Thursday, 23 November 2017

Murder at Whitburn Obs...

3 species of Diver passed Whitburn Obs on this mornings watch, still a rare event as Black throated is still a very scarce bird off our coast. Stoney was in the house and the enjoyment of watching migrants coming in off soon turned to horror as our second Woodcock of the morning was knocked to the sea and eaten by Gulls, not good to watch...a few Blackbirds perished in similar fashion
I didn't manage to video the murder so i have included another video from my recent trip to Ecuador
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 23rd November 07.25-10.00 SW2 3/8

Redwing 6 in off
Fieldfare 33 in off
Blackbird 9 in off
Black h Gull 9n 18s
Curlew 8n
Guillemot 48n 1s
Common Gull 10n 6s
Kittiwake 1n
Red th Diver 14n 7s
Common Scoter 12n 1s
Teal 1n
Fulmar 6n 2s
Woodcock 4 in off
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Eider 1n
Golden Plover 25s
Song Thrush 4 in off
Thrush sp 18 in off
Great Northern Diver 1n
Cormorant 2n 2s
Shag 6s
Black th Diver 1n
Gannets 300ish n


Wednesday, 22 November 2017

White wing central...

Glaucous Gull and 2 Long-tailed Ducks went south at Whitburn Obs on our short watch this morning. Stoney was in the house and we had a canny couple of hours but when the rain got heavier we abandoned ship. The Glaucous Gull went south very low down and nearly evaded my bins but we nailed it, many more whitw wingers will follow this winter. I didn't manage to video the the Glauc but i did video this Vermilion Flycatcher in Ecuador last week, hope you enjoy it
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 22nd November 07.25-09.40 S2-3 8/8

Common Gull 3n 39s
Scan Herring Gull 3s
Black h Gull 1n 15s
Red th Diver 11n 10s
Sparrowhawk 1s
Common Scoter 69n
Gannet 181n 1s
Teal 1n 5s
Fulmar 1n 3s
Kittiwake 1n 1s
Guillemot 3n 3s
Long-tailed Duck 2s
Curlew1n
Cormorant 2n
Glaucous Gull 1s1st winter
GBBGull 154s
Turnstone 1s
Golden Plover 50s
Redshank 3n 1s

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

No clickers required...

2 Great Northern Divers and a Little Gull were seen on my early morning watch today. Pink Floyd joined me on a dreek day,  mist and rain and no wind. Our expectations were not high but we saw a good number of species if not any real numbers, so my three clickers remained in my bag.
A large Diver going north had an upturned bill but i could not make out a pale or ivory bill in the poor conditions so i logged it as Great Northern
I did not manage to video the rain but did film an Umbrellabird in Ecuador last week, see below
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 21st November 07.25-10.25 8/8 early mist and rain

Goldeneye 2n 1s
Black h Gull 18n 34s
Red th Diver 13n 1s
Common Gull 4n 13s
Common Scoter 135n 1s
Turnstone 1n 6s
Curlew 1n 1s
Cormorant 2s
Fulmar 11n 2s
Gannet 24n 1s
Velvet Scoter 1n
Great Northern Diver 2n
Brent Goose 2n db
Little Gull 1s
Wigeon 4s
Goosander 1s
Med Gull 1s ad
Eider 2s
Teal 4n 8s
Red br Merganser 1s
Sparrowhawk 1n
Grey Heron 1s





Monday, 20 November 2017

That Condor Moment........

2 Little Auks and a Great Northern Diver went North at Whitburn Obs in 3 hours this morning. Just back from a birding trip to Ecuador it was pleasing to see from the log book that i had missed nothing of note. There had been some Little Auk passage so i was happy to get a brace myself my Condor moment. I didn't get video of them but did video the Condor see below
This is what i saw on a quiet watch in order of appearance

Monday 20th November 07.15-10.15 SW2 8/8

Cormorant 5n 1s
Common Gull 11n 54s
Black h Gull 5n 29s
Eider 1n
Fulmar 1n 2s
Red th Diver 1n 1s
Little Auk 2n
Great Northern Diver 1n
Guillemot 14n 2s
Gannet 9n 2s
Common Scoter 24n
Kittiwake 1s
Teal 9n
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Woodcock 1 in off


Sunday, 5 November 2017

Beanz meanz...year tick

 2 Little Auks, and 6 Tundra Bean Geese passed Whitburn Obs today by 10.30 continuing the recent little and large theme. Saint and Magic mark joined me for the last time for a few weeks as we all have holidays in November. Something was always going to happen when Stevie Makem and Chivs walked in and they didn't disappoint as talismans when i called the Lapland Bunting fly past. Two year ticks were out of the blue and kick started my Obs list for a final push, currently on 182, but last years 187 still seems a mountain to climb. Oh and Captain Chaos was in the house...
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 5th November 06.45-10.30 WNW1-2 4/8

Black h Gull 143n 43s
Cormorant 4n 20s
Common Gull 20n 33s
Common Scoter 9n 11s
Red th Diver 3n 16s
Guillemot 28n 12s
Wigeon 78n 3s
Med Gull 2n 4s (probably 3 diff birds )
Eider 13n 3s
Scan Herring Gull 1n 1s
Golden Plover 18n 32s
Curlew 29s
Gannet 40n 62s
Velvet Scoter 2s
Goosander 7s
Whooper Swan 23s
Great Northern Diver 1n
Shag 2s
Porpoise 1n
Redshank 13n 1s
Skylark 1s
Turnstone 2s
Bullfinch 1s
Little Gull 1s ad honest
Siskin 2s
Sanderling 3s
Grey Heron 2n
Little Auk 1n 1s
Lapland Bunting 1n
Tundra Bean Goose 6n
Teal 5n 3s



Thursday, 2 November 2017

One hundred and eighty........

Grey Phalarope and 3 Great Northern Divers went north at Whitburn Obs this morning. Fos joined me and later the Pie and pea brigade...Stoney was in the house,  and following yesterdays year tick today got a County tick in Grey Phal. The wind was still a little northerly as it had been overnight and hopes were high after the top birds we saw following the last north wind. Sadly our hopes faded as the watch progressed but had a late sting in the tail when i called the Phalarope. It was a late call as i did not see the bird until it was north of straight out but thankfully some got on it and Rob found it on the sea for his County tick. My Obs year list hit 180....One hundred and eighty...
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 2nd November 06.50-10.35 NW2 8/8 then 4/8

Common Scoter 43n 9s
Guillemot 1199n (but no little ones today)
Eider 4s
Red th Diver 14n 10s
Black h Gull 141n 31s
Common Gull 35n 6s
Cormorant 10s
Redshank 1n 1s
Dunlin 18n
Puffin 1n
Great Northern Diver 3n (one still in sum plum)
Grey Heron 2n 1s
Porpoise 1n 1s
Velvet Scoter 2n 2s
Little Gull 5n(4ads)
Shag 10s
Curlew 2n
Turnstone 2s
Golden Plover 6n
Wigeon 24n
Skylark 5
Grey Phalarope 1n 09.30


Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Nip and a punch...

Little Auk and 23 Little Gulls were seen from Whitburn Obs on the mornings watch. It's the 1st of November already and nobody died. Fos called the first Glaucous Gull of the winter, newbie Toddy called the Little Auk and Stoney was in the house and got a year tick at last
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 1st November 06.50-10.00 SW2 8/8

Common Gull 7n 40s
Black h Gull 20n 33s
Eider 5n 5s
Red th Diver 32n 7s
Porpoise 6 feeding
Little Gull 4n 18s 2 were first winter rest adult
Common Scoter 26n 3s
Teal 3n
Long tailed Duck 3n
Shelduck 1n 1s
Red br Merganser 1n
Cormorant 2n
Golden Plover 40s
Velvet Scoter 3n
Little Auk 1s
Glaucous Gull 1s juv
Woodcock 1 in off
Grey Heron 1s
Redshank 1s

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Trick or Treat.....

