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.

Pallid Swift, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Pallid Swift, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Pallid Swift, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Pallid Swift, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Pallid Swift, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

Pallid Swift, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

Pallid Swift, Outer Head, by Lee Johnson

Pallid Swift, Outer Head, by Lee Johnson

Friday, October 30th, 2015

Another overcast day with rain during the morning, with moderate/strong south-south-easterly winds. Thornwick Pools attracted a Little Grebe, eight Teal and ten Snipe, whilst 80 Common Scoter were off the South Cliffs. Migrants included four Woodcock, three Chiffchaff, four Grey Wagtails, ten Brambling and two Lesser Redpolls.

West of the Dykes, Buckton Pond hosted single Spotted Redshank, Dunlin and Snipe.

Water Rail, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Water Rail, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Thursday, October 29th, 2015

It was a changeable day making birding difficult at times, with periods of rain and a relatively strong southerly wind. A Jack Snipe was located near North Landing and five Woodcock were present. Large numbers of winter thrushes were scattered across the area, including 200 Blackbirds on the Outer Head, with many more observed heading west from early morning. A Black Redstart was present in the vicinity of the Old Lighthouse, with other sightings including single Chiffchaff and Blackcap, 13 Brambling, 20 Siskin and two Lesser Redpolls.

Snipe, Thornwick Pool, by Alan Walkington

Snipe, Thornwick Pool, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

The day started with bright, but misty conditions but these were soon replaced by fog and latterly heavy rain while a south-easterly wind strengthened during the morning. Seawatching highlights included a Great Northern Diver flying north, a dark-bellied Brent Goose and a Red-breasted Merganser heading south, two Pomarine Skuas, two Arctic Skuas and a duo of Bonxies flying north.

The Hume’s Warbler and Firecrest remained in the vicinity of the lighthouse, but were often elusive in the inclement weather conditions. A Long-eared Owl sheltered at Old Fall Steps during the afternoon, a Black Redstart was at the Lighthouse, whilst two Woodcock, 20 Goldcrests and 20 Bramblings were at Old Fall before the rain. In addition, a significant arrival of Redwing, Blackbirds and Fieldfare took place, with many hundreds scattered across the Headland.

Hume's Warbler, Bay Brambles by Lighthouse, by Andrew Allport

Hume’s Warbler, Bay Brambles by Lighthouse, by Andrew Allport

Brambling, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Brambling, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

It was a misty and overcast day, with a moderate south-easterly wind. During the seawatch 28 Red-throated Divers flew south, eight dark-bellied Brent Geese moved in the same direction (with two heading north), whilst 60 Wigeon, 43 Teal, six Pintail, seven Pochard, five Tufted Duck and two Goldeneye also headed south. A total of 59 Eider headed north, as did three Red-breasted Mergansers, with a duo flying south. Four Pomarine Skuas and a Mediterranean Gull also moved north. Five Little Auks headed north past South Landing and another was picked up at Sewerby and taken to Bempton RSPB. Thornwick Pools attracted a Little Grebe, two Wigeon, a Shoveler, 15 Teal, two Water Rails and two Rock Pipits.

A Hume’s Warbler was discovered mid-afternoon in bushes below the Lighthouse and showed well until dusk. A Yellow-browed Warbler and a Firecrest frequented the same area, whilst the Pallas’s Warbler remained at Old Fall. Additional migrants included five Woodcock, a Long-eared Owl, four Black Redstarts, 150 Redwing, 80 Fieldfare, seven Mistle Thrush, 68 Goldcrests, 11 Chiffchaff, seven Lesser Redpoll and 30 Brambling.

Hume's Warbler, Lighthouse, by Andrew Allport

Hume’s Warbler, Lighthouse, by Andrew Allport

Black Redstart, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Black Redstart, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Monday, October 26th, 2015

Moderate/strong south-easterly winds were a feature of a generally overcast morning, with sunny intervals predominating later. Seawatching highlights included two Great Northern Divers flying south, a Sooty Shearwater moving north, with three Shelduck, 23 Wigeon and 14 Knot heading south. Three Pomarine Skuas flew north, along with single Mediterranean Gull and Sandwich Tern.

A total of 272 Shags left the cliff roost early morning and 31 Turnstones and 12 Purple Sandpipers were in residence. Thornwick Pools hosted single Knot and Dunlin and two Short-eared Owls were recorded; an individual flying in off the sea early morning and another near North Marsh.

An arrival of passerines was headlined by a Pallas’s Warbler at Old Fall, the seventh on the wider Flamborough Headland this autumn. In addition, 550 Redwing and 175 Fieldfare arrived during the day, along with 26 Fieldfare, a male Stonechat that came in off the sea, 17 Goldcrests and 48 Brambling.

