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North Sea Thread (1 Viewer)

Gander

Well-known member
I've been out here for the last week and a half, but bird traffic has been dismal.

A Swallow, a Mipit, a Crow, a Guillemot and a handful of Kittiwakes have been the only birds seen, apart from the resident Fulmars and passing Gannets. That was until this morning, when I spotted our first Great Skua of the year.

23. Great Skua
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
It's good to hear from you Paul... I was getting worried the other day when we weren't getting your usual reports.

It's always a thrill for me if I see a skua (of any type LOL) - with not all that many sightings of them under my belt, I always seem to be able to ID them, even at a distance. Majestic birds!

Thanks lad.
 

Gander

Well-known member
It's good to hear from you Paul... I was getting worried the other day when we weren't getting your usual reports.

.

I'm good thanks, just nothing much to report.

That said, we had our first LBBG of the year yesterday.

24. Lesser Black-Backed Gull.
 

Gander

Well-known member
New bird.

This morning's early patrol turned up a new bird for the platform. Hopping about, down on the Spider Deck, was my 25th species for the year, and a new entry to the platform all time list, in the shape of a female Black Redstart.

Talking about the platform list, it is about time I got it updated. I'll try and find some time later today.

25. Black Redstart
 

Gander

Well-known member
Another new bird.

Another bird new to the platform was spotted this morning. Just off the south side, a few gulls were making a commotion; squabbling over something in the water. Closer inspection revealed that there was a wader floundering about, and under sustained attack from the GBBGs.

I got a good look at the wader's tail, rump, back and legs, along with its general plumage appearance and size. Never quite got to see the beak, but I am sure enough that it was a Greenshank.

No happy ending here. One of the gulls got a good grip of its head, and proceeded to drown it. It may well be that the Greenshank had ditched in the foggy weather, so gulls or no gulls, it probably was not going to make it.

26. Greenshank
 

delia todd

If I said the wrong thing it was a Senior Moment
Staff member
Opus Editor
Supporter
Scotland
You seem to be on a roll this time Paul.

Well done finding these two to add to the lists. A shame the Greenshank didn't make it though.
 

Gander

Well-known member
I have decided to withdraw the Black Redstart record. The reason for this is that on Sunday, we had several Common Redstarts turn up. I got some good views of them, including a warm toned female, and it was then that I realised that having only seen the “Black Redstart female“ from distance and from above, that my original identification may be unsound. I still think that it was more than possibly a Black Redstart, as it did seem to be a grey brown, but being under the platform and in early morning light, I'll sleep easier if I just strike it from the record. The good news though is that Common Redstart is a platform first also.

Also seen over the weekend was a Chaffinch, a year first. :t:

26. Chaffinch

27. Redstart

I realise the numbering is now out, but I'll sort that when I next post the year list to date.
 
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Gander

Well-known member
Platform All Time List

Time to update the Platform All Time List, I feel.

All Time Platform List

1. Barnacle Goose
2. Greylag Goose
3. Pink-Footed Goose
4. Teal
5. Common Eider
6. Velvet Scoter
7. Common Scoter
8. Long-Tailed Duck
9. Red-Breasted Merganser
10. Nightjar (d)
11. Woodpigeon
12. Collared Dove
13. Water Rail
14. Golden Plover
15. Ringed Plover (d)
16. Curlew
17. Turnstone
18. Ruff (d*)
19. Woodcock
20. Snipe
21. Grey Phalarope
22. Spotted Redshank
23. Greenshank
24. Kittiwake
25. Black-Headed Gull
26. Common Gull
27. Great Black-Backed Gull
28. Glaucous Gull
29. Iceland Gull
30. Herring Gull
31. Lesser Black-Backed Gull
32. Arctic Tern
33. Great Skua
34. Arctic Skua
35. Common Guillemot
36. Razorbill
37. Puffin
38. Storm Petrel
39. Fulmar
40. Balearic Shearwater
41. Gannet
42. Shag
43. Cormorant
44. Grey Heron
45. Osprey*
46. Sparrowhawk
47. Long-Eared Owl
48. Short-Eared Owl
49. Wryneck (d)
50. Kestrel
51. Merlin
52. Peregrine
53. Red-Backed Shrike
54. Carrion Crow
55. Hooded Crow
56. Waxwing
57. Blue Tit*
58. Great Tit
59. Swallow
60. House Martin
61. Willow Warbler
62. Chiffchaff
63. Sedge Warbler
64. Icterine Warbler
65. Blackcap
66. Lesser Whitethroat
67. Goldcrest
68. Wren
69. Starling
70. Blackbird
71. Fieldfare
72. Redwing
73. Song Thrush
74. Spotted Flycatcher (d)
75. Robin
76. Pied Flycatcher
77. Redstart
78. Wheatear
79. Yellow Wagtail
80. Grey Wagtail
81. Pied Wagtail
82. Meadow Pipit
83. Rock Pipit
84. Chaffinch
85. Brambling
86. Goldfinch
87. Siskin
88. Yellowhammer
89. Little Bunting (d)

