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
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......