West of the Dykes, two Lapland Buntings were at Buckton.

Pallas's Warbler, Old Fall, by Mark Robinson

Pallas’s Warbler, Old Fall, by Mark Robinson

Sunday, October 25th, 2015

The day consisted light westerly winds and sunny intervals. Seawatching resulted in a Great Northern Diver flying south, a Manx Shearwater moving north, 16 Whooper Swans, a Goldeneye, two Goosanders and 17 Bonxies heading south, whilst two Pomarine Skuas and one Arctic Skua flew north. A skein of 150 Pink-footed Geese flew south over the Headland, with another 13 Whooper Swans flying south over Buckton and two Velvet Scoters were off South Landing. Six Common Buzzards were present, whilst a Yellow-legged Gull appeared at North Landing.

A Yellow-browed Warbler was located at South Landing, where there were also three Lesser Redpolls and eight Siskin. A single Twite, one Snow Bunting and two Lapland Buntings were present on the Outer Head.

West of the Dykes, a Black Redstart was located near Bempton village.

Whooper Swans, Outer Head, by Andy Malley

Whooper Swans, Outer Head, by Andy Malley

Whooper Swan, Thornwick, by John Beaumont

Whooper Swan, Thornwick, by John Beaumont

Black Redstart, Bempton, by John Beaumont

Black Redstart, Bempton, by John Beaumont

Snow Bunting, North Dykes, by John Beaumont

Snow Bunting, North Dykes, by John Beaumont

Saturday, October 24th, 2015

The weather consisted a strong south-south-westerly wind, overcast conditions and occasional rain. Seawatching produced eight Red-throated Divers flying south, one Sooty Shearwater, two dark-bellied Brent Geese and a Red-breasted Merganser moving north and three Bonxies. A total of 253 Shags also left the roost and flew south into Bridlington Bay.

There were 17 Teal, a Water Rail, four Snipe and three Rock Pipits at Thornwick Pools, four Stonechats on the nearby cliffs, two Common Buzzards at North Dykes and a Short-eared Owl at North Marsh.

Stonechat, Thornwick, by Brett Richards

Stonechat, Thornwick, by Brett Richards

Friday, October 23rd, 2015

A south-westerly wind strengthened during a relatively overcast day. Seawatching produced 14 Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, ten Whooper Swans, four Pink-footed Geese, single Shelduck, Gadwall and Goosander all flying south. An adult Pomarine Skua moved in the same direction, whilst a Sandwich Tern headed north.

Thornwick Pools attracted a Grey Heron, 19 Teal, four Snipe and a Water Rail. A Marsh Harrier and two Short-eared Owls frequented the north side of the Headland near the Golf Course. A Yellow-browed Warbler accompanied a tit flock in South Dykes, whilst 12 Lesser Redpolls, 16 Siskins and seven Bramblings were present.

Bempton RSPB attracted a Siberian Chiffchaff, six Stonechats, 28 Redwing, 43 Blackbirds and 20 Golden Plover.

Short-eared Owl, Outer Head, by Alan Walkington

Short-eared Owl, Outer Head, by Alan Walkington

Thursday, October 22nd, 2015

The weather consisted of moderate westerly winds and sunny intervals. Seawatching highlights included 16 Red-throated Divers, one Great Northern Diver, 24 Common Scoter, a Goldeneye, one Arctic Skua and five Bonxies heading south. Thornwick Pools attracted 30 Teal and four Snipe, whilst a Common Buzzard overflew South Dykes.

West of the Dykes, sightings from the Bempton/Buckton area included a Common Buzzard, ten Redwing and three Stonechats.

Chiffchaff, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Chiffchaff, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

 

Wednesday, October 21st, 2015

Rain early morning gave way to a sunny day and light/moderate south-westerly winds. Seawatching from North Landing was rewarded with solitary Pochard and Goosander flying south. Thornwick Pools attracted a Grey Heron, one Cormorant, 23 Teal, nine Snipe and a Water Rail. Elsewhere, five House Martins and a Swallow were recorded along with three Stonechats. A Great Grey Shrike remained on the hedge east of Old Fall and a Barred Warbler was located at Old Fall Steps.

Stonechat, Flamborough, by Andy Malley

Stonechat, Flamborough, by Andy Malley

Tuesday, October 20th, 2015

The weather consisted of light north-westerly winds and sunny intervals. Seawatching highlights included eight Red-breasted Mergansers, three Goosanders flying south, whilst a juvenile Pomarine Skua and 452 Little Gulls moved north. Three Mute Swans overflew the Outer Head, 135 Pink-footed Geese went south and three Velvet Scoters and a Red-breasted Merganser were on the sea alongside the South Cliffs.

