Wednesday, May 31st, 2017

Weather was sunny throughout the day, with a light north-westerly wind.

Nine Manx Shearwater flew north on the morning sea watch, with 1 Arctic Skua, 22 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Whimbrel, 20 Sandwich Tern and 1 Arctic Tern. Additionally a Bonxie was off Bempton.

The Wood Sandpiper remained at Thornwick Pool, whilst 4 Whimbrel were along the tide line below Beacon Hill.

A Hummingbird Hawkmoth was on the outer headland.

Linnet, Thornwick, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

A foggy start gradually cleared through the morning, to cloudy skies. A westerly wind picked up through the day.

10 Manx Shearwater passed north on the morning sea watch along with 12 Common Scoter.

The weather failed to produce much of note on the land, with a Spotted Flycatcher, Wigeon, 2 Tufted Duck, 2 Lapwing, 4 Ringed Plover, 3 Dunlin and a single Redshank.

Warm conditions did however boost butterfly numbers with many Red Admiral and Painted Lady. The most notable sighting of the day pertained to a Brown Argus at South Landing.

Brown Argus, South Landing, by Andrew Allport. 

Monday, May 29th, 2017

Fog cover the headland for much of the day, with periods of heavy rain. Wind was a light to moderate north easterly.

Sea watching highlights included 3 Manx Shearwater, 1 Eider, 6 Sandwich Tern and 1 Arctic Tern.

On the land, a Wood Sandpiper was at Thornwick pools along with up to 14 Ringed Plover, 6 Dunlin and the usual Wigeon. Old Fall held a single Spotted Flyacthcer and a Tree Pipit, with another Spotted Flycatcher logged at Bempton.

Wood Sandpiper, Thornwick Pools, by Phil Dyson

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

Another sunny day with a strong south westerly wind, which dropped through the day.

Highlights during the sea watch included 8 Manx Shearwater, 1 Red-throated Diver, 54 Common Scoter, 7 Sandwich Tern, 1 Common Tern and 168 Puffin.

15 Barnacle Geese flew south over the lighthouse during the early morning, whilst four Spotted Flycatcher represented the only notable passerines.

Barnacle Geese, by Andy Hood

Saturday, May 27th, 2017

A moderate south easterly wind with sunny skies during the morning gave way to a strong south westerly and scattered showers during the afternoon.

The sea watch produced a second calendar year Little Gull north, 8 Manx Shearwater, 47 Common Scoter and 5 Sandwich Tern.

On the land, the days highlight pertained to a 1st summer male/female Red-breasted Flycatcher in Old Fall plantation during the early morning. A Cuckoo was noted between south dykes and the village, with a second individual at Buckton. The latter site also held a Wood Sandpiper. Three Tufted Duck, the female Wigeon, 1 Dunlin and 3 Ringed Plover were on Thornwick Pool. A single Corn Bunting and a Grey Partridge were also on the outer headland.

Red-breasted Flycatcher, Old Fall, by Lee Johnson

Friday, May 26th, 2017

Winds swung around to a south easterly by the morning, with bright sunshine throughout the day.

Thornwick pools produced the majority of the days highlights, with a Wood Sandpiper, four Ringed Plover, a single Dunlin and the female Wigeon. The latter is likely to remain for a while given the current extent of primary moult.

Elsewhere on the headland, a male Whinchat was at Beacon Hill and 20 Barnacle Geese flew south past the fog station during the evening.

Wood Sandpiper, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Eurasian Wigeon, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Thursday, May 25th, 2017

It was another warm day with light south westerly winds.

Highlights during the morning sea watch included 7 Manx Shearwater, 2 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Tern, 35 Shag and a notable count of 225 Puffin.

A female Eurasian Wigeon remained on Thornwick pool along with 3 Ringed Plover and a Dunlin. 14 Common Scoter were at South Landing.

At Buckton a Little Egret was on the pond.

Gannets, Bempton, By Don Hustings

Wednesday, May 24th, 2017

A part cloudy day with the wind west to south force 3 to 0 and a warm 19c.

Sea-watching at the headland recorded 16 Eider south, two Common Scoter, Red-throated Diver, two Great Norther Diver, 14 Manx Shearwater, Little Egret, Common Tern and Arctic Tern all north with five Sandwich Tern south and ten north. Present off the headland were 11 Turnstone.

Other Observatory recording area highlights were Barn Owl, Tawny Owl (the chicks have now fledged at South Landing), three Chiffchaff, five Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, six Whitethroat and Spotted Flycatcher.

