Thursday, November 30th, 2017

The day had a particularly wintry feel with the strong northerly wind continuing throughout and frequent snow, sleet, hail and rain showers.

The morning sea watch was relatively productive with single Long-tailed DuckScaup, GN Diver and Goldeneye. Other notable counts included 17 Shelduck, 39 Wigeon, 5 Teal, 16 Common Scoter, 9 RT Diver and 464 Fulmar.

A female Red-breasted Merganser was at South Landing, with other counts from the outer headland including 3 Water Rail, 58 Turnstone, 14 Sanderling and 4 Purple Sandpiper.

A Little Auk was picked up exhausted in a Bempton village garden early during the morning before being taken into care.

Great spotted Woodpecker, South Dykes by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, November 29th, 2017

A strong northerly wind persisted throughout the day, with occasional snow and sleet showers interspersed with sunny spells.

Highlights during the sea watch included 3 Little Auk, 2 Pom Skua, 4 Bonxie, 1 GN Diver, 44 RT Diver and 554 Fulmar including two blue morphs.

The two Nuthatch remained at South Dykes and were observed caching food, suggesting they are looking to hang around for a while yet. A Blackcap in a village garden was particularly noteworthy, as was a Red Kite which flew north over mid-dykes early morning.

Nuthatch, South Dykes by Alan Walkington.

Blackcap,Village garden by Paul Reed.

Tuesday, November 28th, 2017

A day of moderate north-westerly winds and heavy showers, occasionally wintery, with temperatures peaking at five degrees C. During the seawatch, a Blue Fulmar flew north and two Bonxies headed south. South Landing beach attracted 73 Turnstones and ten Sanderling, whilst a Lapland Bunting overflew the outer head.

West of the Dykes, the Rough-legged Buzzard again frequented the cliff top opposite Buckton Hall.

Peregrine, North Cliffs, by Andrew Allport

Monday, November 27th, 2017

Sunshine and occasional showers featured throughout, with increasingly strong westerly winds dominating. Four Whooper Swans rested in a stubble field on the outer head before flying south, with three Pink-footed Geese doing the same. One Water Rail was seen and the two Nuthatch remained in South Dykes. A field near North Dykes attracted four Lapland Buntings and two Corn Buntings. 

West of the Dykes, the Rough-legged Buzzard was again present east of Buckton Hall.

Whooper Swans, outer head, by Andrew Allport

Whooper Swan, outer head, by Andrew Allport

Lapland Buntings, North Dykes, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, November 26th, 2017

A largely sunny day, with a moderate westerly wind. The seawatch was quiet, with four Eider flying north the highlight, whilst three Water Rail remained at Thornwick Pools.

West of the Dykes, the Rough-legged Buzzard re-appeared at Buckton. Additional sightings there included 13 Grey Partridges, a Merlin, the long-staying Willow Tit, two Stonechat, 30 Tree Sparrows and 150 Linnet.

Grey Wagtail, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Saturday, November 25th, 2017

After a frosty start, sunny throughout with light westerly winds. Seawatching highlights included a Bonxie flying south, whilst two Lapland Buntings also flew south over the Fog Station. The Thornwick area hosted a minimum of one Water Rail and an adult Mediterranean Gull.

Skylark, Cattlemere, by Alan Walkington

Friday, November 24th, 2017

A day of sunny skies and light/moderate westerly winds, although temperatures didn’t exceed five degrees C. During the seawatch, 484 Common Scoters flew north (with 92 south), a Goosander also headed north, a Great Northern Diver and a Bonxie moved south, and a Sooty Shearwater flew north. Another Great Northern Diver was on the sea off the Fog Station.

A total of 355 Pink-footed Geese flew south, a Little Egret overflew Thornwick, two Woodcock were located, whilst four Water Rails were also present at Thornwick: one of the latter in the reedbed adjacent to the cafĂ© and three at Thornwick Pools. An adult Mediterranean Gull followed the plough there and a Short-eared Owl frequented North Dykes. During a ringing session, a Blackcap was caught at South Landing. The two Richard’s Pipits remained in residence on the cliff top near Thornwick; other sightings included a Brambling, 24 Siskins, two Lapland Buntings near North Dykes and a Snow Bunting at South Landing.

Sightings from Buckton included two Common Buzzards and two Stonechats.

