Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

A partly cloudy day, with south-westerly winds of force 3-4 and temperature 6c.

Seawatching from the headland was steady, but produced 34 Red-throated Diver south, 12 Fulmar south and five north, two Gannet south and seven north, one Puffin south and 135 Shag around the headland. There were also a few hundred Guillemot moving both north and south during the seawatch.

In the South Landing area there were 16 Red-legged Partridge, one Curlew, six Redshank, and two Great Spotted Woodpecker. North Marsh held 89 Teal, seven Wigeon and one Short-eared Owl. Thornwick Pools produced a lone Jack Snipe, three Snipe and five Fieldfare, while nearby Oceanview recorded a single Grey Plover flying south.

At Buckton, up to two Water Rail were calling from the Main Dell at dusk.

So, on the last day of 2014, the Flamborough Team would like to thank everyone for all the records and images kindly submitted and wish everyone a Happy New Year. What will we get in 2015?

Short-eared Owl, Martin Garner

Short-eared Owl, Martin Garner

Tuesday, December 30th, 2014

Cold, clear and frosty. Sunny spells with temperatures rising from 1 to 4°C. Seawatch movement south past the headland included ten Red-throated Divers (five north), 11 Fulmar (55 north), five Gannet (ten north), eight Common Gull (11 north) and 30 Guillemot (96 north).

Sanderling, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Sanderling, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Monday, December 29th, 2014

The weather was cold and sunny, with a moderate north westerly wind. The Chiffchaff remained at Oceanview, along with a flock of 20 Reed Bunting. Elsewhere, North Marsh held 49 Teal and a Shelduck.

On the seawatch, highlights included 30 Red-throated Diver (16 north), one Great Northern Diver (south), three Great Skuas (south) and 396 Fulmar.

sinensis Cormorant, by Martin Garner

sinensis Cormorant, by Martin Garner

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

Seawatching again provided the day’s highlights as a result of a force 2 north-easterly wind. Totals of birds heading north included 83 Red-throated Divers (plus 9 south), two Black-throated Divers, 1 Great Northern Diver, 188 Fulmar (8 south), two Manx Shearwater, 90 Eider, 17 Common Scoter (11 south), 1 Velvet Scoter, 2 Goosander, 1 Pomarine Skua and 2 Great Skua. Just 34 Shag left the roost.

On the land, the Thornwick area held four Jack Snipe, 9 Common Snipe and a Water Rail.

fieldfare one

Fieldfare, by Martin Garner

Saturday, December 27th, 2014

Weather was unsettled with heavy rain showers throughout the day. A force 3 north-westerly was again conducive to good sea-watching. Particularly notable were movements of duck heading north, including 1 Pochard, 10 Tufted Duck, 1 Shoveler (south) and 5 Wigeon. Other birds on the seawatch were 1 Pomarine Skua (south), 1 Great Northern Diver (north), 10 Red-throated Diver and 73 Fulmar, including 1 blue morph. A total of 17,350 Guillemot flew north, with 250 heading south; only 5 Razorbill were seen and 56 Shag left the roost.

On the land, the Chiffchaff at Oceanview was the only notable occurrence.

flying Guilly MG

Guillemot, by Martin Garner

Friday, December 26th, 2014

Conditions were overcast, with a light southerly wind. The Water Pipit continued its stay at South Landing, along with 2 Chiffchaff. A further Chiffchaff was again at Oceanview. A single Velvet Scoter was on the sea off South Dykes. Jack Snipe and Woodcock were at Thornwick Pool, with another Woodcock at Breil Nook. 89 Teal were recorded around the headland, whilst a notable count of 200 Lapwing were in fields immediately west of Danes Dyke.

Single Long-tailed Duck and Red-breasted Merganser flew past on the seawatch. The number of Shag in the roost dropped again to just 72.

Water Pipit 008

Water Pipit, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Thursday, December 25th, 2014

A force 3-4 north-westerly resulted in good sea watching conditions, with 303 Fulmar heading north, including one blue morph. Two Great Northern Diver flew south, with 24 Red-throated Diver also noted and 153 Shag left the roost.

