Sunday, April 30th, 2017

The weather consisted of moderate/strong south-easterly winds and sunny spells. Although there wasn’t a morning seawatch, a brief watch early afternoon was rewarded with a Pochard, seven Bar-tailed Godwits, five Arctic Terns and 35 Sandwich Terns all flying south.

A Barnacle Goose frequented North Marsh early morning. Thornwick Pools attracted 20 Bar-tailed Godwits (14 on the pool, with another six circling low before heading off), three Whimbrel, a Knot, two Sanderling, a Common Sandpiper, seven Dunlin, four Snipe and a White Wagtail. South Landing hosted an additional ten Bar-tailed Godwits, a Whimbrel and two Great Crested Grebes, whilst a first-summer Mediterranean Gull was on the sea off Old Fall.

Passerines were hard to find in the strong wind, although a Red-breasted Flycatcher moved through gardens on the outer head in the middle of the day and a male Redstart was located near Old Fall Steps.

West of the Dykes, Buckton attracted two Grey Partridges, five Bar-tailed Godwits (heading south-east), a Short-eared Owl, 23 Wheatear, two Whinchat and two Fieldfare. Two Curlew, a Redshank, one Green Sandpiper and two Dunlin frequented Buckton Pond. Bempton Cliffs attracted single Marsh Harrier and Short-eared Owl.

Dunlin, Buckton Pond, by Mark Thomas

Whinchat, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Wheatear, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Bar-tailed Godwits, Thornwick Pools, by Karen Bradley

Whimbrel, Thornwick Pools, by Karen Bradley

Sanderling, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Saturday, April 29th, 2017

It was an overcast day, with south-easterly winds that strengthened during the day. Seawatching highlights included 80 Barnacle Geese, a summer-plumaged Great Northern Diver, seven Common Terns, two Arctic Terns and 36 Sandwich Terns flying north, with a Bar-tailed Godwit and two Whimbrel heading south.

A Little Grebe visited North Marsh, single Barnacle and White-fronted Geese frequented the Micklemires/Thornwick area, with the Pools attracting two Little Ringed Plovers, four Bar-tailed Godwits, two Snipe, one Dunlin and a Greenshank. Three Bar-tailed Godwits and four Whimbrel were present at South Landing.

Passerine migrants included a Hooded Crow on the Golf Course, a Ring Ouzel over Thornwick, ten Whitethroats, three Lesser Whitethroats, six Sedge Warblers, 14 Wheatear, two White Wagtails and three Yellow Wagtails.

West of the Dykes, a Marsh Harrier, and lone Tree Pipit and Ring Ouzel were present at Buckton.

Tree Pipit ringed at Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Bar-tailed Godwits, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Greenshank, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

White Wagtail, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Friday, April 28th, 2017

It was generally overcast, with occasional brighter spells and moderate northerly winds. Wader interest included three Whimbrel, two Little Ringed Plovers and 87 Turnstone. Three House Martins arrived in the village during a day that featured 27 Blackcaps, 16 Chiffchaffs, five Willow Warblers, five Lesser Whitethroats, nine Whitethroats, five Sedge Warblers, a Ring Ouzel, two Fieldfare and a Redwing.

West of the Dykes, two Great Crested Grebes and ten Sanderling were noted at Sewerby.

Kestrel, outer head, by Andrew Allport

Treecreeper, South Landing, by June & Malcolm Fox

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

Winds remained from a general north-westerly direction, with heavy showers during an overcast morning, with brighter spells later. During the seawatch, 13 Common Scoter and 11 Sandwich Terns flew north, with an Eider heading south.

Seven Whimbrel, a Bar-tailed Godwit and one Purple Sandpiper were on the headland. Passerine interest included eight Wheatears and two Fieldfare.

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

Little Ringed Plover, Thornwick Pools, by Don Hustings

Greenfinch, Thornwick, by Don Hustings

Wednesday, April 26th, 2017

The morning featured very strong north-easterly winds that gradually abated later in the day. Temperatures often hovered around 4 degrees C, even in the middle of the day, although it was largely sunny. Seawatching highlights included a Great Northern Diver, five Manx Shearwaters, a Little Gull and three Sandwich Terns flying north.

Sightings on the headland itself included two Bar-tailed Godwits, four Whimbrel, the Grasshopper Warbler near South Dykes, three Fieldfare and a White Wagtail.

Bar-tailed Godwit, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Whimbrel, Micklemires, by Andy Hood

Hare, Thornwick, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, April 25th, 2017

The weather consisted of very strong northerly winds and occasional heavy showers, often wintry in nature. During the seawatch, 463 Fulmars flew north, as did two Blue Fulmars and one Whimbrel.

Birding on the headland proved very difficult given the conditions, although four Whimbrel and two Bar-tailed Godwits were present. West of the Dykes, a Short-eared Owl frequented Buckton.

