Tuesday, February 28th, 2017

A day of light west-south-west winds and sunny skies. Seawatching was again disappointing, with two Eider flying north and six Common Scoters moving in the opposite direction. The freshwaters on the headland attracted two Shelduck, 21 Wigeon, 61 Teal, one Pochard and a Water Rail.

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

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

Monday, February 27th, 2017

It was overcast throughout, with a moderate south-westerly wind and spells of rain during the afternoon. A total of 68 Red-throated Divers and 11 Great Crested Grebes were off South Landing. One Woodcock (at Thornwick), two Fieldfare and a Redwing were potential migrants. Meanwhile, the male Black Redstart showed once more near the Fog Station.

Black Redstart, Fog Station, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, February 26th, 2017

The weather consisted strong south-westerly winds and overcast skies. During the seawatch, 78 Red-throated Divers flew south, with two Great Crested Grebes on the sea; an additional ten Great Crested Grebes were off South Dykes. A Long-tailed Duck flew past South Landing, where a Woodcock roosted in the ravine.

Stoat, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Alan Walkington

Saturday, February 25th, 2017

It was an overcast day with moderate south-westerly winds. During the seawatch, four Teal, six Common Scoter and 55 Red-throated Divers flew south, with two Great Crested Grebes offshore.

West of the Dykes, Buckton hosted a Water Rail.

Barn Owl, Flamborough, by Mike Smith

Friday, February 24th, 2017

A relatively bright day, with light north-westerly winds. Seawatching highlights included two Long-tailed Ducks flying north, a Pochard and two Eider south, 734 Fulmars north, a Blue Fulmar heading in the same direction, with a Bonxie moving south.

The sea between South Landing and South Dykes attracted 38 Red-throated Divers, six Great Crested Grebes, two Long-tailed Ducks, three Eider and two Goldeneye. Additional sightings included three Stonechats and a Scandinavian Rock Pipit.

West of the Dykes, Bempton Cliffs RSPB hosted three Short-eared Owls and 76 Corn Buntings.

‘sinensis’ Cormorant, North Cliffs, by Brett Richards

Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

The weather consisted of overcast skies, heavy rain later on, with a strong westerly wind. The seawatch was quiet, with single Shelduck and Eider passing the headland and increased numbers of Kittiwakes over recent days.

Pochard on Thornwick Pools by Andy Hood

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

A day of mostly cloud cover with winds south-west force 2 and 9c.

Seawatching at the headland had 27 Wigeon south and two north, 17 Red-throated Diver south and nine north, 200 Guillemot south and 150 north, 1600 Razorbill south and 65 north. Present were 65 Shag and a juvenile Glaucous Gull.

Around the other parts of the headland were 53 Greylag Goose, 80 Teal, 25 Mallard, four Eider, four Common Scoter, 20 Red-throated Diver, three Great Crested Grebe, 18 Curlew which appeared to land near Flatmere, 34 Turnstone, Sanderling, Barn Owl, three Kestrel and four Rock Pipit.

At Bempton were 200 Fulmar, 500 Gannet, a juvenile Glaucous Gull, two Peregrine, Short-eared Owl, eleven Skylark, Stonechat, 70 Tree Sparrow, four Rock Pipit, 45 Linnet, Siskin and 85 Corn Bunting and 37 Yellowhammer south of Staple Newk. Eleven Harbour Porpoise were out from the cliffs.

Barn Owl by Andrew Allport

Tuesday, February 21st, 2017

After a bright start, cloud cover increased during the afternoon, whilst brisk westerly winds established. Sightings from the South Landing area included a Scandinavian Rock Pipit starting to attain summer plumage, one Lapland Bunting and a Corn Bunting, whilst a Goldcrest on Church Lane may have been an early migrant.

Bempton Cliffs RSPB attracted two Short-eared Owls, 48 Yellowhammers and 59 Corn Buntings. There was also an appreciable increase in Kittiwake numbers, with 807 moving north-west.

