Thursday, August 31st, 2017

A sunny morning gave way to heavy showers by mid afternoon which continued through the evening. Wind was a light westerly.

A single Greenish Warbler remained around the car park at Bempton and showed well at times. A Pied Flycatcher was nearby, along the nature trail.

On the outer headland, a Yellow-legged Gull was noted. Wader totals included 5 Whimbrel, 17 Dunlin and Ruff, the latter flying over Thornwick Pools. There were some good counts of hirundines with 560 House Martin, 360 Swallow and 3 Sand Martin. Other passerines included a male White Wagtail in the lighthouse car park, a single Whinchat, 2 Wheatear, 8 Yellow Wagtail and a single Corn Bunting.

Greenish Warbler, Bempton by Andy Hood

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

A cloudy day with late afternoon showers and a light southerly wind.

Records from the headland included, Pintail south, Little Egret at South Dykes, Hobby, Spotted Redshank south-west, Whimbrel south, 77 Redshank south in two flocks and 13 birds at South Dykes, also at South Dykes three Ringed Plover, two Curlew, three Dunlin and four Rock Pipit. Other birds present on the headland were two Swift, four Chiffchaff, 13 Willow Warbler, five Blackcap, Lesser Whitethroat, five Whitethroat, three Wheatear, two White Wagtail and four Yellow Wagtail.

At RSPB Bempton there was now two Greenish Warbler around the upper car park area. Other species highlights were Whimbrel south-east, 256 Herring Gull south-east and nine north-west, three Great Skua north-west, 14 Yellow Wagtail south-east and three north-west, Sedge Warbler, two Chiffchaff and Spotted Flycatcher. A Marsh Harrier was near Buckton Hall.

Greenish Warbler by Joanne Hood

Female Bullfinch by Irene Smith

Tuesday, August 29th, 2017

A mixed number of species today and proof of some migration in poor weather conditions with drizzle and the wind swinging west, NNE and finally south.

The headland and east of the Dykes recorded 19 Teal, 18 Common Scoter, juv Marsh Harrier, three Whimbrel, three Curlew, Green Sandpiper, eight Swift, 34 Swallow, 120 House Martin, seven Chiffchaff, three Willow Warbler, two Lesser Whitethroat, three Sedge Warbler, five Reed Warbler, two Stonechat and 72 Goldfinch.

West of the Dykes at Buckton, nine Whitethroat, three Lesser Whitethroat, three Chiffchaff and two Willow Tit with one bird bearing a ring and caught by Mark Thomas there on 12/08/17. Nearby RSPB Bempton had the highlight of the day with a Greenish Warbler found at noon.  Other species there were three Marsh Harrier, Whimbrel, six Yellow Wagtail, Sedge Warbler, Lesser Whitethroat, eight Whitethroat, five Goldcrest, Spotted Flycatcher, two Pied Flycatcher and a Redstart.

Greenish Warbler by Paul Reed

Willow Tit by Paul Reed

Monday, August 28th, 2017

A hot, sunny day, with a moderate south-westerly wind developing and temperatures peaking at 26 degrees C. During the morning’s seawatch, a Balearic Shearwater and an Arctic Skua flew north. 

A Little Egret was on the beach below the South Cliffs and Thornwick Pools attracted four Dunlin, a Redshank and a Ringed Plover. At least 200 House Martins and 75 Swallows were feeding over the village.

West of the Dykes, two Hobbies, a Ruff and a Swift were seen at Buckton, whilst seven Pintail flew south-east over Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Stonechat, Bay Brambles, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Another sunny day, with light southerly winds. Seawatching highlights included: a Great Crested Grebe flying south, a Balearic Shearwater moving north, 30 Redshank south, and 670 Common Terns, eight Arctic Terns, 30 Sandwich Terns and a juvenile Little Tern all flying north. During the evening, 400 Little Gulls were offshore, whilst six Arctic Skuas flew south and five Bonxies went north.

Small numbers of passerine migrants included a Pied Flycatcher on the outer head and two Grey Wagtails flying south.

Sightings from Buckton included a Marsh Harrier, 38 Lapwings flying west, a Whinchat, the Willow Tit and 12 Rock Pipits. Bempton Cliffs RSPB attracted a Pied Flycatcher.

Grey Heron, Flamborough village, by Mike Smith

Whinchat, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Saturday, August 26th, 2017

After a bright, but overcast start, it was a sunny day with light/moderate westerly winds. Seawatching highlights included a Cory’s Shearwater flying south past Thornwick Bay early evening, two Sooty Shearwaters, a Shoveler, 1055 Common Terns, ten Arctic Terns, 569 Sandwich Terns all flying north, whilst five Whimbrel headed in the opposite direction.

