Wednesday, April 30th, 2014

A fairly quiet last day of the month with low observer coverage perhaps contributing to this.  A relatively uneventful sea watch was enlivened by a “blue” Fulmar heading south whilst 24 of its more typical cousins headed north.  The highlights on the land were two Black Redstarts in the Lighthouse/fog station area and a Fieldfare at Ocean View.

Two Whimbrel were at Bempton mid afternoon (which left to the south) and the late afternoon Short-eared Owl put in its customary appearance near the visitors centre.

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

A generally quiet day with few additions to the birds of late however a female Pied Flycatcher joined the male in Old Fall and there were still 3 Bramblings in the area. Bempton Cliffs RSPB had an obliging Short-eared Owl around the visitors centre for its second day at least.  The sea watch, which had to be from South Landing due to poor visibility off the headland produced little of note.

The Hoddy Cows Lane and Buckton area was checked for the first time in a while and recorded the following late afternoon: 7 Yellow Wagtail, 2 House Martins and singles of Wheatear, Chiffchaff, and both Lesser and Common Whitethroat.  A cream crown Marsh Harrier and a Barn owl were also in the general area.

Marsh Harrier (P Reed)

Marsh Harrier (P Reed)

Monday, April 28th, 2014

In addition to most of the migrants noted yesterday there were several new arrivals in evidence today including a Tree Pipit near North Landing, 2 Whinchat in the Gorse Field, a male and female Redstart and male Pied Flycatcher in Old Fall and several Ring Ouzels (4+) across the headland. Up to 3 acredula Willow Warblers on the outer head stood out amoung more olive and yellow nominate birds. The highlight of the day however has to be the Grey-headed Wagtail ssp. thunbergi seen in the sheep field south of the lighthouse.

 

1st summer male Grey-headed Wagtail ssp. thunbergi. Sheep field south of Head Farm.

1st summer male Grey-headed Wagtail ssp. thunbergi. Sheep field south of Head Farm.

Pied Flycatcher (A Hood)

1st summer male Pied Flycatcher (A Hood)

Ring Ouzel (A Hood)

Ring Ouzel (A Hood)

Departing winter visitors continue to be seen with a Redwing and 3 Bramblings in Old Fall.  Elsewhere up to 3 Marsh Harrier and 1 Buzzard flew south over the headland. A Ringed Plover was on Thornwick Pool and  the Green Sandpiper there was joined by a second bird.  A Whimbrel was also seen heading west over the pool.

acredula type aka 'Northern' Willow Warbler, Bay Brambles, by Andrew Allport

acredula type aka ‘Northern’ Willow Warbler, Bay Brambles, by Andrew Allport

Typical nominate Willow Warbler, by Andrew Allport

Typical nominate Willow Warbler, by Andrew Allport

Sand Martin (J Beaumont)

Sand Martin (J Beaumont)

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Sunday, April 27th, 2014

Although once again somewhat hampered by poor visibility the area received fairly widespread coverage due to the efforts of regular stalwarts.  The daily seawatch from the Outer Head had to be abandoned due to visibility and transferred to South Landing where conditions were a little better, highlight being a Scaup heading “north” (actually east at this location).

The conservation work that has taken place at Thornwick Pool over some considerable time now is reaping rewards with recent wader records showing the value of being able to adequately control the water levels at critical times of the year.  Following on from both Godwit species in the last couple of days today there were singles of Common Sandpiper, Green Sandpiper, Redshank and a Little ringed Plover plusYellow Wagtail, 2 Sedge Warbler a Wheatear and the long staying pair of Shelduck and male Tufted Duck.