Tawny Owl by Alan Walkington

Fledged Tawny Owl by Andy Hood

Fox Cub by Mike Smith

Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017

A mainly sunny day with winds westerly moving to north, force 2 and 15c.

A morning and evening sea-watch had 24 Common Scoter south, two Red-throated Diver south and one north, six Manx Shearwater north, five Sandwich Tern south and three north, Common Tern north and 12 Common Scoter present off the headland.

Today had quite and interesting mix of species in the Observatory recording area with the male Garganey moving from Thornwick Pools to Northcliff Marsh then back to Thornwick by evening. Seven Tufted Duck on Thornwick Pools and two at Northcliff Marsh, two Avocet on Thornwick Pools from afternoon to late evening with also four Ringed Plover, two Little Ringed Plover and four Reed Warbler at the same location. A Turtle Dove flew north over the Golf Course early morning. Other species at various locations were 22 Swift, 43 Swallow, 57 House Martin, three Wheatear, seven Chiffchaff, six Blackcap, four Lesser Whitethroat, 14 Whitethroat, three Sedge Warbler, three Spotted Flycatcher, Yellow Wagtail and a Tree Pipit over Lighthouse Road.

Common Scoter by Andy Hood

Avocet, Thornwick Pools, by Jo Hood

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

Weather today was mainly cloud cover, a southerly force 3 wind and 14c.

Sea-watching off the headland produced ten Barnacle Geese south, 36 Common Scoter south and four north, ten Manx Shearwater south and five north, a Whimbrel, Sanderling and seven Sandwich Tern all north.

A male Garganey was on Thornwick Pools and most likely the bird seen at the weekend at Buckton Pond. At the same location a Sanderling in summer plumage and a Ringed Plover. An early Hobby over Old Fall and elsewhere five Blackcap, three Lesser Whitethroat, ten Whitethroat, Spotted Flycatcher and Corn Bunting.

At Buckton a Barn Owl, Grey Wagtail and a Spotted Flycatcher.

Sanderling by Alan Walkington

Barn Owl at Buckton by Alan Walkington

Sunday, May 21st, 2017

Weather was sunny throughout the day, with a moderate south westerly wind turning south east late afternoon.

The sea watch produced a Great Northern Diver north, five Red-throated Diver, 17 Common Scoter, 17 Sandwich Tern, three Common Tern and ten Manx Shearwater.

On the land, yesterdays Temminck’s Stint remained at Thornwick Pools and continued to show well. A female Pied Flycatcher was reported from near Old Fall during late evening. Three Whimbrel were at South Landing and two Garden Warbler were at South Dykes.

The Buckton area had a particularly good day with a Red-breasted Flycatcher trapped and ringed, a drake Garganey on the pond, Red Kite, Hobby, singing Goldcrest, Short-eared Owl and 70 Swift. Bempton continued to hold the same or another Short-eared Owl.

Red-breasted Flycatcher, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Garganey, Buckton Pond, by Andy Hood

Temminck’s Stint, Thornwick Pools, by Lee Johnson

Saturday, May 20th, 2017

A moderate south westerly breeze, with heavy rain showers from mid afternoon.

The day started well with a Temminck’s Stint found early on at Thornwick pools, the bird flicked between the upper and lower pools throughout the day. The pools also hosted a Greenshank and Common Sandpiper. A female/1st summer male Golden Oriole was found at South Landing mid morning but was only seen briefly before heading into dense cover in the ravine. Two Short-eared Owl and four Corn Bunting were around the Gorse field, with Spotted Flycatchers at Old Fall and South Landing and a late Redwing in Holmes Gut. Hobbys were noted over Lighthouse road and at South Dykes.

The sea watch produced Arctic Skua, Sandwich Tern, six Manx Shearwater and a Red-throated Diver.

West of the dykes; Bempton held a female Ring Ouzel, Short-eared Owl and Cuckoo, with fly over Red Kite and Hobby. Whilst a Marsh Harrier was seen at Buckton along with a Fieldfare.

Marsh Harrier, Buckton, by John Harwood

Temminck’s Stint, Thornwick Pools, by Lee Johnson

Temminck’s Stint, Thornwick Pools, by Lee Johnson

Friday, May 19th, 2017

Rain predominated throughout the day, with winds from the south west. Partly due to the weather flew notable birds were logged. Highlights on the land included a Spotted Flycatcher on the outer headland, and a Greenshank and drake teal on Thornwick Pools. 