5 Little Auks and 7 Great Northern Divers went north at Whitburn Obs by 11 am this morning, and as i left a full Obs I'm sure more were added. It was the little and large of sea watching with Little Auks and Great Northers and luckily we received treats not tricks. I was joined eventually by Freddie (Milton that is) not seen in the Obs for 20 years or so but not surprising as it is Halloween. Pink Floyd arrived then much later the full crab sandwich brigade. I was struggling early on with no help and healthy numbers of birds passing, and had 4 Little Auks before anyone arrived so it was good news when Pink Floyd called a mid distance bird going north to the now full Obs. Typically it immediately dumped onto the sea leaving the year ticking crab boys in limbo but soon took of again for all to see or string depending on observers eyesight.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 31st October 06.45-11.00 SW1-2 8/8 flat calm sea with moderate swell

Black h Gull 47n 18s
Common Gull 14n 14s
Teal 166n
Common Scoter 280n
Red th Diver 28n 13s
Guillemot 2371n
Razorbill circa 20n
Little Auk 5n
Gannet 153n 5s
Goldeneye 12n 1s
Cormorant 1n 3s
Tufted Duck 8n
Mallard 3n
Eider 8n 5s
Great Northern Diver 7n
Shelduck 6n
Porpoise 5s
Long tailed Duck 1n
Red br Merganser 1n 1s
Velvet Scoter2n
Black th Diver 3n
Wigeon 98n
Shag1n 2s
Grey Heron 1s
Scaup 2s
Whooper Swan 10n
Fieldfare 3 in off
Dunlin 2n
The Bee-eater didn't show today but that's no reason why we can't enjoy a bit more video



Monday, 30 October 2017

Would you Bee lieve it....

 Bee-eater was seen from the Obs today an unexpected full Obs tick. Magic Mark joined me for a couple of hours before he had to leave for work and Stevie Makem turned up unexpectedly. I would not say Steve was lucky but he has great timing and something generally happens when he turns up like yesterdays White-billed Diver. Fos was a late entrant and we had a cracking Duck sea watch only spoilet by poor light. I headed back to my car and was talking to the wife but could see Fos was ringing me...Stevie Makem had only gone and found a Bee-eater on the edge of Shearwater. I ran to the Obs mound and prayed, Fos kept me informed 'it's perched' 'it's flying'...at last i saw it added it to my Obs list and headed round for video. Thanks guys
This is what we saw today in order of appearance

Monday 30th October 06.25-09.45 W2 1/8

Common Gull 115n 24s
Black h Gull 138n 63s
Red th Diver 15n 3s
Teal 62n
Manx Shearwater 1n
Mallard 32n 9s
Common Scoter 219n 1s
Cormorant 1n 32s
Long-tailed Duck 2n
Wigeon 50n
Goldeneye 196n 5s
Skylark 1s
Blackbird 1s
Curlew 3n
Eider 3n 2s
Redshank 3n
Great Northern Diver 1n 1s
Gannet 11n 2s
Shag 6n 10s
Velvet Scoter 5n
Dunlin 1n
Goosander 1s
Red br Merganser 2n
Shelduck 3n
Bonxie 1n
Bullfinch 2 west
Porpoise1s
Starling 5 in off
Pink footed Goose 5n
Tufted Duck 2n
Grey Heron 1s
Med Gull 1s 2nd w
Little Gull 1n 1st w
Bee-eater 1 in the nature reserve

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Whitburn Winter Wonderland....

White-billed Diver and Leach's Petrel went north at Whitburn Obs today on what felt like the first real winter sea watch of the season. Magic and Saint Mark were both in as well as Stevie Makem and a couple of others hoping for Little Auks, Stoney was in the house. The winter feel got underway with Long-tailed Ducks and Goldeneye passing as well a few larger Divers. I called two Divers coming north and mentioned they both looked Large and it didnt take Magic Mark long to call the White-billed. Ive included some video of the Diver in real time and in slomo. Saint Mark called the Petrel but sadly only two of us got on the bird as it played hard to get. No little Auks today but i for one will be back looking in the morning
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 29th October 06.15-12.00 N2-3 6/8

Black h Gull 151n 32s
Common Gull 43n 26s
Kittiwake 539n
Herring Gull 320n
Guillemot 320n
Razorbill 20n
Gannet 332n 195s
Red th Diver 16n 30s
Long-tailed Duck 5n
Arctic Skua 1n 3s
Common Scoter 38n 11s
Manx Shearwater 12n
Eider 4n 3s
Greylag Goose 1s
Goosander 2n
Sooty Shearwater 1n
Great Northern Diver 4n
Cormorant 7n 3s
Mallard 8n
Fulmar 2n
Goldeneye 43n 6s
Bonxie 6s
Brent Goose 1s pb
Snow Bunting 1n
Peregrine 2n 1 ad 1 juv

Shag 1n
Whooper Swan 10n
Pom Skua 1s juv
Tern sp 1s
White-billed Diver 1n 10.25
Leach's Petrel 1n 11.00
Teal 11n

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Better late than never.....

Great Northern Diver and Peregrine were my best birds on this mornings sea watch but that's not the end of today's sightings..Hawfinch are everywhere just now raining from the sky's a national influx, but south of us. Today's watch was hard at times three highlights but not much in between. I've been listening for Hawfinch after Damian Money had so many and posted a link to the flight call so to say i was disappointed when i found my bird was a Reed Bunting is a bit of an understatement. I must confess my phone is on silent apart from calls otherwise my sea watch is constantly interrupted, but as i drove home Magic Mark messaged about the local invasion but i was tired and hungry and went home. I sent a text to Saint Mark, what do you think should i go back..he said wait till tomorrow so i got in the car and headed back to the Obs....
I was sitting on the Obs mound Pink Floyd and Michael arrived and we all had a good moan about the lack of Hawfinch, the guys headed off and i scanned. I picked up my Hawfinch flying in from the north it landed in a tree top. I rang the guys and as we spoke the Hawfinch flew and landed in a small tree by the viewing screen and luckily right next to them. When soon after a Great Spotted Woodpecker landed in front of me i was in heaven, at that time Hawfinch, Great Spot, Mistle Thrush and Long tailed Tit were all  about and all Obs Mega's.

Thursday 26th October 07.30-10.30 W2 6/8

Common Gull 3n 33s
Black h Gull 29n 72s
Meadow Pipit 10s
Red th Diver 6n 7s
Redpoll 5s
Cormorant 11s
Eider 1n 4s
Common Scoter 18n 6s
Goosander 1s
Turnstone 16s
Lapwing 38s
Great Northern Diver 1s
Gannet 50n 2s
Red br Merganser 2n
Pink-footed Goose 90n
Golden Plover 120n
Peregrine Falcon 1n ad
Later
Hawfinch 1s
Great spotted Woodpecker 1n

Friday, 20 October 2017

Bramble on......

 Black-throated Diver, Long-tailed Duck 7 Little Gulls were some of the highlights on today's busy sea watch. Stoney was in the house and i needed the extra eyes as Ducks were moving and coming from all heights and directions. In addition migration was in full swing with the conditions dropping in Thrushes and Finches all the time. 'Leaves are falling all around it's time i was on my way' Bramble on... Two Brambling landed near the Obs and hung around a while giving good views from the Obs wall.
Sadly i could not wait for the Spoonbill heading north from Blackhall Rocks but it was seen by some from the ringing hut well after i had departed.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 20th October 07.10-11.10 W1-2 4/8 mist at times

Wigeon 749n 10s
Teal 274n 4s
Common Gull 73n 8s
Black h Gull 136n 35s
Cormorant 1n 10s
Brambling 2 in off

Red th Diver 5n 3s
Curlew 8n
Ruff 1n
Pintail 5n
Common Scoter 230n 138s
Gannet 148n 30s
Long tailed Duck 1n
Fulmar 1n 1s
Velvet Scoter 1n
Eider 16n 1s
Red br Merganser 1n
Snipe 3n
Arctic Skua 12n
Little Gull 2n 5s
Siskin 9 in off
Bonxie 4n
Redwing 3 in off
Shoveler 1s
Sandwich Tern 8s
Starling 2 in off
Goldeneye 2n
Shelduck 1n 2s
Dunlin 5n
Brent Goose db 6n 6s
Mallard 1n
Black th Diver 1n
Manx Shearwater 1n
Shag 1n
Common Tern 1s

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Lobster surprise.....

Only three Divers passed Whitburn Obs on this mornings watch, the good news is they were of three different species. Yet another blasting westerly didn't give me much hope for today's watch, but yet again a westerly wind came up trumps. Not with the number of birds but the variety of species, Pink Floyd joined me but left his sharpness in bed. The crab sandwich boys arrived and we were treated to the sight of a cracking lobster fresh out of the pot and still nipping but i suspect not for long. My first south at the Obs......
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 17th October 07.05-10.30 WSW4-5 decreasing 6/8

Black h Gull 10n 107s
Common Gull 154s
Ringed Plover 1s
Eider 7n 3s
Cormorant 2n 6s
Meadow Pipit 9s
Common Scoter 52n 13s
Kestrel 1s
Sand Martin 1s
Redshank 1s
Golden Plover 1s
Scan Herring Gull 2s
Gannet 20n 37s
Arctic Tern 1s
Med Gull 1s ad
Barnacle Goose 1s
Curlew 2n 1s
Shelduck 4n
Scaup 2s pr
Tufted Duck 1s
GBBGull a single flock of circa 100 went south together
Red th Diver 1s
Redpoll 1s
Gadwall 2s
Jack Snipe 1s
Turnstone 1n
Wigeon 3n
Black th Diver 1n
Peregrine 1n juv

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Sing-a-long-a-Obs.......

