Saturday, March 25th, 2017

Sunshine throughout, with virtually no wind and temperatures in the region of 12 degrees C. During the seawatch, 11 Eiders flew south and three Velvet Scoters headed north.

A Short-eared Owl was observed at Oceanview. However, the day’s highlight related to a Little Bunting that appeared briefly in a garden on the Outer Head before flying off. Additional passerine interest included 21 Chiffchaffs, 30 Goldcrests and five Lapland Buntings.

Records from Buckton included seven Snipe, a Jack Snipe, two Short-eared Owls and a Coal Tit, the latter less than annual there. 

A whole colony count of ‘rafting’ Puffins carried out over the last couple of days located 2868 individuals; as additional birds were on the cliffs this indicates a breeding population exceeding 1500 pairs.

Short-eared Owl, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Mike Smith

Friday, March 24th, 2017

A spring-like day, with almost unbroken sunshine, although a light north-easterly wind kept temperatures in check. Four Common Buzzards toured the headland, a Short-eared Owl hunted North Marsh and a Sandwich Tern flew over the outer head. Passerine migrants included 29 Goldcrests, 14 Chiffchaff, 21 Pied Wagtails, four Siskin and one Brambling.

West of the Dykes, Bempton Cliffs RSPB attracted two Short-eared Owls and another was located along the cliff-top at Speeton.

Chiffchaff, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

The weather consisted of moderate north-easterly winds and relatively sunny skies, with temperatures reaching 9 degrees C. During the seawatch, single Blue Fulmar and Manx Shearwater flew north, as did 94 Puffins. The day’s highlight was a juvenile Glaucous Gull located near North Marsh. Sightings from South Dykes included a Scandinavian Rock Pipit, a Redwing and three Treecreepers. Four Goldcrests and four Chiffchaff were present, whilst a Brambling visited a village garden.

Razorbill, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

After an overcast start to the day, rain arrived late afternoon, with moderate south-south-easterly winds throughout. During the seawatch, three Velvet Scoters flew north. Passerine migrants included six Chiffchaffs and a Brambling. 

Skylark, Thornwick, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017

It was a sunny, but relatively cold day, with strong westerly winds. Seawatching was quiet, with the only notable record relating to a Pink-footed Goose that flew south. Three Common Buzzards frequented the North Dykes area, whilst an influx of Chiffchaffs took place, with eight located despite the windy conditions. Other passerine migrants included single figures of Goldcrest, Redwing and Fieldfare.

Guillemots, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Don Hustings

Monday, March 20th, 2017

Sporadic rain and overcast skies featured throughout the day, with moderate south-west winds. The Long-tailed Duck remained off South Landing, with the Little Grebe still at North Marsh. Single Scandinavian Rock Pipit and Chiffchaff were also recorded.

West of the Dykes, 60 Yellowhammers were recorded near Bempton.

Puffin, Fog Station, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, March 19th, 2017

It was generally an overcast day, with periods of rain and moderate westerly winds. Sightings from South Landing included one Long-tailed Duck, a 3rd calendar-year Mediterranean Gull flying south and three Scandinavian Rock Pipits. Passerine migrants included 17 Fieldfare, two Redwing, eight Goldcrests and three Chiffchaffs.

West of the Dykes, Bempton Cliffs RSPB hosted Short-eared Owl, Chiffchaff and 15 Corn Buntings.

Short-eared Owl, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Don Hustings

Saturday, March 18th, 2017

Another dull day, with persistent drizzle and light north-west winds. A relatively quiet day, with single Great Northern Diver and Long-tailed Duck off South Landing and four Scandinavian Rock Pipits there. A Peregrine also flew over carrying a Woodcock, whilst additional sightings included 12 Goldcrests scattered around the headland.

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, South Landing, by Brett Richards

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, South Landing, by Brett Richards

Friday, March 17th, 2017

It was an overcast day, with moderate westerly winds. After the spring-like weather of recent days, changing conditions had a dramatic effect. Even the auks had largely departed from the cliffs, with low hundreds present instead of many thousands. The only summer migrant remaining was a single Chiffchaff, with a handful of Goldcrests also present.

