Sunday, 8 January 2017

Cetacean surge....

 Velvet Scoter and Long tailed Duck passed Whitburn Obs by 10.45 today. The birds were quiet but our cetacean encounters more than made up for the lack of birds. From the off we were seeing Harbour Porpoise on a flat calm sea and an estimate of 10 is probably an understatement. A few sightings had been logged when i came across a pod of 6 going north but our attention was drawn to bigger fish when i saw the first Dolphins so no certain count was made.
Both Marks quickly got onto the Dolphins as i described the southerly movement, in the end it was 20 plus. They were distant and Bottlenose, however one sighting in particular of a Dolphin showing a lot of pale on the flanks but not on the saddle as per White Beaked had us puzzled. Magic Mark explained to me that Bottlenose have a lot of variation and it could have been one showing pale shoulder blaze.
We may never know for certain as they were distant and we could not nail it, but following on from recent sightings of  Orca and Common Dolphin it may not be long before we add another member of the Dolphin family to out growing Whitburn list. The animals today were a bit distant for video so ive attached some i made earlier
This is what we saw today in order of appearance

Sunday 8th January 07.45-10.45 W1-2 cloud 3/8

Black h Gull 3n 57s
Fulmar 6n 5s
Cormorant 9s
Common Gull 2n 12s
Porpoise 10 plus
Red th Diver 13n 23s
Shag 1s
Eider 10n 2s
Common Scoter 3n
Turnstone 5n 4s
Bottlenose Dolphin 20s 08.23-09.45

Gannet 7n 1s
Scan Herring Gull 2s
Med Gull 1s ad
Wigeon 1s
Mallard 2s
Kittiwake 1n 1s
Shelduck 1s
Razorbill 1n
Velvet Scoter 3n
Long tailed Duck 1n
Stonechat 2