Balearic Shearwater and 36 Little Gulls passed Whitburn Obs on this mornings watch and we saw our latest ever Minke Whale. On a dead still sea with full cloud cover and a westerly wind you would not expect a lot....We did ok. Saint Mark called the Minke and it hung around for 25 minutes distant but viewable with a scope on the flat sea. In the past we have been accused of being protective of what we see at the Obs but this is not true, we always put the news out when we can and any locals had time to come and look. The video is from a previous Whitburn not enough light today.
Many smaller Gulls were moving and it wasn't a shock when Magic Mark started picking them up. At some time during the watch Moth Man arrived and soon started his well known singing??? and humming, all it needed was for Pink Floyd to start singing comfortably numb.....
This is what we saw in order of appearance

 Saturday 14th October 07.00-10.45 W1 8/8

Black h Gull 350n 46s
Common Gull 200n 11s
Gannet 129n 34s
Common Scoter 18n 18s
Curlew 1n 1s
Porpoise 3n 1s
Red th Diver 10n 20s
Cormorant 1n 10s
Meadow Pipit 4s
Shoveler 1s
Eider 5n
Arctic Skua 4n 1s
Redshank 1s
Turnstone 12s
Manx Shearwater 8n 2s
Grey Heron 1s
Balearic Shearwater 1n 08.00
Tufted Duck 1n
Little Gull 34n 2s
Common Tern 1n
Redpoll 2 in off
Wigeon 6n 1s
Shag 18s
Greylag Goose 20n
Arctic Tern 1n
Pied Wagtail 1n
Pink-footed Goose 85n
Scan Herring Gull 1n
Minke Whale 1s 08.40-09.05


Thursday, 12 October 2017

Call of the wild.....

 3 Little Stints and 2 Whooper Swans passed Whitburn Obs by 10.45 today. It was a slow start with little wind but good light, nothing much was happening. Then i heard that familiar sound Red-throated Divers calling, and looked up and sure enough a 'flock' of 5 were flying high south. It happened another couple of times when i heard them before looking and finding them and on one occasion they were miles out, that call must travel a long way. The watch got better as the morning went on with the local Peregrine chasing Golden Plovers and amazingly 3 Little Stints flying with Dunlin for comparison. A wader was flying with the feeding Black headed Gulls but landed on the sea before i could sort it out and never showed again. Pink Floyd arrived with the pie and pea boys and continued his recent good form calling the Whooper Swans and the Merlin
This is what was seen in order of appearance

Thursday 12th October 07.00-10.30 SW1-2 8/8

Black h Gull 181n 309s
Common Gull 22n 52s
Eider 4n 1s
Red-throated Diver 10n 35s
Meadow Pipit 32s
Curlew 18n
Redpoll 2 in off
Cormorant 18s
Dunlin 5n 8s
Little Stint 3n
Guillemot 453n
Redshank 2s
Grey Heron 1s
Common Scoter 5n 9s
Gannet 20n 4s
Goosander 4s
Red br Merganser 1s
Wigeon 9s
Peregrine 1s juv
Common Tern 1n
Turnstone 2s
Arctic Tern 1n 1s
Manx Shearwater 1s
Ringed Plover 1s
Whooper Swan 2s
Merlin 1s (looked like a male)

Sunday, 8 October 2017

Cackling Hell........

 2168 Barnacle Geese and one probable Richardson's Cackling Goose passed Whitburn Obs on this mornings watch. The shutters were open but the lights were out, it was still dark when we saw our first skein of Barnacle Geese fly north. And for the rest of the watch they continued to move with yet again a very good supporting cast. Stevie Thunder called a small Canada Goose flying with a large skein of Barnacles, the last bird...I managed some video which is being looked at but it is probably the Richardson's Cackling Goose that arrived at Budle Bay with Barnacles as found by our very own Boy Wonder who was AWOL
Ross was not the only local sea watcher missing from the Obs but five of us saw the bird
It was another manic watch and i am close to resigning as note taker for the Obs, i need a blinkin rest phew. Woodcock in off was year tick and early on Redwing were on the move.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 8th October 06.50-11.35 WNW2 7/8

Black h Gull 98n 78s
Common Gull 54n 13s
Barnacle Goose 1574n 594s
Eider 6n 10s
Teal 251n
Woodcock 1 in off
Red th Diver 51n 34s
Velvet Scoter 9n
Wigeon 360n 11s
Meadow Pipit 12 in off
Redwing 2 in off
Gannet 419n 32s
Common Scoter 106n 50s
Goldeneye 4n 3s
Manx Shearwater 6n
Bonxie 2n 1s
Dunlin 10s
Mallard 8n
Turnstone 3n
Ringed Plover 1s
Curlew 3n
Tufted Duck 4n
Porpoise 2
Grey Plover 2s
Knot 2s
Scaup 1n
Red br Merganser 5n 9s
Pink footed Goose 20n 35s
Arctic Skua 3n
Puffin 6n
LBBGull 1s
Golden Plover 4n
Shag 5n
Pom Skua 1s
Redpoll 2 in off
Pintail 1n
Great Northern Diver 1n


Saturday, 7 October 2017

Banana for breakfast........

White-billed, Great Northern and Black-throated Diver were on the breakfast menu today tho not many were enjoying the meal. Saint and Magic Mark joined me this morning with Pink Floyd not far behind and what a feast of birds we had. A few expected enthusiasts were missing and those few who had made the effort had little expectation on a westerly wind.
It was one of those days when the light was good and the birds just kept coming. The White-billed Diver was the icing on the cake my first since 2011 and new for my Obs list which only started five years ago. It was a good team effort of finding and identifying this special sea watching mega.
On top of all this Pink Floyd called the expected first Whoopers of the year, he's having a good week. As you will see from the video the last in line of the Swans has a badly kinked neck, very unusual and looks painful. Oh and did i mention the 15 species of wildfowl......
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 7th October 06.45-11.45 W3 7/8

Black h Gull 182n 46s
Common Gull 37n 9s
Gannet 479n 277s
Guillemot 120n 290s
Eider 11n 6s
Common Scoter 99n 18s
Great Northern Diver 1n
Red th Diver 31n 53s
Wigeon 430n
Tufted Duck 2n
Teal 43n 9s
Curlew 4n
Manxie 3n
Red br Merganser 1n
White-billed Diver 1n 07.50-08.00
Pink footed Goose 2n 216s
Scaup 6n
Meadow Pipit 12s
Shag 10n 15s
Redshank 5n
Wheatear 1 on obs wall
Goldeneye 3n
Whooper Swan 4s

Pintail 6n
Grey Heron 2n 1s
Golden Plover 70s
Arctic Tern 3n
Scan Herring Gull 1n
Goosander 1 on sea
Turnstone 1n
Goose sp 3s
Gadwall 2n
Velvet Scoter 11n 1s
Pochard 3n
Pom Skua 2s
Black th Diver 1n

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Winter is here.....

circa 2000 Pink-footed Geese passed Whitburn Obs on this mornings sea watch. Not long ago i titled my blog 'Winter is Coming'... well its arrived, the Terns have gone and Geese have arrived. From first light they started moving in both directions and it was a fantastic spectacle, nothings quite like the sound of Pinks passing overhead.
Pink Floyd called the Harrier and it was difficult to nail the id in the strong sun but eventually we could see it was Marsh, a good bird on a sea watch
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 3rd October 06.40-10.40 W4-5 0/8
Black h Gull 65n 338s
Common Gull 1n 74s
Pink-footed Goose 708n 1304s

Cormorant 2n 81s
Merlin 1s
Curlew 2s
Meadow Pipit 275s
Red th Diver 1n 29s
Gannet 17n 4s
Ruff 3n
Golden Plover 3n 9s
Shag 1s
Swallow 1s
Eider 6s
Goosander 12s
Wigeon 2n 7s
Teal 8n 20s
Red br Merganser 3n
Skylark 2s
Marsh Harrier 1s prob a juv 09.40

Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Scops Owl...Oh My God....

