Wednesday, September 30th, 2015

It was a day of very light easterly winds and sunny intervals. Seawatching produced six dark-bellied Brent Geese and a Shoveler flying north, eight Arctic Skuas and a Bonxie, with 66 Little Gulls flying south. In addition, two Purple Sandpipers and a Mediterranean Gull frequented the Outer Head.

Migrants included two Yellow-browed Warblers on the Outer Head, including one at Old Fall, single Redstart, Yellow Wagtail and Goldcrest, with another two Yellow-browed Warblers in the trees surrounding Buckton Pond.

Yellow-browed Warbler, Old Fall, by Andy Hood

Yellow-browed Warbler, Old Fall, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

It was a day of very light easterly winds and sunny intervals. Seawatching produced two Sooty Shearwaters, a Pintail, 52 Common Scoters all flying north, as did 40 Wigeon, with another 25 moving south. Six Arctic Skuas went north, five Bonxies flew south, together with a movement of 1748 Little Gulls in the same direction. An adult Yellow-legged Gull and a first calendar-year Mediterranean Gull frequented the Headland.

There were at least eight Yellow-browed Warblers in residence. Other migrants included a Firecrest at Old Fall, one Tree Pipit, 15 Song Thrush, a Pied Flycatcher and one Grey Wagtail.

Buckton attracted a Redwing, three Stonechat, a Whinchat and one Pied Flyatcher.

Visible migration at Speeton logged 12 Golden Plovers moving south, along with six Dunnock, 19 Song Thrush (with another 20 grounded), 27 Linnet, 27 Redpolls and five Yellowhammers. Five Coal Tits were also present.

Yellow-legged Gull, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

Yellow-legged Gull, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

Firecrest, Old Fall, by John Harwood

Firecrest, Old Fall, by John Harwood

 

 

Monday, September 28th, 2015

Light southerly winds and sunshine featured throughout the day. Seawatching highlights included 13 Brent Geese (of which at least 11 were pale-bellied), 42 Teal and single Shoveler, Tufted Duck and Red-breasted Merganser all flying north. A Common Buzzard overflew the headland and a Jack Snipe was flushed near Old Fall.

The influx of Yellow-browed Warblers continued, with a minimum of six birds present. Additional migrants included a Firecrest in the Gorse Field, a Pied Flycatcher, two Tree Pipits, one Grey Wagtail, a Stonechat, four Coal Tits at South Landing, three Siskins and two Lesser Redpolls.

Visible migration at Speeton recorded 29 Pink-footed Geese, 30 Goldfinch, 24 Linnet and 14 Redpolls flying south.

Curlew, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Curlew, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Migrant Hawker, by Mike Smith

Migrant Hawker, by Mike Smith

 

Sunday, September 27th, 2015

Fog patches persisted throughout the day. A light southerly breeze picked up during the afternoon. Three Yellow-browed Warbler were present, including new birds in at Buckton and near North Landing. The first Brambling of the autumn was in Old fall during the afternoon, with 3 Redwing also noted on the outer head. Other species of note included the Snow Bunting still present on the golf course, a Hobby and 30 Pinkfeet (south). Following yesterday’s high count of Coal tit, 7 were at south landing.

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Common darter by Alan Walkington

Saturday, September 26th, 2015

Another mild sunny day with a light north westerly wind. A single Balearic Shearwater flew north during the sea watch, along with 2 Sooty Shearwater, 4 Manx, 6 Arctic Skua (1 south), 3 Bonxie, 1 Little gull, 256 Common Scoter (plus 11 south), 10 RT Diver (plus 18 south) and 26 Pinkfeet south.

A further 239 Pinkfeet flew south over the western side of the recording area. A total of four Yellow-browed warbler were present across the headland including birds in the gorse field and at Thornwick. A Snow bunting was on the edge of the golf course early morning. Other passerines of note included 5 Mistle thrush on the outer head, 1 Fieldfare, small movements of siskin and redpoll (21 ringed at Buckton). 11 Coal tit were also noteworthy, 8 of which were seen to fly in off the sea at Selwick’s bay.