Two Little Egrets frequented the exposed shorelines on the outer head, a Hobby overflew Oceanview, a creamcown Marsh Harrier moved west over South Landing, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull was on the sea off Old Fall and single Whinchat and Garden Warbler were recorded.

Sightings from the Buckton/Bempton area included a juvenile Merlin, along with single Hobby, Marsh Harrier, Greenshank, Cuckoo and the Willow Tit.

Marsh Harrier, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Cuckoo, Buckton, by Craig Thomas

Friday, August 25th, 2017

Light south-westerly winds and bright, but overcast skies prevailed. During the seawatch, a Little Egret flew north, one Little Gull headed in the opposite direction, whilst 85 Sandwich Terns and 120 Common Terns moved north.

The highlight related to the return of the ringed adult Caspian Gull ‘PLEP’ which has appeared in late summer over the course of recent years, before it moves on to winter in the Midlands. It accompanied other large gulls in fields adjacent to Old Fall, where a single Ruff was also present. A scattering of passerine migrants included one Spotted Flycatcher, a Tree Pipit and three Grey Wagtails.

West of the Dykes, single Marsh Harrier, Kingfisher and Willow Tit were seen at Buckton.

Kingfisher, Buckton Pond, by Paul Reed

Southern Hawker, Flamborough, by Andy Hood

Thursday, August 24th, 2017

The weather consisted of sunny intervals and light westerly winds. Seawatching highlights included 30 Teal, a Greenshank, three Little Gulls, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, 97 Sandwich Terns and 376 Common Terns flying south.

Elsewhere, a Little Egret flew north from Selwick’s Bay and a Cuckoo overflew Thornwick Pools.

West of the Dykes, a Kingfisher visited Buckton Pond and a Green Sandpiper flew over Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Yellow Wagtail, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017

Light southerly winds were a feature once again, with generally overcast skies and occasional thundery showers. During the seawatch, a Sooty Shearwater flew north, 104 Teal, a Tufted Duck, a Gadwall and an Arctic Skua moved south, whilst 151 Sandwich Terns headed in the opposite direction.

A small arrival of passerines took place on the outer head for the first time post-breeding, with four Whitethroats, two Whinchats, four Stonechats, two Wheatear and a Garden Warbler south of the Lighthouse.

Wheatear, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

The day started with fog which was slow to clear, with misty conditions prevailing until the early afternoon, when sunshine eventually broke through; winds remained light and from the south. Seawatching highlights included two Wigeon flying south, 46 Teal and 117 Common Scoter north, three Sooty Shearwaters, 151 Oystercatchers and a Greenshank south, two Grey Plovers north, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, four Arctic Skuas and a Long-tailed Skua flying south, with 251 Sandwich Terns and 306 Common Terns heading north.

A Little Egret was on the rocks below Old Fall, whilst Thornwick Pools hosted four Ringed Plovers, nine Dunlin, three Greenshank and a Redshank.

Canary-shouldered Thorn, Pebble Prominent, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Monday, August 21st, 2017

After a bright start, the day was dominated by light cloud, whilst winds remained light. During the seawatch, four Sooty Shearwaters flew north, 280 Oystercatchers, 23 Redshank and seven Arctic Skuas moved south and 88 Sandwich Terns, eight Common Terns and four Bonxies headed in the opposite direction. 

Thornwick Pools attracted 14 Dunlin, two Common Sandpiper and a Green Sandpiper, with a 1st-calendar year Mediterranean Gull at South Landing.

West of the Dykes, seven Whimbrel, four Whinchats and a Willow Tit were recorded at Buckton.

Dunlin, Thornwick Pools, by Tony Simpson

Mediterranean Gull, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Sunday, August 20th, 2017

There were moderate westerly winds and sunny intervals, with increasing levels of cloud in the afternoon. Seawatching highlights included 11 Manx Shearwaters, five Little Gulls, four Mediterranean Gulls, 27 Sandwich Terns, 33 Common Terns, six Arctic Terns and three Bonxies flying north, whilst eight Arctic Skuas moved south and two Little Egrets were in residence. 

Sightings elsewhere included two Greenshank, a Grey Wagtail and a Spotted Flycatcher. 

Bempton Cliffs RSPB attracted a Little Egret, one Marsh Harrier, five Spotted Flycatchers and 220 Linnets.

Cormorant, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Saturday, August 19th, 2017

Increasingly strong westerly winds featured during a day of sunny intervals. During the seawatch, two Manx Shearwaters flew south and single Arctic Skua and Bonxie were recorded. 