Long-tailed Skua and three Scaup passed Whitburn Obs by 08.15 today then all hell broke loose
Stoney was in the house and straight away we realised it was better than expected. The wind was a brisk ESE and birds were moving, Ducks were bombing past and it looked good. We enjoyed our first hour and a half, Rob checked Jackies beach and had nowt..Magic Mark arrived and did Jackies beach and had a Lap Bunt....
Unknown to me i had missed a call from @HarperBirder due to poor reception but Rob got a call and started closing the shutters..@middy_birding had only gone and found a blinkin Scops Owl
I rang the wife and was panicking where was the Albion Pub, where was Ryhope Village Dean.When i arrived it was to an area we both knew well and had birded many times a few years ago the coastal path being good for Lap and Snow Bunts
The rest as they say is History the third Obs team member in three consecutive days to find a rarity. Mark Harper on Monday with the Little Bunting, Dave Foster yesterday with Arctic Warbler and now the latest member of the team Tom Middleton with a real Mega Scops Owl...no pressure on me then for tomorrow

This is what we saw in order of appearance no guesses at what the bird video is

Wednesday 27th September 06.25-08.15 ESE3 8/8

Red th Diver 7n 14s
Bonxie 1n 3s
Black h Gull 52n 20s
Common Gull 28n 2s
Puffin 2n
Gannet 402n 5s
Little Gull 3n juvs
Eider 3s
Teal 7n 4s
Shag 1s
Manxi 1n
Common Scoter 68n 10s
Goosander 3n
Arctic Skua 2n
Wigeon 41n
Scaup 3n drakes
Brent Goose 2n db
Scops Owl 1 Oh My God...

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Little bit of what you fancy......

17 Little Gulls and a Roseate Tern passed Whitburn Obs in 5 hours this morning. Yes we got a little bit of what we fancied and more. Magic and Saint Mark joined me and later Prof, Pink Floyd and Mothman Brian. We enjoyed a great sea watch that deserved better light than we got for the majority of it as the early cloud cleared. Long-tailed Skua and Black throated Diver are still scarce birds to catch up with in the County so throw in a few Geese, Ducks and Waders..cracking. Today's video is of a Little Egret on Thursday the 12th of the year at the Obs, sadly Saint Mark still needs it so i thought this reminder of what they look like might help.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 23rd September 06.15-11.10 S2-3 1/8

Black h Gull 198n 61s
Gannet 484n 56s
Common Scoter 155n 20s
Common Gull 64n 8s
Arctic Skua 4n 3s
Shag 5n 7s
Curlew 7n
Red th Diver 19n 34s
Teal 382n 25s
Manxie 3n
Puffin 3n
Guillemot 1675n
Razorbill 20n
Eider 6n 2s
Velvet Scoter 1n
Wigeon 52n 7s
Arctic Tern 2n 2s
Meadow Pipit 6s
Black th Diver 1n
Sandwich Tern 12n 15s
Redshank 1s
Shelduck 5n
Pink footed Goose 9n
Pied Wagtail 1s
Goose sp 2n
Little Gull 17n mainly adults
Golden Plover 5n
Pintail 1n 2s
Mallard 1n 1s
Brent Goose 2n db
Ruff 6s
Grey Wagtail 1s
Shoveler 1n
Rosy Tern 1n juv
Bonxie 2n
Long tailed Skua 1n juv
Grey Heron 2n



Saturday, 16 September 2017

Show us your bellies.....

Long-tailed and 7 Pom Skuas passed Whitburn Obs by 11.20 today on an action packed sea watch with more birds than i could keep up with. Both Marks joined me along with Pink Floyd and Stoney was in the house on a busier than usual morning, AWOL were Prof and Boy Wonder. A call from Stevie Makem watching at Seaham with the Chairman warned us of a larger diver heading our way and we enjoyed nice views of a Black-throated Diver thanks boys. Brents were moving north and it's always a task to check the bellies, the vast majority today were pale. Both videos below. We left a well manned Obs so the coverage today should be excellent
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 16th September 2017 06.05-11.20 NW4 7/8

Velvet Scoter 12n
Common Scoter 64n 3s
Gannet 1905n 74s
GBBGull 265n
Fulmar 33n
Common Gull 28n 4s
Brent Goose pb 108n
Sooty Shearwater 66n 2s
Bonxie 28n 2s
Teal 190n 12s
Eider 3n
Black h Gull 93n 11s
Wigeon 316n
Goldeneye 1n
Grey Heron 3n 1s
Red br Merganser 2s
Arctic Skua 15n 12s
Manx Shearwater 80n
Common Tern 17n 1s
Pintail 5n
Curlew 2n 3s
Red th Diver 30n 45s
Canada Goose 2n
Dunlin 67n
Brent Goose db 4n
Peregrine 1n ad
Sandwich Tern 54n 6s
Pink-footed Goose 127n 28s
Porpoise 1n
Black th Diver 1n ad sum plum 07.45 (it passed Seaham at 07.30)
Shag 8n 8s
Long-tailed Skua 1s juv
Turnstone 1n
Swallow 1n
Pom Skua 7n 3ad, 4juvs
Sanderling 28n
Ringed Plover 21n
Redshank 1n 2s
Gadwall 1n
Puffin 5n
Ruff 1n
Tufted Duck 1n
Grey Plover 1n
Goosander 1n
Blue Fulmar 1n

Wednesday, 13 September 2017

Lucky for some.....

 A ring tailed Hen Harrier went south late into our sea watch today, an Obs tick for me my second in five days following the Red-necked Phal at the weekend. It was the first recorded from the Obs in four years since one was seen on the 13th September 2013...so not such an unlucky number after all. Stoney was in the house and we both expected a rough ride on blasting westerlies, when do they ever get the weather forecast right these days. As it turned out conditions were good once the early rain stopped and birds started moving. We made up for yesterday's lack of Skuas with a good day haul, add in a few Pinks and Ducks and good light, perfect. Did i mention our first Great northern of the winter and shed loads of Red throats...
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 13th September 06.10-10.30 WSW3 6/8 rain clearing

Common Gull 2n 20s
Black h Gull 57n 108s
GBBGull 75n 83s
Gannet 354n 275s
Fulmar 13n 14s
Meadow Pipit 5s
Red th Diver 5n 39s
Pintail 6n
Eider 2n 2s
Sandwich Tern 61n 5s
Common Scoter 7n 4s
Pom Skua 2n
Bonxie 1n 3s
Arctic Skua 8n 4s
Manx Shearwater 1s
Great northern Diver 1s
Common Tern 9n
Curlew 1n
Grey Wagtail 1s
Teal 2n 11s
Sand Martin 1s
Swallow 3s
Pink-footed Goose 25s
Wigeon 3n
Redshank 5s
Swift 1s
Hen Harrier 1s ringtail 10.10
Sadly i didn't manage to video today's bird but did try so here is some old footage from my local patch of a bird coming into roost not great quality tho





Saturday, 9 September 2017

Vindaloo or Phal......

 Red-necked Phalarope and Pom Skua were the pick of the pops off Whitburn Obs today. Magic Mark was at his best making the impossible possible yet again, what a call for the Phalarope. It prompted the discussion which was the hottest a Vindaloo or a Phal, we all agreed the Phal..... It was staying close to some Kittiwakes and if they flew it did, if they landed it landed. The bird was about till 07.40 tho it went missing a couple of times, it was my 4th or 5th for the County but first from the Obs. Amazingly nobody turned up to see it despite the news updates except Stevie Thunder who was on his way anyway.
Pink Floyd was on top form calling ducks from every which way and Saint Mark a steadying influence in a mad house. For one lucky birder to be known as JB (Jammy being the first word) it was his first visit to the Obs and we got him onto the Phalarope without much trouble.
This is what we saw today in order of appearance

Saturday 9th September 06.00-10.00 W2 6/8

Black h Gull 592n 134s (and no Med's picked out)
Gannet 506n 99s
Redshank 5n 13s
Shag 2n 2s
Golden Plover 1n
Sandwich Tern 12n 52s
Common Gull 5s
Dunlin 4n 10s
Porpoise at least 6 seen
Common Tern 138n 27s
Common Scoter 7n 4s
Arctic Tern 4n 1s
Curlew 5n
Red th Diver 2n 13s
Ringed Plover 15n
Manx Shearwater 12n
Red-necked Phalarope 1 06.45-07.40 (my video but not today's bird tho i did try)

Arctic Skua 5n 5s
Pom Skua 1n
Teal 14n 3s
Whimbrel 12s
Eider 1s
Meadow Pipit 2n 12s
Turnstone 1s
Knot 1n 2s
Pintail 12n
Wigeon 5n
Grey Heron 1s
Sanderling 1n
Pied Wagtail 4n 1s
Goosander 1n
Swallow 14n
Bonxie 1n
Kestrel 2s
Ruff 1n
Red br Merganser 3s

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Winter is coming......