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was in Outerhead gardens early morning.

Yellow-browed Warbler by Paul Reed

Yellow-browed Warbler by Paul Reed

Hummingbird Hawkmoth by Martin Garner

Hummingbird Hawkmoth by Martin Garner

Friday, September 25th, 2015

The day was dry and sunny, with a moderate south westerly wind. The morning sea watch produced a single Sooty shearwater north, 1 Bonxie north and another south, 2 Pintail and 14 Red-throated Diver (11 south).

The first significant movement of Pink-footed Geese occurred, with at least seven skiens totalling a minimum of 238 birds all heading south. Three Common Crane were also reported flying south over the western end of the recording area mid afternoon. Other highlights included a Yellow-browed Warbler in the gorse field and an adult Med Gull at Buckton.

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Yellow-browed Warbler, gorse field by Andy Hood

Thursday, September 24th, 2015

Southbound movements past the head include two Sooty Shearwater, 20 Red-throated Diver, 52 Pink-footed Goose, Wigeon (14 north), 27 Common Scoter (two north) and a Swallow. Northbound only birds consist of a Common Tern and three Lesser Redpoll.

On land, a Barred Warbler in Old Fall hedge was undoubtedly the bird of the day. Other land birds include five Siskin, two Lesser Redpoll, two Chiffchaff a Goldcrest and a skein of 54 Pink-footed Goose over. Thornwick Pool attracted two each of Snipe and Dunlin.

Barred Warbler, Old Fall Hedge by Andy Hood

Barred Warbler, Old Fall Hedge by Andy Hood

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Light WNW winds with about half cloud cover dominated the head. Migration of passerines continued to be most obvious with the movement of small numbers of Siskins and Redpolls as well as Meadow Pipits. 14 Siskin and 2 Redpolls were around the Bay Brambles early, and 6 Redpoll roosted with the large Linnet flock in Thornwick Reed Bed. About 50 Meadow Pipits were evident moving through the outer head, while a single Coal Tit visited outer head gardens. Three Chiffchaff, one Goldcrest were on the ‘Old Fall circuit’ and a small increase in numbers of Reed Bunting and Robins probably indicates some migrants birds.

The morning seawatch had 10 Sooty and 1 Balearic Shearwater, while the larger numbers of smaller gull species continued with single Little Gull, 870 Black-headed and 280 Common Gulls north. Single Arctic Skua and 5 Bonxies as well a small numbers of duck were moving with 5 Wigeon, 4 Eider and 66 Common Scoter recorded. Thornwick Pool held a single Tufted Duck and up to 20 Curlew and 2 Yellow Wagtail (with up to 35 Pied Wagtail) were on the Golf course.

The Eastern Subalpine Warbler was reported from the usual hedge east of Old Fall Plantation.

Coal Tit, Outer Head by Martin Garner

Coal Tit, Outer Head by Martin Garner

Tuesday, September 22nd, 2015

Light and later moderate north-westerly winds and sunny intervals featured during the day. South Landing beach continues to attract small numbers of waders, including low single figures of Ringed Plover and Dunlin. There were few reports of migrants, although small numbers of Siskins were moving west over the village in the morning.

Ringed Plover, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Ringed Plover, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

 

Monday, September 21st, 2015

It was a day of light/moderate south-westerly winds, overcast skies and persistent rain for the majority of daylight hours. Seawatching highlights included 37 Red-throated Divers flying south, 23 Sooty Shearwaters heading north, 30 Wigeon, 43 Teal, 253 Common Scoters moving north, three Bar-tailed Godwits and a first calendar-year Mediterranean Gull flying south. More notable still, a southerly movement of 1006 Little Gulls took place, all moving south during the evening, including a single flock of 500 birds.