Mediterranean Gull, Thornwick, by Andrew Allport

Richard’s Pipit, Thornwick, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

A largely sunny day with increasingly strong south-west winds. During the seawatch, a Great Northern Diver flew south; presumably the same individual had earlier flown south past Bempton Cliffs RSPB. Low numbers of Starlings, thrushes and finches were also observed flying in off the sea, including 17 Fieldfares. Elsewhere, a Water Rail remained in residence at Thornwick Pools, 16 Curlew frequented Cattlemere, a Blackcap was in bushes near the Lighthouse and three Corn Buntings were nearby.

Redshank, South Dykes, by Jo Hood

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

A relatively overcast day, with increasingly strong and eventually near gale force south-westerly winds. The highlight of the seawatch conducted from North Landing was a Great Northern Diver flew north.

Sightings on the headland included one Water Rail and the Nuthatch; the latter still present in South Dykes.

Sanderling, South Dykes, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, November 21st, 2017

It was a wet start to a day that featured increasingly strong south-west winds. Sightings included one Water Rail, a Woodcock, three Purple Sandpipers at South Landing, a first-winter Mediterranean Gull at Thornwick Pools and two Richard’s Pipits on the cliff top north of Thornwick.

Mediterranean Gull, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Richard’s Pipit, Thornwick, by Andrew Allport

Monday, November 20th, 2017

A relatively overcast day, with light rain during the morning and light south-west winds, sunny intervals then featured during the afternoon. Seawatching highlights included five Wigeon, 106 Teal, a Tufted Duck, 45 Common Scoter, seven Goldeneye, a Great Northern Diver, one Blue Fulmar, a juvenile Glaucous Gull and a Bonxie all flying north. 

Elsewhere, a Pink-footed Goose, 40 Teal and two Water Rails were recorded; the latter at Thornwick Pools, where single Snipe and Dunlin were also present.

Roe Deer, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Sunday, November 19th, 2017

A near, full morning sea-watching on the headland recorded four Eider south and one north, 20 Common Scoter south and ten north, two Black-throated Diver north, Great Northern Diver north, Balearic Shearwater north, 21 Common Gull south and 177 north and two Little Auk north. Present were 115 Shag and 15 Oystercatcher.

At South Landing were ten Oystercatcher, 65 Turnstone, Sanderling, Purple Sandpiper, 15 Redshank, 26 Tree Sparrow, five Bullfinch and four Siskin. A Snow Bunting flew over Oceanview early morning.

West of the Dykes, the Rough-legged Buzzard frequented the Buckton area until late afternoon again and at nearby Bempton RSPB 26 Pink-footed Goose north-west and a probable Bean Goose in the same group, Goosander north-west, 37 Golden Plover south-east, Woodcock south-east and one probable dead on the sea below the cliffs. 13 Siskin flew north-west and present were two Peregrine, five Stonechat, five Rock Pipit and five Bullfinch. At Sewerby 95 Pink-footed Geese flew north-west, male and female Goldeneye on the sea as well as eight Great Crested Grebe. A juvenile Glaucous Gull flew from the headland into Bridlington Bay to roost.

Rough-legged Buzzard, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Darren Ward

Stonechat, by Don Hustings

Saturday, November 18th, 2017

The morning sea-watch recorded 48 Common Scoter south, 24 Red-throated Diver south and four north, Black-throated Diver north, 50 Common Gull south and 24 north, Glaucous Gull north, Great Skua south, Little Auk north and two Snow Bunting north.

At Thornwick Pools, two Water Rail and two Snipe, South Landing 11 Common Scoter, five Oystercatcher and 14 Redshank, Cattlemere had two Snow Bunting in the field and two Long-tailed Duck on the sea.

West of the Dykes: a Rough-legged Buzzard flew north-west over Bempton towards Buckton where it remained until the end of the afternoon. A Merlin was also recorded at Buckton.

Rough-legged Buzzard, Buckton, by John Beaumont

Friday, November 17th, 2017

The usual early morning sea-watch at the headland had two Dark-bellied Brent Goose south, 13 Teal South, 57 Common Scoter north, Goldeneye north, ten Red-throated Diver south and three north and Great Northern Diver south. Present were 16 Red-throated Diver, 61 Shag, six Curlew and 50 Common Gull.

At Thornwick Pools, two Water Rail, two Snipe and Barn Owl and at South Landing eight Oystercatcher, three Curlew, Purple Sandpiper, 26 Redshank and 17 Rock Pipit. 15 Rock Pipits were also at South Dykes including another Norwegian colour-ringed bird and the third of the autumn.

West of the Dykes at Buckton there were 350 Pink-footed Goose and 30 Brambling.

