Friday, October 20th, 2017

A day of light, variable winds, overcast skies during the morning, with prolonged sunny spells later. Seawatching highlights included the following birds flying south: nine Pink-footed Geese, eight dark-bellied Brent Geese, 211 Wigeon, 19 Shoveler, two Pintail, 114 Teal, 92 Common Scoter, five Goldeneye, a Sooty Shearwater, 30 Little Gulls and a Sandwich Tern. Heading north were three dark-bellied Brent Geese, two Gadwall, 27 Eider, eight Little Gulls and six Bonxies. In addition, a Long-eared Owl flew in off the sea at 1105hrs. Potentially the best bird was a Swift sp. offshore at 1036hrs which showed several features of a Pallid, but views were insufficient to be conclusive.

Thornwick Pools attracted three Water Rails, with three Woodcock also noted on the headland. Passerine interest included (with a significant section of the headland’s figures still to come) 2835 Redwing, 625 Blackbirds, 330 Song Thrush, 14 Fieldfare, four Ring Ouzels, 760 Starlings in off, 12 Yellow-browed Warblers, eight Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, ten Blackcap, two Lesser Whitethroats, 24 Goldcrests, six Grey Wagtails, 78 Robins, a Black Redstart, two Hawfinch (Lighthouse Road & Old Fall), 108 Bramblings, 16 Reed Buntings and a Lapland Bunting.

West of the Dykes, a Ring Ouzel was in the Bempton Chalet Park and a Yellow-browed Warbler and four Lapland Buntings at Buckton.

Blackcap, Hartendale, by Mike Smith

Hawfinch, Old Fall, by Rachel Gibson

Thursday, October 19th, 2017

Winds remained relatively light and generally from the south-east; early morning fog was slow to clear, only to be replaced by heavy rain until dark. A substantial arrival of thrushes occurred during the afternoon, although due to the inclement conditions, the numbers recorded must have been a fraction of those actually making landfall.

Two Woodcock were located on the headland, with a Water Rail frequenting the Bay Brambles. Thrush numbers included 3100 Redwing, 475 Blackbirds, 155 Song Thrush, 42 Fieldfare and five Ring Ouzels. A Great Grey Shrike was located along Hartendale mid-morning. Seven Yellow-browed Warblers were present, along with 42 Goldcrests, 15 Chiffchaffs and four Blackcap. Single Wheatear and Whinchat remained, with 62 Brambling also present. Unfortunately, a dead Minke Whale was washed offshore near Old Fall.

Bempton Cliffs RSPB attracted two Yellow-browed Warblers and a Ring Ouzel, as well as witnessing the impressive thrush arrival.

Ring Ouzel, North Landing, by Andy Hood

Treecreeper, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017

Light winds shifted from a northerly to an easterly direction, whilst sunny intervals featured occasionally. During the seawatch, a Manx Shearwater, three Bonxies, seven Arctic Skuas, eight Little Gulls and a Minke Whale were recorded.

Thornwick Pools attracted four Wigeon, 22 Teal, a Water Rail and one Jack Snipe, with an additional two Water Rails in the Thornwick ‘cafe’ reedbed. Migrant passerines included 35 Goldcrests, 75 Skylarks, three Yellow-browed Warblers, six Chiffchaff, six Blackcap, one Ring Ouzel, 65 Blackbirds, 13 Fieldfare, 30 Song Thrush, 785 Redwing, 25 Robin, four Wheatear, a Whinchat, 94 Brambling, a Hawfinch, ten Bullfinch, 460 Linnet, 56 Lesser Redpolls, 236 Siskin and a Lapland Bunting

The day’s highlight was the discovery of a Radde’s Warbler along the nature trail at Bempton Cliffs RSPB; other sightings from the reserve included a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Pied Flycatcher. Buckton attracted single Water Rail and Ruff, two Fieldfare, one Ring Ouzel and 15 Lesser Redpoll.

Minke Whale, Fog Station, by Colin Scott

Ring Ouzel, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Fieldfare, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

Another day of strong westerly winds and largely sunny skies. Ten Shelduck, 13 Wigeon, two Scaup, 70 Common Scoter, and a Leach’s Petrel flew south, whilst 15 Little Gulls moved north.

A Whooper Swan circled Thornwick, whilst 165 Pink-footed Geese flew south. A Water Rail frequented Thornwick Pools, as did the two Bearded Tits. A male Black Redstart was seen in the village, whilst 19 Rock Pipits and two Grey Wagtails fed on South Landing beach.

Bearded Tit, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Monday, October 16th, 2017

The weather was mixed: a little light rain, a little fog, a little sunshine, but mainly hazy cloud with a red sun. After starting with light south-west winds, south-easterlies developed during the middle part of the day, before strong south-westerlies set in mid-afternoon. During the seawatch, 22 Common Scoter flew north and two Little Egrets headed south.