White-beaked Dolphins put on a show for us from the Obs today hope you enjoy the video, and it is just as well because the birds let us down. Winter is coming, the farmer has scattered the mountain of horse manure over the Obs field and the Terns are all but gone. Westerlies rule and we have hardly seen a Shearwater all week tho today Saint Mark saw one go north from his house while we were Dolphin watching. He thinks it was a Balearic...bugger
This is what we did see today in order of appearance

Thursday 7th September 06.00-09.00 SW2 7/8

Black h Gull 211n 90s
Eider 1n 3s
Shag 2n 9s
Gannet 307n 39s
Cormorant 7n 208s
Common Gull 2n 7s
Red th Diver 2n 6s
Sandwich Tern 7n 9s
Turnstone 2n 4s
Redshank 6n 10s
Fulmar 19n 4s
White-beaked Dolphin 3ad 1juv 06.33-06.55 moving slowly north feeding distantly
Common Tern 11n 15s
Common Scoter 3s
Pied Wagtail 3s
White-beaked Dolphin same four back south 07.10-08.10
White-beaked Dolphin larger pod of 10 plus viewed through the north shutter. They were feeding with lots of gulls over head 08.10-08.50
Wigeon3n
Sand Martin 3s
Meadow Pipit 3s
Dunlin 11s
Sanderling 1n
Curlew 1n
Ringed Plover 1s

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Shag Fest......

Balearic Shearwater and Red-necked Grebe passed Whitburn Obs today as migration got into full swing. We had our biggest day count of Teal so far this year fully testing Prof's counting skills. Waders and Terns were on the move and Magic and Saint Mark kept me busy with the log..Pink Floyd adding to the mayhem when he eventually arrived. The annual Shag movement got underway on the 1st and continued today, wonder if we will see the white bird this year
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 2nd September SW2 4/8

Cormorant 32n 307s
Gannet 532n 49s
Common Scoter 169n
Black h Gull 130n 2s
Common Gull 10n 1s
Sandwich Tern 7n 13s
Common Tern 88n 20s
Shag 15n 41s
Curlew 6n 4s
Teal 829n 2s
Wigeon 1n
Pintail 2n
Red th Diver 5n 9s
Redshank 3n 11s
Eider 3s
Puffin 1n
Golden Plover 160s
Sparrowhawk 2n
Meadow Pipit 10
Manx Shearwater 38n
Pied Wagtail 1n
Sanderling 2n
Whimbrel 1s
Shoveler 1n
Knot 1n
Arctic Skua 7n
Grey Heron 1n
Brent Goose 2n pb
Porpoise 1
Bar t Godwit 2s
Bonxie 4n
Red necked Grebe 1n
Little Gull 2n
LBBGull 1n
Arctic Tern 2n
Balearic Shearwater 1n

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Back in Black......

Balearic Shearwater and 3 plus Black Terns passed Whitburn Obs on this mornings early watch. Yesterdays Black Terns were back and they brought some friends. It's hard to say how many we had in total as some birds may have moved both ways but we logged three north and four south, the maximum we saw at any one time was three and we had one on show for the majority of the watch. Stoney was in the house and we enjoyed the full cloud cover as waders and terns were on the move. Our Balearic Shearwater flew in, dropped on the sea and didn't move again for the third day running.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 30th August 05.45-09.15 W1 8/8

Common Gull 2n 14s
Gannet 354n 75s
Common Tern 196n 28s
Arctic Skua 3s
Porpoise 5 plus
Redshank 5n 156s
Common Scoter 6n 2s
Teal 8n 4s
Balearic Shearwater 1s then on the sea
Manx Shearwater 3n 3s
Black h Gull 14n 7s
Dunlin 22s
Shag 9s
Red th Diver 1n 2s
Black Tern 3n 4s juvs

Knot 8s
Meadow Pipit 3s
Sanderling 1n
Whimbrel 1s
Curlew 2s
Sandwich Tern 5n 8s
Eider 1s
Ringed Plover 2n

Saturday, 26 August 2017

Blackout.....

 4 Roseate and 6 Black Terns passed Whitburn Obs by 10.15 this morning. Magic Mark picked up the first Black Terns feeding distantly and i suspect we missed a few as many Terns were moving north this morning. I called a distant Shearwater as a Sooty but it was on closer inspection a nice dark Balearic as Saint Mark pointed out. The black theme continued as Cormorants started to pour south eventually giving a new day passage record total.  Pink Floyd and Boy Wonder arrived late but soon joined the party. We commented how two days are never alike, yesterday in similar conditions we saw very few birds...today it was none stop a cracking watch
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 26th August 05.30-10.15  W1 4/8

Common Gull 2n 8s
Black h Gull 150n 31s
Cormorant 457s 60n
Gannet 614n 71s
Fulmar 24n
Common Tern 512n 10s
Black Tern 6n
Oystercatcher 7s
Curlew 4s
Manx Shearwater 24n 13s
Sandwich Tern 61n 16s
Balearic Shearwater 2n
Common Scoter 71n 4s
Porpoise 4
Arctic Skua 2n 10s
Redshank 7n 9s
Red th Diver 2n 2s
Teal 9n 2s
Puffin 2n
Bar t Godwit 2s
Pied Wagtail 1s
Grey Heron 1n 1s
Kestrel 1s
Goosander 12n
Black th Diver 1s
Whimbrel 1n 3s
Shoveler 1n
Wigeon 1n
Eider 1s
Shag 1s
Roseate Tern 4sSanderling 3n 6s
Knot 1s
phew......


Thursday, 24 August 2017

5 Tern day....

2 Roseate and a Black Tern passed Whitburn Obs in three hours early this morning. It's not often we i get to see five species of Tern so i was happy to get a brief view of a juvenile Black Tern as it fed south very early morning. Stoney was in the house later but had to leave for work, still he's put a few hours in of late with great reward. Not a Shearwater to be seen today...but Goosanders put on a show trying to fly into the Obs. The video is from a bird that is hanging about on the sea below the Obs recently(sorry youtube wont let me load it)
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 24th August 05.30-08.30 W2 2/8

Black h Gull 30n 33s
Common Gull 1n 25s
Gannet 153n 9s
Redshank 25s
Common Tern 199n 77s
Fulmar 32n 9s
Dunlin 1n 3s
Sandwich Tern 58n 17s
Puffin 1n
Common Scoter 16n 2s
Arctic Skua 1n 3s
Whimbrel 1s
Black Tern 1s juv
Red th Diver 3n
Oystercatcher 9s
Knot 6s
Shag 1n 1s
Porpoise 1
Arctic Tern 2n 1s
Curlew 1n
Bonxie 1n
Roseate Tern 2n ad and juv
Canada Goose 6s
Eider 1n
Sand Martin 3s
Teal 26n
Shelduck 1n
Grey Heron 1n
Goosander 13n



Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Play misty for me....

Pom Skua, 2 Roseate Terns and a Velvet Scoter were the cream of a good crop at Whitburn Obs today. A bit of mist can be a big help pushing birds close inshore and disorienting them so i was happy enough when i saw today's conditions. Pink Floyd joined me late on and unlucky Dave, Wal kindly gave me a crab sandwich...time to leave
A Cuckoo in the Obs field was a bonus as i left, shhh...dont tell or the poor bird will get no peace
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 22nd August 05.25-09.45 SE1 mist 8/8

Black h Gull 33n 39s
Gannet 150n 18s
Sandwich Tern 8n 80s
Common Gull 6n 13s
Common Tern 68n 154s
Whimbrel 1n 3s
Teal 48n 2s
Fulmar 74n
Shag 4n 1s
Mallard 1n
Curlew 9n
Oystercatcher 32n
Arctic Skua 1n 3s
Redshank 6n 14s
Arctic Tern 1s
Swallow 1s
Ruff 1s
Golden Plover 42s
Goldeneye 1n
Common Scoter 202n
Pom Skua 1n ad dp
Turnstone 1s
Roseate Tern 2s ad and juv
Velvet Scoter 1s
LBBGull 1s
Scaup 2n
Cuckoo 1 in obs field

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Dazzling Rosies....

12 Roseate Terns went south at Whitburn Obs by 10am today, bringing this weeks total to 28 south. I was joined by Saint Mark and Boy Wonder and it all started a bit quiet but as ever Whitburn Obs did not disappoint. Most memorable was an adult Roseate feeding its youngster which was sat on the sea just below us. Another three Little Egrets south brought my sightings this year to at least 8, poor Saint Mark was AWOL and still needs it for the year as well as Rosy Tern. I didn't manage any video again so another old vid attached
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 19th August 05.20-10.00 W3 4/10

Whimbrel 1n 3s
Sandwich Tern 6n 86s
Black h Gull 31n 23s
Curlew 2n 1s
Gannet 182n 4s
Common Gull 2s
Common Tern 123n 52s
Oystercatcher 54s
Redshank 12n 125s
Knot 3s
Common Scoter 6n 1s
Dunlin 7s
Arctic Skua 1n 2s
Sparrowhawk 2s
Grey Heron 1s
Great crested Grebe 1s
Roseate Tern 12s inc at least 2 juvs
Turnstone 1s
LBBGull 2s i juv
Little Egret 3s close inshore
Kestrel 2n
Swift 2n
Mallard 1s
Red th Diver 21n
Manx Shearwater 3n


Thursday, 17 August 2017

Whiter than white.....