Five Manx Shearwater flew north during the afternoon.

Greenshank, Thornwick pools, by Brett Richards

Thursday, May 18th, 2017

A day of light westerly winds and bright skies until increasing cloud established in the afternoon. During the seawatch, two Eider, two Red-breasted Mergansers, 77 Manx Shearwaters and 277 Puffins flew north, with 42 Sandwich Terns moving south.

A Short-eared Owl was located in the Gorse Field late on, whilst two Garden Warblers represented the most interesting passerine record.

West of the Dykes, the Black-browed Albatross was again reported from Bempton Cliffs RSPB c. 0800hrs only; it was last seen flying back out to sea. A Short-eared Owl was also seen at the reserve.

Sedge Warbler, Thornwick, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

For the first time in seemingly an age, significant rain fell in what turned out to be a very wet day. Seawatching produced 51 Common Scoters flying south, three Manx Shearwaters north, two Whimbrel south and 11 Sandwich Terns.

Elsewhere, Thornwick Pools attracted two Little Ringed Plovers and four Ringed Plovers, with single Whimbrel and Sanderling on South Landing beach. The undoubted highlight related to the sighting of a Serin at South Landing that then flew east towards the Lighthouse.

Lesser Black-backed Gull, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Sand Martin, Thornwick Pools, by Don Hustings

Tuesday, May 16th, 2017

The morning sea-watch was steady and produced nine Common Scoter north, Manx Shearwater south, four Sandwich Terns south and nine Carrion Crows past.

The highlight of the outer recording area was a Great White Egret located at Micklemires in the evening. Other highlights recorded were a pair of Tufted Duck, two Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Wood Sandpiper, Dunlin, Barn Owl, two Wheatear, Sedge Warbler and two Reed Warbler – all at Thornwick.

At Bempton Cliffs, the adult Black-browed Albatross was again reported flying north-west and close in off from Bartlett viewpoint at 1300hrs. Also in the same area, 14 Barnacle Geese flew over RSPB Bempton and Buckton, with a Fieldfare at Buckton and a Spotted Flycatcher at RSPB Bempton.

Great White Egret, Micklemires, by Brett Richards

Wood Sandpiper, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Monday, May 15th, 2017

A cloudy day, with moderate southerly winds and spells of rain. During the seawatch, 54 Common Scoters, single Goosander and Red-throated Diver and 28 Sandwich Terns flew south.

Thornwick Pools hosted two Little Ringed Plovers and a Dunlin, whilst the Tawny Owl family continued to show well at South Landing.

Dunlin, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Tawny Owls, South Landing, by Jo Symon

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

A day of moderate south-westerly winds, sunny intervals after a wet start and temperatures that reached 19 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included a drake Garganey that flew south, four Tufted Ducks south, a Manx Shearwater north, with 45 Sandwich Terns and single Common and Arctic Terns also south.

Thornwick Pools attracted three Ringed Plovers, one Dunlin and a lone Common Sandpiper. Additional interest was provided by sightings of a Hooded Crow, two Spotted Flycatchers and two Tree Pipits.

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

Kestrel, Outer Head, by Brett Richards

Tawny Owl, South Landing, by June & Malcolm Fox

Saturday, May 13th, 2017

It was a day of sunny intervals and moderate/strong south-westerly winds, with temperatures reaching 17 degrees C. The undoubted headline related to the adult Black-browed Albatross that flew south past Bempton Cliffs RSPB reserve (1422hrs) and then latterly Thornwick Bay (1448hrs). Despite a group of expectant birders waiting at the Fog Station it did not go south there, so presumably headed straight out to sea after the last sighting.

Seawatch records of a more mundane nature included 11 Tufted Duck and 26 Sandwich Terns moving south. Thornwick Pools attracted three Little Ringed Plovers and two Common Sandpipers. Two Marsh Harriers, at least one Hobby and a Merlin roamed the headland.

Amongst the passerine migrants, a Serin that frequented the Gorse Field early morning stole the headlines. Other sightings included a Garden Warbler, four Spotted Flycatchers, nine Wheatear, two Whinchat and a Fieldfare.

West of the Dykes, a Hobby flew south-east over Buckton.

Serin, Gorse Field, by Lee Johnson

Serin, Gorse Field, by Lee Johnson

‘argenteus’ Herring Gull with yellow legs, South Cliffs, by Brett Richards

Friday, May 12th, 2017

An overcast, misty day at times, with light winds and a few spots of rain occasionally. During the seawatch, a Great Northern Diver flew north and 193 Sandwich Terns moved south.