Green Sandpiper (A Malley)

Green Sandpiper (A Malley)

Redshank and Green Sandpiper (M Garner)

Redshank and Green Sandpiper (M Garner)

Little Ringed Plover (A Malley)

Little Ringed Plover (A Malley)

Migrant passerines continue to be well reported with the area holding mimimum counts of the following, Willow Warbler 12, Chiffchaff 3, Blackcap 6, Common Redstart 1, Common Whitethroat 10, Lesser Whitethroat 1, Wheatear 5, Ring Ouzel 1 and Yellow Wagtail 2 plus good numbers of Swallow, 11 Sand Martin and a House Martin.  In addition there were two Whimbrel reported at Micklemires and a Hooded Crow at North Marsh.  26 Fieldfares were in the The Grange farm area.

Ringing at Buckton produced Willow Warbler and both Whitethroat and Lesser Whitethroat. Other birds here included Brambling, Fieldfare, Whinchat and Wheatear.

 

 

Ad male, Whitethroat, Buckton, (Mark Thomas)

Whitethroat, Buckton, (Mark Thomas)

willow warbler

Willow Warbler, Buckton (Mark Thomas)

Lesser Whitethroat

Lesser Whitethroat, Buckton (Mark Thomas)

 

Saturday, April 26th, 2014

A clearer day with winds in southeast and more observer coverage brought good variety of migration.

Wheatear headlined with around 40 birds present. Specific counts:

8 Golf Course

11 Micklemires

6 Thornwick area

5 cliff top near Holmes Gut

3 opposite Oceanview

2 Old Fall circuit

2 Water Lane

1 Whelkie Wynds

A Wood Warbler on the edge of the Gorse Field was the first of the year and 8 Common Crossbill flew south out of Old Fall Plantation. The Hooded Crow was still present in the North Marsh/ Golf Course area with up to 100 Carrion Crow. Ring Ouzel were recorded at Buckton (1) and Bempton (2). c 35 Fieldfare divided themselves between Micklemires fields and the Gorse Field/ Old Fall area. 2 Male Redstart on Outer Head and male Black Redstart still at Thornwick. Short-eared Owl were around the Gorse Field and at Bempton and a  Merlin flew over the outer head. 2 Brambling and single Siskin in Old Fall. A Whinchat east of Thornwick and acredula Willow Warbler by Thornwick Pool. Many song birds are establishing territory with migrants still passing making it difficult discern between the two, in the case of Common and Lesser Whitethroats, Chiffchaffs and Willow Warblers.

Adult male Bar-tailed Godwit, Thornwick Pool by Andy Hood

Adult male Bar-tailed Godwit, Thornwick Pool by Andy Hood

Adult female Bar-tailed Godwit, Thornwick Pool by Andy Hood

Adult female Bar-tailed Godwit, Thornwick Pool by Andy Hood

2 Bar-tailed Godwit, adult male and adult female gave excellent views on Thornwick Pool and later Micklemires fields. These were joined by a couple of Whimbrel and single Curlew with up to 7 Dunlin and 2 Common Sandpiper also on Thornwick. Single Bar-tailed Godwit and Whimbrel also flew south on the morning seawatch. A pair of Garganey on the sea off Bempton was unusual with Great Skua again there.

Common Sandpiper, Thornwick Pool by Andy Hood

Common Sandpiper, Thornwick Pool by Andy Hood

 

 

 

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Despite being virtually fog bound again the headland produced some nice birds today with a Black Redstart at Thornwick Caravan park and two Icelandic Black tailed Godwits at Thornwick Pool the pick of the bunch.

Black-tailed Godwit Thornwick Pool (M Garner)

Black-tailed Godwit Thornwick Pool (M Garner)

Yellow Wagtail and Black -tailed Godwit Thornwick Pool (M Garner)

Yellow Wagtail and Black -tailed Godwit Thornwick Pool (M Garner)

Also at Thornwick Pool were single Fieldfare, Brambling, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Yellow Wagtail, Dunlin and Tufted Duck plus the long staying two Shelduck.  Elsewhere on the Outer Head there were 5 Brambling and 2 Fieldfare plus the expected summer migrants which included 4 Wheatear, a Sedge Warbler, good numbers of singing Lesser and Common Whitethroat and a fine male Redstart.

