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' 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
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
Hawfinch 1s
Great spotted Woodpecker 1n