13 Roseate Terns went south at Whitburn Obs by 9am this morning. I was joined by the Prof and Stoney was in the house. It was dark when we started with the heavy cloud and rain and nothing was moving except Gannets. In the first hour we did not record any Terns, then they started with a trickle that became a flood. The guys picked up on two mid distance Roseate Terns heading south, i was mainly using my Bins on the close birds when i started to see Rosy's. Some family parties and some lone juvs all going south. One nearly slipped through unnoticed when i heard it's call and we managed to find it and add it to our tally. We ended up well short of the day passage record of 115 on the 30th of August 2010 but it was a start. I checked Whitburn Steel to try and get some Roseate video but didn't see any so i found this old video which is interesting...
The Prof still has to improve his Roseate i.d. skills and Rob gave him this gem of advice "they are like Daz" whiter than white
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 17th August 05.15-09.00 SW2 6/8 rain

Gannet 237n 191s
Curlew 2n 4s
Black h Gull 9n 13s
Manxie 3s
Common Scoter 34n 27s
Bar t Godwit 1n
Whimbrel 3s
Grey Heron 1n
Common Tern 29n 189s
Common Gull 1n 2s
Sandwich Tern 20n 266s
Peregrine 1n hunting waders
Oystercatcher 25s
Arctic Tern 2n 5s
Redshank 24s
Arctic Skua 3n
Teal 3n 4s
Turnstone 7s
Roseate Tern 13s (6 juvs)

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Skua banquet.....

Long tailed and 4 Pom Skuas passed Whitburn Obs by 10am today. The Prof joined me and Stoney was in the house. We had few expectations so when the Prof called the first Pom we were happy enough but it just kept getting better. The Skua count was three of each of three species when he alerted us to an interesting Skua going north keeping low, Stoney completed the id a 2nd cyr Long tailed Skua. A year tick for me and its always a pleasure to get all four species of Skua on a sea watch. A couple of the Poms going south were memorable showing well and with full spoons and Pink Floyd managed to join the party, add to that a full supporting cast of waders and lots of ducks and you've got a canny watch. The crab sandwich boys arrived and we gave it another hour but we had tired eyes, i hope the Skuas kept coming for them
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 15th August 05.05-10.00 SW2-3 2/8 then 4/8

Manx Shearwater 3n 3s
Common Tern 57n 38s
Gannet 318n 51s
Arctic Tern 6n 2s
Common Scoter 250n 146s
Redshank 34n 94s
Black h Gull 2n 4s
Sandwich Tern 65n 61s
Shag 3s
Turnstone 2n 1s
Pom Skua 2n (1ad) 2s ads
Shoveler 2n
Teal 262n 31s
Oystercatcher 10s
Arctic Skua 3n 1s
Whimbrel 1n 22s
Curlew 1n 2s
Bonxie 2n 2s
Golden Plover 2s
Knot 1s
Dunlin 12s
Common Gull 1s
Bar tailed Godwit 2s
Swallow 20s
Grey Plover 1n
Sparrowhawk 1s
Long tailed Skua 1n 08.20 2nd cyr
Velvet Scoter 1n
Red th Diver 1s
Common Darter 1s

Friday, 11 August 2017

Wave of Waders......

 389 Dunlin went south at Whitburn Obs by 09.30 this morning. Setting a new day passage record beating the previous best of 376 on the 9th August 2015. I was joined by the Prof and Stoney was in the house. After abandoning yesterday's watch after two hours due to poor light and lack of birds we didn't expect a lot today. Just shows that old saying is right no two days are alike. Dunlin were noted from the start and just kept coming add to that the sight and sound of Whimbrel migrating and you know its a good watch
Hopefully more Dunlin will be seen today but i had to call it a day due to the eye strain I've been suffering from this week.... I wonder what could be causing it.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 11th August 05.10-09.30 SW2-3 6/8

Gannet 337n 44s
Dunlin 389n
Knot 1s
Sandwich Tern 116n 29s
Common Scoter 306n 13s
Curlew 5n 1s
Common Gull 1n 3s
Black h Gull 6n 3s
Redshank 16n 26s
Common Tern 25n 37s
Ringed Plover 5s
Whimbrel 44s
Bar tailed Godwit 21s
Peregrine 1n after taking a Redshank in flight, awesome!
Arctic Tern 15n 1s
Sand Martin 3s
Teal 24n 3s
Sparrowhawk 1n 1s
Golden Plover 1s
Bonxie 1s
Red th Diver 1s
Shoveler 2n
Little Gull 1n 1s ads
Manxie 8n
Grey Heron 3s flying together a long way out
Dolphin sp 1s 08.25
Turnstone 3s

Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Second half....

Little Gull and 5 Bonxies passed Whitburn Obs this afternoon. Yes we returned for a second bite and along the way a few local birders contributed including Sir Ian, Marsden John, Chip Shop Steve and of course Stoney was in the house. It was quieter but the light was superb, best bird for me was a close Grey Plover in sum plum. I didn't do any  video this aft so i have included the full Pom Skua video from this mornings watch. Saint Mark arrived for the late shift and we don't know his totals yet
This is what was seen

Wednesday 9th August cont..11.00-18.00

Fulmar 105n
Manx Shearwater 33n
Gannet 697n
Teal 21n
Wigeon 7n
Tufted Duck 3n
Eider 3n
Common Scoter 152n
Goosander 10n
Oystercatcher 8s
Grey Plover 2n
Dunlin 3n
Bar tailed Godwit 2n
Redshank 15n
Turnstone 2s
Arctic Skua 3s
Bonxie 4n 1s
Little Gull 1n
Black h Gull 11n
Common Gull 1n 4s
GBBGull 52n
Sandwich Tern 80n
Arctic Tern 8n
Common Tern 26n



First half.......

1 Pom, 10 Arctic and 10 Great Skuas passed Whitburn Obs by 11am this morning. It's a game of two halves today some of us are back for the second half later. It started well and busy, I was joined by both Marks, Foss, and Stoney was in the house. We had a good selection of birds with Little Gull, Grey Plover and Pom taking the podium, but it went very quiet after 9 o'clock and the light deteriorated.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 9th August 2017 04.50-11.00 N4 8/8 then 4/8

Gannet 1678n 106s
Oystercatcher 105n
Fulmar 223n 1s
Common Scoter 243n 27s
Dunlin 6n
Sandwich Tern 256n 104s
Common Tern 106n 26s
Bonxie 9n 1s
GBBGull 90n 11s
Manx Shearwater 86n 4s
Redshank 10n
Arctic Skua 4n 6s
Teal 19n
Arctic Tern 8n
Kestrel 1n
Common Gull 8n 5s
Ringed Plover 1n 1s
Golden Plover 3n 1s
Turnstone 3n
Little Gull 2n ads
Sanderling 2n
Grey Plover 1n
Ruff 1n
Eider 6n
Pom Skua 1n ad dp
Porpoise 1n
Puffin 2n
Shag 1n
Black h Gull 1s
Velvet Scoter 6n

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Michahellis or not that is the question........

 Black Guillemot and a Little Stint went south at Whitburn Obs by 09.10 on today's early watch. Typically i had popped out for a comfort break when Saint Mark shouted Black Guillemot, but i managed to get back and see my third of the year from the Obs. Stoney was in the house as well and they were both happy to get a year tick. It was my turn later when i called a small wader or Petrel going south, Saint Mark called Little Stint, an Obs lifer for me happy days.
It was that sort of day with a steady flow of birds without being crazy busy and you always felt the next bird could be the one
A Gull on the rocks looked good for Yellow legged but was a bit dark......video included below for opinions
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 2nd August 05.00-09.10 SSE2 6/8

Swift 5s
Gannet 318n 205s
Common Tern 66n 158s
Arctic Tern  28s
Oystercatcher 3s
Redshank 2n 9s
Fulmar 3n 13s
Red th Diver 2n 1s
Common Scoter 411n 40s
Common Gull 1s
Manxie 22n 54s
Sandwich Tern 25n 133s
Dunlin 1n 21s
Teal 15n 7s
Ringed Plover 1n
Sanderling 2n 19s
Mallard 2s
Curlew 1n 1s
Sand Martin 28s
Knot 1s
Black Guillemot 1s 06.35
Little Stint 1s
Turnstone 1s
Shelduck 1s
Gull sp








Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Thats entertainment......