Twenty Shelduck, 40 Wigeon and a Little Egret flew past Danes Dyke, where the Nuthatch remained at the car-park. Thornwick Pools attracted 27 Teal, a Snipe, one Water Rail and the two Bearded Tits.

Passerine migrants included one Reed Warbler, a Yellow-browed Warbler, five Chiffchaff, one Ring Ouzel, 120 Redwing, 30 Blackbirds, a Whinchat, one Wheatear and one Black Redstart.

Redwing, North Landing, by Andy Hood

Grey Wagtail, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, October 15th, 2017

Winds were again strong and from the south-west, with sunshine breaking through after an overcast start to the day; temperatures attained 19 degrees C. During the seawatch, ten Whooper Swans and a Goosander flew south.

The two Water Rails again frequented Thornwick, whilst the Little Owl continued its residence at Oceanview. Far from an annual visitor to Flamborough, two Bearded Tits – a male and young female – were discovered at Thornwick Pools. Four Yellow-browed Warblers were present, including a potential new arrival in the Golf Course Willows, as were two Willow Warblers. Last week’s Nuthatch remained in South Dykes, but after only a handful of local records previously, amazingly a second bird was located in Old Fall. A Richard’s Pipit was flushed from cliff-top fields near North Dykes; potentially the bird present on 13th. Other sightings included three Whinchat and 17 Lesser Redpolls.

West of the Dykes, a Yellow-browed Warbler was at Sewerby Hall.

Whooper Swan, Fog Station, by Colin Scott

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

Strong south-south-west winds were a feature of a day of light cloud, sunny intervals and temperatures that again peaked at 21 degrees C. During the seawatch, a Little Egret, one Mediterranean Gull and three Arctic Skuas flew north, with a Little Gull and a Bonxie heading south. 

Two Water Rails continued in residence at Thornwick Pools. Passerine interest included a Ring Ouzel, eight Yellow-browed Warblers, four Whinchat, a Wheatear, 200 Tree Sparrows and seven Lesser Redpolls.

Sightings from Sewerby included a Little Egret, two Mediterranean Gulls, 1100 Black-headed Gulls and 100 Common Gulls.

Yellow-browed Warbler, outer head, by Andrew Allport

Friday, October 13th, 2017

Moderate/strong southerly winds featured throughout a generally light overcast day, with temperatures rising to 21 degrees C. During the seawatch, a Great Northern Diver and a Mediterranean Gull flew north, whilst a Velvet Scoter and a Pomarine Skua headed in the opposite direction.

Away from the sea, three Pink-footed Geese overflew the headland in the morning. A Great White Egret – Flamborough’s seventh record – flew south past North Landing at 1450hrs, before eventually settling in the South Landing area; it flew west over South Dykes at 1600hrs. The Nuthatch remained in South Dykes, Old Fall still hosted a Yellow-browed Warbler. However, better still a Richard’s Pipit was located in the North Landing vicinity, with a Ring Ouzel and a Whinchat nearby.

Buckton attracted a Ruff, five Coal Tits, a Willow Tit and one Whinchat.

Great White Egret, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, October 12th, 2017

The weather consisted of overcast skies and moderate west-south-westerly winds. Seawatching highlights included single Shoveler and Goosander flying north, a Red-breasted Merganser, one Balearic Shearwater, two Little Egrets, seven Golden Plover, a Grey Plover and a Mediterranean Gull flying south, whilst five Bonxies, four Arctic Skuas and a Long-tailed Skua also headed north. 

A total of 26 Golden Plovers flew south over the headland. The Nuthatch remained in residence at South Dykes, whilst migrants included seven Yellow-browed Warblers, ten Chiffchaffs, 60 Redwing, 80 Blackbirds, a Wheatear, 22 Lesser Redpolls and four Brambling.

Nuthatch, South Dykes, by Mark Pearson

Wednesday, October 11th, 2017

An overcast day, with a strong westerly wind and rain during the afternoon. During the morning’s seawatch, three Snipe flew north, ten Dunlin headed south, with a Bonxie and three Arctic Skuas also flying north. In the evening, another two Arctic Skuas were recorded, along with 116 Little Gulls

Thornwick Pools attracted 12 Teal, three Dunlin and five Snipe; four more Snipe were nearby, along with a Water Rail in Thornwick Reedbed. Elsewhere, a Mute Swan flew west past South Dykes/Sewerby. The day’s best sighting was a Nuthatch, a species with only a handful of local records, that attended feeders at South Dykes car-park.

Snipe, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

A relatively overcast day, with a moderate westerly wind. During the seawatch, two Little Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull and one Bonxie flew north, whilst two Arctic Skuas headed south.

