Sunday, 14 January 2018

White wing vigil......

29 Russian White-fronted Geese flew south at 09.35 on this mornings watch. It was just reward for Magic and Saint Mark and myself following over 6 hours of watching from the cold Obs this weekend. Amazingly it was our only sea watching year tick tho discussion on the actual number was arduous it varied between 30, 29, 27....Our target birds for the weekend were white winged gulls, Glaucous and Iceland to be precise and today seemed the better day with a continuous stream of gulls heading south. It was not to be but the Whitefronts made up for all of that, although they are a very rare Obs bird this is the forth consecutive year we have connected. Ive included some video from @harperBirder and myself as i was late getting on the birds
This is what we saw today in order of appearance

Sunday 14th January 07.50-11.10 S3 8/8

Scan Herring Gull 1n 7s
Common Gull 83s
Black h Gull 59s
Guillemot 180s
Eider 6s
Cormorant 4s
Heron 1n
Shag 2s
Red th Diver 5n 12s
Common Scoter 1s
Shelduck 1s
Gannet 1n 1s
Fulmar 6n 9s
Curlew 1n 13s
Red br Merganser 1s
Wigeon 3s
Russian White-fronted Goose 29s 09.35
Golden Plover 70s
Brent Goose 1n db
Razorbill 1s

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Groundhog day.....

White-billed Diver won star bird on our sea watch at Whitburn Obs today. Maybe we should rename the Obs WBD is for sure the best east coast site to see this sought after sea watching mega. @middy-birding called a high distant Diver coming north, although we didn't realise it yet The Prof had struck gold again. It took forever to come north and needed its i.d.sorting but eventually we nailed it as it came up to straight out. I was late with my video camera and missed the bird but thankfully a couple of the guys got decent photos, it helps with the description...So its my old video again sorry

We did promise our Northumberland sea watching friends another good bird soon at Tim's party and we came up with the goods. So in return can we have a Ross's Gull please, tomorrow will do

I expected more folk in the Obs on our first northerly of the year but not many ventured out in the cold. It was good to see Hoggie back sea watching after being under the weather recently and he got his just deserts

We saw some great birds but of note was the first Blue Fulmar Magic Mark called or should i say Black Fulmar. Its upper parts were black but underwing and belly still showed a lot of white..I've never seen anything like it
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 6th January 07.40-12.30 NNE5-6 4/8

Black h Gull 15s
Fulmar 715n   yes 715
Common Gull 52n 688n
Curlew 142n
Kittiwake 60n
Red th Diver 7n 14s
Gannet 47n
Great Northern Diver 1n
Razorbill 9n
GBBGull 90n
Eider 4n 4s
Goldeneye 3n
Scan Herring Gull 1s
Blue Fulmar 4n
Lapwing 45n
Common Scoter 5s
Kestrel 1n
Porpoise 1n
Shelduck 9n
Med Gull 2n 2s ads
Cormorant 2n 2s
Velvet Scoter 4n
Manx Shearwater 1n
Bonxie 1n 1s
Golden Plover 15n
Shag 2n
White-billed Diver 1n ad 10.30ish till 10.45

Monday, 1 January 2018

Your the one that i want.....

 Red-necked Grebe south at Whitburn Obs this morning was the stand out bird, a good call by Saint Mark. We gave it a good go but not much was about. My 2017 list ended on 182 and in the end a start of 42 species from the Obs was a good start. The only disappointment being a probable heard only Kingfisher by Magic Mark wasn't nailed down. Amazing that the first Fulmar recorded was blue..
Most wanted bird of the morning was the Water Rail which showed well from the viewing screen in the nature reserve. Only a few hundred yards from the Obs but not viewable....maybe i will hear it over the coming weeks
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Monday 1st January 07.50-11.15 SW1-2 4/8

Common Scoter 1s
Cormorant 11s
Common Gull 2n 33s
Black h Gull 3n 22s
Guillemot 21n 42s
Porpoise 5s
Red th Diver 20n 45s
Blue Fulmar 1n
Fulmar 9n 9s
Gannet 18n 25s
Eider 2n 1s
Shag 2n 4s
Grey Heron 1s
Golden Plover 1n 2s
Goldeneye 1n 1s
Turnstone 2s
Rock Pipit 1s
Red-necked Grebe 1s
Redshank 1s

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Surfs Up..........

