Wednesday, July 19th, 2017

A day that featured long spells of overcast, but also sunny conditions, with winds switching from the east to light southerlies. Seawatching highlights included 706 Common Scoters, a Red-throated Diver, 154 Sandwich Terns, an Arctic Tern and four Bonxies flying north, whilst a Blue Fulmar, 95 Manx Shearwaters, 129 Oystercatchers and five Arctic Skuas moved in the opposite direction.

An additional 100 Common Scoters were present off South Dykes. Thornwick Pools attracted six Common Sandpipers and 11 Dunlin, with 21 Whimbrel (out of a daily total of 26) and a Greenshank overflying there. A Marbled White butterfly seen at South Landing represented a relatively unusual local record. 

West of the Dykes, three Common Sandpipers visited Buckton Pond.

Common Sandpipers, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Common Sandpiper, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Tuesday, July 18th, 2017

The weather consisted of light/moderate south-easterly winds and sunny intervals. Seawatching was relatively productive, with a further southerly movement of waders. Highlights included 282 Common Scoters, a Red-throated Diver and 17 Manx Shearwaters flying north, a Little Egret, 13 Oystercatchers, 25 Black-tailed Godwits, 20 Redshank, 15 Sanderling and 14 Dunlin moving south, with 73 Sandwich Terns and three Arctic Terns flying north. Both lone Arctic Skua and Bonxie lingered offshore; two Bonxies were also seen at Bemtpon Cliffs RSPB.

An impressive 26 Dunlin visited Thornwick Pools, where the Wigeon remained in residence.

Shag, Fog Station, by Andrew Allport

Monday, July 17th, 2017

It was another sunny day, with temperatures of 20 degrees and a light westerly wind. Highlights during the morning seawatch included 11 Manx Shearwater, 16 Arctic Tern, 40 Sandwich Tern, 4 Common Tern, 1 Arctic Skua, 33 Common Scoter and a single Great Crested Grebe. A southerly movement of waders in the evening included four Black-tailed Godwits, 17 Redshank, a Sanderling and 87 Dunlin.

The days highlight pertained to a Willow Tit, seen in the village before heading south. Thornwick Pools held three Dunlin and the moulting Wigeon.

Elsewhere a colour-ringed Little Egret was on the edge of the recording area at Speeton. This bird had been rung as a chick in Cambridgeshire during 2009.

Dunlin, Thornwick Pools, by Tony Simpson

Sunday, July 16th, 2017

After an overcast start, sunshine broke through during the afternoon and temperatures attained 22 degrees C; winds remained light/moderate and from the north-west. Seawatching produced 27 Common Scoter, a Red-throated Diver, four Manx Shearwaters, 24 Sandwich Terns, six Common Terns, four Arctic Terns and a Bonxie flying north. The year’s first fledged Kittiwakes were also present off the Fog Station.

Three Mute Swans were present on the sea off South Landing, but rare still, a juvenile Willow Tit was caught and ringed at Buckton.

The overnight ringing session resulted in two Storm Petrels being captured and ringed.

Storm Petrel, South Landing, by June & Malcolm Fox

Willow Tit, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

A day of moderate westerly winds and overcast skies. During the morning’s seawatch, seven Teal, a Velvet Scoter and 25 Dunlin flew south, with 32 Common Scoter, three Manx Shearwaters, 16 Sandwich Terns and a Common Tern moving in the opposite direction. Single Bonxie and Arctic Skua were also present offshore.

On the headland, a juvenile Marsh Harrier overflew Thornwick Pools, which was also visited by single Little Ringed Plover and Dunlin.

Kittiwake, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Friday, July 14th, 2017

An overcast day with moderate westerly winds. During the seawatch, 215 Common Scoters, a Red-throated Diver, two Manx Shearwaters, 17 Sandwich Terns, an Arctic Tern, three Bonxies and two Arctic Skuas flew north, with four Teal, five Manx Shearwaters, single Whimbrel and Ringed Plover and three Arctic Terns moved south. 

