Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Back in Black.....

4 Black Terns went north passed Whitburn Obs this morning. Saint Mark is back from yet another month long holiday and it was good to catch up with him. The fact that Manxie, Arctic and Common Terns were year ticks for him shows just how long he's been on his travels. Stoney was in the house which was just as well. My Obs list is in the doldrums a bit like today's windless weather. He called the four marsh terns even though they were well out and we enjoyed watching them feed and land on the sea, a year tick at last
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 17th May 04.55-08.45 W1 dead calm 7/8

Sandwich Tern 19n 403s
Common Tern 8n 23s
Puffin 17n 5s
Whimbrel 2n
Eider 6n 2s
Gannet 19n 19s
Common Scoter 9n 4s
Black h Gull 6n 17s
Common Gull 2n 19s
Swallow 1n 12s
Arctic Tern 8n 11s
Manxie 12n
Red th Diver 3n 4s
Porpoise 2s
Sand Martin 13n 10s
Turnstone 5n 1s
Tufted Duck 4s
Shag 1n 8s
Black Tern 4n

Thursday, 11 May 2017


2 Whinchat and a Wheatear arrived on the firing range today viewed from Whitburn Obs. Uncertain is the name of a moth and sums up the situation today. The weather started northerly and tried every direction and threw in mist and fog, the birds couldn't decide whether to go north or south....uncertain
Swift was new for my Obs list yesterday and today it was Whinchat bringing my list to 141. I packed in early when all passage had dried up and went to try for some video of the Whinchats but all the birds had moved off except circa 50 Swallows feeding around the mounds.
This is what i saw today in order of appearance

Thursday 11th May 04.55-08.15light variable wind mist and fog 4/8

Common Gull 138n 64s
Sandwich Tern 6n 201s
Shelduck 13n 6s
Curlew 1n
Gannet 104n 22s
Common Tern 4s
Fulmar 42n
Puffin 4n
Ringed Plover 13n
LBBGull 1n
Black h Gull 1n 1s
Fox 1s
Yellowhammer singing behind obs
Common Scoter 16n
Dunlin 13n
Turnstone 4n
Oyster Catcher 13n
Red th Diver 2n
Swallow 20n 50 over range
Whimbrel 2n
Sand Maetin 2n 3s
House Martin 2n
Wheatear 1 on range
Whinchat 2 on range video is of a bird at Burdon Moor

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Bye bye northerlies.....

13 Manxies and a Bonxie passed Whitburn Obs in 4 hours this morning. It took over 14 hours of watching on a north wind but at last a Skua. It is goodbye to the northerly flow after a week of NE and N i can look forward to a new broom, i even swept out the Obs hope the crab sandwich boys don't make a mess. It was a pleasant watch with a lighter wind and great visibility with a good mix of birds but not so many stars, the Whimbrel probably won top spot
This is what i saw in order of appearance

Tuesday 9th May 05.05-09.05 N2 8/8

Fulmar 99n
Common Gull 59n 5s
Eider 5n 2s
Red th Diver 10n
Shelduck 1n
Guillemot 4250n
Common Scoter 15n 11s
Razorbill 350n
Black h Gull 4n
Gannet 415n 2s
Bar t Godwit 1n
Whimbrel 11n
Manxie 13n
Sandwich Tern 3n 13s
Puffin 21n
Common Tern 20n 7s
Arctic Tern 3n
Common Scoter 15n 11s
Swallow 2n
LBBGull 1n
Fox one in the nature reserve
Scaup 2n pr
Pintail 2n pr
Ringed Plover 3n
Dunlin 1n
Bonxie 1n

Monday, 8 May 2017

Feeling Rosy......

The first Roseate Tern of the year passed Whitburn Obs this morning. Magic Mark called it and I had a right job getting me on it with the big troughs on another northerly wind. I did find it eventually and got prolonged views of this fantastic bird as it got held up in the wind. Otherwise it was quiet compared to yesterday with no wave of Aythya Ducks, and it looks like more of the same tomorrow
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 8th May 05.00-09.45 N4 8/8

Gannet 805n 7s
Fulmar 99n
Common Gull 125n
Sandwich Tern 29n 8s
Eider 2n 2s
Common Scoter 47n
Manx Shearwater 10n 1s
Puffin 17n
Red br Merganser 3n
Common Tern 18n
Red th Diver 1n 1s
Roseate Tern 1n
Turnstone 1n
Shelduck 2n
Bottlenose Dolphin 1n 08.20
Shag 1n
Grey Heron 1n

Sunday, 7 May 2017

More Divers than Dabblers.......