Due to the inclement weather conditions, there were relatively few records from elsewhere, although ten Teal, one Wigeon and a Water Rail were at Thornwick Pools, three Yellow Wagtails on the Golf Course, together with 22 Siskins and four Lesser Redpolls in the Bay Brambles.

adult male Yellow Wagtail, Golf Course, by Martin Garner

adult male Yellow Wagtail, Golf Course, by Martin Garner

Sunday, September 20th, 2015

The morning featured relatively still conditions and sunshine, with a light southerly wind and overcast conditions later in the day. Seawatching highlights included 78 Red-throated Divers flying south, 34 Sooty Shearwaters, two Manx Shearwaters and one Balearic Shearwater heading north. Wildfowl on the move included 204 Common Scoter and a Red-breasted Merganser also flying north, whilst 18 Arctic Skuas headed in a similar direction. Two Mediterranean and 14 Little Gulls flew past the Fog Station, but better still, an adult Sabines’s Gull went north at 0840hrs. A Short-eared Owl also flew in off the sea.

The Thornwick area attracted a Grey Heron, one Wigeon, ten Teal, a Hobby, five Snipe, together with single Whinchat and Stonechat. Elsewhere, sightings included a Swift, three Grey Wagtails, two Yellow Wagtails, seven Goldcrests, ten Lesser Redpolls and five Siskins.

West of the Dykes, a Great Northern Diver flew south-east past Bempton, a total of 13 Common Buzzards overflew Buckton, where 80 birds were ringed which included 15 Lesser Redpolls, 16 Meadow Pipits and a Whinchat.

Hobby, Thornwick, by John Harwood

Hobby, Thornwick, by John Harwood

Grey Wagtail, Thornwick Pools, by Tony Simpson

Grey Wagtail, Thornwick Pools, by Tony Simpson

Saturday, September 19th, 2015

Light, variable winds and warm sunshine lasted all day. Seawatching produced 52 Red-throated Divers flying south, 198 Fulmars, 33 Sooty Shearwaters, six Manx Shearwaters, 162 Common Scoters and one Velvet Scoter all flying north and four Pintail heading south. Eleven Arctic Skuas moved north, 18 Bonxies flew south, along with a Little Gull.

Four Common Buzzards overflew the Outer Head, as did a Merlin, whilst the Little Owl remained in residence west of the Golf Course. The Eastern Subalpine Warbler toured the hedgerows south-west of the Lighthouse, but remained elusive; a Swift hawked insects over the same area. Four Arctic Skua flew high and north over the head early evening. Four Mistle Thrushes flew over Hartendale, three Whinchats were at Thornwick Bay with Lesser Whitethroat in Holmes Gut and single Grey and Yellow Wagtail, 11 Siskins and eight Lesser Redpolls flew over the Outer Head.

West of the Dykes, the Bempton/Buckton area hosted three Common Buzzards, five Sparrowhawks, 60 Lapwings, eight Golden Plover flying west, a first calendar-year Yellow-legged Gull, nine Whinchat, one Reed Warbler, a Goldcrest and four Lesser Redpolls.

Meadow Pipit, Outer Head, by Martin Garner

Meadow Pipit, Outer Head, by Martin Garner

Stonechat, Outer Head, by Martin Garner

Stonechat, Outer Head, by Martin Garner

Short video of the Eastern Subalpine Warbler

Friday, September 18th, 2015

Light northerly winds and sunny intervals prevailed. Seawatching highlights included 50 Red-throated Divers flying south and 176 Fulmars, four Sooty Shearwaters and two Manx Shearwaters moving north. Eight Arctic Skuas headed south, a Mediterranean Gull flew north, together with 567 Black-headed Gulls, whilst 111 Meadow Pipits also flew north past the Fog Station.

A Little Owl frequented fields near The Golf Course; the first record for the Outer Head for several years. Surprise of the day was the relocation of the male Eastern Subalpine Warbler in the hedge east of Old Fall; best viewed from the eastern edge of the Plantation. Additional birds of note included five Swifts, five Grey Wagtails, two Yellow Wagtails, 32 Lesser Redpolls, 4 Goldcrests, in the same area and 15 Siskins.