 Sabs Gull and 2 Roseate Terns flew south at Whitburn Obs by 10.35 this morning. It was a slow start this morning so when an Arctic Skua took up residence in front of the Obs for a while i thought that's entertaining....
It soon picked up and being on my own it's difficult to see all the birds at this time of year with so many migrating. I always feel I'm missing more than I'm seeing, so when i looked through my bins for a change i just managed to get a piece of a Sabs Gull going south very close inshore. Had i been looking through my scope i would have missed the bird.
Pink Floyd was the much needed cavalry as Ducks were going through at all different heights and distances and we managed to steady the ship. The crab sandwich boys arrived and were shocked to find me still in the Obs, it just felt that anything could happen at any time....
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 1st August 05.10-10.35 SSW2-3 6/8

Common Tern 8n 62s
Fulmar 2n 16s
Manxie 3n 2s
Sandwich Tern 52n 165s
Gannet 126n 27s
Arctic Skua 1n 2s
Common Scoter 709n 205s
Arctic Tern 10n 2s
Red th Diver 4n 1s
Redshank 40s
Whimbrel 33s
Oyster Catcher 54s
Eider 3n 9s
Turnstone 2n 2s
Dunlin 6s
Sabs Gull 1s 06.38
Knot 7s
Roseate Tern 2s 1ad 07.30
Goosander 6n
Curlew 5s
Teal 37n 5s
Puffin 2n
Purple Sandpiper 1s
Sanderling 7s
Ringed Plover 6n 2s
Swift 1s
Porpoise 1s
Dunlin 10s

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Whale meet again, and again, and again...

 3 Minke Whale, 9+ White beaked Dolphins and 8 Harbour Porpoise were seen from Whitburn Obs by 10.20 this morning. It is National Whale and Dolphin Watch week and we got off to a great start at Whitburn Obs. Magic Mark picked up the first Minke heading north at 06.52 and by this time we had already had good views of White-beaked Dolphins on a calm flat sea. A further two went north at 07.54 and we continued to see Minke till one south at 10am, we saw at least three different animals maybe more. Add to that 8 Harbour Porpoise including two juveniles and continuous mainly distant views of White beaked Dolphins, it was a Cetacean feast. The birds were not bad either with a nice selection of waders moving, and what about that white rump...
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 30th July 04.50-10.20 SW1-2 6/8

Redshank 85s
Common Gull 6s
Common Scoter 46n 6s
Gannet 141n
Turnstone 2s
Black h Gull 3s
Sandwich Tern 28n 199s
Common Tern 25n 334s
Arctic Tern 22n 21s
White-beaked Dolphin 3n 05.40-05.50 then further pods of 5 and 2/3, with at least 9 Dolphins seen till 10am
Manx Shearwater 21n 32s
Porpoise 8 inc 2 juvs
Sand Martin 4s
Puffin 6n 2s
Dunlin 31s
Knot 3s
White rumped wader flying south with 4 slightly larger Dunlin
Whimbrel 1s
Minke Whale 1n 06.52, 2 north at 07.54, 1s 10.00
Shoveler 3s
Sanderling 8s
Eider 2n
Red br Merganser 2n
Arctic Skua 1n
Great crested Grebe 1n
Black tailed Godwit 6s


Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Welcome to the house of fun....

Long tailed Duck and 29 Whimbrel passed Whitburn Obs on today's watch. Stoney was in the house and it was a big welcome to a new member of the Obs team who has been christened Prof. This scientist might bring a bit of slide rule precision to the team but he needs to learn how to count Ducks accurately.....
As usual Dolphins stole the show with 5 White-beaked going south close inshore including two juvs breaching. The video is a poor representation of the event but was all i could get.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 19th July 04.55-09.30 ESE2 8/8

Gannet 426n 81s
Black h Gull 19n 4s
Common Scoter 1077n 60s
Sandwich Tern 50n 320s
Manx Shearwater 50n 99s
Common Tern 23n 30s (1 1st sum n)
Fulmar 11n
Curlew 4n 1s
Arctic Skua 1n 4s
Shag 1n 1s
Puffin 2n 1s
Tufted Duck 2n 4s
Whimbrel 1n 28s
Arctic Tern 19n 1s
Common Gull 1n 3s
Teal 18n 21s
Turnstone 3s
Redshank 2s
Red th Diver 3n 2s
Long tailed Duck 1n
Wigeon 1n
Oystercatcher 10s
Eider 1n
Sanderling 2n
Bonxie 2s
Bar t Godwit 1n
White-beaked Dolphin 5 south close inshore 08.55-09.02 3ad and 2 juvs breaching

Thursday, 13 July 2017

Lucky for some.....

 Cory's Shearwater went south at Whitburn Obs this morning. Stoney was in the house and it was just as well. On Tuesday a probable Cory's was going north but before i had got any detail it turned and headed east...was that this years only chance. Well 13 is not always an unlucky number as it proved today, Rob called the bird and although distant and at times hard to stay on it showed all its features to us in decent light. A MEGA pullback as we don't always get one at Whitburn.
The Albatross has gone missing in Germany so we were on high alert and i was glad to see Rob get in extra early, i don't want to be saying you've just missed.....
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 13th July 04.50-09.10 SW2 3/8

Common Tern 4n 11s
Black h Gull21n 21s
Sandwich Tern 35n 158s
Puffin 5n 1s
Redshank 2n 13s
Manx Shearwater 10n 1s
Fulmar 20n
Gannet 325n 57s
Common Scoter 318n
Dunlin 3n 24s
Common Gull 7n 7s
GBBGull 1n 9s
Red th Diver 1n 2s
Oyster Catcher 7n
Grey Plover 2s
LBBGull 1s
Whimbrel 1n 3s
Cory's Shearwater 1s 06.12 the video is not of today's bird but who knows might get one soon if it hangs



Arctic Tern 12n 30s 1 juv
Grey Heron 1s
Swift 1n 18s
Shelduck 1s
Arctic Skua 1n 1s
Bonxie 1n
Golden Plover 5s
Porpoise 1n
Eider 1s

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Wind of change.....

 218 Manx Shearwaters and a possible Cory's went north at Whitburn Obs early morning. When i arrived at the Obs the wind was Northeasterly and i had full cloud cover, the first thing i noticed was the lack of Sandwich Terns and the second a flock of 63 Manxies going north....game on
In that first hour i logged 520 Gannets north, but by the end of the watch 21/2 hours later it was only 579. That sums up the change that occurred at 6am ish when the wind went westerly and the birds dried up
At 5.36 i picked up on a distant large Shearwater going north it was moving on bowed wings not flapping at all,  but almost at once it turned east and floated off not allowing me to see any detail to nail it.
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 11th July 04.50-08.30 NE2 then W1-2 8/8 then 4/8

Sandwich Tern 50n 158s
Gannet 579n 11s
Common Tern 6n 16s
Manx Shearwater 218n included flocks of 63 and 90
Black h Gull 34n 3s
Porpoise 2n
Puffin 9n 7s
Common Scoter 152n
Fulmar 36n
Great crested Grebe 1n
Arctic Skua 3n
Possible Cory's Shearwater 1 north then east 05.36 sadly not the one in this video...i wish
Whimbrel 5n
Arctic Tern 5n 17s
Red th Diver 5n
Curlew 1n
Shag 1n
Golden Plover 8s
Med Gull 1n ad
Grey Heron 1n

Monday, 10 July 2017

More Sarnies than Greggs......

 2 Pom Skuas and 29 Black tailed Godwits went south at Whitburn Obs this morning. Autumn migration is in full swing now with waders moving and all of a sudden juv Terns are flying and adults are moving in bigger numbers.Yesterday we saw over 700 Sandwich Terns and today i had 541 south but was on my own so will have missed lots while looking through my scope as they sneak south very close inshore.

This is what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 10th July 05.00-08.30 dead calm 8/8 rain

Sandwich Tern 34n 541s inc 1 juv
Common Tern 4n 47s
Arctic Skua 3s
Redshank 2n 82s
Dunlin 3n 12s
Swift 2s
Black h Gull 3n 4s
Arctic Tern 15n 28s inc 1 1st sum
Teal 9n 1s
Puffin 3s
Common Scoter 283n 1s
Porpoise 1s
Bar tailed Godwit 1n
Whimbrel 1n 2s
Wigeon 8n
Red th Diver 2n 1s
Knot 2s
Goosander1n
Pom Skua 2s 1ad and 1 nearly ad
Common Gull 1n
Curlew1s
Black-tailed Godwit 29s (first reported as 32 but ive checked the video)
This video is not great but it was very difficult conditions with grey sky and sea my camera was struggling to cope just as well i'm not showing my attempt at the Poms, i couldn't find them


Saturday, 8 July 2017

Dolphins steal the show.....