 21 Little Auks and a Sooty Shearwater went north at Whitburn Obs this morning. Saint Mark joined me and we enjoyed a canny sea watch, it started with a Great Northern Diver dropping onto the sea in front of us and finished with a Med Gull. Yesterdays watch was memorable for the big sea and surf and that continued today with a heavy swell but good light. The Little Auks were not expected nor were two species of Shearwater...
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Sunday 10th December 07.40-10.00 NW2 7/8

Common Gull 55n 10s
Black h Gull 72n 25s
Eider 3n
Red th Diver 11n 2s
Fulmar 104n 1s
Common Scoter 5n 2s
Great Northern Diver 1n 2s
Gannet 10n
Guillemot 155n 5s
Kittiwake 1s
Little Auk 20n 1s
Razorbill 2n
Porpoise 3
Cormorant 3n 3s
Manx Shearwater 1n
Shag 1n 9s
Puffin 1n
Goldeneye 1n 1s
Sooty Shearwater 1n
Long tailed Duck 1n
Med Gull 1s ad

Saturday, 2 December 2017

The boys are back in town.......

Red-necked and Slavonian Grebes went north at Whitburn Obs on a high quality sea watch this morning. Both Saint and Magic Mark were back from holiday, Stoney was in the house.. add in Fos and Pink Floyd and you've got some quality sea watchers. It was after the Lord Mayors show with the northerly gone for now but that didn't stop us seeing plenty of quality birds between birding holiday chat.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 2nd December 07.30-10.45 WNW2 7/8

Wigeon 70n 1s
Guillemot 364n
Razorbill 1n
Black h Gull 35n 50s
Common Gull 3n 11s
Cormorant 6n 7s
Eider 49n
Teal 58n 2s
Red th Diver 60n 20s
Long tailed Duck 5n 2s
Lapwing 29n
Common Scoter 127n 15s
Porpoise 4
Goldeneye 3n
Great Northern Diver 2n
Pink footed Goose 196n
Dunlin 6n 2s
Kittiwake 1s
Mallard 3n
Scan Herring Gull 5n
Puffin 1n
Shelduck 18n
Gannet 2n
Curlew 3n
Red necked Grebe 1n
Shag 4n 18s
Starling 2 in off
Velvet Scoter 5n
Slavonian Grebe 1n

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Xmas came early......

 White-billed Diver, Leach's, Grey Phal.....just another day at the office. The Northerly was forecast and for once they got it right, Stoney was in the house and we cleaned up. As usual nobody else bothered until Sir Ian late on and what a spectacle they missed. Big seas, lots of birds....Santa came early
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Wednesday 29th November 07.25-11.05 N5-6 7/8

Common Gull 19n 1s
Black h Gull 3n
Cormorant 5n 3s
Common Scoter 88n 12s
GBBGull 506n
Fulmar 133n 1s
Dunlin 58n
Kittiwake 67n
Little Auk 14n
Gannet 95n
Teal 19n
Eider 1n
Turnstone 5n
Great Northern Diver 3n
Wigeon 24n
Mallard 6n
Red th Diver 5n 1s
Leach's Petrel 1n
Long tailed Duck 1n
Grey Phalarope 1n
Razorbill 3n
Velvet Scoter 2n
Shag 1s
Sanderling 15n
Goldeneye 5n 1s
White-billed Diver 1n 09.10 close inshore
Porpoise 2n
Knot 18n
Great crested Grebe 1n
Kestrel 1n
Med Gull 2n ads
Brent Goose 4n pb
Red br Merganser 1n
Bonxie 2n
Peregrine 1n juv
Bar t Godwit 3n
Guillemot 343n 3s
no video from todays bird but here's one i prepared earlier

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Diver dawn.....

 45 Divers passed Whitburn Obs on today's sea watch. It's winter and not much passes this time of year so it was nice to get Divers moving from the off. Pink Floyd joined me and both Marks are still on holiday. I did not manage video of today's birds, too busy nailing the i.d's  so i have included another video from my Ecuador 2017 playlist on YouTube. How many Grey Phals can a man see in a year, it's crazy that another went by today.
This is what we saw in order of appearance

Saturday 25th November 07.30-10.00 W1-2  2/8

Black h Gull 57n 29s
Red th Diver 28n 14s
Common Gull 10n 10s
Common Scoter 3n 3s
Cormorant 1n 10s
Guillemot 13n 1s
Great Northern Diver 2n 1s
Goldeneye 2n
Teal 8n
Eider 2s
Kestrel 4n
Gannet 4n
Fulmar 1n
Grey Phalarope 1n 09.15
Porpoise 2n