Norwegian ringed Rock Pipit by Andy Hood

Common Seal by Alan Walkington

Thursday, November 16th, 2017

The early morning sea-watch produced four Pink-footed Goose south, two Goldeneye north, nine Red-throated Diver south, Great Northern Diver south, 21 Gannet south and 72 north. 12 Turnstone were present off the headland.

Other records were 15 Wigeon, Water Rail and Jack Snipe at Thornwick Pools, Goosander and two Nuthatch at South Dykes. A Chiffchaff was along the motorway hedge at the headland.

West of the Dykes six Snow Bunting flew west over Bempton RSPB.

Turnstone by Geoff Carr

Wednesday, November 15th, 2017

The morning headland sea-watch produced three Eider south, eight Common Scoter south and nine north, Goldeneye north, 28 Red-throated Diver south and six north, Great Northern Diver south, Balearic Shearwater north, 122 Gannet north, seven Skylark north and out to sea, eight Meadow Pipit south for off the sea and Lapland Bunting north.

Present off the headland were 80 Shag, ten Turnstone and 20 Purple Sandpiper.

South Landing had 44 Common Scoter, 20 Turnstone, Knot, five Purple Sandpiper, Grey Heron and 19 Redshank with two Great Crested Grebe at Sewerby, 11 Rock Pipit, Woodcock and Chiffchaff at South Dykes. Two Nuthatch were present on the feeders at Danes Dyke and 30 Siskin on feeders at Oceanview. At Thornwick Pools were two Water Rail, four Snipe and a Jack Snipe. A Ring Ouzel, 60 Blackbird, Brambling was at Old Fall and a Dark-bellied Brent south over here. At Cattlemere were three Shorelark, Snow Bunting, Lapland Bunting and two Long-tailed Duck on the sea.

Grey Heron at South Landing by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, November 14th, 2017

The early seawatch off the headland had Tufted Duck south, 17 Common Scoter north, Little Auk south and six Siskin north. Present off the headland were 53 Common Scoter, 14 Red-throated Diver, Great Northern Diver, 84 Shag, 16 Oystercatcher, Bar-tailed Godwit, 20 Redshank, 98 Black-headed Gull, 52 Common Gull and 17 Rock Pipit. A short, mid-morning seawatch had a Black-throated Diver south into Bridlington Bay, two Wigeon, 30 Common Scoter and two Curlew.

Other FBO sightings were three Purple Sandpiper and Water Rail at South Landing, Woodcock, two Chiffchaff, 26 Wren, 98 Blackbird, 50 Tree Sparrow, Brambling, 14 Greenfinch, 5-6 Hawfinch over Flamborough Village, three Siskin and ten Yellowhammer.

Purple Sandpiper by Andy Hood

Monday, November 13th, 2017

The headland sea-watch highlights were, 55 Teal north and seven south, two Tufted Duck north, Velvet Scoter north, 93 Common Scoter north and 21 south, seven Long-tailed Duck north, three Goldeneye north and one south, 12 Red-throated Diver north and eight south, two Great Northern Diver north and one south, 82 Fulmar north, Manx Shearwater north and one south, Red-necked Grebe north, Glaucous Gull south, Great Skua north and one south and 17 Little Auk north.

A concentrated effort over the wider FBO area had, 18 Wigeon, 22 Teal, 82 Common Scoter, two Goldeneye, Long-tailed Duck, six Red-throated Diver, Goosander, three Water Rail, 74 Turnstone, two Sanderling, five Purple Sandpiper, 36 Redshank, Grey Plover, four Little Auk, 92 Stock Dove (all time day record), three Shorelark, 75 Skylark, 25 Wren, 410 Starling, 140 Blackbird, 64 Redwing, two Stonechat, 36 Dunnock, 33 Rock Pipit, Twite, Lapland Bunting and 45 Snow Bunting.

Shore Lark by Andy Hood

Sunday, November 12th, 2017

The weather consisted of increasingly strong north-north-west winds and very heavy, squally showers that meant seawatching on the outer head was abandoned 90 minutes after first light. During that time, single Manx Shearwaters flew north and south and a juvenile Pomarine Skua also flew south. Three Shore Lark and 32 Snow Buntings remained in the Cattlemere area.

West of the Dykes, sightings from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included two Goosander and six Bullfinch.

Corn Bunting, North Dykes, by John Beaumont

Saturday, November 11th, 2017

A sunny day with a moderate west-north-west wind. Eleven Whooper Swans were recorded, including the two now resident individuals, whilst 500 Pink-footed Geese flew south. A Long-tailed Duck was on the sea off Cattlemere, with the latter location providing the day’s highlights: two Shore Larks, a Lapland Bunting and 32 Snow Buntings all frequented the area south of the Lighthouse. Additional sightings included single Great Northern Diver and Water Rail at South Landing, three Woodcock, one Chiffchaff, a Ring Ouzel at Old Fall, 14 Siskin and a Corn Bunting.

