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North Sea Thread (1 Viewer)

Gander

Well-known member
It's official

I've sent an e-mail back to the NSBC asking them to take another look, with Icterine in mind.

Received reply today from the club secretary. The recorder has taken another look at the photos and confirms that the bird is indeed an Icterine Warbler. I think I set him up for failure to be honest, as I had initially labelled the photos Chiffchaff, then he received them when he was in a bit of a rush.

All sorted now, so many thanks to all those who gave their input on these forums. :t:
 

Gander

Well-known member
Starling

First full day back offshore today. Strong winds (60kn+) directly from the West - not ideal, however, I did find the first Starling of the season.
Great Black-Backeds are down from a high of 600+ to 22, but they often move off during high winds, then return when things settle. A couple of Gannets and a solitary Fulmar made up the rest of the count, as I'm not counting the homing pigeons who obviously have no intention of going home.
 

Gander

Well-known member
Geese.

First day of October and we have our first bird visitors. Five geese sitting off the platform. They are out a fair bit so ID isn't definite yet. They could be Greylag, but I don't think that, even at distance, the beaks are big enough. There is a bit of colour orange/pink in the beaks, and possibly a black tip, so Pink-Footed is possible. I'm hoping that they will drift in a bit closer at some point for a better visual.
 

Gander

Well-known member
There is a bit of colour orange/pink in the beaks, and possibly a black tip, so Pink-Footed is possible. I'm hoping that they will drift in a bit closer at some point for a better visual.

Confirmed as Pink-footed Geese.
 

Gander

Well-known member
Goldcrest

A few small birds moving through yesterday. Couldn't ID much on the fleeting views I had, but at least one bird was a Pipit.

Best view of the day was my first Goldcrest of the season. Bit of East in the wind again today, so hoping it will bring a few visitors through.
 

Gander

Well-known member
Red Letter Day

Great day yesterday. I received a report about lunchtime that a "sparrow" had been sighted at a certain location on the platform. I knew it was unlikely to have been an actual sparrow as the report came from a total non birder.
Arriving in the general area of the reported sighting, a couple of birds flew off. One looked like a Thrush of some sort, the other was something smaller. I thought I'd blown the opportunity, but a minute later, a bird appeared, and I had a clear view of of my first offshore Blackcap; a striking male. It quickly disappeared around a corner, but was equally quickly replaced by another bird; my second offshore Blackcap; a striking female.

My question now is do birds like this travel as a couple or was this just a coincidence?

I'd have settled for the Blackcap sightings, however, there was more to come. I headed up a level towards where the Thrush had disappeared. Arriving there, I quickly located said Thrush, and although by view was fleeting and obscured, I am pretty certain it was a Song Thrush.

As I stood there, there was a movement to my left and a tiny Goldcrest arrived landing only two feet from me before fluttering away.

Definitely a red letter day.:t:
 

Gander

Well-known member
Owl Encounter

Fairly slow day yesterday. A flight of about 20 unidentified geese went by at dawn. Surprisingly, we don't normally see too many geese. My guess is that normally they pass by at night. This year however, we have had both Greylag and Pink-footed at the platform.

This morning, I went for a quick walk around before sunrise. I turned a corner and a Short-earred Owl took off and flew a few feet past my head, briefly landing on a handrail abot fifteen feet behind me before heading off into the dark.

Easily my best views ever of a wild SEO, so already a good day. Winds still from the East, so hopefully more to come today.
 

Gander

Well-known member
Another Owl Encounter

After yesterdays owl encounter, there was very little activity. A few Starlings came through and a Blackcap was reported to me. Great Black-backed Gulls are here in force. 760+ counted yesterday, and looks about the same number today. With that many gulls about, you learn to walk quickly and with your mouth shut!

This morning, before sunrise, I headed back to the area under the platform where I had spotted the S-E owl yesterday. As I turned the corner I'd turned yesterday, the owl (I assume the same bird) flew past me again. This time however, I managed to track its flight out in the dark, then back into another area of the deck level I was on. Known as a Cellar Deck, this deck is a maze of steel structure, pipework, cable runs, ducting, vessels and grating walkways, all suspended under the main platform structure. I crept forwards, and after a few minutes, located my bird perched on a handrail.

Later, I returned with a camera. The bird had moved, but I soon found it on some nearby pipework and managed to get a few good shots. At about the same time, a warbler appeared near by. I managed to get a few poor shots of it at range, so will let you know once ID made.

Just before lunch time, I came across another Blackcap in one of the upper areas, although I suspect it is the same bird reported to me yesterday.

I'll try and work out a way of posting the Owl pictures from out here. If not, I'll post them when I get home.
 

Gander

Well-known member
Owl Photos

No sign of the owl since yesterday afternoon. Should be in Scotland by now. Worked out the photos, so enjoy. :t:
 

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Gander

Well-known member
Frustration

A very frustrating couple of days. Lots of small birds coming through, but all I'm getting is a glimpse of movement as they disappear around the nearest corner or solid object.

Wind is from the East and forecast to continue from the same direction, so hopefully, something will arrive that sits still long enough to ID. Numbers of Great Black-Backed Gulls peaked at an all time record of 1185 during the week, and there are increasing numbers of Starlings hanging about.
 

Gander

Well-known member
GBBGs

A couple of head shots.
 

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Gander

Well-known member
Managed to get a better look at some of the birds passing through yesterday afternoon. Quite a few Blackcaps evident and a Robin.

Reports from other parts of the platform of small greenish yellow birds with white wing bars. Not come across them yet myself.
 

Phil Andrews

It's only Rock and Roller but I like it
Managed to get a better look at some of the birds passing through yesterday afternoon. Quite a few Blackcaps evident and a Robin.

Reports from other parts of the platform of small greenish yellow birds with white wing bars. Not come across them yet myself.

Yellow-browed Warblers I would guess.

Worth keeping your ears open for any reports of owls on platforms given the massing of Hawk Owls in Scandinavia
 

Gander

Well-known member
Thrush Rush

First Redwing of the season spotted today. Then the second with a Song Thrush. High winds from the East forecast for Saturday, so I'm expecting a big influx.
 

Gander

Well-known member
Little Bunting & Brambling

Sadly, I found the body of a Little Bunting this morning. If accepted as one, it will only be the second ever recorded by the NSBC in 30 years. My day did improve though as a flock of Brambling arrived this morning (managed to get some good shots and will put some up tomorrow. A Meadow Pipit was also visible with the Brambling.

These are my first ever Brambling, so very please. A Northern Wheatear appeared this afternoon, and a Robin was present with a few more Starling. Reports came in from all over the platform of unidentified birds. Sounds like a lot of them were Goldcrests.

With heavy weather moving in from the East, I suspect that many of these birds are trying to push ahead of it.
 

Gander

Well-known member
Redwing Alert

Woke up to hundreds of Redwing passing through this morning. Spotted a couple of Blackcaps, a couple of Starling and a Goldcrest during the morning. Higher winds are whipping a lot of small birds past before I can ID. No Fieldfare yet, but they won't be far behind the Redwing.

Attached a couple of photos of yesterday's Brambling.
 

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