Bempton RSPB attracted a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Treecreeper and two Goldcrest, with a Marsh Harrier nearby.

Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

 

Eastern Subalpine Warbler showing what appears to be? the penultimate tail feather T5 and its diagnostic short white wedge up a dark feather. Martin Garner

Eastern Subalpine Warbler showing what appears to be? the penultimate tail feather T5 and its diagnostic short white wedge up a dark feather. Martin Garner

Lesser Redpoll by Martin Garner

Lesser Redpoll by Martin Garner

Thursday, September 17th, 2015

The day was marked by relatively calm conditions with light and variable winds beginning stronger in the NW and veering round and decreasing through west to south-west. A Yellow-browed Warbler found in the early evening in the outer head gardens was the top single migrant, though Meadows Pipits were the bigger migration event with some 1200+ moving through the outer headland over the day. These were accompanied by a small scattering of other migrants: seven Swifts, Redstarts peaked at 6, plus 6 Wheatear, 1 Whinchat, 1 White Wagtail, 1 Willow Warbler, 4 Goldcrest, 20 Siskin and 12 Redpoll.

Over the sea 3 Sooty Shearwater flew north, and also seen were 2 Manx Shearwater, 8 Arctic Skua, 3 Bonxie, 23 Common Scoter and 46 Red-throated Diver.

Buckton recorded a similar large movement of Meadow Pipits plus single Redstart, Grey Wagtail and Blackcap, 2 Wheatear, 2 Goldcrest and 4 Whinchat.

Overnight sound recording near the lighthouse indicated a movement of Sandwich Terns in several waves.

Redstart by Craig Round

Redstart by Craig Round

Wheatear by Craig Round

Wheatear by Craig Round

Redstart by Martin Garner

Redstart by Martin Garner

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

It was an overcast day, with a moderate north-north-westerly wind. Seawatching highlights included 39 Red-throated Divers flying south, a Great Crested Grebe, five Sooty Shearwaters and four Manx Shearwaters heading north, with one Balearic Shearwater and seven Eiders moving south. Eight Arctic Skuas flew south and a juvenile Long-tailed Skua went north, along with a first calendar-year Mediterranean Gull.  In addition, 176 Meadow Pipits and two Grey Wagtails also flew north.

A handful of Redstarts, Pied Flycatcher, Whinchat and Wheatears remained on the Outer Head, there was an increase in the numbers of Goldcrests present and five Lesser Redpolls frequented Old Fall.

Eiders, past Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Eiders, past Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, September 15th, 2015

It was an overcast day, with a light south-westerly wind and rain during the middle part of the day. Seawatching highlights included 15 Red-throated Divers, seven Sooty Shearwaters, nine Manx Shearwaters, three Balearic Shearwaters, three Eiders, 18 Arctic Skua, nine Bonxie, two Mediterranean Gulls and a first calendar-year Yellow-legged Gull all heading south.

Thornwick Pools attracted 11 Teal, a Wigeon, one Snipe and a Green Sandpiper. Elsewhere, sightings included a Hobby, single Golden Plover, two Greenshanks, two Grey Wagtail and Garden Warbler, two Redstarts, six Wheatear and fifteen Siskins.

Bempton Cliffs RSPB hosted five Redstarts and a Spotted Flycatcher.

Green Sandpiper and Snipe, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Green Sandpiper and Snipe, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Kestrel, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

Kestrel, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

 

Monday, September 14th, 2015

It was an overcast day, with occasional light rain and hardly any wind. Seawatching produced a Sooty Shearwater flying south, a Grey Plover moving north, 44 Knot and 13 Arctic Skuas heading south, whilst 19 Little Gulls flew in the opposite direction. Thornwick Pools attracted two Wigeon, a Water Rail and single Dunlin and Snipe. An adult Yellow-legged Gull and a first-winter Caspian Gull (different individual to yesterday’s bird) frequented the Outer Head.

Migrant passerines included Reed Warbler, Pied Flycatcher, Redstart, Wheatear and Whinchat, together with a Lapland Bunting.