West of the Dykes, Buckton attracted 350 Pink-footed Geese, a Willow Tit, six Stonechat, five Bullfinch, ten Lapland Buntings and 16 Snow Buntings. Sightings from Sewerby included 110 Common Scoter and an adult Mediterranean Gull.

Blackcap, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Alan Walkington

Friday, November 10th, 2017

The weather consisted of moderate/strong north-west winds and sunny intervals. Seawatching was rewarded with eight Eider and a Great Northern Diver flying north, with two Goosander and two Bonxies flying south.

The two Whooper Swans lingered, parties of nine and five overflew the headland, whilst nine Pink-footed Geese were also present. Additional sightings included a Water Rail, one Jack Snipe, six Goldcrest, the six Shore Larks, 27 Siskin, a Lapland Bunting and 17 Snow Buntings.

West of the Dykes, the Siberian Chiffchaff remained at Bempton Cliffs RSPB. Buckton hosted four Whooper Swans, 400 Pink-footed Geese, a Ruff, one Long-eared Owl, 80 Skylark and 130 Linnets.

Shore Lark, Cattlemere, by Andrew Allport

Snow Bunting, Cattlemere, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, November 9th, 2017

A day of light south-west winds and sunny intervals after an overcast, and at times, wet morning. During the seawatch, 34 Wigeon, a Tufted Duck, a Great Northern Diver and 10,000 Guillemots flew south, whilst three Pintail and 17 Eider flew north. A Twite also flew in off the sea. 

Three Whooper Swans flew south over Cattlemere, with the resident two near North Marsh; an additional seven Eider flew east at South Landing, where a Little Egret fed along the shore. Two Water Rails included a bird at Greenacres. Migrants included the six Shore Larks still present south of the Lighthouse, 360 Blackbirds, a Chiffchaff, three Brambling, 23 Siskin and 12 Snow Buntings.

Whooper Swans, outer head, by Brett Richards

Wednesday, November 8th, 2017

An overcast start to the day after heavy overnight rain; skies soon cleared to leave a sunny day and north-west winds dropped in strength. During the seawatch, 70 Wigeon, three Scaup, 19 Eiders, a Little Gull and a Bonxie flew north.

Two Whooper Swans remained near North Marsh, with another duo on the sea off South Dykes. Ninety Pink-footed Geese, included ten lingering at North Marsh, whilst drake Goldeneye, 70 Common Scoter, ten Eider, a Great Created Grebe and six Sanderling were at South Dykes. Migrants included 11 Woodcock and 33 Lapwing, but the day’s highlight related to the discovery of six Shore Larks on the cliff top plough south of the Lighthouse. Large numbers of thrushes again featured, with 830 Blackbirds, along with 63 Fieldfare, 135 Redwing, seven Song Thrush and one Ring Ouzel. Other sightings included a Chiffchaff, one Blackcap, 31 Siskin, two Redpoll, three Brambling and 13 Snow Buntings.

West of the Dykes, the Siberian Chiffchaff remained in residence at Bempton Cliffs RSPB and 175 Pink-footed Geese continued to linger on fields at Speeton.

Shore Lark, Cattlemere, by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, November 7th, 2017

An overcast day, with a moderate/strong southerly wind and rain arriving from late morning until dark. Seawatching highlights included single Great Northern Divers north and south, 19 Lapwing and a Short-eared Owl in off the sea.

Two Whooper Swans and two Water Rails were located, whilst an influx of thrushes took place, including 175 Blackbirds and 80 Fieldfares, with 140 Starlings also in off. However, coverage was poor due to the conditions, so the true numbers arriving would have undoubtedly been immeasurably higher.

West of the Dykes, the Siberian Chiffchaff remained at Bempton Cliffs RSPB, along with 500 Blackbirds, 100 Redwing and two Mealy Redpoll

Water Rail, Thornwick Pool, by Andrew Allport

Monday, November 6th, 2017

The weather consisted of light westerly winds and sunny skies, whilst the morning brought the first significant frost of the season. During the seawatch, seven Whooper Swans and two Great Northern Divers flew south, with a Sooty Shearwater moving north. 

Two Bean Geese flew west over Thornwick and 194 Pink-footed Geese were also recorded. Five Water Rails represented a good local count, with a similar number of Woodcock present and a second-winter Mediterranean Gull frequented South Landing. A Richard’s Pipit again overflew North Landing, with four Snow Buntings and three Lapland Bunting present on the outer head.

