Tuesday, January 31st, 2017

Cloudy with the wind SSE force 6 and 5c.

Sea-watching was steady today but produced five Common Scoter south, six Red-throated Diver south and three north, 53 Fulmar south including a “dark morph” and 27 north, 230 Gannet south and 31 north.

On Thornwick Pools were 21 Teal, Pochard, Tufted Duck, at South Landing Curlew and Woodcock in its usual place and at South Dykes 55 Stock Dove, Tawny Owl, two Bullfinch and a Mistle Thrush singing.

Woodcock, South Landing, by Paul Reed

Monday, January 30th, 2017

A cloudy day with a north-east wind force 3 and 6c.

Sea-watching on the headland had 17 Red-throated Diver south and five north, 199 Gannet south and 135 north, a major influx of 25,000 Guillemot north, 99 Razorbill south and 83 north.

Around the observatory area were four White-fronted Geese at North Moor, 12 Wigeon, 73 Teal, 11 Common Scoter, ten Red-throated Diver, four Curlew, 11 Turnstone, Sanderling, Snipe, Barn Owl, two Stonechat at North Landing and 20 Linnet.

Female Stonechat by Geoff Carr

Sunday, January 29th, 2017

A brighter day with little cloud, winds south-westerly force 4 and a bleak 2c. 

The headland sea-watch recorded 21 Red-throated Diver south and two north, 16 Fulmar south including a “dark morph” and 32 north, 138 Gannet south and 254 north and a 2cy Glaucous Gull north.

At various sites were 19 Wigeon, 101 Teal, ten Common Scoter, two Barn Owl, Tawny Owl, two Great Spotted Woodpecker, two Peregrine, adult Iceland Gull below Breil Newk, six Rock Pipit, a male Black Redstart near High Stacks and 50 Linnet at Beacon Hill.

At Bempton Cliffs, a Pintail off the sea, 87 Herring Gull south and 130 north, 25 Red-throated Diver and 300 Gannet on the sea, two Short-eared Owl, two Stonechat and two Siskin at the feeding station.

Nearby Buckton had a Gadwall, Water Rail, Peregrine, two Stonechat and a male Bullfinch ringed. 

Short-eared Owl by Alan Walkington

Saturday, January 28th, 2017

A cloudy day with winds from the south force 4 and a temperature of 6c.

A morning sea-watch had eight Common Scoter north, 25 Red-throated Diver south and four north, 290 Gannet south and 84 north, 39 Great Black-backed Gull south, a 2cy Glaucous Gull south, 100 Herring Gull south and a Puffin. Off the headland on the sea were 15 Red-throated Diver and 25 Shag.

Two Pink-footed Goose were on Stainforth’s Flash, Pochard and Tufted Duck at Thornwick Pools. A Bittern flew west over Greenacres but was not re-located – the 4th Observatory record, also, 31 Lapwing, four Snipe, Barn Owl and two Kestrel.

At Speeton, seven Bean Geese were in fields north of the B1229 mid-afternoon.

Bean Geese at Speeton by John Harwood

Friday, January 27th, 2017

Initial full cloud cover but then clearing a little with the wind south force 4 and 4 c

The sea-watch highlights produced three Gadwall south, nine Common Scoter south, 35 Red-throated Diver south and three north, 184 Gannet south and 43 north, 81 Great Black-backed Gull south, 161 Herring Gull south and Lesser Black-backed Gull south. Present off the headland was a female type Long-tailed Duck, 21 Red-throated Diver, 75 Shag, three “sinensis” Cormorant, 30 Cormorant and a male Peregrine.

220 Grey-lag Goose roosted near Greenacres, ten Wigeon, 37 Teal, Pochard and Tufted Duck were on Thornwick Pools. 17 Red-throated Diver, 15 Turnstone, five Redshank and Woodcock at South Landing. 61 Lapwing in Micklemires Fields and three Golden Plover over. 12 Snipe and a Jack Snipe in the field back of Welkie Winds, 63 Moorhen throughout the area and a Barn Owl at Hartendale.

Stonepit Lane had 50 Yellowhammer and 18 Lapwing and nearby at Buckton eight White-fronted Geese flew off the sea and south-east, also, a Water Rail, 30 Corn Bunting, 120 Yellowhammer, 30 Tree Sparrow, Short-eared Owl and Peregrine.

White-fronted Geese by Paul Reed

Thursday, January 26th, 2017

A really cold day with winds from the south and complete cloud cover.