A total of 460 Pink-footed Geese flew south over the headland, a Barnacle Goose frequented North Marsh and a Red-breasted Merganser was seen off the Fog Station and Old Fall. Two Little Egrets were feeding in rock pools below the Golf Course, whilst an exhausted Short-eared Owl was picked up and taken into care at Oceanview. Passerine interest was headlined by the Hawfinch that was caught and ringed at North Landing. Additional sightings included 64 Blackbird, 90 Redwing, three Whinchat, six Yellow-browed Warblers, three Brambling and eight Lesser Redpolls.

West of the Dykes, a Ruff visited Buckton Pond.

Short-eared Owl, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Hawfinch, North Landing, by Jo Hood

Monday, October 9th, 2017

A light westerly breeze strengthened during the course of the day; after an overcast start, sunny intervals featured in the afternoon. 

A total of 235 Pink-footed Geese flew south, with other wildfowl sightings including a Barnacle Goose, 130 Wigeon that flew north past South Landing, 600 Common Scoter and a Red-breasted Merganser. Three Jack Snipe were logged, including an individual in off the sea. Raptor sightings included 13 Common Buzzards, a Merlin and eight Sparrowhawks. Three Water Rails were located in the Thornwick area, with a single Short-eared Owl on the outer head. Migrant passerines included 47 Goldcrests, 20 Yellow-browed Warblers, two Garden Warblers, 560 Starlings, four Fieldfares, 170 Blackbirds, 270 Redwing, 55 Song Thrush, a Black Redstart, four Whinchat, 42 Brambling, 40 Lesser Redpolls, 16 Siskin and two Hawfinch.

West of the Dykes, records from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included 190 Pink-footed Geese, a Fieldfare and seven Lesser Redpolls. A Water Rail was seen at Buckton.

Redwing, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, October 8th, 2017

Very light northerly winds and light, overcast conditions until a sunny end to the day; perfect finding conditions, with a significant arrival of migrants throughout the day. Seawatching highlights included 54 Pink-footed Geese, four Barnacle Geese, 51 Wigeon, two Pintail, 58 Teal, 152 Common Scoter, two Goldeneye, a Great Northern Diver, a Sooty Shearwater all flying north. Amongst birds heading south were four Velvet Scoter and a Black Guillemot, whilst 15 Little Gulls were also logged. 

Additional seawatch records from South Landing included two more Great Northern Divers flying north, whilst 24 Pink-footed Geese flew south. Thornwick Pools hosted a Barnacle Goose, six Snipe and a Water Rail; another of the latter was also present in Thornwick reedbed. Single Jack Snipe and three Woodcock evidently came in off the sea, as did two Short-eared Owls.

Passerine interest was headlined by a Richard’s Pipit near North Marsh, three Red-breasted Flycatchers and 33 Yellow-browed Warblers. Other sightings included a Jay, 16 Coal Tits, 55 Goldcrests, three Lesser Whitethroats, a Reed Warbler, three Willow Warblers, a Fieldfare, 210 Blackbirds, 60 Song Thrush, 540 Redwing, 13 Whinchat, 19 Stonechats, two Wheatear, a Redstart, a Black Redstart, a Pied Flycatcher, a Spotted Flycatcher, 38 Lesser Redpolls, three Siskin, 130 Chaffinch, a Hawfinch (in off and west) and 95 Brambling.

West of the Dykes, sightings from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included 28 Barnacle Geese, three Velvet Scoter, 50 Blackbirds, 46 Redwing, a Lesser Whitethroat, five Stonechat and four Brambling.

Red-breasted Flycatcher, Thornwick Reedbed, by John Harwood

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

After a brief interlude of north-westerly winds over the last two days, the winds switched back to the south-west; after a wet start, it was mainly cloudy with light rain and then sunshine late afternoon.

Seawatching was rewarded with: 90 Wigeon, a male Velvet Scoter, two Eider, a Goosander, one Sooty Shearwater, two Sandwich Terns, ten Bonxies and an Arctic Skua flying north. Birds moving south included a dark-bellied Brent Goose, eight Pintail and 40 Red-throated Divers. A second-winter Mediterranean Gull lingered offshore, but better still, a Minke Whale surfaced off the headland mid-afternoon.

The day’s highlight was undoubtedly the discovery of Flamborugh’s second-ever Cetti’s Warbler, located at Thornwick Pools late afternoon; two Water Rails were also on site.

Additional sightings included 140 Pink-footed Geese heading south, four Ruff, a Little Owl at Oceanview, four Coal Tits and four Siskin. 