Snipe, Thornwick Pools, by Tony Simpson

Snipe, Thornwick Pools, by Tony Simpson

Caspian Gull, Outer Head, by Martin Garner

Caspian Gull, Outer Head, by Martin Garner

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

The weather consisted of light variable winds in the morning, with a south-easterly breeze developing during the afternoon and sunny intervals featured throughout. Seawatching highlights included 25 Red-throated Divers flying south, along with six Sooty Shearwaters, a Balearic Shearwater and three Manx Shearwaters. Eight Wigeon, two Gadwall, 33 Teal and three Tufted Ducks also flew south, together with two Grey Plovers and 41 Knot. A creamcrown Marsh Harrier flew south over the Headland, with a Common Buzzard also present. Thornwick Pool attracted two Wigeon, six Teal, two Dunlin, one Knot and a Redshank, whilst 11 Whimbrel were on the Outer Head. The evening gull roost on the Golf Course contained a first-winter Caspian Gull and an adult Yellow-legged Gull.

Passerine migrants included an Icterine Warbler on the edge of the Gorse Field. There were also three Tree Pipits, 19 Redstarts, 16 Wheatears, eight Winchats, four Stonechats, eight Pied Flycatchers, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Grey Wagtail, three Goldcrests, a Reed Warbler, 11 Lesser Redpolls, 12 Siskins and a Lapland Bunting; the latter near the Lighthouse. In addition, 500 Linnets gathered at Thornwick.

West of the Dykes, the Icterine Warbler was re-trapped at Buckton, where there were also Marsh Harrier, Redstart, Reed Warbler and Garden Warbler.

Knot, Thornwick Pools, by Tony Simpson

Knot, Thornwick Pools, by Tony Simpson

first calendar-year Caspian Gull, Golf Course, by Martin Garner

first calendar-year Caspian Gull, Golf Course, by Martin Garner

Icterine Warbler, Buckton, by Dave Aitken

Icterine Warbler, Buckton, by Dave Aitken

Lesser Redpoll, Whelkie Wynds, by Craig Thomas

Lesser Redpoll, Whelkie Wynds, by Craig Thomas

Saturday, September 12th, 2015

Moderate south-easterly winds and persistent rain prevailed until late morning, with sunny intervals developing. From mid-afternoon the winds switched to the south-west and a series of heavy thunderstorms passed over the Headland. Seawatching highlights included a Great Northern Diver, five Sooty Shearwaters and a Balearic Shearwater all flying north and a Velvet Scoter moving south.

Thornwick Pools hosted 13 Teal, three Wigeon, a Water Rail, two Ruff, a Dunlin, one Knot and a Redshank. A Common Buzzard was present on the Outer Head. Two Golden Plover, two Ruff and three Whimbrel flew about the Outer Headland, an adult Yellow-legged Gull frequented the Golf Course and two Mediterranean Gulls South Landing.

Passerine migrants included 28 Wheatears, 35 Whinchats, 14 Redstarts, six Pied Flycatchers, two Spotted Flycatchers, two Garden Warblers, a Goldcrest and a Lesser Redpoll.

Buckton hosted an Icterine Warbler (trapped and ringed), Garden Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and Redstart, with a Marsh Harrier also in the area. Nearby, Bempton RSPB attracted single Pied and Spotted Flycatchers, two Redstarts and a Garden Warbler.

Ruff, Thornwick Pools, by Tony Simpson

Ruff, Thornwick Pools, by Tony Simpson

Dunlin, Thornwick Pools, by Tony Simpson

Dunlin, Thornwick Pools, by Tony Simpson

Friday, September 11th, 2015

The weather consisted of moderate south-easterly winds and sunshine. During the seawatch, single Sooty Shearwaters moved north and south, four Arctic Skuas and two Bonxies were recorded, along with six Little Gulls, whilst 2949 Kittiwakes headed north. Thornwick Pools attracted nine Teal, three Wigeon, a Dunlin and one Grey Wagtail.