Thursday, April 24th, 2014

Pretty much fog bound today with visibility down to 50m by 0900, as a result few birds reported although there was a Hooded Crow and 2 Ring Ouzels at Northcliffe Marsh early on and another (or the same?) two Ring Ouzels at Thornwick Bay later in the day. 2 Whimbrel flew east up Lighthouse Road and a Green Sandpiper and two Snipe were at Thornwick Pool. Common Whitethroats arrived ‘en masse’ in the last 24 hours with singing males in several locations including up to 4 in one small area near Chalet Hedge.

Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Another settled day and one which produced the best arrival day for migrants of late, the headland saw a total of at least 30 Wheatears: 21 on the Outer Head between North Marsh and Old Fall (including 3 by the lighthouse), 6 at Thornwick Pool and 3 at Ocean View. Elsewhere there were totals of 6 Common Whitethroat, at least 4 Lesser Whitethroats, 6 Willow Warblers, 3 Chiffchaffs, 3 Blackcaps, 3 Yellow Wagtails and 2 Common Redstarts.  A Sedge Warbler and White Wagtail were at Thornwick Pool. Yesterday’s Ring Ouzel also remained at Old Fall and hirundines were moving south with at least 50 Swallows, a handful of Sand Martins and 2 House Martins involved. In addition to all these an Outer Head garden played host to a Black Redstart .

Northern Wheatear Thornwick Pool (M Garner)

Northern Wheatear Thornwick Pool (M Garner)

The Thornwick Pool area received a fair amount of attention and rewarded with three shinzii Dunlin, an acredula Willow Warbler (M Garner) and 2 Shelduck in addition to the above.

Dunlin Thornwick Pool (M Garner)

Dunlin Thornwick Pool (M Garner)

White Wagtail Thornwick Pool (A Hood)

White Wagtail Thornwick Pool (A Hood)

Departing winter visitiors were a Redwing in Old Fall and 2 Fieldfare at South Landing.

A Common Buzzard was also seen over Ocean View.

 

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014

Further arrival of migrants today with the first Common Sandpiper (Thornwick Pool) and Arctic Tern (one north on sea watch).  Other migrants today were Whitethroat (2), Lesser Whitethroat (3), Blackcap (6), Wheatear (5), Ring Ouzel (1 Old Fall), Redstart (2), Yellow Wagtail (4) along with Willow Warbler (1), Chiffchaff (4) and several Swallows and Sand Martins.

Common Sandpiper Thornwick Pool (A Hood)

Common Sandpiper Thornwick Pool (A Hood)

Yellow Wagtail Thornwick Pool (A Hood)

Yellow Wagtail Thornwick Pool (A Hood)

The sea watch was generally quiet apart from the Arctic Tern and 129 Puffin heading north.  Elsewhere there were 2 Shelduck over Lighthouse Road, two Fieldfare and three Siskin in an Outer Head garden.  Also of interest was a leucistic Herring Gull on the golf course.

Siskin (C Thomas)

Siskin (C Thomas)

 

Monday, April 21st, 2014

Another settled day with migrants continuing to show well, birds today included a singing Grasshopper Warbler at Thornwick Pool, a Sedge Warbler at nearby Thornwick reedbed, at least 5 Lesser Whitethroats, a Common Whitethroat, a single White and 2 Yellow Wagtails plus a supporting cast of Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler, Wheatear, Sand Martin and Swallow. Good numbers of Sandwich Terns were seen on the seawatch with 54 north and 13 south, a blue Fulmar was also amongst the 101 that passed north.  Waders were represented by a Green Sandpiper at Thornwick Pool and a total of 5 Whimbrel that flew north (2,2 & 1).  Elsewhere there was a Fieldfare at Old Fall and a migrant Stonechat in Church Lane.  The sea bird colonies at Bempton have really pulled in the visitors this Bank Holiday and their visit was further enlivened by a close passing Great Skua.