The Siberian Stonechat again frequented the wild bird cover crop south of the Lighthouse, two Great Grey Shrikes remained in residence on the Outer Head and the Pallas’s Warbler showed occasionally in Old Fall. The latter site also hosted a Yellow-browed Warbler, with another on Thornwick Camp. Typically elusive, the Barred Warbler re-appeared near the Lighthouse. Other sightings included one Common Buzzard, two Water Rails, a Woodcock in off, a Black Redstart at the Fog Station, 110 Goldcrests, 17 Chiffchaff, 350 Redwing, five Stonechat, 20 Brambling, 70 Chaffinch, six Lesser Redpoll and 13 Siskin.

Great Grey Shrike, Cattlemere, by Andrew Allport

Great Grey Shrike, Cattlemere, by Andrew Allport

Barred Warbler, Gorse Field, by Andrew Allport

Barred Warbler, Gorse Field, by Andrew Allport

Pallas's Warbler, Old Fall, by Tony Dixon

Pallas’s Warbler, Old Fall, by Tony Dixon

 

Monday, October 19th, 2015

The morning’s weather consisted lighter northerly winds and overcast conditions, whilst the wind dropped off in the afternoon when there were also sunny intervals. Seawatching produced three Sooty Shearwaters and three Tufted Ducks flying north, a Red-breasted Merganser moving south, 14 Arctic Skuas and 28 Bonxies flying south. The drake Velvet Scoter remained on the sea between Old Fall and South Landing.

Away from the sea, a Common Buzzard circled over the village. Of local interest, a Green Woodpecker was present at South Landing and represented the year’s second individual. Two Short-eared Owls were present and the Siberian Stonechat showed well in the adjacent weedy field. Two Great Grey Shrikes stayed all day between the Gorse Field and Old Fall. The Dusky Warbler continued to tantalise visitors throughout the day although tended to show better than over recent days. Two Pallas’s Warblers were new in; an individual initially in Old Fall Hedge later moved into the Plantation, whilst another was located near Highcliffe Manor at South Landing. Two Yellow-browed Warblers were also present split between the same two sites, whilst a Firecrest was at South Landing. Migrants also included 270 Redwing, a Garden Warbler, 22 Brambling and four Crossbills.

Sightings from Buckton included a Short-eared Owl, 1200 Starlings, four Stonechat, a Firecrest and 30 Goldcrests.

Dusky Warbler, Old Fall Hedge, by Craig Thomas

Dusky Warbler, Old Fall Hedge, by Craig Thomas

Pallas's Warbler, Old Fall Hedge, by Brett Richards

Pallas’s Warbler, Old Fall Hedge, by Brett Richards

Siberian Stonechat, Cattlemere, by Craig Thomas

Siberian Stonechat, Cattlemere, by Craig Thomas

Siberian Stonechat, Cattlemere, by Alan Walkington

Siberian Stonechat, Cattlemere, by Alan Walkington

 

Firecrest, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Firecrest, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Sunday, October 18th, 2015

Winds had decreased in strength to leave a light/moderate north-easterly and mainly overcast conditions. Seawatching was rewarding with highlights including 20 Red-throated Divers flying south, a summer-plumaged Black-throated Diver heading north, 16 Sooty Shearwaters and a Balearic Shearwater heading in the same direction, whilst two dark-bellied Brent Geese and two Goldeneye went south. A juvenile Pomarine Skua flew south, together with 73 Bonxies and an adult Mediterranean Gull. The drake Velvet Scoter again gave good views close inshore off Old Fall.

The Siberian Stonechat showed relatively well in the Cattlemere area south of the Lighthouse, whilst the Dusky Warbler gave sporadic views between spells of being typically elusive along the southern end of Old Fall Hedge. The bulk of the crests appeared to have vacated the wooded areas, although a Yellow-browed Warbler remained at Old Fall. The Barred Warbler was relocated in the bushes alongside the Lighthouse. Two Great Grey Shrikes toured the Outer Head, whilst migrants also included three Short-eared Owls.

West of the Dykes, 15 Barnacle Geese were recorded at Buckton along with a Short-eared Owl.

