Friday, 2 December 2016

Shearwater surprise...

5 Sooty and 1 Manx Shearwater passed Whitburn Obs by 10 this morning. Magic Mark joined me and Stoney was in the house. The Shearwaters were a bit of a surprise considering the previous maximum December day count for both was one of each, so five Sooty's was mega..
We didn't get much to support them this morning except the stars of the show a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins. They were distant but showed for long periods with lots of breaching. I didn't manage any video at that distance but I've included some from earlier this year
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Friday 2nd December 07.25-10.00 NW2 cloud 7/8

Black h Gull 41n 16s
Common Gull 41n 26s
Eider 2n 4s
Red the Diver 5n 3s
Common Scoter 2n 4s
Fulmar 52n
Sooty Shearwater 5n
Gannet 23n 9s
Cormorant 1n
Manx Shearwater 1n
Shag 1s
Bottlenose Dolphin 12 plus distant 08.30-09.50 at least with breaching

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Is That It...........

Black throated and 2 Great Northern Divers passed Whitburn Obs by 09.30 this morning. Stoney was in the house and our expectations were low, a westerly and no cloud didn't add up to a good watch. However we did our best to eek out some decent birds. Pink Floyd joined us and called a Great Northern which turned out to be two. It was becoming hard work and as Bob Geldolf said 'is that it' so we bailed out before the crab sandwich boys arrived and will try again tomorrow
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 29th November 07.20-09.30 W1-2 cloud 0/8

Black h Gull 7n 71s
Eider 10n 4s
Common Gull 13n 19s
Shag 2n 5s
Common Scoter 22n 8s
Red th Diver 4n 5s
Cormorant 2s
Long tailed Duck 2n
Velvet Scoter 1s
Little Gull 1n
Curlew 3n 3s
Goldeneye 2n
Red br Merganser 1n
Grey Heron 1n
Black th Diver 1n
Gannet 2n
Wigeon 8n 8s

Fulmar 1s
Great Northern Diver 2n
Shelduck 1s

Monday, 28 November 2016

Duck Tales.....

50 Long tailed Ducks passed Whitburn Obs by 13.15 today on another record breaking day. Stoney beat me in and we had high hopes of more of the same of yesterdays first class watch. We were not disappointed and it was quality from the start. The first flock of Long tailed Ducks was nine the largest of the day, as they kept coming word came from Magic Mark that the record day passage was 48, we got to 46 before we left and Kieth McAlpine got us over the line with another 4. So the new day record is 50, unless of course someone else goes into the obs today.
The supporting cast was substantial and this is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 28th November 07.25-11.20 SE2 cloud 7/8

Black h Gull 11n 233s
Common Gull 7n 23s
Fulmar 15n 1s
Common Eider 18n 11s
Pom Skua 1n 1s
Wigeon 51n
Long tailed Duck 45n 5s
Cormorant 2n 3s
Common Scoter 510n 42s
Velvet Scoter 5n
Red th Diver 10n 13s
Shelduck 1n
Golden Plover 100n
Dunlin 9n
Little Auk 1n
Mallard 5n
Goldeneye 38n 7s
Teal 1n
Great Northern Diver 1n
Shag 1n 15s
Long eared Owl 1 in off
Goosander 3s
Red br Merganser1s
Brent Goose 5n pb
Scaup 2n
Redshank 1s

Sunday, 27 November 2016

Proper Ducks........

Little Auk and Sooty Shearwater passed Whitburn Obs on this mornings watch but the stars of the show were the ducks. Proper sea ducks giving great views. Both Marks made it in and we were joined by Stevie Makem and Stevie Thunder, Stoney was in the house. Another northerly guaranteed good birds even at the end of November, it was a slow start but we all agreed a great watch in good light. Long tailed Ducks continued this years record passage hitting 159 so far, the previous best being 110 in 1990. The Scaup were just delicious.....
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 27th November 07.20-11.20 NNE3 cloud 7/8

Shelduck 1n
Common Gull 37n 5s
Shag 2n 2s
Black h Gull 28n 17s
Goldeneye 15n
Cormorant 5n 2s
Common Scoter 154n 190s
Fulmar 29n 4s
Common Eider 36n 7s
Red th Diver 23n 35s
Great n Diver 1s
Med Gull 1n 1s ads
Sooty Shearwater
Long tailed Duck 5n 4s
Porpoise 1
Pom Skua 1s
Curlew 1n
Goosander 1n
Peregrine 1n
Red br Merganser 1n
Velvet Scoter 2n 5s
Little Auk 1n
Wigeon 6n 10s
Scaup 4n
Scan Herring Gull 3n
Teal 1s
Dunlin 2n

