 1n
Red th Diver 1n
Eider 2n
Spoonbill 2s
Not today's birds but......

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Tough love.........

Bottlenose Dolphins put on a show at Whitburn Obs early morning on a poor day for birds. Bright sun/wrong wind/no birds....yes these are the days you have to tough it out. The good news is that something usually happens and it did today. I had hardly sat down when the Bottlenose Dolphins motored north but showed well. Next the local Fox went passed pursued by Crows and Magpies with a Grey Squirrel in its mouth (first reported as Rabbit but re id'd from video). Stoney was in the house but arrived after all that fun.
He tells me that once again we are accused of suppression. A local birder who's name i don't know is bending anyones ear in the north and south of the County to complain about our suppression. If he bends yours please send him my way with his grievance i am in the Obs daily from about 5am.
If he can tell me any site or organisation in our area that puts out more information than us guys at Whitburn Obs i would like to hear about it
As you all know i tweet news as it happens (just after 5 am today). RBA forward my sightings as and when after 7am when they open for business. Rob sends out the news on the DBC Whatsapp site. In addition all Obs sightings are updated to Trektellen daily. I do a regular blog about our sightings and the Obs has a log book.
I suggest he spends some time in the Obs if he wants to enjoy our sightings... all are welcome (well nearly)
This is what we saw today in order of appearance

Wednesday 31st May 05.00-08.15 NW1-2 1/8

Bottlenose Dolphin circa 12 north close inshore between 05.05-05.15
Common Tern 2n 4s
Sandwich Tern 25n 31s
Gannet 84n 10s
Puffin 3n 1s
Common Scoter 11n 25s
Arctic Tern 10n 8s
Shelduck 1n
Manx Shearwater 7n 1s
Swallow 3s
Black h Gull 7n 2s
Red th Diver 1s
Common Gull 3s
Sand Martin 1n
Fox 1w with squirrel



Sunday, 28 May 2017

Let's go fly a Kite.....

Red Kite went south passed Whitburn Obs this morning as well as a gaggle of Geese. A new Obs bird for me and for the Obs. I called a probable raptor well south after i saw a gull having a go at a larger bird. Magic Mark called it red first as we waited for better views and light... spit spot
The day started with a flock of Barnacle Geese south close and calling at 05.15. They were tracked south past Flamborough and Grimston and to top it all off the annual Canada Goose passage picked up pace after yesterdays birds. Nice to have both Marks back and to see the Sheriff, we all enjoyed a great watch
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 28th May 05.00-10.00 NW3 4/4

Gannet 131n 88s
Sandwich Tern 3n 66s
Manx Shearwater 3n 13s
Barnacle Goose 15s 05.15
Common Gull 5n 13s
Puffin 11n 34s
Common Tern 5n 5s
Eider 6s
Shelduck 2n
Common Scoter 36n 7s
Red br Merganser 2s
Sand Martin 3n 8s
Porpoise 1s
Swift 20s
Arctic Tern 2n 9s
Mallard 3n
Greylag Goose 1n 4s
Canada Goose 65n 44s
Swallow 11s
Red th Diver 2n 2s
Little Tern 5s
Black h Gull 3s
Whimbrel 1n 1s
LBBGull 1s
Oystercatcher 24n
Shag 4s

Red Kite 1s 08.15
Ringed Plover 2n


Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Back in Black.....

4 Black Terns went north passed Whitburn Obs this morning. Saint Mark is back from yet another month long holiday and it was good to catch up with him. The fact that Manxie, Arctic and Common Terns were year ticks for him shows just how long he's been on his travels. Stoney was in the house which was just as well. My Obs list is in the doldrums a bit like today's windless weather. He called the four marsh terns even though they were well out and we enjoyed watching them feed and land on the sea, a year tick at last
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 17th May 04.55-08.45 W1 dead calm 7/8

Sandwich Tern 19n 403s
Common Tern 8n 23s
Puffin 17n 5s
Whimbrel 2n
Eider 6n 2s
Gannet 19n 19s
Common Scoter 9n 4s
Black h Gull 6n 17s
Common Gull 2n 19s
Swallow 1n 12s
Arctic Tern 8n 11s
Manxie 12n
Red th Diver 3n 4s
Porpoise 2s
Sand Martin 13n 10s
Turnstone 5n 1s
Tufted Duck 4s
Shag 1n 8s
Black Tern 4n

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Uncertain......

2 Whinchat and a Wheatear arrived on the firing range today viewed from Whitburn Obs. Uncertain is the name of a moth and sums up the situation today. The weather started northerly and tried every direction and threw in mist and fog, the birds couldn't decide whether to go north or south....uncertain
Swift was new for my Obs list yesterday and today it was Whinchat bringing my list to 141. I packed in early when all passage had dried up and went to try for some video of the Whinchats but all the birds had moved off except circa 50 Swallows feeding around the mounds.
This is what i saw today in order of appearance

Thursday 11th May 04.55-08.15light variable wind mist and fog 4/8

Common Gull 138n 64s
Sandwich Tern 6n 201s
Shelduck 13n 6s
Curlew 1n
Gannet 104n 22s
Common Tern 4s
Fulmar 42n
Puffin 4n
Ringed Plover 13n
LBBGull 1n
Black h Gull 1n 1s
Fox 1s
Yellowhammer singing behind obs
Common Scoter 16n
Dunlin 13n
Turnstone 4n
Oyster Catcher 13n
Red th Diver 2n
Swallow 20n 50 over range
Whimbrel 2n
Sand Maetin 2n 3s
House Martin 2n
Wheatear 1 on range
Whinchat 2 on range video is of a bird at Burdon Moor

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Bye bye northerlies.....


13 Manxies and a Bonxie passed Whitburn Obs in 4 hours this morning. It took over 14 hours of watching on a north wind but at last a Skua. It is goodbye to the northerly flow after a week of NE and N i can look forward to a new broom, i even swept out the Obs hope the crab sandwich boys don't make a mess. It was a pleasant watch with a lighter wind and great visibility with a good mix of birds but not so many stars, the Whimbrel probably won top spot
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 9th May 05.05-09.05 N2 8/8

Fulmar 99n
Common Gull 59n 5s
Eider 5n 2s
Red th Diver 10n
Shelduck 1n
Guillemot 4250n
Common Scoter 15n 11s
Razorbill 350n
Black h Gull 4n
Gannet 415n 2s
Bar t Godwit 1n
Whimbrel 11n
Manxie 13n
Sandwich Tern 3n 13s
Puffin 21n
Common Tern 20n 7s
Arctic Tern 3n
Common Scoter 15n 11s
Swallow 2n
LBBGull 1n
Fox one in the nature reserve
Scaup 2n pr
Pintail 2n pr
Ringed Plover 3n
Dunlin 1n
Bonxie 1n



Monday, 8 May 2017

Feeling Rosy......

The first Roseate Tern of the year passed Whitburn Obs this morning. Magic Mark called it and I had a right job getting me on it with the big troughs on another northerly wind. I did find it eventually and got prolonged views of this fantastic bird as it got held up in the wind. Otherwise it was quiet compared to yesterday with no wave of Aythya Ducks, and it looks like more of the same tomorrow
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 8th May 05.00-09.45 N4 8/8

Gannet 805n 7s
Fulmar 99n
Common Gull 125n
Sandwich Tern 29n 8s
Eider 2n 2s
Common Scoter 47n
Manx Shearwater 10n 1s
Puffin 17n
Red br Merganser 3n
Common Tern 18n
Red th Diver 1n 1s
Roseate Tern 1n
Turnstone 1n
Shelduck 2n
Bottlenose Dolphin 1n 08.20
Shag 1n
Grey Heron 1n

Sunday, 7 May 2017

More Divers than Dabblers.......

21 Scaup, 14 Pochard and 13 Tufty's went north passed Whitburn Obs in 51/2 hours this morning. It was an Aythya wave as more diving than dabbling ducks went north. Magic Mark and myself enjoyed this sea watchers delight, throw in a few Barnacles and waders and hey presto! you've got a canny sea watch. I can think of a few sea watchers who will be wishing they had got out of bed this morning
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 7th May 05.10-10.40 N4 7/8

Fulmar 84n
Gannet 372n 20s
Eider 13n 15s
Guillemot 4600n
Razorbill 425n
Shelduck 7n
Tufted Duck 13n
Common Gull 55n 8s
Arctic Tern 6n
Common Scoter 1n 23s
Ruff 1n
Red th Diver 1n 1s
Sandwich Tern 4n 13s
Puffin 76n
Scaup 21n
Common Tern 128n 2s
Red br Merganser 5n
Bar tailed Godwit 3n
Black h Gull 1n
Whimbrel 3n
Curlew 5n
Pochard 14n
Dunlin 3n
Shag 1n 1s
Manxie 1n
Ringed Plover 6n
Wigeon 2n
Teal 5n
Pintail 2n
Mallard 4n
LBBGull 1n
Barnacle Goose 13n

Monday, 1 May 2017

May day...May day....