Kestrel, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Friday, October 6th, 2017

The weather consisted of moderate/strong north-westerly winds that gradually abated; sunshine also prevailed after an overcast start. Seawatching highlights included: 57 Wigeon, a Pintail, single Scaup and Velvet Scoter, three Goosander, 58 Common Scoter, a Storm Petrel, 13 Sooty Shearwaters, 26 Manx Shearwaters, a Jack Snipe, one Little Gull, two Mediterranean Gulls, 488 Common Gulls, two Little Auks and eight Puffins all flying north. Amongst the birds heading south were 79 Red-throated Divers, 31 Bonxies, 35 Arctic Skuas and a juvenile Long-tailed Skua.

A Water Rail remained at Thornwick Pools, a Marsh Harrier appeared over South Landing, five Ruff were once again down Water Lane, whilst four Little Gulls were also off South Landing. A Little Owl was calling from Oceanview early evening. Passerine sightings included 38 Redwing, eight Goldcrest, 12 Chiffchaff, a Yellow-browed Warbler at South Landing, a White Wagtail, a Brambling, two Siskin and six Lesser Redpolls.

West of the Dykes, a male Black Redstart was at Buckton.

Goosander, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Mediterranean Gull, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Lesser Redpoll, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Strong north-north-westerly winds gradually decreased in strength during a largely sunny day. Seawatching was rewarded with a Scaup, 47 Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, 27 Bonxies, nine Arctic Skuas flying south and a Sooty Shearwater and ten Little Gulls moving north.

A total of 200 Pink-footed Geese flew south, with five Ruff on Water Lane. Passerine interest included 12 Redwing, 30 Goldcrest, 17 Chiffchaffs and a Mealy Redpoll.

West of the Dykes, Buckton attracted a Ruff, a Lesser Whitethroat, nine Stonechats, 300 Goldfinch and 300 Linnets.

Ruff, Buckton Pond, by Paul Reed

Linnet & Goldfinch, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Wednesday, October 4th, 2017

Another day of strong south-westerly winds, overcast, with spells of rain. Seawatching highlights included a Sooty Shearwater heading north, a Jack Snipe flying in off the sea, with three Bonxies and six Arctic Skuas flying south.

Seventy Pink-footed Geese flew south, a Little Egret fed on the beach at South Dykes and three Ruff again frequented the flash along Water Lane. The day’s main feature was an influx of Goldcrests, with birds well distributed: a garden on the outer head attracted 15, with ten in just one garden in the village; 12 were also at Old Fall to give an indication of just how many must have been present across the headland. A Yellow-browed Warbler remained in residence in one garden in the village.

Bempton Cliffs RSPB attracted a Tawny Owl, a Yellow-browed Warbler, four Chiffchaffs, 15 Goldcrests, a Wheatear and six Lesser Redpolls.

Yellow-browed Warbler, Flamborough, by Paul Reed

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

Increasingly strong westerly winds featured once again during a largely sunny day. During the seawatch, 33 Pink-footed Geese, 13 Pintail, 23 Red-throated Diver, a Sooty Shearwater and five Bonxies flew south, whilst three Golden Plovers went north.

However, by far the largest numbers of southbound geese passed over, or to the west of, the Dykes. Passage peaked during the afternoon, by the end of which 1450 Pink-footed Geese had been logged. Four Ruff were present on Water Lane, with a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Wheatear in village gardens. Two Grey Wagtails and two White Wagtails were noted, with South Landing attracting single Redstart and Brambling.

Bempton Cliffs RSPB hosted a Water Rail, single Yellow-browed Warbler and Pied Flycatcher, 30 Goldcrests and six Lesser Redpolls. Sightings from Buckton included single Lesser Whitethroat and Whinchat.

Migrant Hawker, Flamborough village, by Mike Smith

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

The weather consisted of gale force westerly winds and sunny intervals. Seawatching was rewarded with 80 Pink-footed Geese, two Golden Plover, a Grey Plover and a Grey Phalarope flying south.

An additional 41 Pink-footed Geese flew south over the headland, a Marsh Harrier frequented North Dykes and a Ruff remained on the pool along Water Lane. Single Whinchat and Redstart were located near the Lighthouse.

Sightings from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included lone Yellow-browed Warbler, Pied Flycatcher and Lesser Redpoll.

Sparrowhawk, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

The weather consisted of strong westerly winds, overcast skies with periodic rain. During the seawatch, a Tufted Duck, 35 Common Scoter, 16 Dunlin and an Arctic Skua flew south.

A Great Crested Grebe was on the sea below Beacon Hill, where a Red-breasted Merganser flew south. The Water Rail remained at Thornwick Pools, whilst a Ruff again frequented Water Lane. Few migrant passerines were located in the inclement weather, although a Grey Wagtail was present in Hartendale.

West of the Dykes, sightings from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included a Swift, two Yellow-browed Warblers, a Ring Ouzel, two Whinchat, two Redstarts, a Pied Flycatcher, one Tree Pipit, two Brambling and two Siskin. 

Stonechat, by Don Hustings