Great Skua (A Malley)

Great Skua (A Malley)

Coverage of the nearby Buckton area produced some more migrants, 1 Fieldfare, 2 Yellow Wagtails, 2 Wheatears, several Chiffchaffs and single Blackcap, Garden Warbler and a Sparrowhawk plus the recent (or another?) Short-eared owl.

Short-eared Owl (J Reed)

Short-eared Owl (P Reed)

Wheatear (J Reed)

Wheatear (P Reed)

Yellow Wagtail (J Reed)

Yellow Wagtail (P Reed)

Sunday, April 20th, 2014

A fairly quiet day on the cape today, a blue Fulmar amongst 160 heading north was the sea watch highlight and elsewhere things also appeared pretty settled.  Most of the expected migrants have now made an appearance with Wheatear (2), Common Whitethroat (3), Swallow (9), Sand Martin (18), Yellow Wagtail (1), Redstart (1), Blackcap (2), Willow Warbler (5), Chiffchaff (2) and a White Wagtail all recorded on the headland with two Bramblings also on the Outer Head.  A total of 123 Linnets were counted including c100 at Cattlemere. Elsewhere there was a reeling Grasshopper Warbler at Bempton.

Grasshopper Warbler Bempton (C Mellor)

Grasshopper Warbler Bempton (C Mellor)

Saturday, April 19th, 2014

An interesting day as the wind veered to NE then east producing 5 Blue Fulmar among 337 Fulmar, 2 Manx Shearwater, 3 Sandwich Terns and 3 Great Skuas all heading north on the sea watch. An interesting Diver that went north was initially thought to be a Great Northern but following reference to photos of a White-billed Diver seen earlier at Spurn the observer now considers this to be the same bird.

On the land, coverage of the Buckton area revealed 3 Lesser Whitethroat and 5 Yellow Wagtails with a Grasshopper Warbler at nearby Bempton where there was also a Short-eared Owl to entertain the many holiday visitors.  On the headland itself there was another Grasshopper Warbler, at least 12, and possibly as many as 16, Wheatear, a Fieldfare, a Tree Pipit at Whelkie Wynds and a Brambling and Common Whitethroat at Old Fall. A Common Buzzard was seen over the village with a Golden Plover also overhead.  The Tawny Pipit was reported again though not substantiated by good views. A White Wagtail joined 3 Yellows on Thornwick Pool and a ‘Northeastern’ Jackdaw was in fields between Bempton and Danes Dyke north for its 2nd day. It appears to show characters between the Nordic monedula and Russian soemmerrengii, with quite striking white collar.

Northeastern Jackdaw by John Beaumont

Northeastern Jackdaw by John Beaumont

Grasshopper Warbler Outer Head (P Reed)

Grasshopper Warbler Outer Head (P Reed)

A curious and frustrating sighting was of a large pale, probably 2cy falcon of Saker type which flew in off the sea at North Landing and headed towards the lighthouse.

Friday, April 18th, 2014

A cool northerly breeze in sunshine kept passerine movements low key. Nevertheless more spring migrants arrived with first records this year of Sedge Warbler singing at Thornwick Pool and Lesser Whitethroat singing at Whelkie Wynds. Yellow Wagtails were seen at Thornwick, the Golf Course and Buckton. Small numbers of Blackcap, Chiffchaff, Willow Warbler and single Goldcrest were scattered around the head.

The morning seawatch produced highlights of 7 Manx Shearwater and 1028 Fulmar going north.

Thornwick pool also held up to 20 Sand Martin, 2 Snipe and single Dunlin. Bempton had passing Great Skua and Swallows were noted taking up territory at Buckton and Flamborough Village. A brief report of the Tawny Pipit near Head Farm pond was not seen by others searching the area.

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

High pressure dominated again today but this did allow for further increases in migrants, this was best summed up by a day visitor (Jono Leadley) who nicely summarised his Flamborough experience as follows

“Flamborough was great this morning with Gropper, 2 male Redstarts, Whitethroat, c30 Willow Warblers, several Blackcaps, 2 Yellow Wags, c15 Wheatears. Oh and the Tawny Pipit giving stonking views in the Sheep Field.”