West of the Dykes, the Siberian Chiffchaff remained at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Siberian Chiffchaff, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, November 5th, 2017

A moderate westerly wind later changed into a north-westerly and heavy showers developed in the afternoon after a bright start. Seawatching highlights included 71 Pink-footed Geese, 51 Wigeon, a Shoveler, seven Eider, a Great Northern Diver, a juvenile Glaucous Gull and one Little Auk all flying north. In addition, three Woodcock, 28 Starling, seven Siskin and 25 Chaffinch flew in off the sea.

Two adult Whooper Swans remained on the headland, with 50 Pink-footed Geese flying south over South Landing; nearby Oceanview hosted a single Woodcock.

West of the Dykes, the Siberian Chiffchaff continued to linger at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Pink-footed Geese, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Saturday, November 4th, 2017

The day started with heavy rain that persisted until mid-morning, with sunny intervals arriving by the afternoon; winds remained light and from the west.

Ten Whooper Swans continued their stay, 19 Eiders and 136 Common Scoters were off Beacon Hill, where two Ring Ouzels came in off the sea. Nearby, two Water Pipits frequented South Landing beach accompanying a minimum of 15 Rock Pipits.

West of the Dykes, 350 Pink-footed Geese fed in a stubble field near Speeton. The Siberian Chiffchaff remained in residence at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Eider, Beacon Hill, by Mike Smith

Common Scoters, Beacon Hill, by Mike Smith

Friday, November 3rd, 2017

An overcast day, with light south-west winds. Seawatch highlights included 16 Shelduck and 56 Teal flying south, with an adult Mediterranean Gull and a juvenile Black Guillemot heading north.

The 11 Whooper Swans lingered near North Marsh, 43 Pink-footed Geese and a Little Egret flew south, whilst 25 Woodcock included three coming in off during the seawatch. A juvenile Glaucous Gull loafed on the rocks near the outer head, accompanied by 23 ‘argentatus’ Herring Gulls. Two Richard’s Pipits were located in the cliff top field immediately east of North Landing, but both proved mobile and later flew north beyond Thornwick Camp. The Water Pipit also remained in residence at South Landing. An arrival of thrushes too place, including 590 Fieldfare, 610 Blackbirds, 245 Redwing, whilst additional interest was provided by a Lesser Whitethroat, 114 Siskin and two Snow Buntings.

West of the Dykes, the Siberian Chiffchaff remained at Bempton Cliffs RSPB, where a Swallow and eight Snow Buntings overflew the reserve.

Glaucous Gull, outer head, by Andy Hood

Siberian Chiffchaff, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Jo Hood

Thursday, November 2nd, 2017

A moderate north-north-westerly wind, sunny intervals and showers. Seawatching highlights included nine Whooper Swans, four Shelduck, a Great Northern Diver and one Great Crested Grebe flying north. A total of 38 Siskins also flew in off the sea.

The aforementioned Whooper Swans joined the two resident birds on North Marsh. Two Water Rails, a Jack Snipe and three Woodcock were on the headland, with a juvenile Glaucous Gull flying west past South Landing. A Richard’s Pipit was discovered on fields immediately east of North Landing, whilst the Water Pipit was relocated on the beach at South Landing; four Twite were in the same area. 

West of the Dykes, 50 Golden Plover were in fields near Buckton. The Siberian Chiffchaff remained at Bempton Cliffs RSPB.

Whooper Swans, North Marsh, by Andrew Allport

Siberian Chiffchaff, Bempton Cliffs RSPB, by Dave Aitken

Water Pipit, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Wednesday, November 1st, 2017

An overcast day with light south-westerly winds. Seawatching highlights included two pale-bellied Brent Geese, two Great Northern Divers, five Little Gulls and a Bonxie flying south, with a Velvet Scoter moving in the opposite direction. 

Two Whooper Swans remained, a dark-bellied Brent Goose and four Great Crested Grebes were in the Sewerby/South Dykes area and at least two Woodcock were present. The day’s highlight related to two Great White Egrets that flew south over the outer head late afternoon. An ‘eastern’ Lesser Whitethroat was seen in gardens in the same area, with 35 Siskins at South Landing.

Sightings from Bempton Cliffs RSPB included Merlin, Woodcock, Short-eared Owl and a Siberian Chiffchaff, with a Mediterranean Gull nearby.

Nuthatch, South Dykes, by Andrew Allport