Birding was minimal today but there were eight Barnacle Geese with ten Mallard on a small pool near Beacon Hill. At South Dykes two Shelduck and a Peregrine.

Barnacle Geese by Mike Smith

Wednesday, January 25th, 2017

Light/moderate south-westerly winds, sunny intervals interspersed between spells of cloud and mist. Two Tufted Ducks flew south during a quiet seawatch, whilst single Water Rail and Woodcock were also located.

Sanderling, South Dykes, by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, January 24th, 2017

Another foggy day, with very limited visibility at times which meant observations were difficult; winds remained light from the south-west and temperatures barely reached 2 degrees C in the fog. A seawatch from North Landing was rewarded with a Scaup flying south and three Pochard. The only additional notworthy record related to a Woodcock near Old Fall.

West of the Dykes, a Short-eared Owl frequented Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Purple Sandpiper, High Stacks, by Andy Hood

Monday, January 23rd, 2017

It was a sunny day, with light winds. A Woodcock frequented Oceanview, whilst a Short-eared Owl overflew the golf course.

West of the Dykes, a Short-eared Owl was again at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Short-eared Owl, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, January 22nd, 2017

The weather consisted of largely bright skies in the morning, with increasing cloud later, light south-westerly winds and temperatures of only 2 degrees C. During a quiet seawatch, five Shelducks flying south represented the most notable record. Additional sightings included single Water Rail and Woodcock.

West of the Dykes, Bempton RSPB continued to host two Short-eared Owls.

Stonechat, Lighthouse grasslands, by Craig Thomas

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

The weather consisted of light easterly winds and overcast skies, with temperatures reaching 6 degrees C. During the seawatch, two Eiders flew north. whilst two Glaucous Gulls flew past the headland: an adult flew south, with a juvenile heading north.

Red-throated Divers, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Friday, January 20th, 2017

The weather consisted of light south-westerly winds and overcast skies. Seawatching highlights included 25 Pink-footed Geese, nine Shelduck and a Blue Fulmar flying north.

The Greylag flock in the North Marsh area contained two Tundra Bean Geese, eight White-fronted Geese and eight Pink-feet. Two Woodcock were recorded in South Landing and the male Black Redstart made an appearance near High Stacks.

Black Redstart, outer head, by Brett Richards

Thursday, January 19th, 2017

The weather remained unchanged, with very light south-westerly winds and a heavy overcast. During the seawatch, two Blue Fulmars lingered offshore. Sightings on the headland included the Pink-footed Goose and eight White-fronted Geese, whilst two Golden Plover and four Stonechats were also recorded.

Three Short-eared Owls hunted the grasslands around the Bempton Cliffs RSPB Centre.

Barn Owl, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

It was another overcast day, with light drizzle at times and light south-westerly winds. Seawatching highlights included a Great Northern Diver flying north and a juvenile Glaucous Gull moving in the opposite direction.

The eight White-fronted Geese and one Pink-foot remained. A Great Northern Diver was off South Landing, whilst eight Great Crested Grebes were between South Dykes and Sewerby. Thornwick Pools hosted a Water Rail, the Woodcock remained in South Landing, with a Stonechat on the Links Golf Course near South Dykes.

West of the Dykes, a Short-eared Owl was at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Short-eared Owl, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Tuesday, January 17th, 2017

The weather consisted of moderate south-westerly winds, overcast skies and occasional light rain. During the seawatch, 90 Pink-footed Geese flew north, seven Shelduck, an Eider and a male Goosander flew south. After a gap of several days, the two Black Redstarts reappeared at the Fog Station.

Eight White-fronted Geese and a Pink-foot toured the headland, whilst a Tufted Duck was a new arrival on Thornwick Pools. A Great Northern Diver was again between South Landing and South Dykes, whilst two Woodcock frequented South Landing.

West of the Dykes there were two Short-eared Owls at Bempton Cliffs RSPB, with another three birds at Buckton; additional sightings at the latter site included 40 Tree Sparrows, 70 Yellowhammers and 14 Corn Buntings. 

Tree Sparrow and Corn Bunting, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Monday, January 16th, 2017

An overcast day, with light drizzle periodically throughout and a light/moderate south-westerly wind. A Great Northern Diver and 12 Great Crested Grebes were on the sea between South Dykes and Sewerby. In the village, a Waxwing appeared along the road to South Landing.