21 Scaup, 14 Pochard and 13 Tufty's went north passed Whitburn Obs in 51/2 hours this morning. It was an Aythya wave as more diving than dabbling ducks went north. Magic Mark and myself enjoyed this sea watchers delight, throw in a few Barnacles and waders and hey presto! you've got a canny sea watch. I can think of a few sea watchers who will be wishing they had got out of bed this morning
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 7th May 05.10-10.40 N4 7/8

Fulmar 84n
Gannet 372n 20s
Eider 13n 15s
Guillemot 4600n
Razorbill 425n
Shelduck 7n
Tufted Duck 13n
Common Gull 55n 8s
Arctic Tern 6n
Common Scoter 1n 23s
Ruff 1n
Red th Diver 1n 1s
Sandwich Tern 4n 13s
Puffin 76n
Scaup 21n
Common Tern 128n 2s
Red br Merganser 5n
Bar tailed Godwit 3n
Black h Gull 1n
Whimbrel 3n
Curlew 5n
Pochard 14n
Dunlin 3n
Shag 1n 1s
Manxie 1n
Ringed Plover 6n
Wigeon 2n
Teal 5n
Pintail 2n
Mallard 4n
LBBGull 1n
Barnacle Goose 13n

Monday, 1 May 2017

May day...May day....

Drake Garganey and a Manxie went north at Whitburn Obs this morning. No sign again of the hoped for Black Tern but i was not that disappointed Drake Garganey made up for the lack of Terns. May day it is and i said it twice as this is the second time in two years I've seen Drake Garganey from the Obs on May day. Well done Magic Mark for alerting us to get on the bird. Garganey is an Obs Mega and Stevie Thunder was glad he had joined us this morning. Shame the light was poor but we still managed a good variety of birds. We chatted about my DBC field trip to Bishop Middleham yesterday and i was saying it was a success tho a few more folk would have been nice. It was Steve's next destination and he fancied finding a Wood Sandpiper and i explained where i thought the best place to find one was....and i was right!. Well done Steve
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 1st May 05.15-10.00 E2 2/8

Gannet 130n 54s
Common Gull 5n 77s
Eider 3n 5s
Sandwich Tern 4n 130s
Fulmar 30n
Common Scoter 4n 6s
Red th Diver 8n 2s
Puffin 1n 2s
Common Tern 5n 4s
Arctic Tern 6n 8s
Manxie 1n
Tufted Duck 2n 2s
Shag 2n
Shelduck 6n
Swallow 4n
Goosander 1s
Oyster Catcher 35n
Whimbrel 7s
Sand Martin 1n
Grey Plover 1s
Teal 2s
Kestrel 1n
Garganey 1n Drake 08.15

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Wind of change....

 Shore Lark, Great Northern Diver and a Blue Fulmar passed Whitburn Obs by 11am this morning. The wind of change was blowing as i arrived, a warmer southerly wind i enjoyed Gropper reeling and Whitethroat singing as i made my way down. It was busy and i sent a few tweets trying to muster some support as both Marks were not in today and Stoney was not going to be in the house, maybe Boy Wonder would come to my rescue. I hadn't expected to be working this hard lots of birds and lots of species to keep a note of. Eventually Pink Floyd arrived and made a big difference you cant be looking through your scope at distant Terns and still see Divers going past close in. The Shore Lark was a bonus bird only the second year I've seen one from a sea watch
The sea was flat and calm so it was no surprise we had a pod of Bottlenose Dolphins heading north as well as a good selection of birds
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 29th April 05.40-11.00 SSE2 7/8

Common Gull 107n 14s
Gannet 259n 27s
Red br Merganser 1n
Common Tern 17n 18s
Wigeon 2n
Common Scoter 227n 52s
Eider 7n 11s
Grey Wagtail 1s
Sandwich Tern 32n 113s
Arctic Tern 23n 1s
Puffin 3n 4s
Redshank 3n
Black h Gull 2n
Red th Diver 13n 3s
Curlew 1n
Teal 2n
Grasshopper Warbler 1 reeling by the Obs
Shoveler 1s
Yellowhammer 1 singing
Porpoise 3s
Whimbrel 12n
Oyster Catcher 11n
Turnstone 5n 5s
Swallow 6n
Sand Martin 1n 2s
Great n Diver 1n
Shore Lark 1s 08.55
LBBGull 1n 3s
Goosander 3n
Mallard 2s
Shag 1n
Blue Fulmar 1n L
Sanderling 2n
Bottlenose Dolphin circa 12n fairly close inshore 07.48-07.55