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

Monday, February 20th, 2017

The weather consisted of generally overcast skies and moderate/strong south-westerly winds. Seawatching was again quiet and included two Eiders heading south and a Purple Sandpiper moving north.

Eight Great Crested Grebes were off South Landing, with at least six Lapland Buntings visible from the cliff-top path immediately east of there. Wildfowl records included 113 Teal, 25 Wigeon and the long-staying Pochard. A juvenile Glaucous Gull rested on fields near North Marsh, whilst the male Black Redstart made one of its sporadic appearances near the Fog Station.

Bempton Cliffs RSPB attracted a single Short-eared Owl.

Glaucous Gull, North Marsh, by Brett Richards

Black Redstart, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Sunday, February 19th, 2017

It was generally sunny, with moderate westerly winds. Five Pink-footed Geese accompanied the Greylag flock, the drake Pochard and three Snipe remained in residence at Thornwick Pools, whilst 12 Lapland Buntings were again near South Landing.

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

Lapland Buntings, near South Landing, by Jo Hood

Saturday, February 18th, 2017

After a relatively bright start, increasing cloud developed, with winds remaining in the south-west. During the seawatch, 85 Pink-footed Geese flew north during a quiet morning. Sightings from the South Landing area included five Great Crested Grebes, a Woodcock and three Lapland Buntings, whilst Thornwick Pools hosted Tufted Duck and Pochard.

Pochard and Tufted Duck, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Friday, February 17th, 2017

Sunshine and light north-westerlies dominated. South-bound seawatching highlights, unless stated, included 27 Wigeon, six Mallard, two Common Scoter (36 north), 19 Red-throated Diver (eight north) and a single Great Northern Diver north.

On land, the Lapland Bunting flock increased to 12 and continued to favour the ploughed field east of South Landing. A Black Redstart was discovered near the fogstation and 13 European White-fronted Geese and five Pink-footed Geese were on the Outer Head.

Two Short-eared Owl were hunting over grassland at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Lapland Bunting, by Andy Hood

Thursday, February 16th, 2017

*Belated news of eight Lapland Buntings yesterday in a ploughed cliff-top field east of South Landing*

A mostly overcast day with moderate south-westerlies and some light rain mid afternoon onwards. Seawatching highlights saw a single Teal north, two Eider north, nine Red-throated Diver south (one north), six Kittiwake and two Common Gull north and a single Lapland Bunting overflew the fogstation.

Up to ten Lapland Buntings were present between South Landing and Booted Gully.

The three Short-eared Owls were again at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

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

Wednesday, February 15th, 2017

Visibility fluctuated throughout the day as a sea fret lingered along the coast, accompanied by gentle south-south-westerlies. Seawatching produced a single Shelduck south, single Eider north, two Common Scoter south, 22 Red-throated Diver south and a single Kittiwake south.

The day’s highlight came in the form of an adult male Black Redstart in the centre of Flamborough village. The Woodcock remained in its favoured South Landing roost site.

At Bempton Cliffs RSPB, the three Short-eared Owls continued to show throughout the day; two pairs of Goosander overflew the reserve.

Reed Bunting, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, February 14th, 2017

A day of settled weather with light to moderate south-westerlies. The mornings seawatch highlights consisted of a blue phase Fulmar south with 33 pale phase (one north), a juvenile Glaucous Gull south, two Common Scoter and five Red-throated Diver south.

This afternoon, another/the same juvenile Glaucous Gull flew north from Northcliff Marsh. A Bar-tailed Godwit overflew Oceanview Farm, a Grey Wagtail was noted on the Outer Head as were 13 White-fronted Geese, with another at Water Lane, and one wintering Chiffchaff was present.

West of the dyke, Bempton Cliffs RSPB hosted a juvenile Glaucous Gull, three Short-eared Owls, a notable count of six Stonechat and 10 Red-throated Diver.