The three Dotterel surprisingly re-appeared on the Golf Course early morning before departing west. Thornwick Pools attracted two Common Sandpipers, three Dunlin and a Snipe. Passerine migrants included a Goldcrest, one Fieldfare, a ‘continental’ Song Thrush, one Redstart and 11 Wheatears.

West of the Dykes, Buckton attracted a Short-eared Owl.

Dotterel, Flamborough GC, by Andy Hood

Wheatear, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Thursday, May 11th, 2017

A day of south-east winds and sunny intervals. Seawatching was rewarded with a pair of Garganey flying north, with 39 Sandwich and four Arctic Terns heading south.

Thornwick Pools attracted three Little Ringed Plovers, four Ringed Plovers and three Dunlin. Three female Dotterel on the Golf Course early morning were the best sighting of the day; a Blue-headed Wagtail also frequented the same area. Additional sightings included a Goldcrest, two Redstarts, a Whinchat, a Fieldfare and one Tree Pipit.

West of the Dykes, a Ring Ouzel and 15 Corn Buntings were noted at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Puffins, North Dykes, by Don Hustings

Redstart, Old Fall, by Brett Richards

Wednesday, May 10th, 2017

After weeks of northerly winds, a change to light south-west winds and sunny skies. During the seawatch, 12 Common Scoter, a Manx Shearwater and 20 Sandwich Terns flew north.

Away from the sea, sightings included a Barnacle Goose, four Ringed Plover, two Grey Plover that flew over, a Hobby near Old Fall, a Goldcrest, single Spotted Flycatcher and male Black Redstart at South Landing, two Whinchat, one White Wagtail and five Yellow Wagtails.

Barnacle Goose, Outer Head, by Andrew Allport

Ringed Plover, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Black Redstart, South Landing, by Brett Richards

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

The day started with moderate north-westerly winds and heavily overcast skies. However, winds dropped in strength during the day and evening sunshine heralded a change. Seawatching highlights included three Pintail, a Great Northern Diver, two Manx Shearwaters and 17 Sandwich Terns flying north, whilst three Velvet Scoters moved south.

The White-fronted Goose accompanied the Greylags in the Thornwick area, where a Common Sandpiper and two Little Ringed Plovers were also present. Late afternoon a Wood Sandpiper was located along Lighthouse Road on the small pool opposite Old Fall Steps. Another new arrival, a Hobby appeared over the village on two occasions. Passerine interest was headlined by the continued presence of the Siberian Stonechat at South Landing. Other sightings included a Fieldfare, one Ring Ouzel, a White Wagtail and a Brambling.

Yellow Wagtail, Buckton, by Don Hustings

Monday, May 8th, 2017

Strong north-north-westerly winds lasted all day, that featured heavy overcast skies and temperatures that barely reached ten degrees C. Seawatching highlights included seven Common Scoter, 25 Manx Shearwaters, six Sandwich Terns, an Arctic Tern, one Arctic Skua all north, with one Bonxie heading south.

The White-fronted Goose remained in residence, as did the Siberian Stonechat that showed well all day at South Landing. A White Wagtail visited Thornwick Pools.

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

White-fronted Goose, Thornwick, by Brett Richards

Siberian Stonechat, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

The weather consisted of strong north-north-westerly winds and overcast skies. Seawatching produced five Eider flying south, with ten Common Scoter, a Manx Shearwater, two Whimbrel and three Sandwich Terns heading north.

Given the prevailing wind direction, three Spoonbills that toured the headland from 1600-1630hrs seemed somewhat incongruous. In addition, the Siberian Stonechat remained in residence at South Landing, where the Mealy Redpoll continued to attend the feeders at YWT’s Living Seas Centre.

Tawny Owl, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Siberian Stonechat, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Siberian Stonechat, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Mealy Redpoll, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Saturday, May 6th, 2017

Another cold day, with moderate north-easterly winds and overcast skies. The highlight of the morning’s seawatch was a Blue Fulmar that flew north.

Thornwick Pools hosted a single Dunlin, whilst a Hobby overflew there. Elsewhere, the discovery of a Siberian Stonechat at South Landing was unexpected; it showed well for the whole day, feeding along the isolated hedge in the sheep-field immediately east of the ravine. Other notable sightings included an influx of Swifts, with a minimum 16 logged, a singing Wood Warbler at South Landing, two Redstarts, a Whinchat, two Tree Pipits, two White Wagtails and one Mealy Redpoll.