Drake Garganey and a Manxie went north at Whitburn Obs this morning. No sign again of the hoped for Black Tern but i was not that disappointed Drake Garganey made up for the lack of Terns. May day it is and i said it twice as this is the second time in two years I've seen Drake Garganey from the Obs on May day. Well done Magic Mark for alerting us to get on the bird. Garganey is an Obs Mega and Stevie Thunder was glad he had joined us this morning. Shame the light was poor but we still managed a good variety of birds. We chatted about my DBC field trip to Bishop Middleham yesterday and i was saying it was a success tho a few more folk would have been nice. It was Steve's next destination and he fancied finding a Wood Sandpiper and i explained where i thought the best place to find one was....and i was right!. Well done Steve
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 1st May 05.15-10.00 E2 2/8

Gannet 130n 54s
Common Gull 5n 77s
Eider 3n 5s
Sandwich Tern 4n 130s
Fulmar 30n
Common Scoter 4n 6s
Red th Diver 8n 2s
Puffin 1n 2s
Common Tern 5n 4s
Arctic Tern 6n 8s
Manxie 1n
Tufted Duck 2n 2s
Shag 2n
Shelduck 6n
Swallow 4n
Goosander 1s
Oyster Catcher 35n
Whimbrel 7s
Sand Martin 1n
Grey Plover 1s
Teal 2s
Kestrel 1n
Garganey 1n Drake 08.15

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Wind of change....

 Shore Lark, Great Northern Diver and a Blue Fulmar passed Whitburn Obs by 11am this morning. The wind of change was blowing as i arrived, a warmer southerly wind i enjoyed Gropper reeling and Whitethroat singing as i made my way down. It was busy and i sent a few tweets trying to muster some support as both Marks were not in today and Stoney was not going to be in the house, maybe Boy Wonder would come to my rescue. I hadn't expected to be working this hard lots of birds and lots of species to keep a note of. Eventually Pink Floyd arrived and made a big difference you cant be looking through your scope at distant Terns and still see Divers going past close in. The Shore Lark was a bonus bird only the second year I've seen one from a sea watch
The sea was flat and calm so it was no surprise we had a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins heading north as well as a good selection of birds
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 29th April 05.40-11.00 SSE2 7/8

Common Gull 107n 14s
Gannet 259n 27s
Red br Merganser 1n
Common Tern 17n 18s
Wigeon 2n
Common Scoter 227n 52s
Eider 7n 11s
Grey Wagtail 1s
Sandwich Tern 32n 113s
Arctic Tern 23n 1s
Puffin 3n 4s
Redshank 3n
Black h Gull 2n
Red th Diver 13n 3s
Curlew 1n
Teal 2n
Grasshopper Warbler 1 reeling by the Obs
Shoveler 1s
Yellowhammer 1 singing
Porpoise 3s
Whimbrel 12n
Oyster Catcher 11n
Turnstone 5n 5s
Swallow 6n
Sand Martin 1n 2s
Great n Diver 1n
Shore Lark 1s 08.55
LBBGull 1n 3s
Goosander 3n
Mallard 2s
Shag 1n
Blue Fulmar 1n L
Sanderling 2n
Bottlenose Dolphin circa 12n fairly close inshore 07.48-07.55

Thursday, 27 April 2017

Barnacle spring migration gets underway...

84 Barnacle Geese went north at Whitburn Obs this morning as the spring migration started. They warmed my cockles on another cold and damp spring morning. Conditions were calmer and the light was good but early rain kept passage down with hardly any Terns seen today
Our Yellowhammer was singing again for the first time in weeks from exactly the same spot, and i managed to get my first Whitethroat of the year. My Obs year list is on 132 which is two ahead of my end of April total in 2016....still on track
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Thursday 27th April 05.30-09.30 W2 8/8

Auk sp 1850n the majority of these were by 7am
Fulmar 137n
Goldeneye 1n with auks 
Dunlin 8n
Gannet 212n 5s
Common Gull 105n 8s
Barnacle Goose 84n my first at 05.58 and last at 07.35the video is a bit rough sorry
Ringed Plover 4n
Eider 3n 3s
Common Tern 2s
Red th Diver 8n
Sandwich Tern 6n 3s
Whimbrel 3n
Turnstone 6n 2s
Goosander 9n
Shelduck 5n
Yellowhammer singing
Black h Gull 2n
Common Scoter 1n 2s
Redshank 32n
Greylag Goose 2n
Sand Martin 1n
Whitethroat 1 singing
Red br Merganser 1n

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

Blue all over...

Manx Shearwater Hooded Crow and a Blue Fulmar passed Whitburn Obs on this mornings watch. Magic Mark joined me and Stoney was in the house and yes we were all feeling blue, with the cold that is. And of course the star bird was a close Blue Fulmar
Rob rang me as he walked to the Obs to say a Blue Fulmar had just flown north behind the Obs, we dashed out but missed it but you can't be greedy Ive had a couple already. It was a County tick for Rob, still a difficult bird to catch up with not many are twitchable
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 26th April 05.35-09.35 N3 6/8

Gannet 784n 13s
Fulmar 721n
Common Gull 45n 16s
Black h Gull 1n
Common Scoter 9n
Red th Diver 4n 1s
Sandwich Tern 23n 1s
Manxie n
Eider 2n 1s
Turnstone 1n
Common Tern 2s
Hooded Crow 1n
Redshank 15n
Arctic Tern 5n
Goosander 1n
Red br Merganser 1n
LBBGull 1n
Kittiwake 3,200 by 9am
Auk sp 2,900 by 9am
Blue Fulmar 1n



Monday, 24 April 2017

Migrants in the rain...

6 Whimbrel and 7 Wheatears dropped in during this mornings storm. The sea watch was quiet with rain keeping birds down and when it cleared through and the wind dropped and the birds stopped. The Wheatear were on the wall, fence, horse jump, and hut. Some birders (Hoggie) would like to see the hut demolished i like it for tired migrants to land on and to call out its coming over the now...
Sadly i missed an Obs mega today Pink Floyd called to say a Raven was flying over Shearwater Estate but i had already left
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 24th April 05.25-09.25 NW3 then 2 rain 7/8

Common Gull 65n 41s
Gannet 102n 13s well down on yesterday
Whimbrel 6n
Sandwich Tern 5n 78s
Puffin 1n
Black h Gull 2n
Eider 6n 4s
Shelduck 3n 2s
Fulmar 144n
House Martin 2n
Common Scoter 84n 2s
Red th Diver 5n 2s
Curlew 1n
Turnstone 22s
Red br Merganser 2n
Common Tern 2n
Grey Heron 1n
Wheatear 7

Sunday, 23 April 2017

24........

Sooty Shearwater and an Arctic Skua passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. Magic Mark was late but he didn't miss much what a difference a day makes...
The shear volume of birds yesterday was a sight to see, but today didn't disappoint it was a slow burner. A very early Sooty Shearwater was our reward, no one is better int Obs than Mark on the distant stuff, thanks marra
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 23rd April 05.25-10.30 NW1-2 7/8 calm sea with moderate swell

Fulmar 358n
Common Gull 106n 11s
Sandwich Tern 69n 52s
Puffin 13n
Gannet 675n 3s
Red th Diver 5n
Common Scoter 74n 29s
Redshank 3n
Black h Gull 8n 4s
Eider 8n 6s
Turnstone 12n
Knot 17n
Swallow 2n
Arctic Tern 6n
Whimbrel 3n 5s
LBBGull 1n
Sand Martin 7n
Greylag Goose 2n
Shag 9n
Common Tern 5n 1s
Arctic Skua 1n
Manxie 4n
Sooty Shearwater 1n


Saturday, 22 April 2017

The tide has Tern'd.......

2 Long tailed Ducks and 7 Manxies passed Whitburn Obs in 5 hours this morning. Sandwich Tern numbers have been increasing with a credible 80 odd yesterday but today we had an incredible 300 plus when i left the Obs and Magic Mark was staying......
Stevie Thunder was in for a rare visit and tried to wind me up with double calling but i was having none of it. It was canny conditions with difficult light at times. Pink Floyd picked up the Dolphins heading south and again later when they came north well done mate. Hoggie was happy to catch up with a few new year birds so all in all a cracking watch.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 22nd April 05.35-10.35 NNW2 6/8

Sandwich Tern 30n 281s
Fulmar 264n
Gannet 338n 22s
Razorbill 541n
Common Gull 372n 13s
Common Scoter 14n 4s
Dunlin 1n
Common Tern 3n
Arctic Skua1n
Black h Gull 4n 1s
Puffin 14n
Blackcap singing
Mallard 3n
Shelduck 2n 2s
Manxie 7n
Eider 5n 3s
Arctic Tern 7n 3s
Red th Diver 10n 2s
Long tailed Duck 2s
Red br Merganser 1s
Shag 5n
Whimbrel 2n
Bottlenose Dolphin 20 plus south 07.05-07.50 then same north 09.45-10.00

Friday, 21 April 2017

Wonderful Westerlies......