Velvet Scoter, off Old Fall, by Tony Dixon

Velvet Scoter, off Old Fall, by Tony Dixon

Golden Plover, Outer Head, by Alan Walkington

Golden Plover, Outer Head, by Alan Walkington

Siberian Stonechat, Cattlemere, by Tony Dixon

Siberian Stonechat, Cattlemere, by Tony Dixon

Grey Wagtail, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Grey Wagtail, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Saturday, October 17th, 2015

The weather consisted of strong northerly winds, overcast conditions and occasional drizzle. Seawatching produced one Great Northern Diver flying south, six Sooty Shearwaters and a Balearic Shearwater moving north, four Velvet Scoters flying north, a Pomarine Skua south along with 69 Bonxies. The drake Velvet Scoter remained offshore of Booted Gully.

The Siberian Stonechat remained in residence at Cattlemere south of the Lighthouse, whilst the Dusky Warbler was relocated on the southern end of Old Fall Hedge. Three Yellow-browed Warblers were present, in the village, at South Landing and at Old Fall. A minimum of two Great Grey Shrikes toured the Outer Head while a Firecrest was at Old Fall. Two Pallas’s Warblers were present on the Outer Head, one near the Siberian Stonechat and the other at Old Fall.

In general there appeared to be fewer migrants, although this may have been due in part to the strength of the winds; two Short-eared Owls were recorded along with a Ring Ouzel, 27 Chiffchaffs, two Reed Warblers and 400+ Goldcrests.

Records from Buckton included the two Pallas’s Warblers, 80 Goldcrests and a Wheatear.

Pallas's Warbler, Gorse Field, by Craig Thomas

Pallas’s Warbler, Gorse Field, by Craig Thomas

Great Grey Shrike with Goldcrest, Old Fall, by Craig Thomas

Great Grey Shrike with Goldcrest, Old Fall, by Craig Thomas

Wheatear, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Wheatear, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Hummingbird Hawkmoth, by Andy Hood

Hummingbird Hawkmoth, by Andy Hood

Friday, October 16th, 2015

Moderate/strong north-easterly winds and a heavily overcast morning, before sunny intervals from mid-afternoon. A drake Velvet Scoter was on the sea near South Landing. A Black-throated Diver flew north on the seawatch, as did 13 Sooty Shearwaters, whilst 18 Bonxies moved south.

The Siberian Stonechat remained in the vicinity of the wild bird cover crop south of the Lighthouse, with a Firecrest nearby. Late in the day the South Landing Red-flanked Bluetail was relocated at South Landing, again near the whalebone bridge alongside the sheep field. A Dusky Warbler was discovered along Old Fall Hedge early morning; although relatively vocal and initially flighty, it then reverted to type and stayed elusive until melting away.

The Pallas’s Warbler remained in Old Fall, where there was also a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Great Grey Shrike. Three Yellow-browed Warblers were located in total, with others at South Landing and Whelkie Wynds. Additional migrants included a Jack Snipe, four Short-eared Owls, 1850 Redwings and 130 Fieldfare arriving in off the sea, two Ring Ouzels, 45 Robins, single Redstart and Wheatear and eight Crossbills.

The scale of this week’s influx is amply demonstrated by the total of 675 birds ringed over the last five days, with 556 of these being Goldcrests including individuals previously ringed in Norway, Finland and Denmark.

The Olive-backed Pipit and two Pallas’s Warblers were still present at Buckton. Other sightings from Buckton included single Woodcock and Water Rail, three Short-eared Owls, 220 Goldcrests and 100 Redwing. Nearby Bempton sightings involved 30 Goldcrests, 12 Robins and 100 Redwing.

Ring Ouzel, Old Fall, by Colin Scott

Ring Ouzel, Old Fall, by Colin Scott

Siberian Stonechat, Cattlemere, by Andy Hood

Siberian Stonechat, Cattlemere, by Andy Hood

Blackcap, South Landing, by Craig Thomas

Blackcap, South Landing, by Craig Thomas

 

Thursday, October 15th, 2015

The day was largely overcast with occasional light showers and a light/moderate north-easterly wind. Seawatching produced six Sooty Shearwaters heading north with a Tufted Duck and 11 Bonxies flying south. In addition, a Great Northern Diver flew north over the Headland, a lone Whooper Swan toured the area early morning and Thornwick Pools attracted a Jack Snipe.

The Siberian Stonechat remained south of the Lighthouse, whilst a Little Bunting was a new discovery at Old Fall. The Pallas’s Warbler was still at the latter site, a Barred Warbler in the Bay Brambles was new, four Yellow-browed Warblers were located, while there were two Great Grey Shrikes, including a new individual at Old Fall. Other migrants included four Short-eared Owls, two Ring Ouzels, two Redstarts, 20 Brambling and a Lapland Bunting; numbers of Goldcrests were down on previous days, although several hundred were still scattered throughout the area.