In addition to these there were also 7 Yellow Wagtails on the Golf Course plus 7 Wheatears reported on the Outer Head (which may have included some of those above), the sea watch also had a flava wagtail sp head south.  A female type Marsh Harrier was seen over North Landing early on and nearby there were Blackcap, Willow Warbler and Chiffchaff which appear to be pretty widespread now.  Four dark bellied Brent Geese went south on an otherwise fairly quiet sea watch.  Away from migrants there was the very pleasing sight of a total of 204 Linnets on the headland including a single flock of 180 at Cattlemere.

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

The Tawny pipit continued its stay and gave some good views in the sheep field south of Head Farm viewable looking north from the clifftop path.

Tawny Pipit (C Thomas)

Tawny Pipit (C Thomas)

Elsewhere there was a further increase in migrants with 8 Willow Warblers, 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 3 White Wagtails, 19 Sand martins, 9 Swallows and a Yellow Wagtail.  A Great Skua was seen feeding on a dead Guillemot off Bempton whilst the Flamborough sea watch included 237 Fulmar north (none south), 3 distant Shags going north (and therefore possibly not local birds), 19 Common Scoter north and 15 south. Terns were also moving with 10 Sandwich and 2 Commons heading north.

Tuesday, April 15th, 2014

Initial thoughts that the Tawny Pipit may have gone were allayed when it was seen on grassland behind the fog station first thing .  The sea watch also rewarded with some passage in the two and a half hours covered, a total of 903 Fulmar went north (one blue) along with 6 Manx Shearwaters, 1 Med Gull (2 cy), 11 Sandwich Tern and 9 Common Scoters. Coincidentally, or perhaps the same birds, nine also flew south.

Tawny Pipit (T Dixon)

Tawny Pipit (T Dixon)

Elsewhere there was a White Wagtail at Cattlemere, 2 Stonechat near Thornwick reedbed and 2 Corn Buntings singing in the clifftop set aside.  Hirundines continue to become more frequent and included 9 Swallows and 5 Sand Martins today, but sadly no Crag.  A Snow Bunting flew over the Lighthouse car park early afternoon

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Settled conditions with high pressure dominating led to a very spring like feel today apart from the cold wind keeping temperatures down.  There were no reports of the Crag Martin or Tawny Pipit but a good spread of summer migrants across the headland.  A total of 18 Chiffchaffs were reported (8 Outer Head, 9 South Dykes and 1 South Landing), 22 Sand Martins (15 South Landing to Booted Gulley and 7 Thornwick Pool), 6 Blackcaps (4 South Dykes and singles at South landing and Church lane) and two Wheatears on the Golf Course.  In addition there was a Swallow  flew west, a White wagtail at North Landing and a Black Redstart at Head Farm.

658 Fulmar flew north on the four hour sea watch which also included 2 Manx Shearwaters north.

Sunday, April 13th, 2014

Another day for Flamborough to welcome the wider birding world, with two quality rares on offer we were joined by a large number of visiting birders and hopefully most went away happy.  The Crag Martin showed well from North landing early on before drifting towards the foghorn area, unfortunately it disappeared later in the morning. Luckily there was some compensation in the Tawny Pipit that, having initially been difficult to pin down has gradually become more obliging during its stay on the headland.  Early in the day it showed very well at Briel Nook (which was handy for those looking for the Crag Martin) before heading south back towards the golf course and then spending the bulk of the afternoon in the field to the south of Head Farm.

Other sightings today included two Common Buzzards heading west over the outer head and 2 Wheatear and a Yellow Wagtail on the Golf Course,  2 Yellow Wagtail were also seen to fly in-off the sea at North Landing where there were a further 5 Wheatears in the fields.  The south side of the headland and South Landing in particular added 8 Sand Martins, a Swallow, Blackcap and two Wheatears to the days totals whilst several Swallow and Sand Martin were seen elsewhere.