Black necked Grebe and a Marsh Harrier went north past Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. I was out it the toon with a few birders (i use that term loosely) last night and Stoney was in the curry house....We discussed how westerlies were good for seeing Marsh Harriers off our coast and blow me.....
The day started well with another Hooded Crow, this time flying in off. This is my 4th in about 12 month, 2 last year and so far 2 this. It didn't hang around as usual. The Black-necked Grebe was my first whilst doing an obs list but not my first from the obs. It wasn't a great sea watch as such with bright sun and a blasting westerly but birds were moving i went full flaps and held on tight for the ride.

Friday 21st April 06.50-10.30 W3 2/8

Sandwich Tern 5n 5s
Common Gull 79n 16s
Curlew 1n
Hooded Crow 1 in off 06.03 then high north over the sea 07.55 not seen between those times by me

Greylag Goose 15n
Swallow 5n
Redshank 1s
Shelduck 2n
Alba Wagtail 2s
Sand Martin 16n 2s
Iceland Gull juv on rocks north of obs 06.45 then flew south 06.55
Black h Gull 2s
Goosander 5n
Shag 1n
Meadow Pipit 21 in off
Eider 10n
Grey Wagtail 1n
Wheatear 7 on range mounds
Stonechat 2 on range mound
Whimbrel 6n
Great Northern Diver 1n 08.23 (i was talking to John Chapman when this flew by but only saw it going away looked interesting)
Black necked Grebe 1n 08.28 fairly close inshore
Marsh Harrier 1n 08.46 fighting its way north being mobbed by gulls
Kestrel 1 in off
Red th Diver 1n

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Variety is the spice...

Long tailed Duck and a Blue Fulmar passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 this morning. If as they say variety is the spice of life i had a hot watch this morning. It lacked some regulars like Divers but made up for that with the mix up of birds i saw, shame about the lack of a year tick

Thursday 20th April 05.50-09.30 W2 7/8

Gannet 6n 3s
Common Gull 34n 206s
Blue Fulmar 1n (D) 06.08
Fulmar 52n
Sandwich Tern 8n 75s
Common Sand 1 on rocks
Curlew 1n
Eider 8s
Pied Wagtail 1n
Shag 1n
Black h Gull 10n 10s
Turnstone 30n 5s
Goosander 1n
Common Tern 1n
Redshank 47n
Shelduck 3s
Sand Martin 10n 4s
Swallow 1s
Common Scoter 4n 3s
Willow Warbler 2
Whimbrel 2n
Ringed Plover 1n
Chiffchaff 1
Dunlin 1n
Long tailed Duck 1n
Grasshopper Warbler 1 reeling close by

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Moorland Magic....

Merlin and 3 Ring Ouzel were among the superb birds i watched today on the Durham Moors. No Obs today it was the first of my two visits on the BTO BBS. Ive been surveying a square on the Durham Moors for a lot of years now it's always one of my favourite days of the year. It was cold 4.5 degs and a bit windy when i arrived for a first light start. I could have waited a few days but i like to keep as close to the original survey date as possible. It was obvious some birds were late in with the cold snap, Meadow Pipits were down and some of the waders such as Snipe and Curlew. Golden Plover and Lapwing were about normal.
Although my square is in a productive area i don't often get the sought after species Wheatear and Ring Ouzel but today both were present and a male Merlin shot through as well. With sightings of Common Buzzard and Red Kite it is a bumper year on my patch.
When i was done i decided to go looking for my Ringo, it had flown west out of my square and it wasn't long before i located it sitting in a bare tree by a brook. However it was not alone, not one but three were present in the same small tree. I managed some video but the light was poor and the wind up but you can see what met my eyes
In this same area i found another five Wheatear and a singing male Stonechat
A pair of Redpoll flew over calling and a bird i have not recorded up here before Robin. I staked out a small tree and both Stonechat and Ring Ouzel came into it but didn't hang about then this Willow Warbler
It's back to the Obs tomorrow morning but i can't wait for my second BBS

Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Playing away........

Long tailed Duck and Arctic Skua went north at Whitburn Obs this morning on another busy day as the light northerly continued. A duck Gadwall flew south early on then soon after flew back north with a drake Mallard in hot pursuit toward the nature reserve field. Its what we call playing away, expect some hybrid ducklings in the near future.
The meals on wheels guys arrived and i was still in the Obs which hasn't happened often of late. Unlucky Dave walked in as the Long tailed Duck went north but couldn't get on it in time and he needs it for the year, just a touch unlucky that..
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 18th April 05.45-11.10 NNW2 4/8

Fox at obs
Common Gull 301n 7s
Fulmar 197n
Sandwich Tern 35n 49s
Turnstone 1n 7s
Gannet 260n 26s
Common Scoter 4n 7s
Eider 1n 5s
LBBGull 1n
Shelduck 7n
Black h Gull 4n 1s
Velvet Scoter 1s
Shag 1n
Red th Diver 6n 3s
Iceland Gull 1n 2cy
Gadwall 3n 1s
Porpoise 5n 1s
Common Sandpiper 1n
Bonxie 3n
Whimbrel 1s
Redpoll 2s
Alba Wagtail 2n
Common Tern 1n
Arctic Skua 1n
Long tailed Duck 1n
Red br Merganser 8n
Curlew 2n
Bottlenose Dolphin 2n (probable not seen well)
Bar t Godwit 1s
Tufted Duck 1n
Tall Ship 1n



Monday, 17 April 2017

Many happy re'Terns'

2 Great Northern Divers and 2 Manxies passed Whitburn Obs  by 10.30 this morning. Magic Mark and Boy Wonder joined me for a reet canny sea watch in a light northerly wind. For the first time this year we saw three species of Tern as our first Arctic and Common Terns went north, welcome back!
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 17th April 05.45-10.30 N2 4/8

Fulmar 140n
Razorbill 235n
Gannet 181n 22s
Common Gull 123n 1s
Eider 10n 4s
Bar tailed Godwit 3n
Sandwich Tern 26n 18s
Red th Diver 11n
Manxie 2n
Curlew 1s
Goosander 1n
Arctic Tern 2n
Common Scoter 16n 3s
Shelduck 1n 2s
Common Tern 4n
Grey Heron 1n
Puffin 3n
Tufted Duck 2n
Shag 3n
Redshank 1s
Whimbrel 2n
LBBGull 1n
Black h Gull 4n 1s
Great Northern Diver 2n
Teal 2s
Wigeon 1n
Chiffchaff 1

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Wandering Waders....

Whimbrel and Bar tailed Godwits went north at Whitburn Obs this morning. Migrants have been held up with the cold Easter weather so it was nice to see waders starting to move right on cue. Magic Mark joined me and Stoney was in the house and the Whimbrel was our bird of the morning calling as it headed north. We had a bit of a mixed bag today but not the Humpback we were hoping for
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 16th April 05.50-09.50 NW2 6/8

Fulmar 152n
Common Gull 112n 99s
Common Scoter 10n 2s
Sandwich Tern 16n 45s
Goose sp 3n
LBBGull 1n
Eider 13n 1s
Bar tailed Godwit 3n
Turnstone 8n 15s
Alba Wagtail 1n 1s
Swallow 1n 1s
Greylag Goose 7s
Shelduck 5n
Sand Martin 6n
Red th Diver 3n
Shag 1s
Mute Swan 3n 3s
Tufted Duck 2n
Curlew 1n
Black h Gull 5n 6s
Merlin 1n
Meadow Pipit 4 in off
Ringed Plover 1s
Whimbrel 1n

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Bakers dozen.......

Long tailed Duck and Velvet Scoter passed Whitburn Obs on our early morning sea watch today but the stars of the show were circa 20 Bottlenose Dolphins. It is always a real pleasure to watch Dolphins off our coast and so few people are aware of what they could see locally. I picked them up when i noticed Gull activity to the south and moved into camera mode but the full cloud cover made it hard to get the camera to focus. Still i got a bit of film as you can see
Common Scoter numbers are at last beginning to increase and it was amusing that Rob called three different flocks of ducks coming north that all had 13 in the flock, bakers dozen...
This is hat we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 12th April o5.55-09.45 W3 8/8

Common Gull 183n 32s
Eider 1n 15s
Common Scoter 69n 14s
Gannet 24n 8s
Black h Gull 3n 10s
Sandwich Tern 10n 29s
Turnstone 14n 6s
Shag 2n
Redshank 6s
Teal 2n
Long tailed Duck 1s
Red th Diver 3n 1s
Velvet Scoter 1n
Porpoise 1n
Bottlenose Dolphin-12n 06.40-06.55 then 8n 07.10-07.15



Monday, 10 April 2017

Lightning strikes twice.......