West of the Dykes, two Short-eared Owls frequented Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Great Northern Diver, South Dykes, by Craig Thomas

Great Northern Diver, South Dykes, by Craig Thomas

Sunday, January 15th, 2017

A day of light south-westerly winds and overcast skies with drizzle. Seawatch highlights included a Blue Fulmar flying north and a minimum of one juvenile Glaucous Gull also heading north. The eight White-fronted Geese and Pink-footed Goose again accompanied the goose flock on the headland.

West of the Dykes, two Glaucous Gulls flew north at Bempton Cliffs RSPB, whilst a Short-eared Owl hunted the grasslands around the visitor centre.

Common Seal, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Common Seal, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Saturday, January 14th, 2017

After yesterday’s excessive conditions, north-westerly winds moderated and sunny intervals developed after a cloudy start. The seawatch proved to be productive, with the following highlights: two Great Northern Divers heading north, a Black-throated Diver south, a Sooty Shearwater north, three Glaucous Gulls north (two juveniles and an adult), an immature Pomarine Skua south and a Little Auk north. Three Long-tailed Ducks were again off the South Cliffs, two Woodcock were also recorded, including a single at South Landing, and a Snow Bunting frequented Beacon Hill.

Sanderling, South Dykes, by Paul Reed

Sanderling, South Dykes, by Paul Reed

Friday, January 13th, 2017

A day of extreme weather, with storm-force northerly winds, snow first thing, turning to sleet/rain later and huge seas. Seawatching was limited to two Velvet Scoters flying south, whilst a Great Northern Diver and three Long-tailed Ducks were off South Landing.

Purple Sandpiper, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Purple Sandpiper, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Thursday, January 12th, 2017

The weather consisted of light westerly winds and sunny intervals. A seawatch from South Landing was rewarded with two Black-throated Divers flying south, with a single off North Landing later. A total of 40 Red-throated Divers and a Great Crested Grebe also flew south.

Away from the sea, a Pink-footed Goose and eight White-fronted Geese toured the headland. A Woodcock showed well in South Landing.

Woodcock, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Woodcock, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

A day of gale force westerly winds and sunny skies. The seawatch was quiet apart from three Blue Fulmars that flew north, whilst a Great Northern Diver was off South Dykes. A single Pink-footed and eight White-fronted Geese toured the headland, whilst a Woodcock roosted at South Landing.

Lapwing, North Dykes, by Andrew Allport

Lapwing, North Dykes, by Andrew Allport

Tuesday, January 10th, 2017

The weather consisted of light westerly winds and sunshine for most of the day. Away from a very quiet seawatch, eight White-fronted Geese remained in residence, 74 Teal were located on the wetlands and South Landing hosted a Woodcock.

West of the Dykes, a juvenile Glaucous Gull flew north at Bempton Cliffs RSPB, where a Short-eared Owl continued to hunt grassland near the visitor centre.

Grey Seal, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Grey Seal, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Monday, January 9th, 2017

A dull and overcast day, with a moderate south-westerly wind. A juvenile Glaucous Gull that flew south during a relatively quiet morning represented the highlight of the seawatch. Elsewhere, two Shoveler visited Thornwick Pools.

West of the Dykes, a Short-eared Owl hunted grasslands at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Short-eared Owl, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Alan Walkington

Short-eared Owl, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, January 8th, 2017

Winds remained light and generally from the west during a largely sunny day. Seawatching produced eight Tufted Ducks, a Great Northern Diver and a juvenile Glaucous Gull flying north.

Eight White-fronted Geese frequented the North Marsh area, two Great Northern Divers, a Long-tailed Duck and nine Velvet Scoters were on the sea between South Landing and South Dykes. The male Black Redstart was again on the cliffs near the Fog Station.

Fulmar, outer head, by Andrew Allport

Fulmar, outer head, by Andrew Allport

Saturday, January 7th, 2017

The weather consisted of light north-westerly winds, overcast skies and light rain during the afternoon. During the seawatch, 48 Teal flew north, with single Eider and Velvet Scoter moving south.

Sightings from South Landing/South Dykes included two Great Northern Divers, 30 Red-throated Divers, six Great Crested Grebes and three Long-tailed Ducks. Three Jack Snipe and 13 Snipe were located on the headland, with a Black Redstart relocated between the Lighthouse and the Fog Station.

