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Old Friday 7th June 2019, 20:24   #526
birdmeister
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So excited to see this pop up on the ID forum yesterday! A great find for you and very deserving!
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Old Friday 7th June 2019, 21:22   #527
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Confirmed as a Shag. Many thanks for that.
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Very welcome, I always enjoy your posts.
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Old Thursday 13th June 2019, 08:02   #528
Gander
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Well, that is another trip over. Just before leaving, I filed my report with the NSBC recorder, and last minute, I made a difficult alteration. I put the Spotted Flycatcher down as an uncertain. There has been a slight doubt in my mind over this bird since I saw it. My first view of it was only of its vent area. When I repositioned, I could see it face on only, and this in poor light and heavy rain, at distance through a monocular. I was comfortable at the time with my ID, or so I thought, but there has been a wee niggle growing over since.

The niggle I had was that when the bird flew off, it was a little dark backed for Spotted Fly. I'm probably throwing away a perfectly good spot, but for the sake of peace of mind, and accuracy, I've put it down as a possible, and removed it from my year list.

I should also make mention of the Carrion Crows that were on the platform when I arrived. Three weeks later, they were still there, and they were reportedly there for at least a week before I arrived. They had obviously found a food source, so a bit of investigation was called for. At first I though someone was feeding them, but it turned out that they were raiding the food waste skip on the Skid Deck. They just drop into the skip, rip the polythene bags, and tuck in.

We used to have a macerator for food waste, but that has gone. It was a covered unit, so gave no opportunity to winged bandits. The open skip is the new way of returning food waste onshore. I have had the catering crew and deck crew warned, that come the autumn, when a couple of thousand GBB and Herring Gulls turn up, they are going to have a real problem with that skip.

2019 List

1. Great Black-Backed Gull
2. Kittiwake
3. Iceland Gull
4. Herring Gull
5. Fulmar
6. Gannet
7. Guillemot
8. Ringed Plover
9. Rock Pipit
10. Robin
11. Pied Wagtail*
12. Meadow Pipit
13. Goldcrest
14. Grey Heron
15. Common Gull
16. Black-Headed Gull
17. Blackcap*
18. Sparrowhawk*
19. Grey Wagtail
20. Kestrel*
21. Carrion Crow
22. Water Rail
23. Song Thrush
24. Wren
25. Teal
26. Turnstone*
27. Cormorant
28. Lesser Black-Backed Gull
29. Swallow
30. Nightjar (d)
31. House Martin
32. Shag
33. Red-Backed Shrike
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Old Tuesday 18th June 2019, 17:52   #529
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On earlier subject of Hobby 1 on rig half way between Orkney & Norway last week plus usual Spring migs. They do occur in spring offshore but remain rare in Northern Scotland. Have seen more offshore than in NE Scotland.
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Old Saturday 6th July 2019, 08:56   #530
Gander
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I've been back since Tuesday, but it is very quiet, even considering the time of year. In 5 days I've only seen 3 species. There is a resident flock of Fulmar; numbering just over the 100 mark. The odd Gannet or two have been seen passing. And we still have two resident crows.

There were a few "small brown birds, with streaky breasts" reported to me a couple of days ago. I suspect they were Meadow Pipits, but did not see them myself.

The North Sea Bird Club has now informed me that they are wrapping things up at the end of 2019. Apparently, I am the last offshore birder sending in constant reports, so after 40 years they are calling it a day.

I of course will continue to report here, and hopefully, a few other reports from other platforms/vessels will find their way to this thread. In addition, a few years ago, I got the guys at Birdtrack (BTO) to set the platform up as a site on Birdtrack. I never really used it, as it felt like double reporting, however, from the beginning of next year, I will start recording on their site.
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Old Tuesday 9th July 2019, 14:37   #531
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Any two-barred crossbills yet?
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Old Tuesday 9th July 2019, 21:17   #532
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Out looking today on deck and nothing. Will be having a good look around over the next week. Any passerines seen at this time of year are more often than not Xbills. Hopefully this time with wing bars.
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Old Friday 19th July 2019, 08:48   #533
Gander
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It has been pretty quiet since my last report (6th Jul). The main change has been two Great Skua sightings. We have also had a few Starlings passing through, and Common Gulls have been turning up off and on. Over the last couple of days, Great Black-Backed Gulls have started to return. A dozen counted yesterday. I suspect our two resident Carrion Crows might want to be leaving soon, as a couple of hundred GBBGs will make the neighbourhood much less desirable. Fulmars are a constant, with Gannets passing by on a regular basis

On the mammal front, we have had plenty of White-Beaked Dolphins giving spectacular displays, and I spotted a Minke Whale breaching at close quarters a few days ago.

A Red Admiral was our second butterfly species of the year.

Sadly, no Two-Barred Crossbills, but I live in hope.
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Old Tuesday 23rd July 2019, 06:25   #534
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My last morning of this trip has seen a new arrival. Arctic Skua spotted close in chasing a Common Gull.

It has been a slow month, but I'm pleased to have got Great and Arctic Skua. The Arctic is only the second one I've seen from the platform. Next trip will be in the the first two weeks of September, so things should be livening up.
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Old Wednesday 14th August 2019, 11:59   #535
Gander
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I've been back since yesterday, and things have livened up a bit compared to last month. Flying in, we passed over a group of dolphins, so that was a good start, but within a few hours, I bettered it with a Minke Whale surfacing almost directly below me before it dived under the platform.

There are more birds about also. Fulmar flock of approx 120+ are still resident, but the GBBG numbers are rising, with 54 counted today. Yesterday saw a flock of 76 Kittiwake sitting off the platform. I think that is a record count for us.

A few Common Gulls about also, and a single Herring Gull. Gannets passing on a regular basis. Last bird of the day yesterday was a Great Skua.

Today, the main difference has been a pair of passing Cormorants.

Nothing in there to trouble the year list, however, a few days before I came out, an eclipse Eider was seen.

And lastly, our two resident crows (Itchy and Scratchy) are still here.

2019 List

1. Great Black-Backed Gull
2. Kittiwake
3. Iceland Gull
4. Herring Gull
5. Fulmar
6. Gannet
7. Guillemot
8. Ringed Plover
9. Rock Pipit
10. Robin
11. Pied Wagtail*
12. Meadow Pipit
13. Goldcrest
14. Grey Heron
15. Common Gull
16. Black-Headed Gull
17. Blackcap*
18. Sparrowhawk*
19. Grey Wagtail
20. Kestrel*
21. Carrion Crow
22. Water Rail
23. Song Thrush
24. Wren
25. Teal
26. Turnstone*
27. Cormorant
28. Lesser Black-Backed Gull
29. Swallow
30. Nightjar (d)
31. House Martin
32. Shag
33. Red-Backed Shrike
34. Eider*

Last edited by Gander : Wednesday 14th August 2019 at 12:03.
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Old Today, 08:42   #536
Gander
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Nothing new in, but a few changes. GBBGs are now resident in numbers, with a high of 322 counted yesterday. The air is full of feather fluff with the gulls in moult mode. The Fulmars have beaten a hasty retreat, but are still present further out from the platform. A small flock of Common Gulls present, with visits from Kittiwakes, and Gannets continually passing in ones and twos.

Great Skuas are regular visitors now, much to the disgust of the Fulmars and Common Gulls.

Two Carrion Crows show no sign of being ousted by the GBBGs.
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Old Today, 09:01   #537
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Thanks for the updates, always appreciated, from a rather unique ‘local patch’

Laurie -
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