Hooded Crow went north passed Whitburn Obs this morning on an otherwise poor sea watch. Westerly winds and bright sun are not very inviting for sea watching so i didn't hang about this morning tho plenty of birds are on the move
On the 10th of April 2016 i called a Hooded Crow flying south it was a new Obs bird for me. When news came yesterday of another at St Mary's i jokingly asked @WhitleyBirder to send it south and thought that would be the last i heard of it. This morning things were slow so i popped out the back of the Obs to have a scan looking toward the firing range i looked through my scope and without moving it one fraction would you adam and eve it a Hooded Crow was in my scope. Now they say lightning doesn't strike twice but they are wrong, it did as it is the 10th of April 2017.
Well done Jack Bucknall you were true to your word. I don't do the lotto but as i left Whitburn i bought a Euro millions lucky dip ticket and one of my numbers is 10......
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 10th April  05.55-09.30 W then NW 2-3 0/8

Common Gull 25n 56s
Curlew 3s
Sandwich Tern 1n
Meadow Pipit 6s
Alba Wagtail 3n 1s
Shelduck 4s
Eider 5n 1s
Hooded Crow on rifle range 07.05 then north passed Obs 07.15

Sand Martin 3s
Black h Gull 3n 4s
Turnstone 7s
Wheatear 2 on Jackies beach
Grey Heron 1s

Sunday, 9 April 2017

That spoon that spoon that spoonbill....

Iceland Gull and 26 Whooper Swans were seen from Whitburn Obs this morning. We have a new south facing bench and it didn't take long for us to abandon the Obs on a day with rubbish light and go for the outdoors. It helped us nail House Martin and Swallow plus a few Wheatear but not the hoped for Ringo today....
Some years ago Saint Mark saw a Spoonbill from the Obs and i need it for my all time Obs list. So when news came of two Spoonbills flying North from Saltholme it was game on. I waited patiently on the new bench and picked up on a large bird heading our way but it was a Grey Heron, next time..
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 9th April 06.00-10.30 S2 0/8

Eider 7n 3s
Gannet 6n 4s
Red th Diver 3n
Sandwich Tern 3n 18s
Iceland Gull 2nd won range again
Gadwall 2n
Alba Wagtail 5s
Red br Merganser 1n
Common Scoter 32n 3s
Black h Gull 21s
Grey Heron 1n
Sand Martin 2n 10s
Shelduck 2n
Shag 2n 1s
LBBGull 1 on range
Wheatear 3or4
 Whooper Swan 26n
Swallow 1n
Yellowhammer 1 still in hedge
House Martin 1s


Saturday, 8 April 2017

Common as muck....

8 Velvet Scoter and 30 Sandwich Terns passed Whitburn Obs on this mornings early watch. Saint Mark joined me and later Pink Floyd. Common Gull numbers have been building up all week and today it went crazy. I logged over 800 the second largest count ever. Its still well behind the record count set last year on the 17th April of 1611....hope I'm not counting the day they peak.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 8th April 06.00-09.35 W2 0/8

Common Gull 868n 8s
Red th Diver 3n 2s
Cormorant 31n 52s
Common Scoter 30n 5s
Black h Gull 7n 1s
Turnstone 9s
Redshank 3n 1s
Sandwich Tern 14n 16s
Alba Wagtail 4n 3s
Eider 13n 10s
Shelduck 1s
Gannet 4n 5s
Grey Heron 2n 1s
Sand Martin 3n 7s
Willow Warbler 1
Shag 8n
Meadow Pipit 42 in off
Velvet Scoter 8n


Thursday, 6 April 2017

Gloria Gaynor time.....

2 Great Northern Divers and a Long tailed Duck passed Whitburn Obs early morning. It was a slow day and at times. If the crab sandwich boys had turned up i would have said 'go walk out the door' but it just shows you my last four species were Goosander, Swallow, Long tailed Duck and two GNDivers. Mind thats about all i saw in that last hour. The Common Gull count keeps growing
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Thursday 6th April 06.00-09.00 W1-2 0/8

Common Gull 336n 39s
Cormorant 16n 50s
Eider 8n 10s
Teal 2n
Common Scoter 28n
Black h Gull 12n 32s
Shag 7n 1s
Red th Diver 5n
Sandwich Tern 1n 4s
Meadow Pipit 11 in off
Alba Wagtail 1n 4s
Gannet 3n
Sand Martin 3n
Linnet 3 in off
Shelduck 2n 1s
Goosander 1n
Swallow 3s
Long tailed Duck 1n
Great Northern Divers 2s

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Abandon ship.......

Merlin and 13 Sandwich Terns were seen from Whitburn Obs by 9am this morning. Stoney was in the house and from the off we reckoned the conditions looked good for raptors with a brisk NW and sunshine. The light was difficult but it was a nice change when someone other than me saw Merlin from the Obs, 10 minutes later than yesterdays
Rob told me the news that Foss had a Black Kite so we abandoned the sea watch and headed to Cleadon. Sadly we didn't connect but this is what we did see in order of appearance

Wednesday 6th April 06.00-09.00 NW2 3/8

Alba Wagtail 3n 4s
Kittiwake 4000 plus n is a conservative estimate over the watch they just kept coming
Cormorant 13n 35s
Eider 5n 6s
Common Gull 159n 39s
Chiffchaff 1
Red th Diver 3n 1s
Black h Gull 10n 19s
Sandwich Tern 7n 6s
Curlew 1n
Common Scoter 4n 9s
Carrion Crow 20
Sand Martin 4n
Linnet 22 in off
Merlin 1n heading in off 07.21
Meadow Pipit 8 in off
Grey Wagtail 1s
Porpoise 1n
Shelduck2s
Gannet 4n
Shag 1n
We had no luck locating the Kite but the good news is Rob found an Osprey trying

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

You can't beat a pair of Red-breasts.....

Osprey and Merlin went north at Whitburn Obs this morning. On a much better day with good light and a calm sea early on plenty of birds were moving. By the time i left the cloud had broken and the birds dried up was glad i got the best of them. The Merlin came in off from a long way out very close to me in the end i ran outside to follow it and it headed high north. The Osprey was picked up when i noticed a lot of Gull activity to the north, it was cutting in so maybe someone will get a better view than me. Sawbills were moving with Mergansers and Goosanders moving north
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 4th April 05.55-10.30 S1 then NW2 7/8 THEN 4/8

Cormorant 30n 43s
Puffin 11n
Common Gull 132n 111s
Common Scoter 4n 5s
Shoveler 1n 1s
Canada Goose 2s
Gannet 2n 5s
Red th Diver 1n 4s
Eider 3n 12s
Red br Merganser 8n

Goosander 4n
Teal 2n 2s
LBBGull 1n
Sandwich Tern 1n 1s
Merlin in off and north 07.15
Alba Wagtail 1n 1s
Porpoise 2s
Greylag Goose 3n 3s

Turnstone 5n
Shag 4n 1s
Osprey 1n 08.00 low over and putting gulls up
Black h Gull 7n 3s
Shelduck 1s
Grey Wagtail 1s
Sand Martin 1n

Monday, 3 April 2017

Abracadabra.....

Glaucous Gull and a Sandwich Tern were seen from Whitburn Obs today. I went outside to look for our regular Iceland Gull and found a Glaucous Gull....and for my next trick
Stoney was in the house and it was good to have the extra eyes but it was a different day to Sunday. Poor light and less birds did for us. Only one Sandwich Tern was a disappointment after 20 plus were logged yesterday. Common Gull numbers are on the up and of the nearly 300 seen i only noticed one adult
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 3rd April 06.10-09.30 S2 1/8

Redwing 8+ in the hedge on the obs path
Eider 6n 10s
Teal 1s
Black h Gull 26s
Cormorant 21n 51s
Shelduck 2n 1s
Common Scoter 5n 14s
Curlew 6s
Common Gull 39n 255s
Alba Wagtail 1n 9s
Red th Diver 1n 4s
Canada Goose 2n
Puffin 1n
Chiffchaff 1
Sandwich Tern 1n
Dunlin 10n
Gannet 3n 2s
Shag 1n 1s
Glaucous Gull juv one on the range
Rock Pipit 1s

Sunday, 2 April 2017

They're back......