Great Spotted Woodpecker, Outer Head, by Mike Smith

Monday, February 13th, 2017

A break from rain and sleet today saw sunshine and blue skies for the most part, accopmanied by a fresh easterly force five. Seawatching counts included five Common Scoter north, 37 Red-throated Diver south (13 north), two Great Crested Grebe south, 60 Fulmar south (13 north) and three Kittiwake south (nine north).

At South Landing the Woodcock continued its stay and at Bempton Cliffs RSPB a single Short-eared Owl was present.

Woodcock, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, February 12th, 2017

Persistent rain and sleet continued for much of the day, with a strong north easterly breeze.

It was an exceptional day for Glaucous Gull records with a minimum of three at Bempton and a single at South Landing. South Landing also held a Long-tailed Duck and a Woodcock.

Counts from the sea watch included 47 Red-throated Diver, 11 Fulmar, 6 Gannet, 6 Kittiwake and a single Common Scoter.

Cormorant by Alan Walkington.

Saturday, February 11th, 2017

Wintery showers again persisted throughout the day. Wind was a moderate north easterly.

13 Russian White-fronted Geese toured the headland, along with five Pink-feet and 82 Greylags. Other wildfowl counts included 25 Wigeon, 40 Teal and two Shelduck. Two Gadwall were on Buckton Pond.

On the sea watch 41 Red-throated Diver, 161 Fulmar, 575 Gannet, 7 Razorbills, 75 Shag and a Kittiwake were noted.

Gadwall, Buckton pond by Brett Richards.

Friday, February 10th, 2017

Frequent hail and snow showers continued throughout the day. Wind was a moderate northerly.

Highlights on the sea watch included 11 Red-throated Diver, 60 Fulmar, 343 Gannet and 5 Kittiwake. Additionally, two Long-tailed Duck were on the sea off Booted Gully.

It was no change on the land; the Woodcock remained at South Landing, the Pochard, Tufted Duck and 2 Shelduck were still at Thornwick pool and Oceanview held 63 Reed Bunting, 29 Yellowhammer and 40 Tree Sparrow.

Reed Bunting, Thornwick Pools by Craig Thomas.

Thursday, February 9th, 2017

Weather was overcast throughout the day, with wintery showers at times. Wind was a moderate easterly.

It was a relatively quiet day. Sea watching highlights amounted to 9 Red-throated Diver, 52 Fulmar, 294 Gannet, 4 Kittiwake and 18 Shag.

On the land, 12 Red-legged Partridge and a Woodcock remained at South Landing. Thornwick pool held on to its 2 Shelduck, Pochard and Tufted Duck, whilst 23 Wigeon and 21 Teal were present around the head.

Teal, Thornwick pools by Alan Walkington.

Wednesday, February 8th, 2017

A cloudy and cold day, with moderate easterly wind.

A second calendar year Glaucous Gull flew south on the mornings sea watch. Other sea watch counts included 12 Red-throated Diver, 157 Gannet and a single Puffin.

On the land, a pair of Shelduck were at Thornwick pool along with the continuing Pochard and Tufted Duck. A particularly noteworthy count of 30 Lapwing flew over Hartendale. Bempton held another juvenile Glaucous Gull and 60 Corn Bunting.

Tree Sparrow, Buckton by Paul Reed.

Tuesday, February 7th, 2017

Rain for much of the morning, easing off towards the afternoon. Wind was a light to moderate south easterly.

Today’s highlights included a Black Redstart in the village, a single adult Russian White-fronted Goose with Greylags on the flashes adjacent to Water Lane and a Short-eared Owl at Northcliffe. Both drake Pochard and female Tufted Duck remained in residence at Thornwick pool, as did the Woodcock at South Landing.

A notable flock of buntings was present at Oceanview, containing 63 Reed Bunting and 28 Yellowhammer.

Russian White-fronted Goose, Water Lane by Brett Richards.

Monday, February 6th, 2017

A sunny start, gradually clouded over during the day. Wind was a light westerly to south westerly.