Bar-tailed Godwit, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Monday, April 24th, 2017

Northerly winds strengthened during a day that featured showers and temperatures that dropped to 5 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included 12 Common Scoters flying south, two Whimbrel and two Common Terns north, with eight Sandwich Terns south.

The White-fronted Goose was relocated on Thornwick Fishing Lake and seven Whimbrel were on the headland. A total of 12 Wheatears were still present, whilst a Grasshopper Warbler reeling on the west side of South Dykes was new.

White-fronted Goose, Thornwick, by Andy Hood

White-fronted Goose, Thornwick, by Brett Richards

Grasshopper Warbler, South Dykes, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, April 23rd, 2017

Winds were light and generally with a westerly component, whilst sunny intervals also featured throughout much of the day. Seawatching produced 75 Common Scoter, 328 Fulmars, four Manx Shearwaters, a Whimbrel and 27 Sandwich Terns all flying north.

In addition, a Great Northern Diver flew north alongside the cliffs and four Little Ringed Plovers and three Whimbrel were logged. Passerine migrants included 13 Willow Warblers, eight Whitethroats, two Fieldfare, one Ring Ouzel, a male Black Redstart, 11 Wheatears and five White Wagtails.

Little Ringed Plover, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Saturday, April 22nd, 2017

It was a day of moderate north-westerly winds, generally cloudy skies with periodic drizzle. Seawatching highlights included two Eiders flying south, a Manx Shearwater north, 11 Sandwich Terns, a Common Tern and 112 Puffins also north.

A White-fronted Goose frequented fields near Micklemires (opposite the entrance to Thornwick CP), three Tufted Ducks were on North Marsh, a Green Sandpiper on Thornwick Pools, three Whimbrel on the Golf Course and 44 Turnstones at South Landing. Passerine migrants included a White Wagtail, one Grey Wagtail and a Garden Warbler.

Wheatear, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Greenland Wheatear, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Oil Beetle, Flamborough, by Andy Hood

Friday, April 21st, 2017

Moderate south-westerly winds strengthened slightly, and had a more westerly component later, in a day that featured sunny spells. An appreciable arrival of migrants occurred, including 58 Wheatears. Additional tallies included a male Merlin, a Green Sandpiper at Thornwick Pools, three Whimbrel, two Hooded Crows together near the golf course, a Grasshopper Warbler near Old Fall, one Sedge Warbler, a Black Redstart, a White Wagtail, three Yellow Wagtails and a Mealy Redpoll near the Lighthouse. 

West of the Dykes, a Hobby sparred with local Peregrines at Buckton.

Chiffchaff, South Dykes, by Alan Walkington

Thursday, April 20th, 2017

After a brief spell of south-westerlies yesterday, winds resumed back to the dominant north-westerlies of late, though gentle, with sunny spells and highs of 15°C.

Between Old fall and the Outer Head a single Redstart, three Whitethroat, 11 each of Chiffchaff and Willow Warbler, eight Blackcap, four Yellow Wagtail, four Wheatear, single Fieldfare and three Redwing were noted. A Hooded Crow frequented bare fields near Northcliffe Marsh and Thornwick Pools held four Little Ringed Plover and three Snipe. 

A Whimbrel was opposite Thornwick Holiday Camp, with another at Oceanview. Five Wheatear were also present at the latter site.

Wheatear, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, April 19th, 2017

The weather consisted of moderate south-westerly winds and, although the day started with sunshine, it was generally overcast. During the seawatch, 30 Common Scoters flew south, two Whimbrel went north, 30 Sandwich Terns were also logged, whilst a Bonxie headed south.

Two Grey Partridge on the outer head represented a good record of an ever scarcer species. Single Marsh Harrier and Grey Plover also flew south there. The switch in wind direction also prompted the arrival of migrants including ten Willow Warblers, single Lesser Whitethroat, Whitethroat and Sedge Warblers, three Yellow Wagtails, two White Wagtails, a Redwing and seven Wheatears. The Grasshopper Warbler remained at South Dykes.

Bempton Cliffs RSPB also attracted one Short-eared Owl and a Lesser Whitethroat. 

Yellow Wagtail, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

Another largely sunny day, with a moderate north-westerly wind again suppressing temperatures. Seawatching highlights included two Velvet Scoters and five Manx Shearwaters flying north and two Sandwich Terns moving south.

A pair of Shoveler, a pair of Red-breasted Merganser and six Eiders sheltered between South Landing and South Dykes. Thornwick Pools hosted three Snipe, three Little Ringed Plovers and a Snipe. The Grasshopper Warbler remained in residence at South Dykes, whilst a White Wagtail was on the nearby golf links; another White Wagtail frequented the golf course on the outer head. 