Elsewhere, the Water Pipit remained at South Landing along with 6 Rock Pipit. A Woodcock and Grey Heron were at Thornwick Pools.

PeregrinePeregrine, by Martin Garner

Wednesday, December 24th, 2014

Weather was sunny with a force 5 south-westerly wind. The Water Pipit was again on the beach at South Landing. Other notable land birds included the Chiffchaff at Oceanview and 2 Sanderling on the beach at South Landing.

Another Great Northern Diver flew south on the mornings sea watch, with single Pomarine and Great Skuas north. The number of Shag leaving the roost dropped considerably to just 116.

Water Pipit, South Landing, by Martin Garner

Tuesday, December 23rd, 2014

Weather was again overcast, with a moderate south westerly wind. A Water Pipit found at South Landing along with 9 Rock Pipit and is thought to be a different bird to that present in November. Also at South Landing were 1 Bar-tailed Godwit, 22 Common Scoter and a Goosander flew west. Elsewhere on the land, a Merlin was present at North Landing and a single Chiffchaff remained at Oceanview.

A productive seawatch saw a Slavonian Grebe heading south, along with a Great Northern Diver. Other totals included 5 Red-throated Diver and 62 Fulmar; 264 Shag left the roost and 14 Purple Sandpiper were around rocks below the fog station.

Great Black-backed Gull, by Martin Garner

Great Black-backed Gull, by Martin Garner

Monday, December 22nd, 2014

A strong south westerly force 5 wind predominated. Temperatures were again mild. The seawatch produced 5 Red-throated Diver (plus 21 on the sea), 77 Fulmar (57 north), 3 Common Scoter and 2 Razorbill, whilst 278 Shag left the roost. A total of 650 Common Gull were roosting off Selwick’s Bay.

Elsewhere, North Marsh hosted 4 Wigeon, 76 Teal, 21 Mallard and a Lapwing. Waders at South Landing included 9 Oystercatcher, 3 Curlew, 7 Turnstone and 10 Redshank.

Curlew, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Curlew, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

A moderate south-westerly later switched into a south-easterly, whilst conditions remained overcast throughout. A Black-throated Diver flew south during the morning’s seawatch, with two Great Northern Divers heading north and 45 Red-throated Divers in residence. A Blue Fulmar flew south, whilst 319 Shag left the roost. A Velvet Scoter went south, two Pomarine Skuas moved north and another went south.

Argentatus Herring Gull, Martin Garner

Argentatus Herring Gull, by Martin Garner

Saturday, December 20th, 2014

A strong west-north-westerly and variable cloud resulted in an excellent winter seawatch. A single Great Northern Diver flew south, 1806 Fulmars flew north, including six ‘Blue Fulmars‘, a Whooper Swan went north, as did two Pintail. Fourteen Pomarine Skuas flew south, a record December tally, whilst a single Arctic Skua moved south, four Bonxies did the same (with one north), a Mediterranean Gull flew south, 17 Little Auks headed north and a Puffin flew south. Elsewhere, the beach at South Dykes attracted six Sanderling.

Whooper Swan, by Martin Garner

Whooper Swan, by Martin Garner

Great Northern Diver, by Martin Garner

Great Northern Diver, by Martin Garner

Friday, December 19th, 2014

A moderate west-south-westerly wind and sunny conditions predominated. Seawatching produced 203 Fulmars moving north, one dark-bellied Brent Goose doing the same, a Bonxie flying south, four Kittiwakes and a Little Auk heading north. At least one Water Rail remained in residence at Thornwick Pool, whilst single Chiffchaff and Goldcrest lingered at Oceanview.

The Grey Heron remained at Buckton, with a Water Rail near the Dell, a minimum of three Stonechats and 30 Twite.