The day’s highlight consisted the arrival of two Yellow-browed Warblers; one in the Outer Head gardens and the other in Old Fall. Other passerine migrants included 35 Wheatears, 11 Whinchats, six Pied Flycatchers, two Spotted Flycatchers and four Redstarts.

Bempton RSPB hosted Spotted Flycatcher and Redstart, with Pied Flycatcher and Redstart at nearby Buckton.

Lesser Whitethroat, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

Lesser Whitethroat, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

Thursday, September 10th, 2015

Light/moderate south-easterly winds and sunshine lasted all day. Seawatching was quieter, with two Red-throated Divers flying south, four Arctic Skuas and six Little Gulls moving north, with another of the latter lingering offshore. An adult Yellow-legged Gull frequented fields near the Lighthouse. Thornwick Pools attracted three Wigeon, ten Teal, six Dunlin and a Snipe and three Ruff remained on the Golf Course.

Passerine migrants included 24 Wheatears, three Whinchat, five Redstarts, six Pied Flycatchers, a Spotted Flycatcher, two Grey Wagtails and two Goldcrests.

Bempton Cliffs RSPB attracted two Pied Flycatchers, a Spotted Flycatcher and two Redstarts.

Pied Flycatcher, Old Fall Hedge, by Alan Walkington

Pied Flycatcher, Old Fall Hedge, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, September 9th, 2015

Light north-easterly/easterly winds featured throughout the day, with the sun breaking through a thick overcast during the afternoon. Seawatching highlights included a Blue Fulmar, three Balearic Shearwater, five Sooty Shearwaters, 74 Wigeon, 140 Teal, six Shoveler and 297 Common Scoters all moving north. A Pomarine Skua also flew north, as did three first-year Mediterranean Gulls, nine Little Gulls, whilst a Yellow-legged Gull went south. Three Ruff remained on the Golf Course and the sub-adult Caspian Gull remained on the Outer Head, with a Merlin seen nearby.

A juvenile Honey Buzzard appeared low over the Golf Course before drifting west at 1530hrs. Other migrants included a juvenile Red-backed Shrike in the Gorse Field, a Barred Warbler at the southern end of Old Fall Hedge, a Sedge Warbler, six Redstarts, two Wheatears, a male Stonechat, a Pied Flycatcher, eight Siskins and a Snow Bunting.

Blue Fulmar, off Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Blue Fulmar, off Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

juvenile Honey Buzzard, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

juvenile Honey Buzzard, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Light northerly winds and overcast conditions predominated throughout the day. Highlight was a Fea’s(-type) Petrel that flew north from 1800-1805hrs. Additional seawatch records included  22 Red-throated Divers that flew north along with 385 Fulmars, a Blue Fulmar, 21 Sooty Shearwaters, two Balearic Shearwaters and eight Manx Shearwaters. Wildfowl on the move included one pale-bellied Brent Goose, a Shelduck, 54 Wigeon, a Gadwall, 413 Teal, two Tufted Ducks and 436 Common Scoter all flying north. All four skua species were recorded with two Pomarine, 22 Arctic, an adult Long-tailed and five Bonxies flying north. A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull also flew north.

Thornwick Pool hosted a Grey Heron, four Wigeon, eight Teal, seven Dunlin and a Redshank, together with a Kingfisher. Three Ruff and seven Whimbrel also frequented the Headland. Passerines included a Wheatear, Grey Wagtail, the White Wagtail and a very early Snow Bunting near the Lighthouse.

Redshank, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Redshank, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

White Wagtail, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

White Wagtail, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

Monday, September 7th, 2015

Moderate northerly winds gradually reduced in strength during the day with sunny intervals breaking out after a heavily overcast start to the day. During the seawatch, 32 Red-throated Divers were recorded along with 1149 Fulmars, 131 Sooty Shearwaters, 15 Manx Shearwaters, five pale-bellied Brent Geese, 16 Wigeon, 54 Teal and 41 Common Scoter all flying north. Ten Arctic Skuas flew north (with eight south), together with six Bonxies and 29 Puffins. Two Great Crested Grebes were offshore with another at South Landing.