Sparrowhawk, Flamborough, by Mike Smith

Thursday, July 13th, 2017

A day of sunny intervals, light south-westerly winds and temperatures rising to 22 degrees C. Seawatching was rewarded with 256 Common Scoters flying north, a Red-throated Diver south, 12 Manx Shearwaters north, 13 Oystercatchers, two Whimbrel, three Curlew, 15 Redshank and 12 Dunlin all south, a second calendar-year Mediterranean Gull, 42 Sandwich Terns, a Common Tern, four Arctic Terns all north, along with three Arctic Skuas.

Elsewhere, sightings included 120 Common Scoters in Bridlington Bay. Waders also increased in number, with 15 Dunlin (including 13 at Thornwick), a Whimbrel, a Black-tailed Godwit at Thornwick and one Snipe. Three juvenile Yellow Wagtails also frequented Thornwick Pools. Dragonfly records included six Red-veined Darters, lots of Ruddy Darters and Southern Hawker.

West of the Dykes, 60 Common Scoters flew north at Bempton, with 500 Swifts over there and a juvenile Yellow Wagtail at the Chalet Park.

Black-tailed Godwit, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

From top left: Red-veined Darter, Southern Hawker, Ruddy Darter(2), by Andrew Allport

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

Moderate to strong north-north-easterly winds dominated the first half of a largely sunny day, with temperatures reaching 17 degrees C. Seawatching was rewarded with two Eider flying south, 81 Common Scoter, two Red-throated Divers and 27 Manx Shearwaters all flying north, with seven Sandwich Terns and a Bonxie moving in the opposite direction. Thornwick Pools attracted single Wigeon and Tufted Duck along with two Dunlin. Late in the day, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull rested on the golf course.

West of the Dykes, a Tufted Duck accompanied ten chicks on Buckton Pond, with 100 Swallows, a Grasshopper Warbler, an early migrant Whinchat and a Willow Warbler in the immediate vicinity of the Heligoland trap.

Dunlin, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Whinchat, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Tuesday, July 11th, 2017

An overcast day, with light rain in the morning, turning heavier in the afternoon; winds remained light but temperatures low, reaching only 12 degrees C mid-afternoon. During the course of the day, Thornwick Pools hosted a Little Egret, one Grey Heron, the Wigeon, two Dunlin and one Oystercatcher. Presumably the same Little Egret later flew west near Beacon Hill. A three-hour watch at the latter site was rewarded with a substantial movement of Swifts ahead of the cold front, with 1100 flying west.

Little Egret, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Monday, July 10th, 2017

After a bright start, cloud built and showers then featured for the rest of the day. Thornwick Pools attracted a Grey Heron, the lone summering Wigeon, eight Dunlin, two Oystercatchers and a Little Ringed Plover. An influx of Swifts was a feature, as feeding groups moved onto the headland ahead a shower cloud: 270 were present over Flamborough village, with an additional 300 at Bempton. Records from the latter location included 120 Common Scoter moving north and a Bonxie offshore.

Non-avian interest was headlined by a Red-veined Darter at Thornwick Pools.

Oystercatcher, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Comma, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Andy Hood

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

A sunny day, with moderate south-westerly winds and temperatures that reached 24 degrees C. The highlight of a morning seawatch was a Minke Whale which slowly moved south off the Fog Station. Thornwick Pools attracted a Wigeon, six Dunlin, three Little Ringed Plovers and a juvenile Yellow Wagtail, whilst the South Dykes/South Landing areas hosted 100 Common Scoter and two Mediterranean Gulls.

The day’s most notable sighting related to a Lesser Emperor dragonfly seen at Bempton Cliffs RSPB. Additional records from the reserve included a Little Egret, two Bonxies, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 393 Swifts flying south-east and one Lesser Redpoll.

Mediterranean Gull, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Puss Moth caterpillar, Thornwick, by Tony Simpson

Hummingbird Hawkmoth, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Tony Simpson

Saturday, July 8th, 2017

Sunny throughout, with a light wind, generally with a northerly component, and temperatures reaching 17 degrees C. During the seawatch, a Teal, 24 Common Scoters, a Manx Shearwater, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull, an Arctic Tern and an Arctic Skua all flew north.