Teal, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Teal, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Friday, January 6th, 2017

An overcast day, with moderate south-westerly winds. Seawatching was rewarded with five Gadwall flying south, a Blue Fulmar north, a juvenile Glaucous Gull that eventually flew south (re-appearing at South Landing later) and a juvenile Iceland Gull that flew north.

A White-fronted Goose visited Thornwick Pools, whilst a Brent Goose and two Great Northern Divers were between South Landing and South Dykes.

On a positive note, last week’s Glaucous Gull (that was hit by a car) recovered sufficiently well enough to be released at Rufforth Tip near York today.

White-fronted Goose, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

White-fronted Goose, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Thursday, January 5th, 2017

The weather consisted of light north-westerly winds and sunny skies. During the seawatch, a Velvet Scoter, seven Long-tailed Ducks, six Goldeneye, a Blue Fulmar, two Manx Shearwaters, 384 Razorbills and three Puffins flew north, whilst a juvenile Glaucous Gull went south.

Six Long-tailed Ducks, a Goldeneye and four Great Northern Divers were on the sea off South Dykes/South Landing. Additional records included three Pink-footed Geese, 14 Wigeon, two Gadwall, 83 Teal, a Water Rail and one Woodcock.

Pink-footed Geese, outer head, by Andrew Allport

Pink-footed Geese, outer head, by Andrew Allport

Wednesday, January 4th, 2017

It was a day of gale force northerly winds and sunny intervals, with occasional light showers. Seawatching highlights included a Black-throated Diver flying south, a Great Northern Diver north and one Blue Fulmar also north.

The day’s highlight was the discovery of a Black-necked Grebe off South Dykes; one of only a handful of local records. Additional sightings off South Dykes included two Great Northern Divers, six Long-tailed Ducks, a Velvet Scoter and one Goldeneye. A Woodcock showed well in South Landing.

Woodcock, South Landing, by Paul Reed

Woodcock, South Landing, by Paul Reed

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017

The weather consisted of moderate/strong west-north-westerly winds and generally overcast skies. During the seawatch, 117 Common Scoters flew south, a Goldeneye headed north, two Great Northern Divers and a juvenile Iceland Gull flew south, whilst a Bonxie was in residence.

Eight White-fronted Geese remained on the head, together with a Pink-footed Goose, 14 Wigeon, 139 Teal, a Velvet Scoter, one Jack Snipe, a Woodcock and a lone Waxwing, the latter west over South Landing.

White-fronted Geese, North Marsh, by Andrew Allport

White-fronted Geese, North Marsh, by Andrew Allport

Iceland Gull, Fog Station, by Andrew Allport

Iceland Gull, Fog Station, by Andrew Allport

Monday, January 2nd, 2017

A day of strong northerly winds and sunshine after a succession of heavy showers first thing, although the temperature only reached 4 degrees C. Seawatching proved rewarding, with five dark-bellied and three pale-bellied Brent Geese, one Velvet Scoter and a Goldeneye flying north, single Black-throated Divers north and south, a Great Northern Diver north, two Blue Fulmars north, three Bonxies south and a juvenile Iceland Gull north.

Eight White-fronted Geese and a single Pink-foot accompanied the Greylag flock on the outer head. The sea between South Landing and South Dykes attracted two Great Northern Divers, two Great Crested Grebes, two pale-bellied Brent Geese, three Velvet Scoter, a Goldeneye and three Long-tailed Ducks. South Dykes beach hosted 12 Sanderling and a Grey Wagtail, whilst a Chiffchaff and 25 Long-tailed Tits were in the nearby ravine.

Great Northern Diver, South Dykes, by John Beaumont

Sunday, January 1st, 2017

The year started with strong northerly winds, rain until mid-morning and temperatures that reached 6 degrees C. Seawatching was relatively quiet, with 248 Fulmars moving north the most notable record.

Three White-fronted Geese (two adults and a juvenile) toured the outer head along with a lone Pink-footed Goose. Three Velvet Scoter were on the sea between South Dykes and Sewerby, with a Great Northern Diver off the former site. Single Gadwall, Shoveler and Merlin were also recorded off South Dykes. A juvenile Glaucous Gull rested on fields along Lighthouse Road, but then moved onto the road itself, where it was hit by a car and had to be taken into care.

Glaucous Gull, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

Glaucous Gull, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

Glaucous Gull, Lighthouse Road, by Max & Paula Webber

Glaucous Gull, Lighthouse Road, by Max & Paula Webber