Saturday, October 31st, 2015
After a relatively bright start, overcast skies and mists predominated until a brighter spell during the afternoon; there were moderate southerly winds for most of the day. Seawatching produced 14 Red-throated Divers, two summer-plumaged Great Northern Divers, two Sooty Shearwaters, 34 Wigeon, seven Gadwall and a Goldeneye all flying south. Sixteen Little Gulls, two Bonxies and two Pomarine Skuas also moved south. However, one of the features was a southerly movement of 1005 Golden Plovers: 342 flew south over the sea, with an additional 663 doing the same over the land.
The day’s highlight was initially located during the seawatch: a Pallid Swift appeared over the sea at 0650hrs and showed well feeding over the Outer Head until 0854hrs, when it drifted off north. This represents Flamborough’s fifth record, following a single in July 1992, two in October 1999, one in October 2011 and another single in October 2013 (the latter record still pending).
Additional migrants included two Whooper Swans flying south, one Merlin, a Jack Snipe at North Landing, eight Woodcock, one Short-eared Owl, a Long-eared Owl at Hartendale, three House Martins, two Swallows, a Ring Ouzel, 410 Blackbirds, two Black Redstarts, five Blackcap, 16 Chiffchaff, 27 Goldcrest, a Firecrest south of the Lighthouse, a Mealy Redpoll, two Lesser Redpoll and three Snow Buntings.
West of the Dykes, a ringtail Hen Harrier hunted cliff top fields in the Buckton/Bempton/Speeton area, the Spotted Redshank remained on Buckton Pond and Buckton also hosted one Woodcock, two Short-eared Owls (with another at Bempton Cliffs RSPB), 150 Blackbirds and a Firecrest. There were also 160 Golden Plover and 350 Lapwings between Buckton and Speeton.