19 Sandwich Terns passed Whitburn Obs by 10.05 this morning. We can officially say that Sarnies are back! and i will be counting them every day which is great news just another 6 species of Tern required then....
Saint Mark joined me and later Hoggie and Walter and it was another action packed day with loads of birds passing. The year ticks kept coming with a Brambling over. When i heard a warbler like contact call i asked Mark to investigate as i am sandwiched in the middle of the Obs furthest from a door, he shouted Coal Tit and i was up and out in a shot all evidence of a bad leg gone. So already the year list is on 116.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 2nd April 06.05-10.05 N1 4/8

Cormorant 22n 39s
Common Gull 214n 13s
Eider 7n 8s
Wigeon 2n
Curlew 56s
Grey Wagtail 1s
Yellowhammer 1
Common Scoter 16n 9s
Goldcrest 1 in off
Porpoise 2n 1s
Alba Wagtail 1n 4s
Kestrel 2
Sandwich Tern 18n 1s
Red th Diver 1n 5s
Ringed Plover 4n
Gannet 8n 2s
Oyster Catcher 1n
Greylag Goose 1n 2s
Sanderling 9n
Sand Martin 4n 2s
Meadow Pipit 4s
Chiffchaff 1
Shag 3n
Iceland Gull 1 on range 2nd w
Sparrowhawk 3 up together
Black h Gull 1n
Kittiwake 235 in 15 mins
Redshank 15s
Turnstone 15s
Teal 1n
Coal Tit 1 get in!
Brambling 1

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Won't get fooled again....

Long-tailed Duck and Iceland Gull were seen from Whitburn Obs this morning. It was a lovely spring morning with plenty of birds moving. My year tick for the day was a Winter visitor Redwing. Of course it's the 1st of April and we all know what that means...Yes we were taken in for a short while by a tweet from our buddy @SteelySeabirder Narwhal indeed
This is what we saw today in order of appearance

Saturday 1st April 06.25-10.15 S1-2 4/8

Black h Gull 12n 30s
Eider 6n 1s
Gannet 10n
Common Gull 9n 133s
Redwing 4n
Iceland Gull on rifle range 2nd w
Alba Wagtail 15s
Curlew 3s
Cormorant 11n 24s
Red th Diver 7n 4s
Common Scoter
Long tailed Duck 1s
Shag 8n 6s
Porpoise 3s
Redshank 12n 1s
Sandwich Tern 4n 1s
Meadow Pipit 10s
Pied Wagtail 6s
Knot 5n
Goosander 3n 3s
Shelduck 2n 1s
Wood Pigeon 2s
Greylag Goose 1n
Rock Pipit 1s
Sparrowhawk 1n 1s
Sand Martin 1n 5s
Ringed Plover 3s
Turnstone 23s
Sanderling 4s
Goose sp 4s

Friday, 31 March 2017

Ebony or Ivory.......

Iceland Gull and 70 Pink feet were from Whitburn Obs this morning. It was a very pleasant watch with loads of variety and a nice early Swallow south. My March year listed total ended on 113 better than the 108 last year so on track.
Just over a week ago I blogged about a large Diver that could have been White Billed so i thought i might give a bit more detail of what i saw as that blog has had a lot of hits.
Pink Floyd called a Diver north and i got my scope on it and said its a large Diver. That is Obs speak for its not a Red throat so everyone will look at it. It was passing at a nice distance and a second smaller Diver was flying directly under it. My first impressions were of an average size Great Northern one of the other observers said it was a Black-throated but i said not it was a big diver. For some reason i started at the feet and worked back to front checking it out. Its feet were not particularly large and certainly not club like as some White-billed I've seen. Its belly wasn't massive either in fact nothing was remarkable about it. I noticed some white starting to come through on its mantle and back and was surprised not to see any obvious neck collar. When i got to its bill it was getting well north and i was a bit taken aback as it was ivory, not dark or grey. It had its bill held open in flight a feature i have seen on the majority of White-billed but i have seen once on a Great Northern.
I put the news out in the hope that someone further north would clinch it but both sites who reported it just said possible as i had. Why did i not notice the ivory bill earlier....don't know
This is what we had today in order of appearance

Friday 31st March 06.30-10.15 S2 8/8

Grey Partridge calling
Common Gull 117n 24s
Black h Gull 1n 28s
Eider 6n 12s
Fulmar 21n 7s
Common Scoter 21n 2s
Alba Wagtail 13s
Cormorant 8n 26s
Yellowhammer calling
Gannet 6n
Grey Wagtail 3s
Red th Diver 2n 3s
Meadow Pipit 11s
Shelduck 1n 3s
Swallow 1s
Wigeon 2n
Chiffchaff 1 calling
Turnstone 26s
Pink footed Goose 70n
Teal 2n
Sandwich Tern 1s
Greylag Goose 3n
Wood pigeon 5s
Shoveler 1s
Kestrel 1s
Sky Lark 2s
Shag 3n
Ringed Plover 1s
Pied Wagtail 1n 4s

Thursday, 30 March 2017

You can't beat a White Arse.........

Osprey and a Great Northern Diver went north at Whitburn Obs in 3.5 hours this morning. It was a very slow start this morning with lots of heat haze, it wasn't till 08.20 when i saw two Tern sp going north high up that things started happening. I got the scope on them and confirmed Sandwich but picked up on a large raptor going north further out. I could make out the white underparts and face of an Osprey, not as exciting as last years close bird but a welcome tick. The bird that won star bird at this stage was my first Wheatear scoped on Jackie's beach, as i said its nice to see your first white.... video attached. As it turned out that half hour spell brought most of the decent birds i saw,  till later....
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Thursday 30th March 06.30-10.00 S2-3 6/8 heat haze

Cormorant 3n 5s
Common Gull 1n 25s
Fulmar 26n 21s
Eider 2n 13s
Gannet 3n 3s
Alba Wagtail 3s
Shag 6n
Yellowhammer 1
Common Scoter 2n 6s
Black h Gull 1n 11s
Grey Wagtail 1s
Greylag Goose 2s
Sandwich Tern 2n
Osprey 1n 08.20
Peregrine 1s sub adult
Raptor sp 1s large and dark 08.40
LBBG 1n
Great Northern Diver 1n 08.53 winter plumage
Shelduck 2n
Wheatear 1 scoped on Jackie's beach
And that should have been that, two Obs year ticks one miles out the other showed well. I had just walked back in the house and still had my thermals on from early morning when Mark Newsome rang me at 12.23 with news that Geoff Iceton had an Alpine Swift moving north from Hartlepool, he'd had a call from Tom Francis so back in the car in seconds and off to whence i had been. All the lights were in my favour no train at Boldon i flew through within permitted speed limits of course and hobbled to the Obs mound. I had carried my scope and it was just as well as i picked the bird up scoping well south it was east of Roker Lighthouse and higher than the lighthouse. I called out the cloud colour as you do trying to get the guys onto it. Hoggie dashed for his scope and i relocated the bird further west but still very distant not coming our way and lost it again i think it may have gone up the River Wear. It was a shame because some birders north of us were looking with bins but it never came close enough to be seen with them. So thanks to Geoff, Tom, and Mark i have a fantastic addition to my Obs all time list. Its overdue really just a shame it didn't keep coming up the east coast. It was my 5th in County Durham, and tomorrow......

Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Mr Sandman build me a home.....


Sandwich Tern and Sand Martin both went north past the Obs this morning but I'm still waiting for the Obs first Wheatear. It was a canny sea watch but nothing special was going on so i was out scanning for migrants, sadly i left before the rain so maybe tomorrow. I saw my first Sand Martin flying above the guys working on the construction of the new Sand Martin nesting bank, hurry up it was saying...
The National Trust team do a great job at Whitburn and in August (date to be confirmed) Jason will be doing a ringing demonstration for members of Durham Bird Club.


This is what i saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 29th March SW2 06.30-10.00 6/8 drizzle at times

Cormorant 11n 15s
Common Gull 5n 20s
Fulmar 144n 8s
Gannet 17n
Black h Gull 2n 12s
Goosander 1n
Grey Heron 1s
Eider 5n 7s
Red th Diver 6n 1s
Puffin 1s
Sandwich Tern 1n
Shag 6n
Alba Wagtail 3s
Red br Merganser 1n
Shelduck 2n
Velvet Scoter 3n
Turnstone 4s
Common Scoter 1n
Lapwing 3s
Sand Martin 1n

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Silence is golden.....

Great Northern Diver and a Peregrine went south at Whitburn Obs early morning. I've not had much to blog about for a few days so today is a bit of a summary as well as today's birds
Saint Mark managed his 100th species on his patch at Whitburn on Sunday, this Mute Swan went south then north again as well as landing on the sea in front of the Obs. Its a scarce bird from here with Whooper being the common Swan
Mark also found our now resident Yellowhammer another very scarce bird only my third in five years. Yesterday i sat hoping for the fog to clear but had to give in eventually and the only bird that showed well was the Hammer, video later in the blog

Tuesday 28th March 06.40-10.15 SE2-3 8/8 some mist

Common Scoter 2n
Cormorant 12n 23s
Common Gull 6n 89s
Fulmar 22n 8s
Guillemot 205s
Razorbill 1n 16s
Curlew 69s
Redshank 2s
Black h Gull 1n 3s
Peregrine 1s mucky sub ad
Great Northern Diver 1s winter plumage bird
Red br Merganser 1n
Eider 5n 7s
Turnstone 31s
Red th Diver 4n 4s
Gannet 2n 1s
Shelduck 1s
Alba Wagtail 1n 2s
Goldcrest 2 in off
Yellowhammer 1 still outside the Obs singing this is yesterdays video in the fog



Saturday, 25 March 2017

If i had a Hammer.....

