Monday, 30 August 2010

Seawatching pays out more diverdends

Ok, so it’s not a diver but Black Guillemot does dive to hunt so I think I can justify my blog title. I had a days sea watching yesterday and today but the highlight came yesterday when a Black Guillemot that had went south in the morning flew right past Whitburn Obs heading North when I was in toward late afternoon! Apparently very rare in Durham in fact rarer than the species I was hoping to see: Long-tailed Skua or Pomarine Skua. This mornings seawatch was pretty poor but a spectacle of half the worlds population of Kittiwakes all flying north at once was fantastic to see! OH, and a Merlin right in front of the Obs again was fantastic. Always a pleasure to see!

This is actually my 100th post since I started posting on Blogspot so I feel that I should perhaps do something special.

Well I’m not going to because I can’t think of anything. So instead here is my trip report from Lothian today. Me and my Dad popped up to Lothian for the day. Our first stop was a muddy beach to look at a yank wader from across the shining sea with this being a Semipalmated Sandpiper, a first for Lothian. So here I was standing all covered up wrapped up warm with two coats on trying to keep warm as I shivered looking at a map of the area, when a young lady in a bikini walks out of the public conveniences shivering, guessing she was a surfer as her car was parked in the car park with music blasting and a surf board outside the car. We met at a narrow spot and had one of them awkward moments where you move to the left and they do, then you move to the right and they do, made even more awkward by the fact she was in a bikini and I was wrapped up in three layers. She said something and she must have been freezing as I couldn’t make out what she said lol. So with this bit of humour at the total opposite extremes of summer dress we set off for the destination a short 2 mile walk to where the bird was. We arrived and saw the bird nearly straight away; I relocated it after it had flew off minutes before I arrived. It was nice to bump into the finder later on in Aberlady in the Scottish Ornithologists Club headquarters. We had pretty good views of the Semipalmated Sandpiper, having seen one before I thought I would try and get some good digiscoping photographs as well as watching the bird. The result was I spent quite a while photographing the bird than watching it, have to make sure that doesn’t start to become a habit! I attached one of my best attempts below, click on image to enlarge it.

(from left: Semipalmated Sandpiper & 2 Dunlin)

Out last stop of the day was at Longniddry to look for the Red-necked Grebes, I was fortunate and saw three birds in close as well as a single Slavonian Grebe, and a single Red-throated Diver. My Dad was driving and it was a long drive back so we set off for home.

All in all a very enjoyable day, until next time, Foghorn out!

Year List Update
233 - Semipalmated Sandpiper
234 - Red-necked Grebe


  1. Careful, Andrew. The photography lark can start to take over and slowly suck you in. Sounds like you're on the slippery slope.

    By the way, congratulations on a lively and entertaining blog.