Buckton was rewarded with an Olive-backed Pipit which was trapped and ringed, as well as two Pallas’s Warbler, one of which was trapped. There were also three Short-eared Owls, a Long-eared Owl, one Firecrest, 90 Goldcrests and single Snow and Lapland Buntings.

Siberian Stonechat, Outer Head, by Lee Johnson

Siberian Stonechat, Outer Head, by Lee Johnson

Barred Warbler, Bay Brambles, by Lee Johnson

Barred Warbler, Bay Brambles, by Lee Johnson

Pallas's Warbler, Old Fall, by Lee Johnson

Pallas’s Warbler, Old Fall, by Lee Johnson

Pallas's Warbler ringed at Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Pallas’s Warbler ringed at Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Pallas's Warbler, Buckton, by Lee Johnson

Pallas’s Warbler, Buckton, by Lee Johnson

Olive-backed Pipit, Buckton, by Lee Johnson

Olive-backed Pipit, Buckton, by Lee Johnson

Wednesday, October 14th, 2015

There were moderate/strong north-easterly winds throughout a day of sunny intervals and showers. Seawatching highlights included five Sooty and one Manx Shearwater flying north and four Goldeneye heading south.

Once again passerine migrants were to the fore. Pride of place was the discovery of a Siberian Stonechat in the Gorse Field which showed intermittently all day. Two Great Grey Shrikes frequented the same area and could often be seen sitting a couple of metres apart. A Pallas’s Warbler was discovered at Old Fall late afternoon, a Firecrest was alongside the Gorse Field during the morning, with another at South Landing, and three Yellow-browed Warblers remained. Other migrants included a Woodcock, three Short-eared Owls, one Wheatear, a Redstart, 15 Brambling and a Mealy Redpoll, whilst Goldcrest and Redwing numbers increased, augmented by fresh arrivals.

Another Great Grey Shrike was located at Bempton Cliffs RSPB which also hosted two Stonechats.

Siberian Stonechat, Gorse Field, by Andrew Allport

Siberian Stonechat, Gorse Field, by Andrew Allport

Great Grey Shrike, Cattlemere, by Craig Thomas

Great Grey Shrike, Cattlemere, by Craig Thomas

Great Grey Shrike, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Dave Aitken

Great Grey Shrike, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Dave Aitken

 

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

After moderate north-easterly winds and showers at the start of the day, the winds dropped slightly and there were sunny intervals in the afternoon. Seawatching highlights included 13 Sooty Shearwaters flying north, 48 Common Scoter, 11 Arctic Skuas and 33 Bonxies all moving south, whilst a Short-eared Owl also went south offshore. A lone Whooper Swan headed south over the Headland, a Yellow-legged Gull appeared off the Fog Station and another Short-eared Owl frequented Beacon Hill later in the day.

Late afternoon, a first-winter/female Red-flanked Bluetail was discovered in South Landing near the Whalebone bridge; in light of the distances involved, presumably a second individual following the bird on private land yesterday. In addition, eight Yellow-browed Warblers remained, as did the Red-breasted Flycatcher at Old Fall; a Hawfinch at the latter location later flew west. Migrant totals included two Ring Ouzels, 490 Goldcrests (with 160 trapped and ringed at South Landing, which included an individual previously ringed in Denmark), two Ring Ouzels, two Redstarts, two Wheatears, a Garden Warbler and 19 Chiffchaffs.

Reflecting the significant arrival of migrants, a total of 287 birds have been caught and ringed over the last two days including 240 Goldcrests, eight Blackcaps, two Chiffchaffs one Lesser Redpoll and a single Yellow-browed Warbler.

West of the Dykes, a Yellow-browed Warbler was at Bempton and sightings from Buckton included single Yellow-browed Warbler and Firecrest, a Ring Ouzel and 60 Goldcrests.

Ring Ouzel, Old Fall, by Alan Walkington

Ring Ouzel, Old Fall, by Alan Walkington

Red-breasted Flycatcher, Old Fall, by Andy Hood

Red-breasted Flycatcher, Old Fall, by Andy Hood

Monday, October 12th, 2015

The day featured light north-easterly winds and sunny intervals during the morning, before heavy showers from mid-afternoon. During the seawatch, six Sooty and one Manx Shearwater were recorded, whilst a dark-bellied Brent Goose headed north. A drake Velvet Scoter was on the sea adjacent to Old Fall.

Writing the daily sightings page is part of the ‘welcoming offer’ the Observatory is now determined to give to all visitors. However, this post is certainly more arduous to compile than most.

