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North Sea Thread (1 Viewer)

Gander

Well-known member
Two Kestrels reported to me at lunchtime. Just after lunch, I spotted one of them. Earlier this morning, I found a dead Song Thrush. It had no visible injury, but there was a patch on its rump that looked to have been plucked bare. I did wonder if there was a hawk around that had been flushed off its kill, but I would not have thought a Kestrel would have taken a Song Thrush?

Wood Pigeon and Chaffinch also seen today.

37. Kestrel
38. Song Thrush (d)
 
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Gander

Well-known member
Golden-Crowned Kinglet and a Stork!!!!

Yes. That is what I have had reported to me today by some well meaning non-birders. The Golden-Crowned Kinglet even came with a photo. The photo of course was of a Goldcrest, of which we are having an invasion of today. The report of a Stork circling the platform was phoned in. Fortunately, I had already seen the Heron circling the platform, thus avoiding doing myself an injury.

A few Chaffinch around as well, and this morning saw another movement of Redwings. New to this year's list however, is Wren. Probably two. I saw one on the Helideck and another on the lower level, although it is possible that it was the same bird.

It was very quiet yesterday, but we did get a pass by from a Great Skua.

39. Wren
 

Gander

Well-known member
Managed to grab a few photos of some of yesterday's visitors, including the "Golden-Crowned Kinglet" and the "Stork".

After I posted yesterday, we had quite a few Robin come through. Also I picked out a male Blackcap and a Brambling. A small wader type was reported to me, but the description was vague.
 

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Gander

Well-known member
Warning - Photo of dead bird

The person who found the small wader type I mentioned this morning, relocated the same bird, which turns out to be a Dunlin (I think!), near where it had originally been seen. Sadly, it had died.

40. Dunlin
 

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Gander

Well-known member
I was hopeful of getting a Glaucous Gull before the end of the year, but this mornings arrival was a slight surprise. I don't think I've had one this early before.

Also present since yesterday is a Guillemot. I can tell it's a Guillemot because of its sharp, slim dagger like beak, which should never be confused with the beak of a Razorbill. :-O

41. Glaucous Gull
 

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Gander

Well-known member
There has been nothing moving for days. A single Starling seen a few days ago has been the only thing other than GBB and Herring Gulls, with the occasional Gannet and Fulmar passing by. One week to go, so still a possibility of something else turning up.
 

Gander

Well-known member
The faintest trickle of birds moving through. A Starling yesterday, and a Redwing and Goldcrest today. It gives me hope if not elation.
 

Pete58

Well-known member
Your Song Thrush will have been taken by the Kestrel. Last week on Ekofisk the Kestrel took a Song Thrush and ate half of it, bottom half only. The rest was left.
 

Gander

Well-known member
Dead Warbler

I found a migration casualty this morning. At first, I thought the tiny bundle of feathers would be a Goldcrest, however, upon closer examination, I discovered it was a bird that I am not very familiar with, having only ever seen a live one on one occasion (onshore), and that very fleeting.

I am fairly sure I have this one right, but please correct me if I am wrong. I believe the bird pictured is a Yellow-Browed Warbler.

42. Yellow-browed Warbler (d)
 

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Gander

Well-known member
My last morning for this trip, and another thrush rush observed. A few Redwing mixed in, but mainly Fieldfares heading past. Good to see because I didn't get one out here last year.

Biggest mystery this year has been where have all the Blackbirds gone. Usually I get dozens, if not hundreds. Occasionally thousands. But this year, not a single one.

43. Fieldfare
 

Gander

Well-known member
Late Arrival

I have just arrived onboard this morning after being fogged in at Aberdeen for the last three days. Due to Covid-19 that means we are tested on the Monday afternoon, then quarantined in a hotel room until given the OK to head for the heliport. Three days in a hotel room is not a good thing for someone who likes to be out and about!

Near the hotel, I did spot a bird I have now seen several times over the last few months. It looks like a Hooded Crow, but its jacket is maybe not quite strong enough to be pure. A hybrid I suspect, unless anyone knows for sure that there are Hooded Crows around Aberdeen Airport?

Very grey and wet today out here, but straight away I was getting reports of birds on the platform. Mainly Starlings, but one report was of an owl. It was described as "brown", so although most likely a Short-eared, I could not rule out Long-Eared. Half an hour or so after the report was received, I managed to head for the area it was last seen flying to. Approaching the helideck, an owl lifted, and with good views, I was able to confirm a Short-Eared Owl.