Little Ringed Plover, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Monday, April 17th, 2017

It was a largely sunny day, with light/moderate northerly winds. Seawatching was rewarded with three Manx Shearwaters, 33 Sandwich Terns, a Common Tern and an Arctic Tern all flying north.

Thornwick Pools again hosted duos of Little Ringed Plover, Snipe and Dunlin, with a single Grey Plover flying over. South Landing attracted a lone Ringed Plover.

West of the Dykes, Buckton Pond hosted a Green Sandpiper, with a Whitethroat and two Brambling nearby. Two Short-eared Owls were at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Dunlin, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

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

Cuckoo Bee, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

The weather consisted of light north-north-west winds, with sunny intervals during the morning and light rain in the afternoon. Seawatching highlights included a Blue Fulmar, 341 Fulmars, two Manx Shearwaters and three Sandwich Terns flying north.  

Thornwick Pools attracted two Little Ringed Plovers, two Dunlin and two Snipe. Elsewhere, sightings included two Whimbrel, one Hooded Crow, the Grasshopper Warbler at South Dykes, a Whitethroat, 12 Blackcaps, the Pied Flycatcher still at Old Fall and a White Wagtail.

West of the Dykes, two Short-eared Owls frequented Bempton Cliffs RSPB, with one Short-eared Owl, four Wheatears and three White Wagtails at Buckton.

Grasshopper Warbler, South Dykes, by Craig Thomas

Saturday, April 15th, 2017

North-west winds were moderate, occasionally strong, during a day of sunny intervals and occasional showers. During the seawatch, six Shelduck and 260 Fulmars flew north, a Whimbrel went south, whilst six Sandwich Terns were also logged (four north, two south).

A Whimbrel was off South Dykes and other new arrivals included a male Pied Flycatcher in Old Fall and a Grasshopper Warbler at South Dykes. Additional migrants included four Willow Warblers, a Whitethroat and eight Blackcaps.

Pied Flycatcher, Old Fall, by Andy Hood

Pied Flycatcher, Old Fall, by Brett Richards

Friday, April 14th, 2017

The weather consisted of moderate south-westerly winds, with occasional sunny spells and light showers. Seawatching produced three Red-throated Divers, 11 Sandwich Terns and four Lesser Black-backed Gulls moving north.

Two Whitethroats were the year’s first, with five Willow Warblers and two House Martins also fresh-in.

Sand Martin, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Thursday, April 13th, 2017

A day of moderate westerly winds and sunny intervals in the morning, cloudier in the afternoon. During the seawatch, four Sandwich Terns flew south and 336 Fulmars together with 43 Puffins moved north.

Wildfowl in residence included a Wigeon and three Eider, whilst summer migrants records included 15 Chiffchaffs in South Dykes.

West of the Dykes, a Grasshopper Warbler was singing near the visitor centre at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Eider, South Dykes, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, April 12th, 2017

The weather consisted of moderate north-westerly winds, sunny intervals and occasional showers. Seawatching was quiet, with five Sandwich Terns the only noteworthy sighting. Five Eider were on the sea near South Dykes, whilst a Common Buzzard, eight Chiffchaff, two Blackcaps and a Willow Warbler were in the nearby ravine. In addition, Oceanview hosted four Wheatear.

Meadow Pipit, Flamborough, by Don Hustings

Tuesday, April 11th, 2017

Winds remained moderate and from the west, whilst it was largely overcast in the morning and sunnier later in the day. North Marsh hosted a Little Grebe, single Willow Warbler and Blackcap were noted in South Landing, whilst four Wheatears and a White Wagtail were on the outer head.

Puffin, outer head, by Alan Walkington

Monday, April 10th, 2017

In contrast to this weekend a switch in weather saw brisk north-westerlies, overcast skies and temperatures barely registering double figures. Seawatching highlights include a single Manx Shearwater and Ringed Plover north, 720 Fulmar north, six Common Scoter north (one south), two Red-throated Diver north (one south) and two Greylag Geese in-off and north.

On land, four Wheatear, 13 Chiffchaff, two Yellow Wagtail, single White Wagtail, Blackcap and Redwing and four Sand Martin were present on the headland. Thornwick Pools held two Little Ringed Plover and three Snipe.

At Bempton Cliffs RSPB, two Short-eared Owl were present early evening.

Wheatear, Outer Head, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

Moderate south-westerly winds strengthened during the warmest day of the year which featured virtually unbroken sunshine and temperatures that reached 19 degrees C.

Arriving migrants included a Whimbrel, 11 Swallows, seven Wheatears, three Redwing, five Ring Ouzels, four Willow Warblers, a White Wagtail, one Yellow Wagtail, two Crossbills and two Siskin.  

West of the Dykes, sightings at Buckton included a Merlin, two Ring Ouzels and a Yellow Wagtail.