The highlight of today was the discovery of a female/1st-winter Red-flanked Bluetail. Unfortunately the bird frequented an area that is strictly private with no public access and, consequently, we were unable to release the news. As another bluetail was showing well at Spurn, and reflecting upon the fact that four individuals have been ‘twitchable’ at Flamborough over the last decade, we decided not to trap the bird. Obviously we appreciate that this course of action will disappoint many and can only sympathise.

Scarce migrants were represented by two Red-breasted Flycatchers in Old Fall, five Yellow-browed Warblers and two Firecrests. Additional migrants included 140 Pink-footed Geese flying south, a Jack Snipe, two Redstarts, four Grey Wagtails, a Pied Flycatcher, 460 Goldcrest, 30 Chiffchaff, two Garden Warblers, 11 Blackcaps and 25 Brambling.

West of the Dykes, there were two Yellow-browed Warblers (Buckton Pond & Bempton), with a Ring Ouzel also at the latter site.

Red-breasted Flycatcher, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Red-breasted Flycatcher, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Yellow-browed Warbler, Outer Head, by Andrew Allport

Yellow-browed Warbler, Outer Head, by Andrew Allport

 

Sunday, October 11th, 2015

The light/moderate easterly winds and sunny intervals heralded a significant fall.

Arrivals included a Bluethroat at Thornwick Camp, a Great Grey Shrike alongside the Golf Course, two Red-breasted Flycatchers (in the Gorse Field and Old Fall), nine Yellow-browed Warblers and four Firecrests.

Additional migrants included a Merlin, six Golden Plover, single Short-eared and Long-eared Owls, a Jack Snipe, one Woodcock, 140 Skylarks, four Grey Wagtails, seven Ring Ouzels, 385 Redwing, 20 Fieldfare,  two Wheatear, three Redstarts, a Pied Flycatcher, 29 Chiffchaffs, two Lesser Whitethroats, 770 Goldcrests, 70 Brambling, ten Siskins, 15 Crossbills and three Lapland Buntings.

Seawatching produced two Sooty Shearwaters flying north and one south, three Manx Shearwaters, five dark-bellied Brent Geese, five Eider and two Red-breasted Merganser all heading north, whilst an Arctic Tern went south. Thornwick Pools hosted 28 Teal, two Wigeon and a Ringed Plover, whilst a dark-bellied Brent Goose was on the Outer Head.

West of the Dykes, there were 90 Goldcrests (including 40 ringed), a Yellow-browed Warbler, five Chiffchaffs, three Ring Ouzels,a Whinchat and three Grey Wagtails at Buckton. A Little Owl there was also unusual.

Firecrest, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Firecrest, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Goldcrest, Outer Head, by  Andy Hood

Goldcrest, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

Saturday, October 10th, 2015

There were light easterly winds and sunny intervals during the day. Seawatching produced 28 Red-throated Divers flying south, two Sooty Shearwaters moving north and a Velvet Scoter heading south; with a drake on the sea off the Headland later. Three Pomarine Skuas were noted, with two flying north and a juvenile lingering offshore. A total of 22 Bonxies moved south, whilst 840 Little Gulls and a Common Tern flew north. Thornwick Pools attracted nine Snipe and a Dunlin.

Five Yellow-browed Warblers included a bird near the Lighthouse which was probably a new arrival. Additional records included four Ring Ouzels, Fieldfare, 50 Redwing, 30 Song Thrush, three Wheatears, 20 Goldcrests and a Lesser Whitethroat.

A Basking Shark swam south past the Headland at 1600hrs, whilst a Red-veined Darter was located near North Landing.

West of the Dykes, a Great Northern Diver flew south past Bempton and passerine interest included a Ring Ouzel, five Stonechats and one Yellow-browed Warbler.

Yellow-browed Warbler, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Yellow-browed Warbler, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Friday, October 9th, 2015

The day featured light variable winds and sunshine. During the seawatch, 35 Red-throated Divers flew south, five Sooty Shearwaters and 89 Common Scoters went north, two Red-breasted Mergansers, two Arctic Skuas and 17 Bonxies flew south and two Common Terns moved north. An adult Mediterranean Gull appeared offshore, whilst 50 Curlew, a Grey Plover and 50 Oystercatchers were in residence.

Pride of place was the discovery of an Olive-backed Pipit alongside St David Lane near North Landing, although the bird proved elusive and frequented private land. Additional sightings included three Yellow-browed Warblers, a Garden Warbler, 11 Ring Ouzels, two Wheatears, five Stonechat, 62 Skylarks, eight Coal Tits, 11 Lesser Redpolls and three Siskin.