Fieldfare, Flamborough, by Andy Hood

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

The weather consisted of sunny skies and moderate south-south-west winds. Sightings included two Shelduck, five Wigeon, 59 Teal, two Tufted Ducks and a Little Grebe. There was an appreciable increase in Meadow Pipits, with 152 recorded, including the majority moving west, seven Goldcrest, a Chiffchaff, the year’s first Wheatear and five Siskin.

Wheatear, Thornwick, by Andy Hood

Wheatear, Thornwick, by Brett Richards

Wednesday, March 15th, 2017

Another largely bright day, with light west-south-westerly winds. During the seawatch, three Shelduck flew south, with four Eider and a Manx Shearwater moving north.

A Hooded Crow overflew the outer head, a male Black Redstart appeared at Oceanview, and additional migrants included a Woodcock, 11 Goldcrests, a Chiffchaff, four Siskin and two Lapland Buntings.

West of the Dykes, two Short-eared Owls were recorded at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Black Redstart, Fog Station, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, March 14th, 2017

A bright day, with a moderate south-westerly wind and temperatures eventually attaining 14 degrees C. During the seawatch, a juvenile Iceland Gull rested on the sea off the Fog Station before heading for High Stacks.

However, the most notable sighting related to two House Martins observed south of the Lighthouse. Additional records included single Woodcock, Fieldfare and Redwing, the male Black Redstart at the Fog Station and a lone Lapland Bunting.

Iceland Gull, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Iceland Gull, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Monday, March 13th, 2017

It was a day of light south-westerly winds, a largely sunny morning followed by a cloudier afternoon. A lone Barnacle Goose joined the Greylag flock, one Long-tailed Duck remained off South Landing, whilst a Little Grebe at North Marsh was the first of the year. Better still, a Red Kite toured the headland and accompanied the Raven at one point; the latter present for its second day. Five Goldcrests, a Chiffchaff and five Siskins were new, with 1200 Starlings also gathering. The male Black Redstart showed well at the Fog Station.

West of the Dykes, Short-eared Owls continued to show at Bempton Cliffs RSPB and the Hooded Crow again fed on the beach at Sewerby.

Red Kite and Raven, outer head, by James Spencer

Red Kite, outer head, by James Spencer

Sunday, March 12th, 2017

A light south-westerly wind was a constant, but periods of heavy overcast, mist, thick fog and even sunshine were all periodic. Seawatching highlights included a dark-bellied Brent Goose flying south, two Gadwall north and a drake Goosander south. In addition, the male Black Redstart remained around the Fog Station.

The day’s highlight consisted a Raven which eventually settled in fields north of Lighthouse Road; a species with only a handful of previous records. Other migrants included three Golden Plover and the year’s first Brambling. 

West of the Dykes, records included two Short-eared Owls and 87 Corn Buntings at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Raven, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

Saturday, March 11th, 2017

An overcast day, with light south-westerly winds. During the seawatch, four Eiders flew north, with 147 Puffins also recorded, including two back on the cliffs.

A minimum 40 Purple Sandpipers frequented the outer head, with 13 Snipe recorded at Thornwick. A Hooded Crow toured the outer head and presumably the same individual then returned to Sewerby. Six Chiffchaffs made landfall, with birds scattered between Thornwick Pools and High Stacks. The male Black Redstart remained as elusive as ever at the Fog Station, whilst migrants included two Goldcrests and a Siskin.

West of the Dykes, a drake Gadwall was on Buckton Pond, with 30 Yellowhammers nearby.

Peregrine, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

Friday, March 10th, 2017

The weather consisted of overcast skies and increasing southerly winds, with rain during the afternoon. During the seawatch, five Eiders flew north and a Pochard headed south.

The male Black Redstart remained on the outer head, but a Chiffchaff in the Golf Course Willows was new, with eight Crossbill and a Lapland Bunting recorded at Oceanview.

West of the Dykes, Bempton Cliffs RSPB attracted two Short-eared Owls and 60 Corn Buntings. In addition, the Hooded Crow remained in the vicinity of the beach at Sewerby.