Iceland Gull went north at Whitburn Obs on this mornings sea watch but little else of note. The mass surge of birds from a couple of days ago has gone and both Marks joined me for a leisurely Saturday sea watch. Star bird was a Yellowhammer that Saint Mark found in the hedge by the Obs, a true Mega, well done Mark
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 25th March 05.55-09.45 W1 1/8

Cormorant 18n 22s
Porpoise 2s
Fulmar 32n
Common Gull 74n 27s
Eider 5n 14s
Meadow Pipit 35 in off
Chiffchaff 1
Redshank 8s
Common Scoter 16n 2s
Wigeon 1n
Alba Wagtail 8 in off
Black h Gull 2n 29s
Red th Diver 2n 1s
Goosander 3n
Grey Wagtail 1s
Greylag Goose 1n 1s
Goldcrest 2
White Wagtail 1s
Tufted Duck 1n
Skylark 1s
Iceland Gull 1n 2cy
Gannet 1s
Yellowhammer 1


Thursday, 23 March 2017

Diver cock up........

Storm Petrel, Long tailed Duck and 3 Blue Fulmar passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. As yesterday i was watching on a close line sheltering behind the north shutters, brrrr. Many birds were passing close in going north, both Kittiwake and Fulmar numbers were up.I picked up on a Storm Petrel coming north close inshore, never heard of a Stormie this early before and it was quickly lost in the troughs. Plenty of quality birds on show today but the big one probably got away. Pink Floyd called a Diver coming north it was at a nice distance and i said it was a large Diver but it was already north of me when i got on the bill and it was ivory, it was held open in flight so its angle wasn't easy to see i needed more time. I put out the news in the hope someone further north could nail it.
Another bird of note today was a very large Accipiter that went north low in front of the Obs, biggest Sparrowhawk? I've ever seen. Oh well just one of those days and great fun.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 23rd March 06.05-10.30 E3 7/8

Fulmar 443n 13S
Kittiwake 1105n 2S
Gannet 101n 9s
Curlew 1n
Common Scoter 38n 1s
Storm Petrel 1n -6.40
Blue Fulmar 3n (1xL, 2xD)
Red th Diver 3n 5s
Cormorant 9n 1s
Shag 7n 1s
Sandwich Tern 1n 1s
Shelduck 10n
Scaup 1n dr
Alba Wagtail 2n
Dunlin 3n
Tufted Duck 3n
SEOwl 1n (thanks to a call from Saint Mark)
Red br Merganser 1n
Black h Gull 9n 4s
Eider 16n 6s
Sparrowhawk? 1n the video is a different bird from the Obs

LBBGull 3n
Goosander 2n
Carrion Crow 21n
Wigeon 2n
Peregrine 1n
Large Diver sp 1n 09.47
Long tailed Duck 1n



Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Diana Dors.....

3 Whooper Swans, 3 Velvet Scoter, and a Blue Fulmar went north at Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. I was welcomed to the Obs by a strong cold easterly and rain so partially hid behind the north shutter to start my sea watch. I was hoping for my first Sandwich Tern as predicted by Magic Mark and i was not disappointed as two went north during the watch. Its is a welcome return as the daily Tern movement keeps me going when nowt else is passing and i probably see more Sandwich Terns than any other sea watcher in the North East. Stoney was in the house and between the two of us we managed a few good birds. Sadly he left just before the star bird went north, a cracking Blue Fulmar close inshore Diana Dors would have been proud of these DD's 
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 22nd March 06.00-10.30 E2 8/8

Cormorant 13n 10s
Common Gull 102n 12s
Fulmar 101n 14s
Kittiwake 480n 12s
Gannet 52n 33s
Grey Wagtail 1s
Ringed Plover 6s
Red th Diver 7n 2s
Grey Heron 1n
Sandwich Tern 2n
Common Scoter 41n 23s
Eider 1n 2s
Puffin 1n
Velvet Scoter 3n
Shag 2n 1s
Porpoise 2n
Teal 1n
Black h Gull 21n 1s
Whooper 3n
Blue Fulmar 1n DD

Monday, 20 March 2017

Chiswick flyover.....

17 Whooper Swans went north at Whitburn Obs this morning binging this months passage to 348 beating last years record count of 337 in March. Even Saint Mark managed to see them from his house which is more than he saw from 7 hours of sea watching in the Obs this weekend. The other feature of the morning was the 'chiswick' call of Pied Wagtails passing as for the second day running they arrived in off with Pipits
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 20th March 06.05-09.30 SW2-3 6/8
Grey Partridge 1 calling
Cormorant 8n 4s
Black h Gull 27n 168s
Common Gull 29n 59s
Redshank 17s
Turnstone 27s
Eider 7n 1s
Gannet 6n 3s
Common Scoter 7n 36s
Red th Diver 2n 1s
Curlew 1s
Chiffchaff 1 calling
Porpoise 2s
Whooper Swan 17n 07.42
Meadow Pipit 73 in off
Pied Wagtail 18 in off (all of the birds i could see well were Pied though some could be White)


Sunday, 19 March 2017

Full flaps......

Iceland Gull was seen off Whitburn Obs today for the second day running, a 3cy bird but little else on a quiet day. When we have all the eastern facing shutters open in the Obs we refer to it as 'full flaps', today we had the north facing shutter open as well as Foss had rang to say the Iceland Gull was flying our  way. It did arrive eventually though that is not the reason why we were 'full flaps'. Saint Mark has only seen two Whooper Swans this month mainly due to work (not recommended), whilst i have seen 307 due to not working (highly recommended) so we were giving him every possible chance of seeing Swans. In addition the Obs has logged 331 Whoopers so far this March only 6 behind the 2016 record March passage of 337.....Did he get any Whoopers...
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 19th March 06.10-09.30 SW2 cloud 6/8

Common Gull 16n 8s
Gannet 18n 9s
Black h Gull 10n 147s
Red th Diver 7n 3s
Turnstone 54s
Ringed Plover 4s
Shag 3n 1s
Cormorant 7n 26s
Teal 1s
Eider 4n 12s
Shelduck 1n
Porpoise 1n 2s
Meadow Pipit 20 in off
Pied Wagtail 15 in off
Common Scoter 5n 2s
Greylag Goose 1n
Chiffchaff 1
Wigeon 1n
Velvet Scoter 1s
Iceland Gull 1s 3cy


Friday, 17 March 2017

Waxing lyrical....

Great Northern Diver, Glaucous Gull and a load more Whoopers passed Whitburn Obs this morning. I was joined by Magic Mark and later Sir Ian. It was not as frantic a watch today just a slow steady passage of birds but when you look at what we saw you would think I'll take that. Star birds though were the Waxwings in my street when i got home. It was great to see them feeding on the deck and I've included a bit of video and more will be on my YouTube channel
This is what we saw today in order of appearance

Friday 17th March 06.00-10.30 W2-3 cloud 7/8

Black h Gull 11n 57s
Common Gull 23n 62s
Cormorant 13n 26s
Common Scoter 17n 13s
Eider 6n 4s
Red th Diver 9n 5s
Gannet 70n 12s
Canada Goose 3n
Chiffchaff 1
Porpoise 5n
Greylag Goose 2s
Red br Merganser 1n
Redshank 22s
Turnstone 41s
Curlew 2s
Great Northern Diver 1n
Whooper Swan 40n (17,2,16,5)
Meadow Pipit 5 in off
Great Crested Grebe 1n
Grey Heron 1n
Pink footed Goose 24n
Glaucous Gull 1n juv
25 Waxwings in Chipchase Oxclose Washington




Thursday, 16 March 2017

Whooping with joy.....

109 Whooper Swans and 2 Little Egrets were among the wide range of birds we had past Whitburn Obs by 10.20 today. Stoney was in the house and the first Whoopers were going north as he walked in, now that's good timing. I called the second group but they were distant and needed checking and at that point the 2 Little Egrets flew straight over our heads luckily i picked them up as they went south. Probably the same birds that turned up at WWWT later on. I was a very happy camper its a tricky bird to catch up with from the Obs and joins the Great White i saw as my second Egret species of the year just need Cattle now.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 16th March 06.05-10.10 S2 then later SW3 cloud 4/8

Eider 2n 11s
Common Scoter 18n 4s
Common Gull 17n27s
Cormorant 12n 18s
Black h Gull 27n 26s
Red th Diver 7n 2s
Grey Wagtail 1n
Shag 11n 1s
Greylag Goose 3n 4s
Pied Wagtail 4n 3s
Gannet 18n 3s
Porpoise 1n 7s
Whooper Swan 109n (4,65,5,6,29)
Meadow Pipit 19n 7s
Little Egret 2s 07.05
Goosander 1n
Ringed Plover 1s
Oyster Catcher 3n
Siskin 1s
Scaup 1s dr
Pock Pipit 1s
Bar t Godwit 3s
Redshank 8s
Pink footed Goose 1n
Knot 1n
Turnstone 2n
Curlew 2n
Snow Bunting 1n

Not todays bunting it was flying north

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

Swan Song.....