An appreciative audience (A Hood)

An appreciative audience (A Hood)

 

Saturday, April 12th, 2014

Much relief for those who missed yesterday’s two star birds as both made a reappearance today. The Crag Martin was refound in the North Landing/Thornwick Bay area and enjoyed by many observers and the Tawny Pipit was in the same field as yesterday but altogether more obliging today.

Crag Martin and admirers (R Baines)

Crag Martin and admirers (R Baines)

Crag Martin (A Allport)

Crag Martin (A Allport)

Andrew found the Crag Martin originally. You can see more of his superb photo collection on his website >>>HERE<<<

Crag Martin, Thornwick Bay, Martin Standley

Crag Martin, Thornwick Bay, Martin Standley

See lots more of Martin’s photos of the bird >>>HERE <<<

Crag Martin, Thornwick Bay, Richard Willison

Crag Martin, Thornwick Bay, Richard Willison

Tawny Pipit (A Hood)

Tawny Pipit (A Hood)

 

A male Ring Ouzel was in the gorse field first thing and a Black Redstart at the fog station. Elsewhere there was a Mealy Redpoll near the lighthouse, a Brambling in the Bay Brambles and 4 Wheatear, 32 Pied and 1 White Wagtail and 1 Yellow Wagtail on the golf course.

 

Friday, April 11th, 2014

A mega day on the headland today with two top quality rares being found, both fell to regular observers and were due reward for effort.  The first, and only Yorkshire’s second record, a Crag Martin was found by Andrew Allport near the Lighthouse, the news quickly brought  the crowds and many were to enjoy excellent views when it relocated to South Landing before it was last seen heading further west towards Bridlington.  Sadly for those not able to get there until the afternoon it was not seen after lunchtime.

CragMartin004 ah

Crag Martin, High Stacks, A. Hood

Crag Martin South Landing (T Dixon)

Crag Martin South Landing (T Dixon)

 

The second rare, a Tawny Pipit was originally found on the golf course by Phil Cunningham and although it gave observers the run around for the rest of the day eventually settled in the sheep field area south of Head Farm where quite a number of people were to finally catch up with it.

Tawny Pipit, R. Willison

Tawny Pipit, R. Willison

Tawny Pipit (S Routledge)

Tawny Pipit (S Routledge)

Tawny Pipit (S Routledge)

Tawny Pipit (S Routledge)

 

Elsewhere the sea watch was pretty uneventful although it was understandably cut short by the arrival of the Crag Martin news!  Commoner migrants were in evidence including 9 Wheatear on the Golf Course, 5 at Ocean View and 3 elsewhere, 3+ Swallows and at least 5 Sand Martins, the year’s first House Martin and a male Redstart were at South landing and 2 White Wagtails on the Golf Course. A Willow Warbler was at Ocean View and Blackcap at South Landing and Bay Brambles.

Thursday, April 10th, 2014

Some new arrivals today including a Firecrest on the Outer Head and a significant increase in Willow Warblers with at least ten on the Outer Head including a freshly arrived bird singing on the cliff top.  Chiffchaffs are pretty widespread now with birds reported from several areas, three were between the Bay Brambles and North Landing, two near North Landing itself, one in the Lighthouse bushes and two at South Landing where there was also a Blackcap.  The Brambling remained on the feeders at the Living Seas Centre and a possible Little Egret was seen flying north high over South Landing/Highcliffe Manor, unfortunately the observer was on the phone at the time and couldn’t confirm the ID.  Other migrants included a Wheatear at the north end of the golf course and a Redwing near North Landing. Eight Sandwich Terns passed north on an otherwise fairly quiet sea watch.  An impressive count of 122 Jackdaws was made at the golf course whilst a Short eared Owl was also seen on the Outer Head.

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Based on reports received to date a rather quiet day in the recording area although there was a Hooded Crow at North Marsh and the Buckton area continued to host at least four Lapland Buntings and two Wheatears. A male Brambling was a pleasing sight for visitors to the YWT Living Seas Centre at South Landing as it fed on the bird feeders.