Twite, by John Beaumont

Twite, by John Beaumont

Water Rail, Buckton, by Alan Walkington

Water Rail, Buckton, by Alan Walkington

Thursday, December 18th, 2014

A mild, overcast day with a moderate south-westerly wind. Seawatching produced a single Great Northern Diver flying south, a Purple Sandpiper south and single Kittiwake and Razorbill. A total of 239 Shags left the roost, whilst 20 Purple Sandpipers were also in residence. Seaduck off South Landing included a drake Long-tailed Duck, 11 Common and one Velvet Scoter. A Rock Pipit that has visited a garden in the middle of the village recently represents an especially unusual record.

Long-tailed Duck, off South Landing, by Andy Hood

Long-tailed Duck, off South Landing, by Andy Hood

Rock Pipit, in a village garden, by Mike Pearson

Rock Pipit, in a village garden, by Mike Pearson

Wednesday, December 17th, 2014

A Great Northern Diver and a drake Long-tailed Duck were located on the sea immediately east of South Landing. Water Rails were noted both at Thornwick Pool and also in the nearby ‘roost reedbed’, the Barn Owl was again feeding over the nearby grassland, whilst two pairs of Stonechat were present on the cliffs in and around Thornwick Bay. One Chiffchaff and two Goldcrests remained in residence at Oceanview.

Great Northern Diver, near South Landing, by Andy Hood

Great Northern Diver, near South Landing, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, December 16th, 2014

The calm weather continued today, with moderate westerly winds and hazy sunshine for most of the day. Temperatures were around average, dropping to freezing by the end of the day. The morning seawatch produced some variety with a Black-throated Diver and a Little Auk. Eight Pomarine Skua was a good day count for December, along with a single Great Skua.

Northcliff Marsh continues to hold the best numbers of freshwater duck on the headland, with 69 Teal counted along with 2 Wigeon and 11 Mallard. Also at Northcliff Marsh, were 2 Stonechat and 2 Peregrine. Thornwick Pool held 2 Water Rail and a single Teal.

West of the Dykes, there were three Short-eared Owls and 12 Corn Buntings at Buckton and pairs of Stonechat at both Bempton and Buckton.

Redwing by Richard Baines

Redwing by Richard Baines

Monday, December 15th, 2014

A breezy but fine day, with moderate south-westerly winds and overcast conditions dominating the weather. The seawatch was relatively quiet, but did produce 2 Whooper Swan flying south and a single Black-throated Diver. At South Landing an adult Long-tailed Duck was seen along with a single Velvet Scoter. Six species of wader were on South Landing beach, including 6 Sanderling and a Bar-tailed Godwit.

Sparrowhawk by Richard Baines

Sparrowhawk by Richard Baines

Sunday, December 14th, 2014

The weather featured a moderate/strong south-westerly, overcast and temperatures rising to 7 degrees C. A Great Northern Diver flew south on the seawatch, as did 245 Shag from the roost and four Common Scoter. Large numbers of Guillemots were again present, with significant numbers in breeding plumage on the ledges.

Guillemots, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Chrys Mellor

Guillemots, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Chrys Mellor

Saturday, December 13th, 2014

A light westerly wind, sunny throughout and cold, with temperatures barely above freezing (2 degrees C) after a heavy frost. Seawatching produced a Black-throated Diver flying north, 559 Fulmars doing the same, a Pomarine Skua and two Bonxies heading north, as did three Little Auks.

Another Little Auk appeared off South Landing late afternoon, with the female Velvet Scoter still in residence. Other South Landing sightings included a Water Rail, ten Sanderling, a Bar-tailed Godwit, a Mistle Thrush and six Siskin. Five Whooper Swans flew south over nearby Oceanview, where there were also two Chiffchaffs, two Goldcrests and 60 Tree Sparrows. Seventeen Yellowhammers and a Grey Wagtail were present at Hartendale.

Thornwick Pool hosted two Water Rails, three Redshank and four Snipe, whilst a Barn Owl hunted the adjacent grassland. Four Stonechats were located alongside the cliff top path between Thornwick Bay and North Dykes, where a Pink-footed Goose flew south.