Thornwick Pool hosted a Grey Heron, four Wigeon, seven Teal and a Redshank. There were 12 Curlew, five Ruff and four Whimbrel on the Golf Course and 23 Ringed Plovers and two Whimbrel at South Landing.

Pale-bellied Brent Geese, off Fog Station, by Martin Garner

Pale-bellied Brent Geese, off Fog Station, by Martin Garner

Sooty Shearwaters, off Fog Station, by Martin Garner

Sooty Shearwaters, off Fog Station, by Martin Garner

Common Scoters with a Teal, off Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Common Scoters with a Teal, off Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Sunday, September 6th, 2015

Winds dropped in strength, with a relatively light north-north-westerly breeze and sunny intervals throughout the day. Seawatching highlights included 40 Red-throated Divers, a Great Crested Grebe, 506 Fulmars, one Blue Fulmar, 121 Sooty Shearwaters, 149 Manx Shearwaters, three Balearic Shearwaters and a Storm Petrel (very slowly heading past from 1000-1025hrs) all flying north. Wildfowl on the move included 73 Wigeon, 38 Teal and two Pintail heading north. A Pomarine Skua went south, whilst 46 Arctic Skuas and three Long-tailed Skuas moved in the opposite direction. A total of 58 Little Gulls flew north, along with 127 Sandwich, 117 Common and 37 Arctic Terns.

Three Common Buzzards were recorded across the Headland, a Hobby appeared over Thornwick, six Ruff remained around the Golf Course and a Greenshank overflew the Outer Head. Passerines included two Grey Wagtails, a Pied Flycatcher, one Whinchat, a Goldcrest, eight Willow Warblers and 24 Siskins.

Chiffchaff, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Willow Warbler, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Saturday, September 5th, 2015

The weather comprised strong north-north-westerly winds, showers and sunny intervals. It was another good seawatching day, with 455 Fulmars, a Cory’s/Great Shearwater, 126 Sooty Shearwaters, 235 Manx Shearwaters, a Balearic Shearwater, one dark-bellied Brent Goose, 15 pale-bellied Brent Geese, 130 Wigeon, 121 Teal, 18 Pintail, two Tufted Duck and 43 Common Scoter all flying north. Skuas were represented by a Pomarine moving north, 28 Arctic Skuas north/south, two juvenile Long-tailed Skuas (one north and another south) and 13 Bonxies. Three Little Gulls also flew north, with a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull heading in the same direction.

Thornwick Pools attracted 20 Wigeon, seven Teal and a Ringed Plover, whilst six Ruff were on the Golf Course. Five Snipe flew in off the sea at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Wigeon, Thornwick Pools, by Tony Simpson

Wigeon, Thornwick Pools, by Tony Simpson

Friday, September 4th, 2015

Strong north-westerly winds lessened in strength during the afternoon, when brighter conditions replaced a heavy overcast. Seawatching was rewarded with 426 Fulmars, 20 Sooty Shearwaters, 101 Manx Shearwaters, a Balearic Shearwaterseven dark-bellied Brent Geese, 39 Wigeon, 266 Teal, three Pintail, two Velvet Scoters and a Merlin all flying north. Southbound waders included a Greenshank and two Common Sandpipers, with two Snipe coming in off the sea over the Fog Station and another duo doing the same over Bempton Cliffs RSPB. A total of 29 Arctic Skuas and 16 Bonxies flew south, with 418 Little Gulls moving north, as did a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull.

Thornwick Pools attracted 20 Teal, three Wigeon, ten Redshank, a Dunlin and one Greenshank; South Landing beach hosted 16 Ringed Plovers. The sub-adult Caspian Gull again frequented ploughed fields on the Outer Head.