West of the Dykes, a Great Northern Diver flew south-east past Bempton and a Short-eared Owl came in off the sea at Buckton. A Yellow-browed Warbler was present in sycamores by the church at Speeton, with another Yellow-browed Warbler at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Stonechat, Thornwick, by Alan Walkington

Stonechat, Thornwick, by Alan Walkington

Thursday, October 8th, 2015

In contrast to the previous day, it was sunny with light north-westerly winds. Seawatching highlights included 24 Red-throated Divers and six Eiders flying south and a dark-bellied Brent Goose moving north. Four species of skuas were recorded, with one Pomarine, six Arctic and an adult Long-tailed Skua flying south, together with 54 Bonxies. An adult Mediterranean Gull also flew south, whilst 230 Little Gulls went north.

Away from the sea, sightings included 140 Pink-footed Geese flying south, a Short-eared Owl, 11 Swallows, five Ring Ouzels, a Redstart, one Grey Wagtail, four Yellow-browed Warblers, a Firecrest in South Dykes, 12 Chiffchaffs and eight Lesser Redpolls.

West of the Dykes, the Bempton/Buckton area hosted two Common Buzzard, 100 Lapwing, four Wheatear, four Stonechat, seven Ring Ouzels, two Chiffchaffs and a White Wagtail. In addition, 430 Pink-footed Geese flew south with one skein accompanied by a single Barnacle Goose.

Short-eared Owl, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Short-eared Owl, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Wednesday, October 7th, 2015

Not an ideal day’s birding, with light winds in the morning giving way to moderate north-westerlies later; however, the day started foggy and, after a relatively brief dry spell, it rained during the afternoon. Sightings included six Snipe, three Yellow-browed Warblers, including two in Old Fall, three Ring Ouzels and single Redstart, Grey Wagtail and Willow Warbler.

The Lapland Bunting continued to show well at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Snipe, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Snipe, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

The weather was varied: initially heavy rain until late morning, then sunny intervals until fog rolled in and the day ended with a heavy overcast and showers; winds were moderate and from the south-east. A seawatch from South Landing was rewarded with 40 Wigeon, 74 Teal and 26 Common Scoter moving south and a Velvet Scoter went north, as did an Arctic Skua. A Grey Plover was on the beach, whilst four Wigeon and a Dunlin frequented Thornwick Pools and a Dunlin and Ringed Plover North Marsh.

Passerines included 19 Yellow-browed Warblers, the Barred Warbler and 17 Ring Ouzels. Additional migrants included three Jack Snipe, 220 Song Thrush, single Whinchat and Redstart, 12 Chiffchaff, a Willow Warbler, 32 Goldcrests and eight Brambling.

West of the Dykes, a Lapland Bunting showed well at Bempton Cliffs RSPB, where there were three Ring Ouzels. Sightings from Buckton included a Yellow-browed Warbler, seven Ring Ouzels, 90 Song Thrush and 80 Reed Buntings.

Lapland Bunting, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Tony Dixon

Lapland Bunting, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Tony Dixon

Lapland Bunting, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Tony Dixon

Lapland Bunting, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Tony Dixon

Monday, October 5th, 2015

The weather changed significantly at last, with moderate/strong south-easterly winds, rain during the morning and heavily overcast skies throughout. Seawatching produced 14 Sooty Shearwaters heading north, a Barnacle Goose and 40 Teal moving south, whilst one Pomarine Skua and eight Arctic Skuas flew north.

One Short-eared Owl was located near the village. A significant influx of thrushes took place with 630 Redwing and 60 Song Thrushes arriving, together with three Ring Ouzels. A Richard’s Pipit that overflew North Marsh represented the year’s first record and six Yellow-browed Warblers were located despite the inclement conditions, while the Barred Warbler remained in the Old Fall Steps area. Other migrants included 16 Goldcrests, a Redstart and four Brambling.

West of the Dykes records from Buckton included six Ring Ouzels, 42 Song Thrush, a Whinchat, three Brambling and a Lapland Bunting.

Yellow-browed Warbler, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Yellow-browed Warbler, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Sunday, October 4th, 2015

Winds were again light and eventually settled into a south-easterly flow, whilst there were sunny intervals and bright overcast conditions. Seawatching produced four Sooty and one Balearic Shearwater flying north, a Whimbrel also heading north, whilst two Pomarine Skuas were recorded; one offshore and the other moving south. Five Arctic Skuas and seven Bonxies also flew south.