Brambling - Living Seas Centre (A Hurd)

Brambling – Living Seas Centre (A Hurd)

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014

Highlight of the day was a strong contender for a Common Rosefinch seen in a local garden before flying off towards the village centre, from the description received this sounds the likely species.  Elsewhere the summer migrants continued with a Sandwich Tern flying north on the sea watch where there were also 2 Sand Martins south,  in addition single Swallows were at Thornwick Pool and Ocean View and a Blackcap near North Landing. The latter site also had a Long eared Owl. The sea watch itself was generally fairly quiet although Fulmars were on the move with 86 north and conversely just one (a “blue” bird) going south.

Long-eared Owl Holmes Gut (A Hood)

Long-eared Owl North Landing (A Hood)

There were several Common Buzzards reported including one at Ocean View and three over the south east corner of the headland which were seen to drift north.  A Barn Owl was seen near Hartendale where a Lesser Redpoll was at the feeders of a local garden.

Common Buzzard (A Hood)

Common Buzzard (A Hood)

The Lapland Buntings at Buckton continue to delight observers with four there today.

Lesser redpoll Hartendale (J & T collins)

Lesser Redpoll Hartendale (J & T collins)

Monday, April 7th, 2014

Departing thrushes were in evidence today with at least 35 Redwing and a Fieldfare at Ocean View and a total of 52 Redwing moving south through South Dykes.  Summer visitors included a Redstart at Ocean View and a singing Blackcap in South Dykes (where there were also 4 singing Chiffchaff).  Two Wheatears were at Bempton.

A Grey Plover flew over one observers house in the village but apart from a remaining Black Redstart on the Outer Head and three Common Buzzards in the North Dykes area the day was fairly uneventful.

Discussion with regard to the Chiffchaff in Holmes Gut on Saturday, including listening to a recording of its call, has begun to come to the conclusion that it is a Chiffchaff and not a Sibe.

Sunday, April 6th, 2014

A quieter day than yesterday but nevertheless some nice birds and further signs of Spring today.  Quite a lot of the birding activity centered around the Bempton to North Dykes area and perhaps most interestingly included a male Ring Ouzel which was seen to come in off the sea and settle into the dell close to the car park at Bempton RSPB.  Between Bempton and North Dykes there were 2 Sand Martin, 2 Wheatear, single Redwing and Corn Bunting and 600 Linnets.  At Buckton,  5 Lapland Buntings (4 ad summer males) remained in the ploughed field – now coming to seed in the NE corner, other birds included a male Merlin, a Coot (only second ever here), a Common Buzzard, 2 Wheatear, 120 Linnet and a pair of Carrion Crows nest building on the roof of the Heligoland trap!  Elsewhere there was a single Hooded Crow  on the golf course, a Willow Warbler singing in Holmes Gut and a quiet sea watch was enlivened by a Stock Dove and Carrion Crow apparently coming in off the sea (presumably they hadn’t come from the continent though!).  In what is rapidly becoming a big spring for Red Kites another was reported coming in off the sea today and several Common Buzzards were in the area (possibly a final total of 5)

Late news from yesterday was of a Redstart in an Outer Head garden.

Saturday, April 5th, 2014

As hoped for, the change in weather and increased coverage has produced a bumper day in the area.  The highlight was undoubtedly the Red-rumped Swallow that was first seen this morning over the gorse field before gradually moving inland towards Old Fall, presumably the same bird (?) was also seen in the afternoon.  A Common Crane first seen over Filey Brigg was eventually watched heading south and spent a brief time circling the Bempton Cliffs area where a Hooded Crow was also seen coming in off the sea. Although nothing has been reported recently of the bird that had frequented the fields just to the west of North Dykes this was seen again in the same area today suggesting there has been two.