The Buckton area held a Grey Heron, two Short-eared Owls, a male Stonechat and 40 Yellowhammers.

Short-eared Owl, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Short-eared Owl, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Friday, December 12th, 2014

A moderate north-westerly changed into a south-westerly later, with sunshine predominating after an overcast start and temperatures were low at 3 degrees C. The seawatch produced 246 Fulmars flying north, a Velvet Scoter also north, 120 Shags heading south from the roost, a Peregrine over and three Little Auks flying north.

Another Velvet Scoter remained off South Landing, where a Bar-tailed Godwit and six Sanderling were on the beach. A female Stonechat frequented the Bay Brambles, whilst a Chiffchaff stayed at Oceanview.

Stonechat, Chrys Mellor

Stonechat, by Chrys Mellor

Thursday, December 11th, 2014

A strong westerly wind and sunny conditions. During the seawatch, a Great Northern Diver flew south, 295 Fulmars headed north (with 50 south), a Bonxie went south, whilst 31 Red-throated Divers were on the sea, 150 Shag left the roost and seven Purple Sandpipers were present. A female-type Velvet Scoter remained off South Landing, with single Bar-tailed Godwit, five Sanderlings and a Grey Wagtail on the beach. Two Wigeon and 34 Teal were on North Marsh, whilst Thornwick Pool continued to host a Water Rail. A Chiffchaff remained at Oceanview.

Chiffchaff, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Chiffchaff, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

A strong south-west wind, sunny intervals and temperatures between 4 and 6 degrees C. A Great Northern Diver flew south, 1188 Fulmars moved north, with a single Blue Fulmar noted for the first time since late September. A Velvet Scoter flew south, two Peregrines overflew the Fog Station and 12 Purple Sandpipers were present on the Outer Head. Waders on South Landing beach included a Bar-tailed Godwit and four Sanderling, whilst a Chiffchaff remained at Oceanview.

Oystercatchers, South Landing, Alan Walkington

Oystercatchers, South Landing, Alan Walkington

Tuesday, December 9th, 2014

A light south-westerly wind strengthened during the morning, with overcast conditions throughout and temperatures barely exceeding 4 degrees C. The seawatch was quiet, with 17 Red-throated Divers on the sea, three Common Scoters flying south and two Kittiwakes moving north. A single Razorbill was present amongst fewer than 100 Guillemots.

The female Pintail was again on North Marsh, together with 27 Teal, whilst single Lapwing and Redshank were present on Thornwick Pool. Oceanview hosted a Grey Heron and one Chiffchaff.

Redshank, Thornwick Pool, by Alan Walkington

Redshank, Thornwick Pool, by Alan Walkington

Monday, December 8th, 2014

A moderate south-west/westerly wind and sunny intervals. Seawatching produced a Bonxie flying north, two Little Auks north and one south and 41 Red-throated Divers on the sea. Typical of recent mid-winters, after 1000s of Guillemots were present as recently as 5th, less than 100 were present today.

Water Rails were noted at Thornwick Pool and the nearby fishing lake, 18 Ringed Plovers were on South Landing beach, with 14 Fieldfare, five Goldcrests, five Chiffchaffs and a Grey Wagtail in the same general area.

Little Auk by Martin Garner

Little Auk by Martin Garner

Sunday, December 7th, 2014

The day started with a light south-west wind which turned into a moderate west-north-westerly later, whilst sunny intervals and occasional light showers featured. A Great Northern Diver flew north during the seawatch, with two Bonxies moving south and 191 Shag leaving the roost.

The North Marsh area hosted a Pintail, 65 Teal, a Jack Snipe, five Sparrowhawks together and a Short-eared Owl, whilst five Chiffchaffs remained at Oceanview.