28 Whooper Swans and a Peregrine were the best birds from a quiet early morning sea watch today. Can't be many more Whoopers to come so was this the Swan Song...This gives me the chance to let you know of a recent Whooper error. We did not set a new day record passage on the 10th of March we had a double count in error so the record day passage still stands at 138 only 128 went north on the 10th not 190 as i reported. Still it was a good number but we must be running out...I did get some video of today's Swans see link below
This is what i saw today in order of appearance

Tuesday 15th March 06.30-09.00 SW2 cloud 7/8

Black h Gull 23n 19s
Common Gull 30n 9s
Common Scoter 5n 1s
Whooper Swan 28n


Eider 3n 3s
Cormorant 5n 17s
Redshank 14s
Turnstone 38s
Gannet 2n
Porpoise 3s
Ringed Plover 1s
Wigeon 2n
Red th Diver 4n
Grey Heron 1n
Peregrine 1s



Sunday, 12 March 2017

Ton(s) of birds....

Short eared Owl, Common Buzzard and a Blue Fulmar were seen from the Obs today, all shouts from Magic Mark at his magical best. Saint Mark started well calling a drake Scaup our first duck species of the day and his first year tick. Later a pair of Pintail went north and were my 100th species of the year...Ton Up.
It was a great day loads going on with a light southerly and bit of mist. I had missed SEO earlier in the year so when Mark called it i was very happy, a pull back. It was distant for video so I've included some video from late last year. The Buzzard over Shearwater Estate was a bonus and shows the benefit of a comfort break­čśĆ. These are both tricky species to catch up with from the Obs. Finishing the day on 102 species was fantastic and shows the benefit of team work
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 12th March 06.10-10.30 S1 cloud 4/8 early mist

Grey Wagtail 2n 1s
Scaup 1n dr
Common Scoter 29n 5s
Fulmar 290n
Gannet 24n 11s
Common Gull 6n 10s
Shag 3n 1s
Porpoise 6
Razorbill 11n 2s
Goosander 5n
Blue Fulmar 1n
Wigeon 29n
Red th Divwe11n 10s
Ringed Plover 1n
Black h Gull 14n 18s
Cormorant 5n 14s
Siskin 1n
Starling 36 in off
Eider 3n 6s
Shelduck 6n
Dunlin 6s
Pintail 2n pr
LBBGull 1n
Teal 2n 11s
Turnstone 13s
Mallard 1s
Pied Wagtail 1n 3s
Common Buzzard 1
Grey Heron 2s
SEOwl 1s

Friday, 10 March 2017

Whoopers Whooping.....

 190 Whooper Swans went north passed Whitburn Obs this morning a new record day count beating the previous record of 138 on the 26th March 2016. When the first 10 went north at 07.05 i tweeted a big movement could be on the cards with a fresh southerly blowing and I'm happy to say i was right. I was on my own most of the watch but luckily Unlucky Dave called in on his way to Jackies Beach and saw a couple of herds go up. Even better he logged the last group of 62 that broke the record after i had left for the day. Maybe more will be seen as the crab sandwich boys hadn't arrived when i left and they like to have lunch in the Obs.
It was all about the Whoopers today the last group of 40 were right overhead and were whooping. I had tried to get video earlier but the poor light made it difficult to focus, tho i did get a little of the last group see if you can pick out the Bewick's.......
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Friday 10th March 06.20-10.30 S3 cloud 8/8

Cormorant 14n 19s
Canada Goose 3s
Common Scoter 5n 11s
Fulmar 36n 3s
Razorbill 20n
Common Gull 22n 65s
Red th Diver 4n 14s
Kittiwake 118n 26s
Guillemot 10n 1s
Gannet 3n 1s
Black h Gull 15n 45s
Grey Wagtail 1s
Porpoise 3n
Eider 20n
Shag 3n
Whooper Swan 190n (10,32,4,20,22,40,62)

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Nervous 90's....

2 Bottlenose Dolphins went south passed Whitburn Obs, thanks to @elliottatchev for the heads up.I had to leave early on some family taxi business and just managed to fit them into my busy schedule. How did i manage when i worked.  The birds were less exciting and my Obs year list has limped onto 99 so a bit more passage would be useful. In recent days I've added Stock Dove, Grey Wag and Grey Partridge. It would be nice to get an early Sandwich Tern or Sand Martin this week...
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 8th March 06.25-09.10

Fulmar 58n 3s
Common Gull 35s
Meadow Pipit 1s
Gannet 6n 3s
Guillemot 8n 6s
Cormorant 6n 9s
Blue Fulmar 1n L
Razorbill 8n
Black h Gull 4n 11s
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Pink footed Goose 37n
Red th Diver 5n 1s
Shelduck 8n
Shag 3n 5s
Eider 2n 5s
Common Scoter 2n
Porpoise 2s
Bottlenose Dolphin 2s 09.00-09.10

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Tickety doo dah...

Arctic Skua went south passed Whitburn Obs by 10 o'clock this morning our first of the year. I was joined by Saint Mark and he was on top form calling the Skua. It was a nice early record but even more important for me he called a Stock Dove flying south behind the Obs a tricky bird to catch up with. Thanks Mark.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 5th March 06.35-10.10 SSW2-3 cloud 3/8

Black h Gull 11n 24s
Common Gull 7n 31s
Cormorant 2n 11s
Eider 6n 4s
Red th Diver 1n 1s
Kittiwake 83n 52s
Gannet 14n 2s
Shag 1s
Shelduck 3n
Razorbill 2n 1s
Porpoise 1n 2s
Pink footed Goose 2 on the rifle range and 140n ( a 60 and an 80)
Grey Partridge 2 flew into the nature reserve as per MH hopefully i will catch up with them soon
Pied Wagtail 1s
Skylark 2s
Stock Dove 1s
Arctic Skua 1s

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Pinks on the move....

Black throated Diver and Red-necked Grebe passed Whitburn Obs by 10 o'clock this morning. The crab sandwich boys arrived but alas after all the good birds had gone , hope they get a consolation bird
It was bust straight away and i heard the Pinks before i saw them nice way to start the day, i expect more to be heading off soon
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 28th February 06.45-10.00 W2 cloud 4/8

Cormorant 3n 15s
Common Gull 19n 66s
Black h Gull 19n 56s
Guillemot 17n 4s
Fulmar 17n 2s
Shag 3n 1s
Common Scoter 12s
Shelduck 1n
Red th Diver 11n 7s
Black th Diver 1n
Eider 3n 15s
Pink-footed Goose 95n
Razorbill 4n
Kittiwake 9n 6s
Porpoise 2n 1s
Mallard 3s
Red Necked Grebe 1s 08.34
Song Thrush 1

Sunday, 26 February 2017

two by two.....

2 Great Northern Divers and 2 Iceland Gulls were seen from Whitburn Obs this morning. Saint and Magic Mark joined me and it was a return to normal service as we saw some decent birds on our weekend watch which is how it should be. Great Northerns are back on the menu that's four in recent days. The strong winds yesterday meant that both doors were damaged and would not shut but man mountain Magic Mark managed to shut the damaged north door that none of us wimps could shift. Our landlords the National Trust are on the case with speedy repairs, thanks guys much appreciated
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 26th February 06.50-10.30 SW4 cloud 7/8

Eider 3n 3s
Common Gull 10n 24s
Gannet 22n 2s
Fulmar 40n
Guillemot 40s
Black h Gull 26n 33s
Turnstone 17s
Razorbill 19s
Cormorant 3n 19s
Kittiwake 9n 7s
Red th Diver 12n 3s
Iceland Gull 2n both juvs 07.35 and 08.40
Oyster Catcher 5n
Shag 7n 2s
Porpoise a pod of 6 went north and 3s
Shelduck 1n
Great Northern Diver 1n 1s
Goldeneye 1n
Common Scoter 2n 17s
Shoveler 2s

Saturday, 25 February 2017

February made me shiver.....