The day’s highlight was the discovery of a Bittern at North Marsh; only the fifth observatory record. Thornwick Pools hosted a Black-tailed Godwit, 13 Dunlin, two Ringed Plovers and one Greenshank. A scattering of passerine migrants included single Spotted Flycatcher, Tree Pipit, Whinchat, two Wheatears and a White Wagtail. 

West of the Dykes, four Snipe and a Spotted Flycatcher were seen at Bempton Cliffs RSPB and 14 Dunlin flew south at Buckton.

Grey Heron, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Friday, August 18th, 2017

The sustained pattern of weather continued with another day of sunny intervals and moderate westerly winds. A pair of Grey Partridge accompanied three young on the Golf Course; a notable breeding record for a species that appears to be declining locally. Nearby, an adult Yellow-legged Gull loafed with other large gulls on the beach south of the Fog Station and two juvenile Stonechats were located below the Lighthouse. 

West of the Dykes, a Little Egret was present at Sewerby.

Sand Martin, Beacon Hill, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

Another day where the winds remained in the south-west and sunny intervals prevailed after a damp start. Seawatching was disappointing, with little more than a Pochard, 67 Common Scoter and a Bonxie moving north of note. Thornwick Pools attracted a Ringed Plover and ten Dunlin.

West of the Dykes, sightings from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included a Wood Warbler in the Dell; a Little Egret was at the nearby village pond.

Barn Owl, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

Southerly winds gradually increased in strength during a largely sunny day, with temperatures reaching 20 degrees C. During the seawatch, 17 Oystercatchers, three Whimbrel and 15 Redshank flew south, with 76 Sandwich Terns and 28 Common Terns flying north.

A Little Egret appeared on a small pool near the Lighthouse, whilst Thornwick Pools attracted nine Ringed Plovers, 20 Dunlin and a Green Sandpiper. An additional two Ringed Plovers and 19 Golden Plovers also overflew the headland. A juvenile Cuckoo was located on the outer head, where hirundine numbers increased to 18 Sand Martins, 130 Swallows, 290 House Martins.

West of the Dykes, sightings from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included two Marsh Harriers, 24 Golden Plover and 13 Snipe. Notable sightings at Buckton involved a juvenile Cuckoo and a Willow Tit. A Little Egret and nine Ringed Plovers were also recorded at Sewerby.

Ringed Plover, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Cuckoo, Outer Head, by Andrew Allport

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

Winds remained light and from the south-west, with sunny intervals throughout. Seawatching highlights included 128 Teal, 42 Common Scoters and two Little Egrets flying south, with 55 Sandwich Terns, five Common Terns, four Bonxies, two Pomarine Skuas heading north.

A Hobby flew over Thornwick, where 11 Teal, 14 Dunlin and a Ringed Plover were present.

West of the Dykes, the Alpine Swift once again made a brief appearance over Bempton Cliffs RSPB mid-morning and then again in the evening.

Sparrowhawk, Thornwick Pools, by Don Hustings

Monday, August 14th, 2017

After an overcast start to the day, sunny intervals established mid-afternoon, whilst an increasing south-south-east wind developed. During the seawatch, four Tufted Duck, a Manx Shearwater, 33 Redshank, five Sanderling, 55 Dunlin and an Arctic Skua flew south, with 55 Sandwich Terns heading north.

Thornwick Pools attracted a Little Egret, one Greenshank, a Ringed Plover and 17 Dunlin.

The Alpine Swift reappeared over Bempton Cliffs during the morning, with Little Egret and juvenile Yellow-legged Gull also recorded there.

Whimbrel, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Sunday, August 13th, 2017

A  sunny day, with light west-north-west winds. During the seawatch, a Sooty Shearwater, three Manx Shearwaters, a Black-tailed Godwit, 77 Redshank, a Greenshank and two Arctic Skuas flew south, with 54 Sandwich Terns and four Bonxies moving north.

Thornwick Pools attracted a Little Egret, three Black-tailed Godwits, two Greenshank, eight Dunlin and two Snipe. A Marsh Harrier and eight Whimbrel also flew west over South Landing. 

The Alpine Swift re-appeared near the cliff top at Buckton late morning. Other sightings from there included two Marsh Harriers, a Hobby, four Golden Plover, a Grasshopper Warbler, 25 Yellow Wagtails and four Whinchat. 