Sparrowhawk, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Sparrowhawk, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Saturday, December 6th, 2014

A sunny but cold day, with a light westerly wind that strengthened during the afternoon. A Little Auk was on the sea off the Headland, with Water Rails present on both Thornwick Pool and the nearby fishing pond. Single Teal and Redshank and two Snipe were also present on Thornwick Pool, with a Snow Bunting overflying the site during the morning. The South Landing/Oceanview area hosted seven Chiffchaffs, three Goldcrests, two Treecreepers, 30 Tree Sparrows and 14 Reed Buntings. In the same area, ten Song Thrush, including a flock of eight birds, four Fieldfare and two Redwing indicated movement.

Chiffchaff, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Chiffchaff, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Friday, December 5th, 2014

A moderate west-north-west wind overcast and a maximum temperature of 5 degrees C. The seawatch was quieter, with 58 Red-throated Divers offshore, a further 16 flying south, 164 Shag noted leaving the cliff roost and a single Snow Bunting heading north.

Fifty Teal remained at North Marsh, with at least one Water Rail at Thornwick Pool and another at the nearby Fishing Lake, and single Woodcock, three Chiffchaffs and two Lapland Buntings at Oceanview.

Kestrel by Alan Walkington

Kestrel by Alan Walkington

Thursday, December 4th, 2014

A mostly cloudy day, with the wind from the east force 4 and temperatures low at 7 degrees C.

The early morning sea-watch proved steady, but birds recorded flying north included one Red-breasted Merganser, one Curlew, one Pomarine Skua, one Great Skua and flying south were 209 Shag (from the roost) 11 Common Scoter and three Little Auks. Birds present on the sea off the headland included 25 Red-throated Diver and 75 Gannet.

At South Landing there were six Common Scoter, 15 Redshank, 16 Turnstone, 15 Rock Pipits, one Purple Sandpiper, one Dunlin and two Curlew, whilst 62 Teal were recorded at North Marsh.

A Barn Owl was present along North Marine Road a Chiffchaff remained at Oceanview and a Brambling appeared in a village garden.

Great Skua, Richard Baines

Great Skua, Richard Baines

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2014

A light/moderate northerly wind and sunny intervals. Seawatching produced a Sooty Shearwater flying north, a dark-bellied Brent Goose south, two Goldeneye north, a Pomarine Skua south, four Bonxies south (and one north), an adult winter Mediterranean Gull north, 15 Little Auks north and a Puffin moving in the same direction.

Elsewhere, a Teal, Redshank, two Snipe and three Water Rails were at Thornwick Pool, whilst Oceanview hosted single Chiffchaff and Lapland Bunting.

Water Rail, Thornwick Pool, by John Beaumont

Water Rail, Thornwick Pool, by John Beaumont

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2014

A strong north/north-north-east wind and overcast conditions throughout. A Great Northern Diver flew north on the seawatch, together with 453 Fulmars, two Sooty Shearwaters moved south, six Pale-bellied Brent Geese did the same, three Pochard headed north, a Velvet Scoter flew north and a Goosander went south. Ten Pomarine Skuas flew south, together with seven Bonxies, whilst 14 Little Auks moved north, with a further three on the sea.

A Chiffchaff at Oceanview was the only passerine recorded of note.

Little Auk, South Landing, by John Beaumont

Little Auk, South Landing, by John Beaumont

Monday, December 1st, 2014

An overcast day, with a very light easterly wind. The seawatch again provided the highlight, when a moulting adult White-billed Diver flew south at 1038hrs. Other sightings, all of birds heading south, included two Great Northern Divers, 217 Shags, single Pintail, Goldeneye and Red-breasted Merganser, two Goosanders, four Pomarine Skuas, two Bonxies and a Little Auk.

Thornwick Pool and its immediate environs attracted a female Pintail, Water Rail, seven Snipe, five Jack Snipe, a Redshank and two Stonechats. Passerines elsewhere on the Headland included a Grey Wagtail, Chiffchaff and two Goldcrests.

Pintail, Thornwick Pool, by Andy Hood

Pintail, Thornwick Pool, by Andy Hood