Thursday, January 18th, 2018

A few interesting highlights on the sea-watch this morning. Four Teal south, 40 Red-throated Diver south and five north, 69 Fulmar north including a “dark morph”, 16 Gannet south and 15 north, 26 Common Gull south and 18 north, Lesser Black-backed Gull adult south (scarce this time of year) and 357 Guillemot south and 27 north. 

At other sites, eight Common Scoter, two Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 17 Red-throated Diver, 11 Great Crested Grebe, Water Rail, 14 Curlew, 22 Turnstone, nine Redshank, Barn Owl, Peregrine, two Treecreeper, ten Rock Pipit, 71 Tree Sparrow, four Bullfinch, two Lapland Bunting, eight Reed Bunting and 16 Yellowhammer.

Female Stonechat by Andy Hood

Dark-bellied Brent Goose by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

A couple of hours sea-watch this morning recorded four Common Scoter south, 22 Red-throated Diver south and four north, 174 Fulmar north including a “dark morph”, 17 Gannet south and 18 north and Great Skua south.

Elsewhere, two Dark-bellied Brent Goose on the rocks at South Landing, 43 Teal, two Buzzard, 25 Turnstone, two Woodcock, one Snipe, Barn Owl, 120 Stock Dove, 35 Fieldfare, 27 Redwing, Stonechat, seven Rock Pipit and 37 Linnet.

Woodcock at South Landing by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, January 16th, 2018

A slightly brighter day although windy and cold. On the morning sea-watch a female Long-tailed Duck flew north, ten Red-throated Diver south and nine north, 20 Fulmar south and 150 north which included two “dark morphs”. Present off the headland were a further 33 Red-throated Diver. Highlights from the rest of the recording area were 27 Teal, two Common Scoter, 18 Red-throated Diver, nine Oystercatcher, nine Curlew, eight Redshank, two Jack Snipe (Thornwick Pools), Tawny Owl calling at South Dykes, 14 Long-tailed Tit, Stonechat, seven Rock Pipit and 50 Linnet.

Fulmar by Geoff Carr


Monday, January 15th, 2018

The weather not too good with cloud, rain and mist but from the sea-watch the highlights were three Dark-bellied Brent Geese south, 37 Red-throated Diver south and 16 north, 42 Fulmar including a “Dark Morph” and two Great Skua north.

Elsewhere were Shelduck, eight Teal, Buzzard, two Water Rail (Thornwick Pools), four Curlew, seven Redshank, two Snipe, Barn Owl, 18 Long-tailed Tit and a Stonechat on South Landing beach.

Barn Owl by Geoff Carr

Sunday, January 14th, 2018

Another cloudy day with moderate southerly winds. Geese were on the move with 13 Eurasian White-fronted Geese dropping in to Hood’s Flash (near Northcliffe Marsh) at 14:20, being joined by another two individuals shortly afterwards. A further 8 White-fronts flew south on the sea watch at 8:55 and a single Pink-foot was on the headland.

In addition to the White-fronts, the sea watch also produced a Red-necked Grebe, 52 Fulmar (including one blue morph), 11 Wigeon, 1 Pochard and 32 Red-throated Diver.

At least 1 Nuthatch remained at the feeders at South Dykes, whilst South Landing held 15 Yellowhammer, 40 Red-throated Diver and 15 Great crested Grebe. 25 Wigeon and 73 Teal were also on the outer headland.

At Bempton, a male Bullfinch apparently came in off the sea and continued north west, whilst 37 Red-throated Diver were offshore.

Eurasian Wigeon by Alan Walkington

Saturday, January 13th, 2018

An overcast day with a moderate south easterly wind. Counts from Bempton included a single Woodcock, 3 Redwing, 4 Fieldfare and 10 Corn Bunting. On the outer headland 39 Teal and a Buzzard were logged.

The Sea watch included a Pintail flying south and then back north, a single Eider and 63 Red-throated Diver.

Teal, Thornwick Pool by Andrew Allport

Friday, January 12th, 2018

It was a day of light south westerly winds and patchy fog. Sea watching highlights included 2 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 3 Eider, 99 Red-throated Diver and 62 Fulmar. 70 Shag left the roost.