24 White-beaked Dolphins went north at Whitburn Obs this morning. It was a quiet day for the birds a westerly and bright sun and i was contemplating a very early finish to go and process my fridge full of moths. Magic Mark called the Dolphins coming north and didn't take long with his usual skill to get us on the pod. He got close views of one of the juveniles and saw the white around its beak and on its flanks confirming them as White-beaked. This was our first look at them this summer and i am looking forward to many more encounters. I've included a short video of the youngster breaching very distantly and despite taking lots of video little of it is usable mainly due to the very bright sun. They certainly stole the show and lingered for over an hour, Saint Mark and Pink Floyd also enjoyed the encounter
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 8th July 04.25-08.30 WNW1-2 1/8

Black h Gull 37n 12s
Gannet 148n 45s
Common Scoter 43n 7s
Eider 7n
Sandwich Tern 23n 115s
Red th Diver 1n 4s
Puffin 13s
Common Gull 3s
Manx Shearwater 2n 3s
Common Tern 1n 12s
Curlew 1n 1s
Whimbrel 1s
Swift 1s
Redshank 1n 3s
Arctic Tern 1n 4s
Grey Heron 1s
Grey Wagtail 2s
Shag 1n
White-beaked Dolphins circa 24 north 07.05-08.20




Thursday, 6 July 2017

Common as muck.....

4198 Common Scoter passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 today, and they were still going when i left the late shift in charge. Today Scoter were flying north through torrential rain with not much wind to help and the biggest flock came just after the rain stopped. At the time i estimated 2000 plus, i couldn't count them then it was all a bit fast but I managed video so we can all have a look now. My first impression is i am not sure, I've included the video on the blog in real time and slomo so opinions welcome.
On 25 occasions including today 1000 plus Common Scoter have passed in a day. 7 of those were in the last month including the record day passage of 3106 set on the 20th June this year (thanks Rob or is that Ross). Before the big flock today 2101 had gone through so i suspect a new day record when we decide.
This is what i saw today in order of appearance

Thursday 6th July 05.00-09.30 SSE2 8/8 heavy rain at times

Common Scoter 4101n 97s
Common Tern 14n 16s
Fulmar 29n 3s
Arctic Skua 1n 2s
Sandwich Tern 9n 67s
Gannet 99n 23s
Common Gull 3n 3s
Manx Shearwater 27n 3s
Dolphin sp probably Bottlenose 1 north 05.23 didn't give a lot away
Teal 25n
Dunlin 6s
Puffin 2n
Black tailed Godwit 12s (a year tick)
Whimbrel 1n 4s
Curlew 2n 2s
Eider 3n 1s
Arctic Tern 4n 1s
07.00 Shotgun fired just in case a body is found
Swift 3s
Grey Wagtail 1s
Gadwall 1n
Widgeon 14n
Black h Gull 3n
Redshank 8s
Red th Diver 1n 2s
Kestrel 1s
Swift 3n

The videos first in slow motion then real time




Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Egret city.....

4 Arctic Skuas a Bonxie and a Little Egret passed Whitburn Obs on a busy nor easterly watch today. Stoney was in the house and it was none stop action with over 1,000 Scoter and Gannets passing. A Little Egret went north our 5th in 4 days.....they used to be scarce birds from the Obs
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 5th July 04.55-10.00 ENE 2 8/8 rain

Gannet 1058n 84s
Fulmar 43n
Manx Shearwater 65n 5s
Puffin 54n
Arctic Tern 22n 4s
Sandwich Tern 30n 43s
Bonxie 1n
Common Tern 95n 23s
Curlew 2n 3s
Common Scoter 1059n 174s
GBBGull 21n
Dunlin 1s
Common Gull 1s
Arctic Skua 4s
Black h Gull 1n
Redshank 3n
Knot 9s
Whimbrel 4n
Little Egret 1n
Wigeon 2s

Monday, 3 July 2017

It never rains it.........

3 Little Egrets and a Med Gull passed Whitburn Obs this morning. It was quiet on a westerly and well before 8 o'clock i was thinking of packing in and going home for breakfast, glad i didn't now or the Egrets would not have been recorded. The Med Gull landed on the rocks below the Obs so i popped out to get some video, while i was crouched with the tripod not extended the three Egrets flew north. As you can see from the awful video i was not ready and why does it always all happen at once, it never rains it pours
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 3rd July 05.00-09.00 W1-2 4/8

Puffin 8n 3s
Arctic Tern 4n 5s
Common Scoter 38n 18s
Sandwich Tern 14n 28s
Manx Shearwater 7n 7s
Common Tern 10n 54s
Black h Gull 11n 29s
Swift 2n 9s
Ringed Plover 1n
Goosander 4n
Red br Merganser 2n
Red th Diver 3n 4s
Little Tern 5n 1s
Common Gull 1n 1s
Arctic Skua 1n
Redshank 2s
Grey Wagtail 1n
Med Gull 1s ad
Curlew 1n
Grey Heron 1s
Turnstone 6s
Little Egret 3n

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Any dream will do......

Black-browed Albatross flew north at Whitburn Obs this morning, it was close inshore and i managed excellent though brief views. Yesterday afternoon i sent a text to Magic Mark saying i was hoping the Albert Ross would be tempted north on the northerly tomorrow. He replied it seems happy sat with its mates at mo....It was raining heavy and the wind was blasting so i sat at the north end of the Obs and left the northerly shutter closed as we do for protection from the rain. Looking straight out through my scope i was watching Fulmar and Gannets go north close inshore when the Albatross came into view full frame and inside the flag line, i thought bloody hell its the Al.....I could only watch it for a short period before it was lost to view behind the closed shutter. Jumping up i threw open the shutter while grabbing my video camera i pointed it and pressed record but couldn't see the bird so opened the north facing shutter to be hit by wind and rain. Hoggie rang me and asked what it had been like and i said the thing that struck me was it was pristine. And in the east the dawn was breaking, any dream will do
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Thursday 29th June 05.00-09.15 N3 rain 8/8

Gannet 538n 5s
Fulmar 246n 1s
Manxie 1n
Common Scoter 88n 9s
Common Tern 1n 1s
Black-browed Albatross 1n 05.30 close inshore
Swift 1n
Bonxie 3n
Curlew 1n




Tuesday, 27 June 2017

Black Out.........

 2200 Common Scoter and 492 Manx Shearwaters passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 this morning. Stoney was in the house but missed the first 500 Scoter, The first flock he saw had 260 in it but that was insignificant compared to the estimated 750 in the largest flock. I've included video and i will check the numbers later with a bit of slomo. Pink Floyd had joined us by now and said it was the largest individual flock he had ever seen. Birds of the day were two adult Med Gulls that were sat on the sea in front of the Obs, i said at the time that there are not many better sights than a sum plum Med Gull in flight, and we had two
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 27th June SE3 8/8 05.05-09.30

Gannet 575n 80s
Manx Shearwater 479n 13s
Arctic Skua 2n
Puffin 61n 13s
Common Scoter 2131n 69s
Sandwich Tern 17n 25s
Black h Gull 7n 2s
Common Tern 4n 12s
Arctic Tern 3n 1s
Curlew 1n 1s
Eider 4n
Red th Diver 1n
Kestrel 1s
LBBGull 1s
Whimbrel 1s
Common Gull 2n 6s
Bonxie 1n
Med Gull 2n ads





Monday, 26 June 2017

Puffinus Puffinus where have you been....

 527 Manx Shearwaters and 4 Arctic Skuas passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 this morning. The Manxies have been missing so far this year with few good counts but today they were back in force. I was on my own today which was a shame as the North Westerly brought Manxies and the light was better than of late
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Monday 26th June 05.05-09.30 NW2 4/8

Sandwich Tern 4n 87s
Kestrel 1s
Puffin 42n 7s
Arctic Skua 4n
Common Gull 2s
Mallard 1n
Red th Diver 2s
Gannet 361n 23s
Black h Gull 4s
Common Tern 3n 11s
Arctic Tern 1n 3s
Canada Goose 4n
Common Scoter 3n 2s
Curlew 1s
White beaked Dolphin (probable)_ circa 6 SE 06.40-06.50 distant some breaching size and sickle dorsal looked good for this species
Bottlenose Dolphin (probable) 2 feeding along flag line 08.55-09.05 didn't show much as lobster boat was nearby they kept low
Manx Shearwater 527n 1s

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 Bobby 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