Alpine Swift, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Alpine Swift, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Marsh Harrier, South Landing, by Mark Pearson

Black-tailed Godwit, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Greenshank, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Saturday, August 12th, 2017

An overcast day, with showers and relatively light westerly winds, which switched to northerlies later. Seawatching highlights included 68 Common Scoters flying north, a winter-plumaged Great Northern Diver that drifted south on the sea, two Great Crested Grebes north, a Black-tailed Godwit heading south, with two Greenshank, two juvenile Yellow-legged Gulls, 114 Sandwich Terns, 81 Common Terns and two Arctic Terns all flying north. 

Thornwick Pools attracted a Little Egret, 17 Dunlin and two Green Sandpipers. South Landing hosted a Bar-tailed Godwit, eight Whimbrel, five Curlew, 21 Dunlin and 46 Redshank. However, the day’s highlight was the re-appearance of the Alpine Swift; initially seen at Bempton Cliffs early morning, it later drifted south-east towards the Thornwick area. 

Additional sightings from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included a Marsh Harrier, three Golden Plovers, 27 Redshank, a Black-tailed Godwit, one Cuckoo and 300 Linnets.

Little Egret, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Friday, August 11th, 2017

A day of light south-west winds and generally overcast skies. During the seawatch, three Eider, 75 Common Scoter, a Red-throated Diver, 307 Sandwich Terns, 18 Common Terns, an Arctic Tern, one Bonxie and three Arctic Skuas flew north. Flying south were four Golden Plovers, a Grey Plover, five Ringed Plovers, 37 Redshank and 191 Dunlin.

A mobile flock of 180 Common Scoters frequented Bridlington Bay off South Dykes. A flock of 23 Black-tailed Godwits also flew south over the outer head having headed over Bempton Cliffs earlier. Thornwick Pools attracted 19 Dunlin, two Greenshank and two Green Sandpipers. Migrant passerines included two Wheatears and a Garden Warbler.

West of the Dykes, single Hobby, Marsh Harrier, Short-eared Owl and a Willow Tit, together with four Whinchats, were seen at Buckton. Migrants at Bempton Cliffs included 14 Yellow Wagtails.

Hobby, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Green Sandpiper, Thornwick Pools, by John Beaumont

Thursday, August 10th, 2017

The weather consisted of light northerly winds and prolonged sunny spells. Seawatching highlights included 15 Teal, a Velvet Scoter, 124 Common Scoter, two Sooty Shearwaters, 51 Manx Shearwaters, 513 Sandwich Terns, 37 Common Terns, 11 Arctic Terns and 13 Bonxies flying north. Heading in the opposite direction were a Red-throated Diver, 120 Oystercatchers, a Grey Plover, 17 Ringed Plover, 22 Black-tailed Godwits, 125 Whimbrel, 48 Redshank, 79 Dunlin, an immature Pomarine Skua and three Arctic Skuas.

Five Greenshank (three at Thornwick Pools and two over Oceanview) and two Green Sandpipers (One Thornwick Pools and one Beacon Hill) were present. Thornwick Pools also attracted a Banded Demoiselle – an odonata species rarely recorded locally. A scattering of migrant passerines included a Pied Flycatcher.

West of the Dykes, a juvenile Cuckoo was present at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Teal, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Wednesday, August 9th, 2017

Strong northerly winds lasted all day; the morning was overcast, with sunny intervals developing in the afternoon. Seawatching showed considerable improvement, with a Cory’s Shearwater offshore at 0757hrs that eventually flew south. However, the highlight related to a Red-necked Phalarope which flew north from 1815-1825hrs, albeit interspersed with spells on the sea. Other birds moving north included 63 Teal, two Eider, 230 Common Scoter, three Sooty Shearwaters, 60 Manx Shearwaters, four Golden Plover, two Little Ringed Plovers, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull, 115 Sandwich Terns, 63 Common Terns and 16 Arctic Terns. A substantial movement of Kittiwakes started from 1600hrs and continued until late evening, with a peak of 8000 birds moving north per hour. Four Little Gulls were also observed feeding offshore. Southbound passage included six Shoveler, a Red-throated Diver, 471 Oystercatchers, five Whimbrel, a Greenshank, ten Bonxies and 26 Arctic Skuas. 

Thornwick Pools hosted a Greenshank and three Dunlin.

Bonxie, seawatch, by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

The main feature of the day was rain; persistent and at times very heavy, along with an increasingly strong northerly wind. During the seawatch, 360 Common Scoter, a Red-throated Diver, one Manx Shearwater and a Common Tern flew north. Thornwick Pools attracted 20 Dunlin, one Snipe, a Green Sandpiper and one Ringed Plover.