The days highlight pertained to ten White-beaked Dolphin which headed north off the fog station at 8:30. Other sea watch highlights included a single Manx Shearwater north, 32 RT Diver, 7 Common Scoter, 95 Fulmar, 18 Kittiwake and 260 Gannet.

On the land, 11 Russian White-fronted Geese remained around the Headland, with a male Pochard and female Tufted Duck at Thornwick pool. Two Woodcock were also noted.

Rock Pipit, South Landing by Alan Walkington.

Sunday, February 5th, 2017

A cloudy start with some mist patches, giving way to sunny skies by late morning. Wind was a light southerly, turning westerly by the evening.

Yet another juvenile Glaucous Gull was recorded, this time at Bempton. The bird was seen eating a Guillemot before flying off north west. Up to four Short-eared Owl and a Stonechat were also in the Bempton area. Seabirds were back on the cliffs with 3000 Guillemot, 200 Razorbills, 200 Gannet, 150 Fulmar and 20 Kittiwake counted.

Elsewhere, two overwintering Chiffchaff were at Hartendale. Four Great Spotted Woodpecker were heard drumming at South dykes, whilst 12 Red-legged Partridge at the same location was a notable count. The Woodcock remained in the ravine at South Landing, with 7 Common Scoter and 3 GC Grebe offshore.

Short-eared Owl, Bempton by Alan Walkington.

Saturday, February 4th, 2017

Weather was sunny throughout, with a moderate southerly wind, which eased during the day.

Highlights of the mornings sea watch included a second calendar year Glaucous Gull north, 4 Velvet Scoter north and 3 Goosander south.

Another 1st winter Glaucous Gull was off South Landing. 14 Russian White-fronted Geese toured the headland, whilst a Short-eared Owl was just west of the Golf course. Up to six Short-eared Owl were in the Bempton/Buckton area.

Kestrel at the lighthouse, Alan Walkington.

Friday, February 3rd, 2017

A clear day with little cloud, wind south force 5 and temperature 8c.

Morning sea-watching off the headland recorded four Common Scoter south, three Red-throated Diver south and ten north, nine Fulmar south and 88 north, 203 Gannet south and 60 north, 2cy Glaucous Gull north, 176 Herring Gull south and 40 north, adult Lesser Black-backed Gull (graellsii) north  and five Skylark south.

Highlights inland were five Pink-footed Goose, 13 European White-fronted Goose, 90 Grey-lag goose, Pochard, Tufted Duck, 51 Teal, two Water Rail (Thornwick Pools and Greenacres), two Curlew, Woodcock, Barn Owl, two Kestrel, ten Skylark, seven Long-tailed Tit, 21 Robin, female Stonechat, 13 Tree Sparrow and 30 Linnet.

At nearby Bempton, two Short-eared Owl hunting late afternoon.

Short-eared Owl at Bempton by Alan Walkington

Thursday, February 2nd, 2017

A generally overcast day but with some sun later, wind from the south-east force 6 and 8c.

A couple of hours sea-watching in the morning had 204 Gannet south and 109 north, 234 Herring Gull south and 11 north. Present off the headland were ten Red-throated Diver, 65 Shag, nine Turnstone and 1000s of Guillemot moving both south and north.

Elsewhere, 49 Grey-lag Goose, 15 Wigeon, 53 Teal, Pochard, Sparrowhawk, Buzzard, Peregrine, 35 Stock Dove at South Dykes and 18 Long-tailed Tit in the area.

At Bempton, a juvenile Glaucous Gull flew east past Staple Newk.

Peregrine by Craig Thomas

Wednesday, February 1st, 2017

Minimal birding in the recording area today with Pochard still on Thornwick Pools, three Oystercatcher, Curlew, Barn Owl Thornwick Pools, Great Spotted Woodpecker, 11 Long-tailed Tit, Grey Wagtail and eight Yellowhammer.

Yellowhammer by Craig Thomas