Yellowhammer, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Saturday, April 8th, 2017

Unbroken sunshine throughout, with light south-westerly winds. During the seawatch, a Grey Plover flew south and seven Sandwich Terns were logged.

A Whimbrel flew north, with additional migrants including three Swallows, a Willow Warbler, 29 Chiffchaffs, seven Blackcap, three Redwing, one Wheatear, a Yellow Wagtail, two White Wagtails and a Brambling. 

Brambling, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Friday, April 7th, 2017

It was generally overcast, with light/moderate north-westerly winds, although sunny spells developed late afternoon. Seawatching was disappointing, with a single Sandwich Tern flying north the most notable sighting. In addition, other records included a Little Ringed Plover, one Swallow, a Raven near South Landing, a Black Redstart on the outer head, two Brambling and two Siskin.

White Wagtail, Golf Course, by Andrew Allport

Grey Seal, Outer Head, by Alan Walkington

Weasel, Outer Head, by Andy Hood

Thursday, April 6th, 2017

The weather consisted of light westerly winds and sunny skies. Seawatching highlights included the two Egyptian Geese flying south and 24 Sandwich Terns moving north.

The juvenile Glaucous Gull again loafed on the field adjacent to North Marsh. Passerine interest was provided by a Hooded Crow, one Willow Warbler, two Ring Ouzels, two Blackcap, a Black Redstart and one Fieldfare.

Glaucous Gull, North Marsh, by Andrew Allport

Glaucous Gull, North Marsh, by Andrew Allport

White Wagtail, Golf Course, by Brett Richards

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

A day of light/moderate north-westerly winds and largely sunny skies. Seawatching was rewarded with a juvenile Glaucous Gull flying south and a Hooded Crow moving north.

In the local context, the rarest sighting related to two Egyptian Geese located near North Marsh; with only a handful of local records, April is proving a typical month for wandering individuals. Passerine interest included three Ring Ouzels, 20 Chiffchaff, a Blackcap, seven Goldcrest, the long-staying Hooded Crow at Oceanview, three White Wagtails and a Corn Bunting that toured the outer head.

Egyptian Goose, North Marsh, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

Dawn broke with light south-westerly winds, but these soon switched to northerlies; the majority of the day was overcast, with sunshine from mid-afternoon. Seawatching highlights included a Pochard flying south, a Blue Fulmar north, five Sandwich Terns (four south, one north) and a Bonxie heading north.

Thornwick Pools hosted a Little Grebe, whilst two Hooded Crows were recorded on the southern side of the headland. A Willow Warbler at North Landing represented the first within the observatory recording area. The year’s first Yellow Wagtail flew north and a Blackcap at South Landing was also new. A Scandinavian Rock Pipit lingered at South Landing and additional migrants included two Brambling.

West of the Dykes, a Grey Plover was on the beach at Sewerby and three Short-eared Owls were present at Buckton.

Goldcrest, North Landing, by Craig Thomas

Monday, April 3rd, 2017

After an misty start to the day increasing south-south-east winds cleared any fog and sunshine prevailed. A Merlin was located at South Landing, the juvenile Glaucous Gull re-appeared near North Marsh and two Little Ringed Plovers visited Thornwick Pools. The Hooded Crow remained at Oceanview, with additional migrant records including 35 Redwing, five Fieldfare and a Brambling.

West of the Dykes, a Hooded Crow was located on fields near Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Peregrine, Flamborough, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

The weather consisted moderate north-westerly winds and heavily overcast skies during the morning, with lighter winds and sunnier skies by the afternoon. Two Little Ringed Plovers visited Thornwick Pools, whilst Hooded Crow and White Wagtail remained at Oceanview.

West of the Dykes, Bempton Cliffs RSPB hosted a Blue Fulmar and a Snow Bunting, whilst a Water Rail and 35 Redwing were noted at Buckton Pond.

Gannet, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Don Hustings

Saturday, April 1st, 2017

Winds remained light throughout a day that featured sunny spells and prolonged periods of overcast skies. Seawatching highlights included a Grey Plover flying south, single summer-plumaged adult Mediterranean and Little Gulls also south, and two Sandwich Terns moving north.

Eighty Pink-footed Geese flew north in the morning, whilst two Shoveler at North Marsh were new arrivals. The day’s highlight was the discovery of a Raven on the Outer Head early morning; after lingering south of the Lighthouse it flew west. Continuing the corvid theme, one Hooded Crow lingered on fields between South Landing and Old Fall. The Firecrest remained along the ‘motorway’ south of the Lighthouse and other sightings included 15 Redwing, a Scandinavian Rock Pipit and a White Wagtail. 

West of the Dykes, a Willow Warbler was located at Buckton.

Raven, Cattlemere, by Craig Thomas

Hooded Crow, Oceanview, by Andy Hood