44. Short-Eared Owl
 

Ratal

Well-known member
I have just arrived onboard this morning after being fogged in at Aberdeen for the last three days. Due to Covid-19 that means we are tested on the Monday afternoon, then quarantined in a hotel room until given the OK to head for the heliport. Three days in a hotel room is not a good thing for someone who likes to be out and about!

Near the hotel, I did spot a bird I have now seen several times over the last few months. It looks like a Hooded Crow, but its jacket is maybe not quite strong enough to be pure. A hybrid I suspect, unless anyone knows for sure that there are Hooded Crows around Aberdeen Airport?

Very grey and wet today out here, but straight away I was getting reports of birds on the platform. Mainly Starlings, but one report was of an owl. It was described as "brown", so although most likely a Short-eared, I could not rule out Long-Eared. Half an hour or so after the report was received, I managed to head for the area it was last seen flying to. Approaching the helideck, an owl lifted, and with good views, I was able to confirm a Short-Eared Owl.

44. Short-Eared Owl

Funny you should mention the hooded crow hybrid as I saw one back in 2019 amongst a flock lined up on the terminal roof as I was headed to Oslo and beyond. Just the single one.
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
I found a migration casualty this morning. At first, I thought the tiny bundle of feathers would be a Goldcrest, however, upon closer examination, I discovered it was a bird that I am not very familiar with, having only ever seen a live one on one occasion (onshore), and that very fleeting.

I am fairly sure I have this one right, but please correct me if I am wrong. I believe the bird pictured is a Yellow-Browed Warbler.

42. Yellow-browed Warbler (d)
Yes, Y-brow, sadly :-C
 

Gander

Well-known member
The S-E Owl stayed for a few days, and I had a close encounter with it yesterday morning. No reports of it today, and no Starlings either. I think both have moved on.

As I headed up the external stairway for lunch, I remember thinking that my year list was probably complete, unless we got any sea ducks moving in. Around Christmas seems to be the best time for sea ducks here.

Heading down the stairs after lunch, I noticed a couple of birds on the water, fairly close in. Initially I thought guillemots, but getting the monocular on them revealed that they were Long-Tailed Ducks.

45. Long-Tailed Duck
 

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Gander

Well-known member
The Long-Tailed Ducks hung about for a couple of days, but are now long gone. Just GBBG and Herring Gulls at the moment, with the odd passing Gannet and Kittiwake.
 

Gander

Well-known member
It's been pretty grim this week, with only the usual suspects hanging about. The only exception was a Great Skua seen harassing the gulls this morning.
 

Gander

Well-known member
I think it is safe to post my platform list for 2020.

This week , there have been no birds of great interest to report. GBBG and Herring Gull are resident. Kittiwake are regular. A few Gannets seen passing, and single sightings of a Guillemot and a Fulmar. Earlier in the week, there were north winds that I thought might bring a few W-W Gulls, but nothing seen. What has been seen this week though are a Minke Whale and a pod of Dolphins (probably Bottle-Nosed)

There are forty-five birds on this year's list, one more than 2019, but it feels like it has been a bit of a struggle. Fifty is what I view as a decent year. That said, I do have some quality birds on the list, so I should not moan, although I can't understand how Blackbird can possibly be missing!

Bird of the year? I think it goes to the Pied Flycatcher.

2020 Platform List

  1. Great-Black-Backed Gull
  2. Carrion Crow
  3. Herring Gull
  4. Kittiwake
  5. Fulmar
  6. Shag
  7. Gannet
  8. Iceland Gull
  9. Guillemot
  10. Woodpigeon
  11. Starling
  12. Golden Plover
  13. Chiffchaff
  14. Pied Wagtail
  15. Meadow Pipit
  16. Swallow
  17. Wheatear
  18. Willow Warbler
  19. Robin
  20. Collared Dove
  21. Blackcap
  22. Puffin
  23. Great Skua
  24. Lesser Black-Backed Gull
  25. Greenshank
  26. Chaffinch
  27. Redstart
  28. Common Gull
  29. Black-Headed Gull
  30. Cormorant
  31. Arctic Skua
  32. Razorbill
  33. Pied Flycatcher
  34. Grey Heron
  35. Brambling
  36. Redwing
  37. Kestrel
  38. Song Thrush
  39. Wren
  40. Dunlin
  41. Glaucous Gull
  42. Yellow-Browed Warbler (d)
  43. Fieldfare
  44. Short-Eared Owl
  45. Long-Tailed Duck.
 

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