Thornwick Pools hosted single Grey Heron, Wigeon and Dunlin. 

Wigeon, Thornwick Pools, by Tony Simpson

Friday, July 7th, 2017

A day of moderate south-westerly winds, sunny intervals and temperatures that reached 22 degrees C. During the seawatch, 271 Common Scoters, seven Manx Shearwaters, two Sandwich Terns, three Common Terns and four Arctic Terns flew north. South Landing attracted an adult Mediterranean Gull and five Whimbrel. Thornwick Pools hosted a Wigeon, three Shoveler and a Dunlin, whilst a Little Egret visited a pool on Beacon Hill.

Shoveler, Thornwick Pools, by Tony Simpson

Little Egret, Beacon Hill, by Neil Weeks

Puffins, Outer head, by Alan Walkington

Thursday, July 6th, 2017

An overcast start to a day that featured sunny intervals and occasional mist; winds were light and variable in direction, with temperatures peaking at 19 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included ten Teal flying south, 504 Common Scoters and three Red-throated Divers north, single Whimbrel, nine Curlew, 42 Redshank and 12 Dunlin heading south, with 15 Sandwich Terns moving in the opposite direction. An adult Mediterranean Gull was also present off the headland. Thornwick Pools attracted a Wigeon, two Tufted Ducks and two Dunlin, whilst a Whimbrel was on the beach at South Dykes.

Common Seal, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, July 5th, 2017

An misty and overcast day, with a moderate north-westerly wind and temperatures pegged to 14 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included seven Teal, two Eiders, 530 Common Scoters, 42 Manx Shearwaters, 18 Sandwich Terns and two Bonxies flying north, with single Oystercatcher, Whimbrel, Dunlin, two Redshanks and six Curlews heading south.

Common Scoters, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Roe Deer, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, July 4th, 2017

An overcast day, with light and variable winds and spells of drizzle. A seawatch from South Landing produced 44 Common Scoter, two Great Crested Grebes, one Little Egret and three Sandwich Terns moving north. An additional 33 Common Scoters and two Red-throated Divers were offshore, whilst an adult Mediterranean Gull flew east at Sewerby. Two Common Seals also lingered in the South Landing area. Thornwick Pools attracted a Common Sandpiper.

Kittiwake, Bempton Cliffs, by Don Hustings

Monday, July 3rd, 2017

A relatively overcast day, with a moderate south-westerly wind and temperatures that reached 18 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included 74 Common Scoter flying north, a Red-throated Diver south, 13 Manx Shearwaters north, two Bonxies offshore and 17 Sandwich Terns flying past.

Small Heath, Thornwick, by Tony Simpson

Puss Moth caterpillar, Thornwick, by Brett Richards

Sunday, July 2nd, 2017

A warm and sunny day, with moderate westerly veering to north-westerly winds.

Totals during the morning seawatch consisted of: 43 Common Scoter, 2 Manx Shearwater, 7 Sandwich Tern, 3 Bonxie, 1 Great Crested Grebe and a Hobby. Two Little Ringed Plovers visited Thornwick Pools, whilst a juvenile Wheatear was located on the Golf Course.

Bempton also held a single Hobby, along with Short-eared Owl and a Little Egret. A movement of Swift over the outer headland during the evening included 150 between North Marine Road and North Dykes and a further 70 over Oceanview.

Skylark, by Phil Dyson.

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

Cloud first thing gave way to sunny skies. Wind was a light to moderate north westerly.

Sea watching again produced the days highlights with a notable 52 Manx Shearwater, 122 Fulmar, 23 Common Scoter, 1 Little Gull, 14 Sandwich Tern, 2 Common Tern, 1 Bonxie and an Arctic Skua.

Elsewhere 2 Common Scoter were on the sea on the south side of the headland, whilst Buckton held at least five Curlew and a Buzzard.

Insects were plentiful in the warm weather with 100+ Red Admiral butterfly and a Bilberry Bumblebee noted at Buckton.

Stock Dove, by Andy Hood.

Six-spot Burnet, Lime speck pug, The flame and Latticed Heath moths, by Andrew Allport.