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 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
Pom Skua 2s 1ad and 1 nearly ad
Common Gull 1n
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