Friday, 16 September 2016


A brilliant seawatch from Whitburn this morning. Nothing rare, but five hours of non-stop action with birds going in all directions. Full results here.

A call from George at Shibdon with a mystery raptor got me out of shopping, but the bird had unfortunately gone. The flushed birds were just returning to the pond and 7 Black-tailed Godwit dropped in.

Answers on a postcard
Having packed up for the day I was dragged out again by news of a Franklin's Gull at Whittle Dene. I managed to pick my way through the traffic, but arrived to news that the bird had flown. 90 mins of scanning gulls from the hide drew a blank, so we eventually followed a flock to a field by the most southerly reservoir. After a few minutes scanning Stew picked out a droopy black bill and partial black head, but a Common Gull stepped forward and for the next 5 mins all we could see was the bill.
Eventually the gull moved and for a few second we had clear views of the Franklin's. I did manage a couple of awful phonescoped record shots. A superb find by Steve Rippon.

Franklin's Gull (I did say record shot!)