Thursday, 24 November 2016


Black throated and Great Northern Diver passed Whitburn Obs by 11.15 on an historic day. I was joined by Jack the Lad and Stoney was in the house, little did we realise early on that we would break yet another day passage record from the Obs. A few Shag started to move then Rob called a distant flock of 80, a steady trickle continued with a notable flock off 66 being the only other large flock. I left before the previous record of 216 was beaten but Pink Floyd sent a text to confirm 220 had gone south by 11.15. To add to the occasion one of the last birds seen was an all white leucistic Shag. I managed some very poor record shot only footage which i will include in the text
It was Jacks first visit and he did well calling his first birds 5 Velvets going north. It was quiet at times but Whitburn Obs showed again what a great location it is turning up some quality birds on an ordinary day weather wise
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Thursday 24th November 07.10-11.00 NNW2 cloud 6/8

Black h Gull 60n 34s
Red th Diver 26n 17s
Common Gull 21n 26s
Common Scoter 34n 28s
Fulmar 15n 7s
Cormorant 9n 17s
Grey Heron 1n
Common Eider 18n 3s
Shag 12n 208s including leucistic bird
Velvet Scoter 5n
Wigeon 8n
Rock Pipit 3n
Dunlin 4n
Black th Diver 1s
Pink footed Geese 160s
Red br Merganser 1n
Curlew 1n
Goldeneye 2n
Turnstone 3s
Teal 1n
Great Northern  Diver 1n
Shelduck 1n
Med Gull 1n ad

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Nowt so queer as folk.....

6 Great Northern and a Black throated Diver passed Whitburn Obs by 10.30 today. It was a quieter Obs and a quieter watch but still plenty of quality to be seen. I always find it queer when people ring and say is it worth coming to the obs, it happened again today, being such a sea watch fan the answer from me is always gong to be yes, anything can happen in the Obs.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 23rd November 07.10-10.30 NW2-3 cloud 6/8

Red th Diver 33n 9s
Common Gull23n 39s
Black h Gull 29n 33s
Manxie 1n
Fulmar 27n
Eider 27n 3s
Cormorant 6n 9s
Common Scoter 21n 3s
Great Northern Diver 4n 2s
Black th Diver 1n
Scan Herring Gull 1n 1s
Shag 7n 22s
Bonxie 4n 2s
Dunlin 4n
Porpoise 1n
Red br Merganser 1n 1s
Wigeon 5n
Great crested Grebe 1n 1s
Pom Skua 3n
Little Gull 3n
Velvet Scoter 1n
Goldeneye 1n

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Bye Bye Blackbird.....

Glaucous Gull and 28 Little Gulls passed Whitburn Obs by 12.15 today and so much much more. The northerly continued and the Obs was busy with the front row sold out and the warmer back row with limited spaces. Pink Floyd came in coughing and spluttering freely sharing his germs, Unlucky Dave had forgot his bins but was lucky and got a couple of year was that sort of day
It was not such a lucky day for a Blackbird coming in off that fell exhausted onto the sea yards from safety and another taken by a Bonxie.
It was a quiet start for Magic Mark and myself, it was only when the low cloud cleared through that things began to happen. It ended up being a memorable sea watch and Stoney was glad he was in the house. I had to leave at midday for an imminent dentists appointment so i hope the guys didn't get anything special
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 22nd November 07.15-12.15 NNW4 cloud 8/8 heavy swell

Black h Gull 59n 65s
Shag 4n
Common Gull 39n 11s
Eider 23n 3s
Fulmar 337n (you could say they are back)
Gannet 193n
Guillemot 632n
Common Scoter 65n 9s
Red th Diver 9n 4s
Turnstone 6n 1s
Cormorant 5n 1s
Long tailed Duck 8n 3s
Bonxie 8n 7s
Scan Herring Gull 1n 3s
Wigeon 4n
Red br Merganser 3n
Redpoll 1 in off
Great Northern Diver 5n 1s
Scaup 16n

Teal 34n 1s
Little Auk 2n
Mallard 1s
Sooty Shearwater 5n
Little Gull 28n
Bar t Godwit 1n
Rock Pipit 1n
Porpoise 1
Dunlin 42n
Knot 6n
Pom Skua 1n 2s
Great crested Grebe 1n
Velvet Scoter 1s
Sandwich Tern 1s
Black th Diver 1n
Glaucous Gull 1n juv