Snipe, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Monday, August 7th, 2017

Light/moderate south-westerly winds reduced in strength during a largely sunny day. During the seawatch, two Shoveler, 183 Common Scoters, three Whimbrel, 35 Sandwich Terns and four Common Terns flew north, whilst 11 Oystercatchers, two Whimbrel, 19 Redshank, two Sanderling and 41 Dunlin flew south. However, the highlight was a Minke Whale that fully breached to the north-east of the Fog Station; quite possibly the same animal was later seen off Bempton Cliffs RSPB. Thornwick Pools attracted 36 Dunlin, two Ringed Plovers, a Greenshank and a Short-eared Owl.

The latter location went one better when an Alpine Swift was discovered mid-morning; it showed well from the cliff top vantage points until late morning when it drifted off north-west.

Alpine Swift, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Craig Thomas

Greenshank, Thornwick Pools, by John Beaumont

Sunday, August 6th, 2017

The weather consisted of light/moderate westerly winds and sunny intervals. During the seawatch, 91 Common Scoter, 18 Manx Shearwaters, 46 Sandwich Terns, nine Common Terns and an Arctic Tern flew north, whilst a Bonxie and five Arctic Skuas were also recorded. Elsewhere, a Greenshank, 12 Dunlin and seven Snipe frequented Thornwick Pools. 

West of the Dykes, a juvenile Mediterranean Gull flew north at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Linnet, South Landing, by Don Hustings

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

The prevailing wind again had a westerly component, although was north of west late morning; after a sunny day, heavy showers passed through the area in the evening. Seawatching highlights included 36 Manx Shearwaters, a Balearic Shearwater and a Great Crested Grebe flying north, 58 Oystercatchers and a Greenshank heading south, two Bonxies north, a sub-adult Pomarine Skua and five Arctic Skuas flying south, with a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull, three Arctic Terns and 382 Puffins flying north.

Thornwick Pools attracted 11 Dunlin, two Redshank, a Green Sandpiper and a Greenshank. Five Willow Warblers were also in the Thornwick area, together with two Spotted Flycatchers.

A Minke Whale was seen off Bempton Cliffs RSPB, where a Cuckoo was also recorded. Nearby Buckton hosted single Willow Tit and Redstart.

Greenshank, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Chinese Character moth, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Friday, August 4th, 2017

Strong westerly winds blew throughout a sunny day, with temperatures reaching 21 degrees C. Nine Manx Shearwaters were recorded during the seawatch, along with 27 Oystercatchers heading south, whilst 30 Sandwich Terns and a Common Tern flew north.

A Green Sandpiper and 28 Dunlin visited Thornwick Pools, with five Willow Warblers in the same area. A Common Sandpiper flew south over Oceanview, with 79 Swifts moving west over there early evening.

West of the Dykes, a Wood Sandpiper flew south-east over Bempton Cliffs, where three Bonxies were recorded during the day.

Swift, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Thursday, August 3rd, 2017

Strong south-westerly winds dominated another showery day. Seawatching highlights included four Teal, 12 Whimbrel and 13 Knot moving south, with three Manx Shearwaters, 12 Sandwich Terns and two Arctic Skuas heading north; two Bonxies were also present.

Thornwick Pools hosted 29 Dunlin, a Ringed Plover, four Green Sandpipers and two Greenshank. Two Willow Warblers and three Blackcap in the Bay Brambles were undoubted migrants.

Sanderling, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017

A relatively overcast day, with light/moderate south-westerly winds. During the seawatch, 28 Common Scoters and ten Manx Shearwaters flew north, a Great Crested Grebe and 11 Dunlin moved south. The ‘autumn’s’ first Pomarine Skua, an immature, also flew south, whilst 34 Sandwich Terns went north and three Common Terns moved in the opposite direction.

Thornwick Pools attracted 24 Dunlin, a Whimbrel, three Green Sandpipers and a Redshank.

West of the Dykes, a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull was again present at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Cuckoo, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Tuesday, August 1st, 2017

The weather again consisted of moderate south-westerly winds, sunny intervals and showers. Seawatching highlights included 70 Oystercatchers, 72 Whimbrel and ten Redshank flying south.

Thornwick Pools attracted a Little Grebe, 20 Dunlin, ten Redshank, three Green Sandpipers, with a Greenshank also flying south over the pools.

Sightings from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included three Shoveler and nine Black-tailed Godwits flying south-east, with seven Snipe and a juvenile Yellow-legged Gull heading north-west. A total of 377 Swallows also flew south-east there, where a Banded Demoiselle represented an unusual local record. Additional sightings from Buckton included one Marsh Harrier, a Cuckoo, two Whinchat, a Grasshopper Warbler, nine Willow Warblers, 30 Yellow Wagtails and two Willow Tits.

Little Grebe, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Barn Owl, Buckton, by Paul Reed