West of the Dykes, Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper visited Buckton Pond, with Swift, Grasshopper Warbler, Whinchat, six Wheatear, 3 Lesser Whitethroat nearby. Eleven Bar-tailed Godwits flew north over Speeton. 

Siberian Stonechat, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Siberian Stonechat, South Landing, by Tony Dixon

Redstart, South Landing, by Tony Dixon

Common Redstart, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Another day of moderate/strong north-easterly winds and prolonged sunny spells, with two Manx Shearwaters the best of a quiet seawatch.

Single White-fronted Goose and Barnacle Goose lingered with the Greylag flock. The day’s highlight related to the discovery of a male Dotterel at Oceanview, which showed well before flying east. A Swift appeared over the village late afternoon, whilst individual Ring Ouzel and Whinchat were also logged.

West of the Dykes, Buckton hosted a Common Sandpiper and a Grasshopper Warbler which was ringed.

Grasshopper Warbler ringed at Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Dotterel, Oceanview, by Brett Richards

Dotterel, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

A day of moderate/strong north-easterly winds and sunny intervals after an overcast start. During the seawatch, two Red-throated Divers and a Manx Shearwater flew north, whilst eight Sandwich Terns moved south.

Wader sightings included two Little Ringed Plovers, five Whimbel, a Bar-tailed Godwit and two Common Sandpipers, whilst a Whinchat graced South Landing.

West of the Dykes, a Black Redstart was in Bempton village and a Greenshank visited Buckton Pond.

Eider, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Black Redstart, Bempton, by Dave Aitken

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017

The weather consisted of moderate/strong northerly winds and prolonged sunny spells. Sightings included the lone Barnacle Goose touring the headland, single Common Sandpiper and Dunlin, two Little Ringed Plovers, two Bar-tailed Godwits and four Whimbrel. In addition, a Hobby flew west over South Landing. Passerine interest included two Fieldfares, two Pied Flycatchers and a Common Redstart.

West of the Dykes, Buckton attracted two Tufted Duck and lone Redshank, Greenshank and Common Sandpiper. Three Short-eared Owls, a Grasshopper Warbler and three Yellow Wagtails were also present.

Common Sandpiper, Thornwick Pools, by Jo Hood

Short-eared Owl, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017

It was a misty day at times, with a moderate and cold north-easterly wind. A single Barnacle Goose toured the area, with four Great Crested Grebes and three Eiders off South Landing. Single Grey and Golden Plovers were logged, along with two Little Ringed Plovers, a Ringed Plover, one Green Sandpiper, a Common Sandpiper, one Whimbrel and two Bar-tailed Godwits. Passerine interest included two Goldcrests, three singing Reed Warblers at Thornwick Pools, a Ring Ouzel, five Whinchats, 11 Wheatears, two Tree Pipits and a White Wagtail.

West of the Dykes, Short-eared Owl and a singing Grasshopper Warbler were recorded at Buckton, with Marsh Harrier and Short-eared Owl at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Common Sandpiper, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Dunlin, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Grasshopper Warbler, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Whinchat, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Tree Pipit, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Monday, May 1st, 2017

After an overcast start to the day the sunshine broke through, whilst easterly winds predominated. During the seawatch, three Bar-tailed Godwits, 24 Sandwich Terns and two Common Terns flew south.

The sea off South Landing attracted a summer-plumaged Black-throated Diver, a Great Northern Diver, one Great Crested Grebe and two Arctic Terns. The day’s highlight was the discovery of a female Garganey on the outer head. Additional sightings included one Barnacle Goose (over), a Green Sandpiper on a pool near Old Fall Steps, three Ringed Plover, one Little Ringed Plover, a Common Sandpiper and five Dunlin at Thornwick Pools.

A Swift overflew the outer head, whilst passerine migrants included single Ring Ouzel, Black Redstart, Common Redstart, Tree Pipit, Reed Warbler, five Yellow Wagtails, three White Wagtails and four Garden Warblers.

West of the Dykes, Bempton Cliffs RSPB hosted a Blue Fulmar, a Short-eared Owl, a Ring Ouzel and two Common Redstarts. Buckton attracted the year’s first Wryneck, which showed briefly by the Pond; other sightings there included seven Tufted Duck, a Fieldfare and a Ring Ouzel.

Wryneck, Buckton Pond, by Mark Thomas

Garganey, outer head, by Andy Hood

Garden Warbler, Old Fall, by Andy Hood