Raptors were also in evidence with 6 Buzzards going south and a Red Kite seen over Ocean View and the Outer Head also heading south.  A Long-eared Owl was found roosting at Ocean View where there were 3 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaff, a Brambling and a Goldcrest.  The Outer Head also had the now regular Black Redstart in a garden, possibly one of the birds from the fog horn compound.

Long-eared Owl (A Hood)

Long-eared Owl (A Hood)

Good coverage of the Bempton area showed migration to be well underway today, 8 Fieldfare, 21 Redwing and 11 Lapland Buntings on the departure side and 2 Ring Ouzels, 4 Sand Martin, a Wheatear and a Swallow on the arrivals.  There was also a Ring Ouzel on the Outer Head.  A pale Chiffchaff in Holmes Gut looked interesting and may have been a Sibe?

Chiffchaff (A Malley)

Chiffchaff (A Malley)

Todays seawatchers finally enjoyed some good visibility and highlights included Red Kite going south (presumably the same bird as seen by others on the Outer Head), 17 Red throated Divers south and 11 north, 15 Purple Sandpipers south, 104 Fulmars north (including 2 “blues”) and 4 Velvet Scoter north.  A Yellow legged Gull also went north.  In addition to sea based movement some passerine migration was also observed with 108 Linnet south.  Two female type Black Redstarts were also still present in the fog horn compound.

 

Friday, April 4th, 2014

With the weather finally showing signs of change hopefully things will pick up a bit over the weekend following another relatively quiet day.  A steady sea watch in rapidly deteriorating visibility turned up little of note but the Black Redstart was still in the foghorn compound as some compensation.  Despite the conditions there was still some sign of movement with a female Blackcap, a Chiffchaff and 5 Fieldfare at Ocean View, a male Blackcap and a Wheatear on the Outer Head with another in the cliff top set aside at Buckton and 2 Chiffchaffs at Hoddy Cows Lane.  Also at Buckton were singles of Short -eared and Barn Owl. Following on from other recent sightings of Bramblings at garden feeders there was a single on the feeders at the Living Seas Centre at South Landing and three in a garden on the Outer Head.  Yesterdays Green Sandpiper was still present on Stainforth’s Flash.

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

Another quiet day on a chiefly misty Great White Cape, highlights were a Black Redstart at the fog station and a Green Sandpiper on Stainforth’s Flash.  Nothing unexpected on the sea watch, four Song Thrushes and two Redwing in an Outer Head garden, 2 Fieldfares at Micklemires Fields and a Blackcap in the Lighthouse bushes.

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

A very quiet day today clearly not helped by the fact that most of the area was shrouded in fog or, at best, thick mist. Despite this the seawatch legend that is Brett Richards put in a two hour plus stint in addition to covering a hefty portion of the area during the rest of the day. Nothing unexpected on the sea but a Chiffchaff and a single female type Black Redstart in the foghorn compound were some reward.  Elsewhere another dedicated observer had a large mixed flock of Fieldfares, Starlings, Redwings and a few Song Thrushes showing that birds can  be seen even when conditions appear at their worst.  Two Bramblings were on a garden bird feeder on the Outer Head and a third in another garden in the village.

Tuesday, April 1st, 2014

The settled conditions and sunny weather today looked perfect for raptors and so it proved to be, a total of 7 Common Buzzards and 4 Red Kites were seen  (2 Red Kites drifting south south-west between 1325 and 1340 and what were thought to be a different  2 moving south along the dyke between 1350 and 1430).

Red Kite (M Garner)

Red Kite (M Garner)

Black Redstarts again featured today with 3 in the fog station compound first thing with 2 there this afternoon.  The year’s first Swallows (3) were over the clifftops at South Landing, a Sand Martin was at Sewerby Steps and a single Shore Lark remained near Staple Newk at Bempton.

Black Redstart (A Hood)

Black Redstart (A Hood)

Black Redstart (A Hood)

Black Redstart (A Hood)

Elsewhere there were single Redwing and Fieldfare at Ocean View and a blue Fulmar flew north on a generally quiet sea watch.