Fulmar, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Fulmar, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Thursday, September 3rd, 2015

Moderate north-westerly winds featured throughout, with generally overcast conditions and occasional showers. Seawatching highlights included eight Red-throated Divers, single Black-throated and Great Northern Divers flying north, a Red-necked Grebe also moving north, along with three Balearic Shearwaters, 71 Manx Shearwaters and 12 Sooty Shearwaters. Two Ruff flying north were the pick of the waders, whilst 27 Arctic Skuas and ten Bonxies headed south, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull flew north and 196 Sandwich Terns moved in the same direction.

Elsewhere, a Hobby overflew the Lighthouse Grasslands. Large gulls are gathering on the recently ploughed fields on the Outer Head and two Caspian Gulls were discovered. A sub-adult that sported a yellow darvic ring ‘PLEP’ was also seen at a similar time last autumn, and a juvenile/first-winter.

Herring Gull mobbing Grey Heron, off Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Herring Gull mobbing Grey Heron, off Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Greenshank, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Greenshank, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Caspian Gull 'PLEP', Outer Head, by Martin Garner

Caspian Gull ‘PLEP’, Outer Head, by Martin Garner

First-winter Caspian Gull, Outer Head by Martin Garner

First-winter Caspian Gull, Outer Head by Martin Garner

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

Light to moderate north-north-westerly winds featured throughout, with sunny intervals and occasional showers. Seawatching highlights included 14 Red-throated Divers, a Blue Fulmar flying north, 484 Fulmars, 15 Sooty Shearwaters, and 75 Manx Shearwaters all north, a Balearic Shearwater and Velvet Scoter heading south. A Ruff flew north, whilst a Pomarine Skua, 49 Arctic Skuas and 21 Bonxies moved south and two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls flew north. An adult Yellow-legged Gull roosted on the Golf Course, but better still an adult Caspian Gull sporting a darvic ring frequented recently ploughed fields on the Outer Head, with the same fields attracting two Ruff and three Golden Plover.

A Merlin hunted fields near the Lighthouse. Many migrant passerines appeared to have departed overnight, with a handful of Redstart, Whinchat and Sedge Warbler remaining; however, two Goldcrests were newly arrived.

A Cuckoo and Sedge Warbler were noted at Buckton.

Peregrine, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Chrys Mellor

Peregrine, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Chrys Mellor

juvenile Common Swift, Outer Head, by Martin Garner

juvenile Common Swift, Outer Head, by Martin Garner

 

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015

Moderate north-north-westerly winds featured throughout, with sunny intervals prevailing after an overcast start. Seawatching produced five Red-throated Divers flying north, one Blue Fulmar and 377 Fulmars also flying north, along with five Sooty Shearwaters, 51 Manx Shearwaters and two Balearic Shearwaters. A ‘spooned’ Pomarine Skua went south, as did 41 Arctic Skuas, whilst 72 Little Gulls were offshore and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull flew north. Thornwick Pools hosted a Kingfisher, a Dunlin and a juvenile Greenshank, whilst another eight Dunlin visited North Marsh.

The day’s highlight was undoubtedly a male Subalpine Warbler showing characteristics of the Eastern form. Found late afternoon, it was still showing mid-evening from the cliff top path in its favoured hedge east of Old Fall. The juvenile Red-backed Shrike continued to give good views south of the Lighthouse. Other migrants included a Wood Warbler at Old Fall, 26 Willow Warblers, seven Wheatear, three Whinchat, five Redstarts, four Pied Flycatchers and two Spotted Flycatchers.

Kingfisher, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Kingfisher, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Wood Warbler, Old Fall, by Craig Thomas

Wood Warbler, Old Fall, by Craig Thomas

Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Outer Head, by Martin Garner

Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Outer Head, by Martin Garner

Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Outer Head, by Tony Dixon

Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Outer Head, by Tony Dixon

Pied Flycatcher, Old Fall, by Craig Thomas

Pied Flycatcher, Old Fall, by Craig Thomas

Brimstone Butterfly, Old Fall, by Andy Hood

Brimstone Butterfly, Old Fall, by Andy Hood