1. Note – Buzzard species and Redpoll* species also observed
 
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Pete58

Well-known member
FYI there were a number of Black Reds turning up on the coast last week. Cannot recall hearing of any Redstarts.
 

Gander

Well-known member
FYI there were a number of Black Reds turning up on the coast last week. Cannot recall hearing of any Redstarts.

Thanks for that Pete.

I still believe the first bird was a Black Redstart, but just that niggling doubt keeps it off the list. The later birds that turned up would have given me a real problem if it had not been for a male that I picked out. That made ID a lot easier.
 

Gander

Well-known member
It has been a very quiet week or so out here. Fulmar have been the main fare, with a flock of over 100 hanging about. A few passing Gannets and Kittiwake, but in very low numbers, and a couple of Guillemot sightings have been all that has been seen until this morning.

New in this morning though was our first Common Gull of the year.

28. Common Gull
 

Gander

Well-known member
Still very slow since Thursday, although the single Common Gull was joined by about a dozen more. They seem to have moved on today though, but in their place, I spotted our first Black-Headed Gull of the year. That does not sound very exciting, but it is not a bird I get every year out here, so I'm happy enough with it.

29. Black-Headed Gull
 

Gander

Well-known member
Not a lot happening out here. Some more Common Gulls passing through, and GBBGs are now starting to show up again. Another Great Skua seen.
 

Gander

Well-known member
My first few days onboard have been quiet. GBBG numbers slowly building. Herring Gulls, Common Gulls and a single BHG present. Gannet, Kittiwake and Fulmar seen. Best bird so far though was the Cormorant I saw about an hour ago.

Hoping to get some decent migrants soon.

31. Cormorant

P.S - you may note that I skipped 30. in my numbering. That is because I've spotted that I have both Chaffinch and Greenshank down as 26.
 

Gander

Well-known member
Lunchtime saw the arrival of a flock of 31 Kittiwakes. As I observed them they suddenly rose as one, wheeled about for a while then settled on the water again. A minute or two later, they repeated the same actions. I scanned looking for an expected Great Skua, but there was none evident, then I managed to latch on to a dark shape heading away just over the waves. Too small for a Great Skua, this bird settled a little way off, and I was able to confirm only my second offshore Arctic Skua.

With two birds on the year list, its been a good day! :t:

32. Arctic Skua
 

Gander

Well-known member
Since my last report we have picked up a resident Guillemot, that I am seeing everyday. I am also seeing a Great Skua passing at least once a day. Not sure if it is the same bird hanging about, or different birds on the move.

Our smaller gulls have all but gone now. It has only been GBBGs for a few days, apart from a single Common this morning. Gannets and Fulmars still present.

And yesterday saw my first non-seabird autumn migrant, with a fly over by a Meadow Pipit.

Better things to come soon I hope. :t:
 

Gander

Well-known member
Thick-billed?

Managed to grab a photo of our Guillemot. Pretty sure it is a Common, but it does look a little stout billed, does it not?
 

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