Hooded Crow, Sewerby, by Andy Hood

Thursday, March 9th, 2017

A moderate north-westerly wind strengthened during the day, which was largely sunny. During the seawatch, 33 Red-throated Divers and three Little Gulls flew south, with two Crossbills heading north. A Long-tailed Duck remained off South Landing, whilst Thornwick Pools hosted two Gadwall, a Pochard and five Snipe. Two Lapland Buntings were on stubble near South Landing.

Bullfinch, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

An overcast start gave way to sunshine with light west-north-westerlies throughout. Seawatching highlights consisted of 25 Wigeon south, a single Velvet Scoter and two Common Scoter south, 26 Red-throated Diver south (two north), 25 Fulmar north and 10’s of thousands of Guillemot all southbound.

The Long-tailed Duck remained off South Landing with the Woodcock still nearby. The adult male Black Redstart was still present in and around the Fog Station, three Snipe were at Thornwick Pools, a single Lapland Bunting overflew Oceanview Farm and three scandinavian Rock Pipit were noted on the headland.

Fulmar, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, March 7th, 2017

Another spring-like day, with sunny skies and light west-north-westerly winds. A Long-tailed Duck remained on the sea off South Landing, where a Firecrest represented the first spring migrant. The male Black Redstart made another appearance at the Fog Station, with a Scandinavian Rock Pipit near North Marsh. Four Siskins signified a light passage, whilst six Lapland Buntings included four birds near North Marsh, where there was also a single Snow Bunting.

West of the Dykes, three Short-eared Owls were present at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Black Redstart, Fog Station, by Alan Walkington

Monday, March 6th, 2017

An overcast day, with light north-westerly winds. Seawatching highlights included single Pochard and Velvet Scoter flying south, a Bonxie south and 120 Puffins. A total of 30 Great Crested Grebes between South Landing and Sewerby represented a good local count, with two Long-tailed Ducks also present. The Woodcock again roosted in South Landing, whilst two pairs of Stonechat were on the outer head.

Stonechat, outer head, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, March 5th, 2017

A day of south-westerly winds, bright skies in the morning and rain during the afternoon. Puffins continued to increase, with 11 seen off the headland and 12 at Bempton Cliffs. Twenty-three Teal and a Pochard frequented the freshwaters, a Lesser Black-backed Gull represented a migrant, whilst the male Black Redstart re-appeared on the cliff edge near the Fog Station.

West of the Dykes, three Short-eared Owls hunted the grasslands at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

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

Saturday, March 4th, 2017

After a misty start, the weather improved significantly, with sunny intervals and light winds resulting in spring-like conditions. A Long-tailed Duck was on the sea off South Landing, together with two Eider, whilst ten Great Crested Grebes were between the Fog Station and South Dykes. The male Black Redstart was seen again at the Fog Station.

West of the Dykes, two Puffins had returned to Bempton Cliffs, with four Short-eared Owls and 20 Corn Buntings at Buckton.

Cormorant, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Friday, March 3rd, 2017

The weather consisted of light south-west winds, overcast skies and then rain during the afternoon. Seawatch highlights included 44 Pink-footed Geese flying north and a juvenile Glaucous Gull moving in the opposite direction.

Two Long-tailed Ducks were off South Landing, where the Woodcock showed well, a Water Rail frequented Thornwick Pools and the male Black Redstart remained at the Fog Station.

Pochard, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Thursday, March 2nd, 2017

It proved to be a relatively bright day, with temperatures attaining 9 degrees C in a moderate west-north-westerly wind. A single Eider and eight Common Scoters flew south on the seawatch, with 154 Fulmars heading north. The male Black Redstart appeared once again along the cliff edge near the Fog Station.

West of the Dykes, at least one Short-eared Owl remained at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Grey Seal, off Fog Station, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, March 1st, 2017

The weather consisted of largely sunny skies, although cloud increased later in the day and a light/moderate west-south-west wind. The usual wildfowl remained in residence including the long-staying Pochard at Thornwick Pools. West of the Dykes, a Hooded Crow frequented Sewerby. 

Guillemots, Outer Head, by Craig Thomas