Great Northern Diver and a Blue Fulmar passed Whitburn Obs by 10 am today. I don't know about bye bye miss American Pie but its bye bye Doris. A weather front i will be glad to see the back of, it did nowt for sea watching. No blogg all week tells its own story, the only bright spots were a year tick when a Tufty went south and the first Great Northern since mid Jan.
Boy Wonder and Saint Mark joined me on another blasting SW wind but we did manage to see a few quality birds today. The Obs has suffered some wind damage but more of that tomorrow.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 25th February 06.45-10.00 SW4/5 then gusts 6+ cloud 8/8

Common Gull 8n 30s
Black h Gull 4n 13s
Fulmar 8n 170s
Cormorant 3n 8s
Guillemot 18s
Eider 4n 2s
Red th Diver 5s
Gannet 5n 8s
Porpoise 4n 1s
Razorbill 3s
Curlew 1n
Kittiwake 2n 4s
Brent Goose 3n db
Shag 9n
Blue Fulmar 1s D
Common Scoter 1s
Great Northern Diver 1n
Velvet Scoter 4n
Shelduck 1s


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Obs year list update....

Not much to report from a quiet Whitburn Obs this morning, the easterlies are gone and it was back to a south westerly. The Obs year list has been ticking over nicely and today i added Linnet and Red Breasted Merganser bringing my list to 90 for the year not a bad start
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Thursday 16th February 07.00-10.00 SW2-3 cloud 6/8

Common Gull 7n 77s
Black h Gull 7n 74s
Turnstone 4n 18s
Red th Diver 6n 10s
Guillemot 10n 9s
Cormorant 1n 11s
Shag 1n 3s
Red Breasted Merganser 3n 4s
Eider 3n 4s
Porpoise 4n
Fulmar 5n 5s
Meadow Pipit 2s
Razorbill 1s
Common Scoter 2n
Linnet 3s

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

With a little help from my friends.....

Slavonian Grebe went north passed Whitburn Obs by 10 o'clock this morning. Stoney was in the house briefly before heading to Ruforth which was just as well. Joe Cocker was right you do need a little help from your friends especially when your doing an Obs year list. The sun had broken through the mist so i went out the back of the Obs to look at the LBJ's, Linnet is still required..Rob shouted for me to get back in quickly as he had a Slav Grebe coming north. A survey boat close inshore and straight out was a handy marker and i easily got on the bird, cheers Rob
The watch had a different feel to it with the end of the easterly wind and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 15th February 07.10-10.10 SSW2 mist cloud 7/8

Black h Gull 16n 32s
Common Gull 16n 101s
Guillemot 16n 22s
Fulmar 52n 13s
Cormorant 4n 13s
Red th Diver 21n 14s
Eider 2n 3s
Meadow Pipit 1s
Razorbill 2n
Shag 5s
Shelduck 5n 1s
Curlew 5s
Sanderling 10s
Turnstone 11s
Porpoise 2s
Kittiwake 2s
Common Scoter 2n 1s
Skylark 4s
Scan H Gull 1s
Slavonian Grebe 1n 08.30

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Here Kitty Kitty......

2 Glaucous Gulls and a Bonxie passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 this morning. Both Marks and Stevie Thunder joined me on the stormiest day of the year so far. The first Glauc went by as we were sitting down with hail in our faces. The sea was spectacular the birds in truth were a little down on what was hoped for but Kittiwakes and Fulmars made up for the lack of ducks
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 12th February 07.20-10.30 ENE5 cloud 8/8

Black h Gull 3n 3s
Glaucous Gull 2n both juvs 07.22 and 09.05
Fulmar 237n 3s
Common Gull 10n
Kittiwake 123n 3s

Gannet 44n 11s
Common Scoter 3n 1s
Red th Diver 19n 5s
Scan Herring Gull 2n
Bonxie 1n
Puffin 1n
Cormorant 1s
Goldeneye 1n
Eider 2n
Shag 1n 26s

Friday, 10 February 2017

Shag fest 2........

Med Gull and 2 Brent Geese went south past Whitburn Obs by 11.00 today. Saint Mark and Pink Floyd kept me company on another very cold day, but the light was good and sharp. Star birds again were the Shag with another passage south, wonder if the white one will come past.....
This is what we saw in order appearance

Friday 10th February 07.25-11.00 E2 then NE3 cloud 8/8

Common Gull 5n 30s
Red th Diver 8n 8s
Gannet 10n 7s
Cormorant 1s
Fulmar 34n 5s
Razorbill 1n 8s
Guillemot 12n 49s
Shag 2n 41s

Grey Heron 1n
Common Scoter 1n
Black h Gull 4n 2s
Kestrel 1n
Brent Goose 2s
Med Gull 1s 2nd w
Curlew 3n
Lapwing 25n 2s
Turnstone 1n
Porpoise 2n

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Shag fest....


Iceland Gull went south passed Whitburn Obs today keeping up our recent run of white wingers. Stoney was in the house and the only other highlight apart from the Shags was a small bird going south with a wing bar that may have landed on the sea......but not confirmed sadly
It was brass monkeys and we headed off early
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 9th February 07.35-10.00 ESE3 cloud 8/8

Guillemot 14n 115s
Common Gull 3n 39s
Gannet 20s
Fulmar 15n 29s
Cormorant 5s
Razorbill 1n 2s
Red th Diver 17n 4s
Puffin 1n
Kestrel 1n
Shelduck 1n
Black h Gull 1s
Eider 1n
Porpoise 1n
Kittiwake 1s
Iceland Gull 1s probably a juv but distant
Common Scoter 1s
Shag 14s


Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Mines a double......

2 Iceland Gulls passed Whitburn Obs by 10.45 this morning. Stoney was in the house and we hoped for a third which would give us a new day passage record but it wasnt to be. I was back from a short birding break in Goa and loving the rough conditions but the birds forgot to show
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 8th Feburary 07.25-10.45 SE3 cloud 8/8

Common Gull 3n 41s
Guillemot 9n 292s
Black h Gull 2n 8s
Gannet 1n 52s
Scan Herring Gull 3s
Red th Diver 2n 7s
Shag 1n 2s
Cormorant 3s
Fulmar 21n 60s
Eider 4s
Kittiwake 1n 2s
Razorbill 6s
Iceland Gull 2n both juvs 08.25 and 09.25

Common Scoter 2n 1s
Rock Pipit 1s

Friday, 27 January 2017

Everything's gonna be all white......

Iceland and Med Gull went south past Whitburn Obs by 10 o,clock this morning. Yes i jammed onto another two white wingers bringing my January total to 23!. That's 13 Glaucs, 4  Iceland and 6 Med Gulls and still two January watches left.
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Friday 27th January 07.40-10.00 SSW2-3 cloud 6/8

Common Gull 3n 64s
Black h Gull 2n 45s
Fulmar 4n 6s
Scan Herring Gull 6s
Kittiwake 1s
Cormorant 3n 9s
Guillemot 1n 36s
Common Scoter 4n 3s
Wigeon 2s
Med Gull 1s ad
Curlew 6n 1s
Golden Plover 45s
Red th Diver 2n 1s
Iceland Gull 1s juv 08.55
the video is from the bird on Cleadon Flash a few years ago

Eider 1s
Redshank 2n
Shag 1s

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Dabble away....

Iceland Gull and Manx Shearwater passed Whitburn Obs by 11.30 this morning. A few Dabbling Ducks were moving and Gadwall was a nice year tick to add to my Obs list now on 83. My total for the end of January in 2016 was 86 so am hoping to match that before heading for a short break birding in Goa.  Magic Mark called our first Manxie of the year and the now employed Stoney was in the house
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 26th January 07.40-11.30 S2-3 cloud 7/8

Common Gull 4n 34s
Black h Gull 2n 50s
GBBGull 1n 529s
Eider 1n 4s
Scan Herring Gull 12s
Mallard 17s
Shag 1s
Cormorant 5n 13s
Fulmar 1n 19s
Gannet 1n 20s
Iceland Gull 1s juv

Porpoise 1n 1s
Red th Diver 12n 6s
Wigeon 2n 8s
Manxie 1s
Teal 1n 2s
Gadwall 3s
Rook 1 in off
Common Scoter 4n
Grey Heron 1s

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Ton up for some....

Glaucous and two Med Gulls passed Whitburn Obs by 10.45 this morning. After a blank few days the white wingers are back and we are only two more sightings of Glaucous Gull away from setting a new annual sightings record of 16, and we could do it in the first month of the year. Pink Floyd joined me early on and we enjoyed some good birds before the crab sandwich boys arrived.
Hoggie managed to notch up his 100th species of the year with Tree Sparrow and Lucky Dave's 100th was Med Gull. Ive got a while to go my Obs list is stuck on 80
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 24th January 07.45-10.45 SW2-3 cloud 5/8

Black h Gull  2n 61s
Shag 1s
Cormorant 1n 2s
Common Gull 4n 68s
Scan Herring Gull 4s
Fulmar 3n 3s
Grey Heron 1n
Red th Diver 6n 5s
Eider 1s
Med Gull 1n 1s both ads probably different birds as the first bird i watched fly inland over the obs field, Ive probably got film of it but no time today so here's one from my library

Gannet 3n
Glaucous Gull 1s juv
Velvet Scoter 1s
Great Northern Diver 1n
Kittiwake 1s