A Great Northern Diver flew south over the Headland, whilst the Lighthouse grasslands hosted a Jack Snipe and two Short-eared Owls. There were 13 Yellow-browed Warblers recorded during the day and the Barred Warbler re-appeared at Old Fall Steps. Other migrants included eight Redwing, two Brambling, two Stonechats, two Pied Flycatchers, two Willow Warblers and single Redstart, Yellow Wagtail and Lapland Bunting. A flock of 24 Long-tailed Tits at North Landing was above average.

West of the Dykes, there were three Yellow-browed Warblers at Buckton.

Yellow-browed Warbler, Buckton (1 of 2 ringed) by Mark Thomas

Yellow-browed Warbler, Buckton (1 of 2 ringed) by Mark Thomas

Pomarine Skua, off Headland, by Chrys Mellor

Pomarine Skua, off Headland, by Chrys Mellor

Short-eared Owl, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Short-eared Owl, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Barred Warbler, Old Fall Steps, by Tony Dixon

Barred Warbler, Old Fall Steps, by Tony Dixon

Pied Flycatcher, Thornwick Camp, by Craig Thomas

Pied Flycatcher, Thornwick Camp, by Craig Thomas

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

Another that day featured light variable winds in the morning and then a light northerly wind in the afternoon, whilst it was mainly overcast after a bright start. Seawatching highlights included a Blue Fulmar and a Sooty Shearwater flying north, five Bonxies, 88 Little Gulls flying north, together with 255 Black-headed Gulls and 511 Common Gulls. In addition, a Short-eared Owl flew in off the sea.

Seventeen Pink-footed Geese flew south over the Outer Head, a Little Egret overflew North Landing and a Whimbrel moved south. An arrival of migrants took place during the afternoon, with nine Yellow-browed Warblers scattered across the Headland and a Firecrest at Thornwick. Additional migrants included two Redwing, two Redstarts and a Spotted Flycatcher.

The Great Grey Shrike remained at Buckton, a Ring Ouzel was also present, whilst single Whitethroat and Sedge Warbler were trapped.

Yellow-browed Warbler, Old Fall Hedge, by Craig Thomas

Yellow-browed Warbler, Old Fall Hedge, by Craig Thomas

Spotted Flycatcher, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Spotted Flycatcher, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

The day featured light south-westerly winds and sunny intervals after an overcast start. Seawatching highlights included 18 Red-throated Divers, single Great Northern Diver, Great Crested Grebe and dark-bellied Brent Goose flying south, single Arctic Skua and Bonxie moving north and 1337 Little Gulls heading south. In addition, five Barnacle Geese flew south over the Headland, as did 65 Pink-footed Geese, a Little Egret and one Whimbrel.

Thornwick Pool hosted a Water Rail, Jack Snipe, four Snipe, single Tufted Duck and Wigeon, as well as 17 Teal. A dark juvenile Honey Buzzard flew south-east over Thornwick early afternoon and there was another good showing of Common Buzzards, with a minimum of seven recorded, and a single Hobby flew over the village.

A Barred Warbler was discovered at Old Fall Steps and still present in the evening, with one Yellow-browed Warbler remaining in Old Fall. Other migrant passerine migrants included 13 Goldcrests, 13 Chiffchaffs, one Redstart, two Stonechats, a Wheatear, 16 Siskins, 31 Lesser Redpolls and one Crossbill.

West of the Dykes, the Bempton/Buckton area attracted two Common Buzzards, two Stonechats together with single Redstart and Pied Flycatcher. Better still a Great Grey Shrike was located at Buckton during the evening.

Great Grey Shrike, Buckton by Mark Thomas

Great Grey Shrike, Buckton by Mark Thomas

Barred Warbler, Old Fall Steps, by Andy Hood

Barred Warbler, Old Fall Steps, by Andy Hood

Thursday, October 1st, 2015

It was a day of very light variable winds and sunny intervals. Seawatching highlights included one pale-bellied and seven dark-bellied Brent Geese flying north, four Arctic Skuas and 622 Little Gulls moving south. West of the Dykes, 94 Pink-footed Geese flew east over Buckton.

There was an influx of Common Buzzards, involving 14 over the Outer Head including a ‘kettle’ of 10 birds; five were noted west of the Dykes.

The Eastern Subalpine Warbler re-appeared on the south side of the Gorse Field this morning, having initially been seen on 1st September! A Tree Pipit overflew the village and two Yellow-browed Warblers were at Old Fall, with another three birds in the Buckton area.

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was trapped at YWT’s Living Seas Centre.

Common Buzzard, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Common Buzzard, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas