Tuesday, March 31st, 2015

A day of strong west-north-west/north-westerly winds, occasional heavy showers of rain and hail and temperatures briefly reaching 10 degrees C before dropping once again. The highlight was Flamborough’s third ever record of a Mandarin Duck; a drake lingered on Thornwick Pool, although it skulked in the reeds for much of the time. Seawatching produced 181 Fulmars flying north and only five Puffins, whilst many auks had gone out to sea again. A Scandinavian Rock Pipit, three Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest were located in difficult conditions.

West of the Dykes, a Merlin flew over Buckton village.

Mandarin Duck, Thornwick Pool, by Andrew Lassey

Mandarin Duck, Thornwick Pool, by Andrew Lassey

Mandarin, Thornwick Pool, by Tony Dixon

Mandarin, Thornwick Pool, by Tony Dixon

Monday, March 30th, 2015

Moderate/strong westerly winds featured, with sunny intervals giving way to cloudier conditions and temperatures rose from 3 to 9 degrees C. During the seawatch, 254 Fulmars flew north and more surprisingly, an unseasonal Sooty Shearwater. Elsewhere, a Tawny Owl was located in South Landing, whilst passerine interest was limited to two Goldcrests, a Coal Tit, one Fieldfare and 20 Pied Wagtails.

Reed Bunting, Outer Head, by Martin Garner

Reed Bunting, Outer Head, by Martin Garner

Sunday, March 29th, 2015

A generally overcast day, with a belt of rain from late morning and sunny intervals later; a westerly wind picked up whilst temperatures reached 10 degrees C. Seawatching produced five Curlew flying south, three Lesser Black-backed Gulls also south and eight Puffins moving north. Two Red-necked Grebes were again off Sewerby. Thornwick Pool hosted two Shelduck, three Teal, six Snipe and a Dunlin. A Water Rail was on the Outer Head and passerines included three Chiffchaffs, seven Redwing, one Scandinavian Rock Pipit and parties of Meadow Pipits moving north along the cliffs.

Sightings from the Bempton area included a leucistic Guillemot, a Black Redstart, two Scandinavian Rock Pipits, a ‘Nordic-type’ Jackdaw and ten Corn Buntings.

Chaffinch, Outer Head, by Martin Garner

Chaffinch, Outer Head, by Martin Garner

Saturday, March 28th, 2015

A day of strong south-westerly winds, rain during the morning, before sunny intervals later and temperatures reaching 15 degrees C. The seawatch was quiet, with two Common Scoters flying south, as did a Lesser Black-backed Gull, while thousands of auks were back in residence. However, Puffins remained scarce, with only two on the cliffs near the Fog Station. Wildfowl included the drake Pintail, 27 Teal and the Wigeon, whilst three Chiffchaff, two Goldcrest and a Fieldfare were recorded.

West of the Dykes, a White Wagtail was seen near Bempton, together with 28 Pied Wagtails and ten Corn Buntings, with a pair of Shelduck in the same area. In addition, 100 Meadow Pipits were recorded heading north-west along the cliffs.

Yellowhammer, Outer Head, by Martin Garner

Yellowhammer, Outer Head, by Martin Garner

 

Friday, March 27th, 2015

A light/moderate north-westerly wind, sunny intervals and temperatures that eventually reached 10 degrees C after a cold start. Wildfowl included a Wigeon, 18 Teal and the drake Pintail. A Grey Heron was also present, with a Woodcock remaining in South Landing. A Short-eared Owl hunted the cliffs near South Landing, whilst three Barn Owls were observed.

A feature of the day was the almost complete lack of auks, with many thousands having vacated the cliffs and headed out to sea; only three Razorbills, less than 100 Guillemots and no Puffins were recorded on the seawatch. Passerine interest was limited to a Chiffchaff and three Goldcrests.

Pintail, North Marsh, by Andrew Lassey

Pintail, North Marsh, by Andrew Lassey

Thursday, March 26th, 2015

A day of inclement weather, with rain throughout the morning giving way to showers and a moderate/strong west-north-westerly wind; temperatures reached 8 degrees C. The Barn Owl showed well at Thornwick Pool, where there were also ten Teal, a Snipe and three Dunlin; a Stonechat frequented the nearby cliff top gully.

Three Scandinavian Rock Pipits were on the beach at South Landing, whilst a Woodcock showed well in the nearby ravine.

Dunlin, Thornwick Pool, by Craig Thomas

Dunlin, Thornwick Pool, by Craig Thomas

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

A light north-westerly wind, sunny and temperatures reaching 6 degrees C. A Great Crested Grebe flew south during the seawatch, whilst numbers of Puffins continued to recover after many had vacated the cliffs during the weekend’s strong northerlies; 27 flew north and 12 were below the cliffs.

The four Red-necked Grebes were offshore between South Landing and Sewerby. Additional records included a Grey Heron, two Common Buzzards, one Golden Plover, a Tawny Owl, three Goldcrests, a Chiffchaff, a pair of Stonechat and 28 Yellowhammers.

Moorhens, Thornwick Pool, by John Beaumont

Moorhens, Thornwick Pool, by John Beaumont

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

A day of light variable winds, sunny intervals and temperatures reached 8 degrees C. Highlights of the seawatch included a Blue Fulmar flying north, 127 Fulmars doing the same, 11 Common Scoter moving south and a Bonxie also south.

Thornwick Pool attracted a Grey Heron, 11 Teal and five Snipe. The Little Grebe was again present on the Outer Head, whilst three Great Crested and three Red-necked Grebes were on the sea between South Landing and Sewerby. Additional sightings included a Common Buzzard, one Woodcock, two Scandinavian Rock Pipits, four Goldcrest and three Chiffchaffs.

Goldcrest, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Goldcrest, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Monday, March 23rd, 2015

The day featured light/moderate south-south-westerly winds, sunny intervals and temperatures that reached 10 degrees C. The seawatch was again relatively quiet, with a Great Crested Grebe flying north, eight Eider also moving north, whilst three headed south.

The highlight was a Firecrest on Old Fall Hedge south of the wood that showed well throughout the day. Additional migrants included a Water Rail on the Outer Head, four Redwing, four Goldcrests, one Chiffchaff and a Stonechat. A Little Grebe on a pond near the Lighthouse represented the year’s first record, while a pair of Coal Tits frequented gardens on Church Lane.

A Short-eared Owl was still present at Buckton.

Firecrest, Old Fall Hedge, by Craig Thomas

Firecrest, Old Fall Hedge, by Craig Thomas

Sunday, March 22nd, 2015

A day of light south-south-west winds, sunny intervals and temperatures reaching 9 degrees C after a frosty start. Seawatching highlights included 31 Red-throated Divers flying south and a Blue Fulmar moving north, together with 219 Fulmars.

The four Red-necked Grebes were again off Sewerby, along with four Eiders. Elsewhere, there were 41 Teal, two Shelduck, one Wigeon and the drake Pintail, with a Grey Heron, three Snipe and a Dunlin also at Thornwick Pool. One of the highlights was a Long-eared Owl on the Outer Head, with additional records including a pair of Grey Partridge, six Goldcrest and two Siskin.

West of the Dykes, the Rough-legged Buzzard re-appeared over the cliff top at Buckton and hunted the grassland there all afternoon. Nearby, two Common Buzzards were recorded and there was a White Wagtail near Bempton, where there were also a minimum of four Scandinavian Rock Pipits, a Grey Wagtail, 10 Reed Buntings, 25 Corn Buntings and 40 Yellowhammers.

Long-eared Owl, Outer Head, by Andrew Lassey

Long-eared Owl, Outer Head, by Andrew Lassey

Pintail, North Marsh, by John Beaumont

Pintail, North Marsh, by John Beaumont

Saturday, March 21st, 2015

A strong north-north-west wind, overcast conditions and temperatures struggling to 6 degrees C. A total of 213 Fulmars flew north during the seawatch, as did five Common Scoters, a Lesser Black-backed Gull and 24 Puffins.

Four Red-necked Grebes were again on the sea off Sewerby, the Velvet Scoter remained off South Landing/South Dykes, with a Bar-tailed Godwit on the beach at the former location and seven Snipe were present at Thornwick Pool. Five Scandinavian Rock Pipits fed on the seaweed at South Landing, whilst additional records from South Dykes included a Tawny Owl, a Grey Wagtail, two Coal Tits and two Goldcrest. A total of 65 Pied Wagtails roosted at Thornwick Pool.

One Short-eared Owl was present at Buckton.

Stonechat, Thornwick, by Andy Hood

Stonechat, Thornwick, by Andy Hood

Friday, March 20th, 2015

A day of light west-south-west winds, sunny intervals and temperatures rising to 14 degrees C; the eclipse was barely visible due to cloud cover.

Wildfowl included the drake Pintail, 37 Teal and a drake Wigeon. The two Red-necked Grebes were near South Dykes, whilst a Great Northern Diver was off South Landing. Three Common Buzzards appeared over Mid Dykes, single Woodcocks were present at South Landing and ‘Booted Gully’, whilst a Short-eared Owl frequented Oceanview. Passerines included four Redwing, a Fieldfare, 2500 Starlings, two Black Redstarts (at South Landing beach and below the Fog Station), a Stonechat, 13 Scandinavian Rock Pipits (12 South Landing beach and one below the Fog Station), one Chiffchaff, five Goldcrests and a Siskin.

West of the Dykes, 18 Whooper Swans flew north over Buckton, as did two Red Kites, with three Short-eared Owls in the same area. Four Common Buzzards appeared over Bempton, with a Stonechat at Bempton RSPB.

Short-eared Owl, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Short-eared Owl, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Thursday, March 19th, 2015

Weather much the same as yesterday, with cloud cover, a force 3-4 north-east wind and temperatures of 6c.

Early morning sea-watching on the headland produced one Red-throated Diver heading north and two south, 63 Fulmar north, five Curlew south, three Lesser black-backed Gulls north, 23 Great black-backed Gull north and 16 Puffin north. Birds present on the headland included a Woodcock hiding in the Fog Station compound and another in the outer gardens, both probably awaiting nightfall to cross the North Sea, whilst a single Chiffchaff frequented the same area. The Black Redstart was still present at South Landing, where there were also three Common Scoter, a Bar-tailed Godwit and six ‘littoralis’/Scandinavian Rock Pipits still. Additional sightings included six Wigeon, a lone Pintail and an Avocet at North Marsh.

West of the Dykes were 30 Corn Bunting, five Redwing, three Short-eared Owls at Buckton and another at Bempton, with a Water Rail also at Buckton in the main Dell. Two Red-necked Grebes remained on the sea between Sewerby and South Dykes.

Woodcock, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Woodcock, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Another overcast day, some mist with a light north-north-west wind and temperature of 6c.

The headland seawatch had three Red-throated Diver, 103 Fulmar and 59 Puffin all moving north, with a single Great Skua south. Birds present on the sea included 12 Puffin, whilst 50 Shag also flew past.

At South Landing, the Black Redstart was still around on the beach, along with three Curlew, nine Redshank, one Ringed Plover and at least four Scandinavian Rock Pipits/’littoralis’. On the sea off South Landing, there were three Common and one Velvet Scoter.

West of the Dykes, was a single Snow Bunting, 12 Meadow Pipit and 13 Pied Wagtail.

"littoralis Rock Pipit by Andy Hood

Scandinavian Rock Pipit by Andy Hood

 

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

An overcast day with a light east wind and temperatures of 6 degrees C.

The early morning seawatch on the headland produced few birds other than a Wigeon north, 20 Puffin north and six south. On the sea 25 Shag, one Common Scoter and 14 Puffin. At South Landing were three Common Scoter, 23 Turnstone and six Rock Pipit. Additional sightings included Barn Owl hunting at Stylerfield, a Woodcock, one Great Spotted Woodpecker, 30 Tree Sparrow, 10 Yellowhammer and eight Reed Bunting.

West of the Dykes there were eight Rock Pipits, a further eight of Scandinavian Rock Pipits/’littoralis’, two Grey Wagtails, 35 Fieldfare, 25 Yellowhammer, eight Reed Bunting and five Corn Buntings. At Bempton RSPB, a pair of Bullfinch was in The Dell and good numbers of Puffin visited the cliffs, while nearby at Buckton were two Short-eared Owl.

Male Bullfinch, Bempton RSPB, by Dave Aitken

Male Bullfinch, Bempton RSPB, by Dave Aitken

Puffin by Alan Walkington

Puffin by Alan Walkington

Monday, March 16th, 2015

A cold, but light easterly wind, persistent overcast conditions and temperatures reaching 6 degrees C. The Merlin was chasing a Skylark over Oceanview, whilst at least four Scandinavian Rock Pipits were on the beach at South Landing. Thornwick Pool hosted ten Teal, four Snipe and four Pied Wagtails, with a Barn Owl hunting the adjacent grassland.

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, South Landing, by Craig Thomas

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, South Landing, by Craig Thomas

Sunday, March 15th, 2015

A day of light north-easterly winds, an overcast morning gave way to sunny spells in the early afternoon, whilst temperatures reached 9 degrees C. The highlight of the seawatch was the year’s first Manx Shearwater flying north. North Marsh hosted a drake Pintail, a Wigeon and 43 Teal, with eight of the latter also at Thornwick Pool. The female Velvet Scoter remained close inshore off South Landing. A Merlin was again seen near North Marsh, where a pair of Grey Partridges was a welcome record. Four Scandinavian Rock Pipits remained on South Landing beach, with a Goldcrest was present in the nearby ravine. A Chiffchaff appeared in the village on Church Lane.

The Rough-legged Buzzard again re-appeared over the Trig Point along the cliff top at Buckton mid-afternoon. A Black Redstart was on the cliff top at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Chiffchaff on Church Lane, by Craig Thomas

Chiffchaff on Church Lane, by Craig Thomas

Saturday, March 14th, 2015

A light/moderate north-easterly wind, overcast during the morning, before sunshine and temperatures of 6 degrees C. Six Great Crested Grebes were off Sewerby, a drake Pintail and 30 Teal on North Marsh, a Goldeneye flew past South Landing, where the female Velvet Scoter remained, a drake Velvet Scoter also flew north on the seawatch and a pair of Goosander were on the sea off Sewerby. A partially leucistic Cormorant flew north onto the sea off South Dykes.

Three Scandinavian Rock Pipits were on the beach at South Landing, together with a female Black Redstart, three Mistle Thrushes were in the village, single Chiffchaff and Goldcrest were recorded and a Lapland Bunting accompanied Skylarks near North Landing.

A Short-eared Owl was present at Buckton, whilst Bempton hosted a female Stonechat.

Goldcrest, Long Hedge, by Chrys Mellor

Goldcrest, Long Hedge, by Chrys Mellor

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, South Landing, by Martin Garner

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, South Landing, by Martin Garner

Friday, March 13th, 2015

A light northerly wind, overcast with temperatures of 6 degrees C. The seawatch was quiet with 31 Puffins flying past the Headland, with five on the cliffs; the second consecutive day they have been back on the cliffs. Visible migration included three alba Wagtails, two Goldfinch and three Linnets moving north over the Fog Station. A Chiffchaff represented the first spring record.

Pied Wagtail, South Landing, by Martin Garner

Pied Wagtail, South Landing, by Martin Garner

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

A moderate south-south-east wind, overcast conditions and temperatures reaching 8 degrees C. The seawatch produced the year’s first Gadwall, when a single headed north, along with 11 Teal flying south and an Eider north. A Merlin was present near North Marsh and a Barn Owl was hunting in the Hartendale area.

Purple Sandpiper with Turnstone, Sewerby, by John Beaumont

Purple Sandpiper with Turnstone, Sewerby, by John Beaumont

Wednesday, March 11th, 2015

A moderate/strong south-westerly wind and a belt of rain arrived after a sunny start, with temperatures reaching 7 degrees C. The seawatch produced a Velvet Scoter flying south, 239 Puffins moving north and 95 Shags leaving the roost. Six Scandinavian Rock Pipits remained on South Landing beach and one Goldcrest was on Church Lane.

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, South Landing, by Martin Garner

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, South Landing, by Martin Garner

Tuesday, March 10th, 2015

A light variable wind, sunny and temperatures of 12 degrees C. Seawatching produced a Blue Fulmar flying north and 40 Purple Sandpipers on the Outer Head. The five Red-necked Grebes remained off Sewerby, where a 2nd-winter Mediterranean Gull was also present late afternoon. A single Great Northern Diver and two Velvet Scoter were on the sea off South Landing, with a Woodcock in the nearby ravine and at least two Scandinavian Rock Pipits on the beach. Two Barn Owls and a Tawny Owl were located during daylight hours, whilst Thornwick hosted nine Teal, two Shelduck and three Stonechat. Additional passerine interest included three Goldcrest, four Treecreepers, two Coal Tits, six Pied Wagtails, a Mistle Thrush and a Siskin.

The Rough-legged Buzzard was seen again at Buckton, where there were two Short-eared Owls.

Tawny Owl, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Tawny Owl, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Monday, March 9th, 2015

A moderate southerly wind and a belt of rain arrived during the middle of the day after a bright start, whilst temperatures reached 6 degrees C. The seawatch was quiet, with 38 Puffins maintaining that species daily sightings. Two Red-necked Grebes were present off Sewerby, while four Pied Wagtails represented an increase.

Red-necked Grebes, Sewerby, by John Beaumont

Red-necked Grebes, Sewerby, by John Beaumont

Sunday, March 8th, 2015

A day of moderate south-westerly winds, overcast during the morning before a belt of rain and sunny intervals later; temperatures of 10 degrees C. Pink-footed Geese continued to head north, with three skeins containing a total of 194 birds and a drake Pintail was again on North Marsh. However, a party of three Egyptian Geese that flew south-east over Speeton/Bempton was more unexpected. The five Red-necked Grebes were again off Sewerby, together with two Great Crested Grebes, a Velvet Scoter, a Peregrine and 1000-strong feeding flock of Gannets. Five Lesser Black-backed Gulls were noted off the Headland.

The Rough-legged Buzzard was again present at Buckton, which also hosted three Short-eared Owls and there was an increase in Stonechats, with five at Buckton and five in the Thornwick area. The best passerine migrant was a female Black Redstart at South Landing that frequented the area around the Lifeboat station and nearby beach. Two Scandinavian Rock Pipits were on the beach at South Landing, with another at Sewerby.

Short-eared Owl, Buckton, by Alan Walkington

Short-eared Owl, Buckton, by Alan Walkington

Saturday, March 7th, 2015

A day of strong south-westerly winds, an overcast morning, but sunny intervals in the afternoon and temperatures reaching 14 degrees C. During the seawatch, a Great Northern Diver and a Blue Fulmar flew south, whilst 34 Whooper Swans and 450 Pink-footed Geese moved north. Four Eider headed in the same direction, with 127 Puffins flying south and two Peregrines off the Headland.

Three Red-necked Grebes, two Great Crested Grebes and a Great Northern Diver were present off Sewerby. Four Shelduck, four Wigeon and 41 Teal frequented the wetland areas, with two Barn Owls also present. However, the highlight was a Rough-legged Buzzard that hunted the cliff-top opposite Buckton Hall from early afternoon. Thrushes were moving, with three Redwing, two continental Song Thrushes and four Blackbirds near the Lighthouse, with another Redwing and a Grey Wagtail at Thornwick Pool.

Barn Owl, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Barn Owl, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Friday, March 6th, 2015

A light south-west wind, generally overcast conditions and temperatures reached 12 degrees C. A total of 27 Red-throated Divers flew south on the seawatch, along with 167 Puffins, whilst 55 Purple Sandpipers were present.

Wildfowl included two Shelduck, 31 Teal and a drake Pintail; the latter at North Marsh. The five Red-necked Grebes and one Great Crested Grebe were off Sewerby, along with 1500 Common and 1000 Black-headed Gulls. Additional sightings included three Barn Owls, a Short-eared Owl (at Thornwick Pool), two Peregrines and one Stonechat.

Peregrines, by Paul Reed

Peregrines, by Paul Reed

Thursday, March 5th, 2015

A day of light south-west winds, overcast conditions and temperatures reaching 7 degrees C. A Blue Fulmar flew north during the seawatch, together with 304 Pink-footed Geese, seven Wigeon and seven Common Scoters headed south, whilst 35 Puffins did likewise. A Great Crested Grebe was on the sea, whilst 40 Purple Sandpipers were on the Outer Head.

The five Red-necked Grebes remained off Sewerby, the Velvet Scoter appeared again off South Landing, a Barn Owl was near North Marsh and two Coal Tits and a Grey Wagtail frequented South Dykes.

Red-necked Grebes off Sewerby, by Tony Dixon

Red-necked Grebes off Sewerby, by Tony Dixon

Wednesday, March 4th, 2015

A moderate west-north-westerly, sunny conditions and temperatures reached 9 degrees C. A total of 429 Fulmars moved north during the morning’s seawatch, together with two Blue Fulmars, whilst two Puffins also flew north. The Velvet Scoter accompanied two Common Scoters off South Dykes, but the undoubted highlight related to a group of five Red-necked Grebes together off Sewerby; close inshore, a summer-plumaged adult spent time displaying to the other birds which were all relatively vocal. Four Long-tailed Tits and two Treecreepers were present in South Landing.

Red-necked Grebe, off Sewerby, by Lee Johnson

Red-necked Grebe, off Sewerby, by Lee Johnson

Red-necked Grebes, off Sewerby, by Lee Johnson

Red-necked Grebes, off Sewerby, by Lee Johnson

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2015

A moderate/strong south-west wind, temperatures reaching 4 degrees C, with sunny intervals and occasional snow flurries. Twenty-nine Red-throated Divers were on the sea off the Outer Head, two Common Scoters flew south there and a further 22 were off South Landing/South Dykes. No fewer than four Red-necked Grebes were present together off Sewerby and three drake Eiders were off South Landing, where the Bar-tailed Godwit was on the beach.

Eiders off South Landing, by Andy Hood

Eiders off South Landing, by Andy Hood

Red-necked Grebe, off Sewerby, by Andy Hood

Red-necked Grebe, off Sewerby, by Andy Hood

Monday, March 2nd, 2015

A day of moderate/strong west-south-west winds, occasional wintry showers and temperatures of 4 degrees C. During the seawatch, a Blue Fulmar flew north, as did a Shelduck, two Eiders moved south, whilst a Peregrine flew past the Fog Station. In addition, 126 Cormorants was another well above average tally. Additional sightings included four Shelduck and a Bar-tailed Godwit.

Cormorants, Outer Head, by Martin Garner

Cormorants, Outer Head, by Martin Garner

Peregrine, by Martin Garner

Peregrine, by Martin Garner

Sunday, March 1st, 2015

The month opened with strong westerly winds, there were sunny intervals during the morning and temperatures reached 8 degrees C. A 2nd-calendar year Iceland Gull lingered off the Headland during the morning; the same individual then re-appeared off Sewerby late afternoon and joined a large feeding flock of 7000 Herring Gulls and 500 Gannets. Nearby, the Velvet Scoter was again off South Landing.

Iceland Gull, by Martin Garner

Iceland Gull, by Martin Garner