The Red-necked Grebe reappeared, this time at South Landing during the afternoon, where a particularly high count of 91 Red-throated Diver were also offshore. Nearby 4 Lapland Bunting were in a stubble field adjacent to Booted Gully, with another over Oceanview. Other counts from the outer headland included 1 Water rail, 33 Fieldfare, 19 Yellowhammer, 17 Reed Bunting, 85 Tree Sparrow, 1 Shelduck, 5 Wigeon and 1 Woodcock. 17 Rock Pipit counted on the headland included at least 2 of the race littoralis.

Yellowhammer by Andy Hood

Reed Bunting by Andy Hood

Thursday, January 11th, 2018

A slightly better morning for the sea-watch in misty conditions with some drizzle.

18 Red-throated Diver south and 15 north, 69 Fulmar north including a dark morph, a Great Skua south and tens of thousands of Guillemot moving north. Off the headland were six Red-throated Diver, 13 Fulmar including a dark morph, 65 Shag and Peregrine.

Other parts of the headland recording area had 33 Teal, 14 Common Scoter, five Red-throated Diver, Grey Heron, 20 Great Crested Grebe, 18 Oystercatcher, Golden Plover, 17 Curlew, 72 Turnstone, two Purple Sandpiper, three Redshank, Jack Snipe (Thornwick Pools), Woodcock, two Snipe, 22 Skylark south, six Rock Pipit, 30 Fieldfare, 20 Linnet, 19 Yellowhammer, 11 Reed Bunting and two Lapland Bunting east over Oceanview.

Redshank by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, January 10th, 2018

A rather poor day with the weather, some fog, rain and little else. The heroic sea-watch produced two Red-throated Diver south and eight north and five Common Gull through. Present off the headland were 35 Shag, ten Cormorant, two Curlew and a Rock Pipit.

Other sites had a male Shelduck, ten Teal, two Sparrowhawk, Water Rail (motorway hedge) three Snipe, 34 Magpie, 24 Blackbird, 40 Fieldfare, two Redwing, 11 Robin and 178 Linnet.

An interesting ringing recovery from Buckton of a Goldfinch caught there on 26/09/17, same date as last one mentioned a while ago, and re-trapped at the same site as previous bird at Livermere, Suffolk on 01/01/18. The two previous ringed birds appear to have taken the same journey south together (Mark Thomas).

Goldfinch by Geoff Carr

Tuesday, January 9th, 2018

It was a cloudy day with a moderate south easterly wind. The sea watch produced a single ‘blue’ Fulmar, 3 Wigeon, 5 Eider, 10 Common Scoter, 45 Red-throated Diver and one Bonxie. 2 Fieldfare were seen to come in off the sea.

At least one Nuthatch remained around the feeders at South Dykes. A single Jack Snipe, 25 Teal, 32 Fieldfare and 4 Redwing were also logged.

Wren by Jo Hood

Monday, January 8th, 2018

Another sunny day with a moderate north easterly breeze and temperatures again peaking at 5 degrees centigrade. The days highlight pertained to a juvenile Glaucous Gull which flew south at 10:26, before later drifting north again. Also on the sea watch were 7 Wigeon, 3 Eider, 6 Common Scoter, 2 Red-breasted Merganser, 34 Red-throated Diver and 133 Fulmar.

30 Lapland Bunting remained in fields near North Dykes. A single Jack Snipe was at Thornwick pool along with 16 Common Snipe. 15 Teal, 76 Fieldfare and 17 Redwing were also logged.

Redshank, Water Lane flash by Mike Smith.

Sunday, January 7th, 2018

A sunny day throughout, with a light north easterly wind. Temperatures reached 5 degrees centigrade. Highlights of the morning sea watch included 1 Manx Shearwater, 202 Fulmar (2 blue morph), 1 Puffin, 1 Wigeon, 6 Eider, 25 Common Scoter and 42 Red-throated Diver.

On the land, 17 Lapland Bunting remained east of North Dykes. A Water Rail, 17 Fieldfare, 15 Redwing and a Mistle Thrush were on the outer headland. Buckton held 250 Fieldfare, 30 Redwing, 3 Song Thrush, 3 Snipe and a Water Rail.

Lapland Bunting, North Dykes by Andrew Allport

Saturday, January 6th, 2018

It was a day of sunny spells interspersed with rain and hail showers and a moderate to strong north easterly wind. The morning sea watch produced a single Manx Shearwater, 614 Fulmar (including ten blue morph), 2 Shelduck, 6 Common Scoter, 1 Goldeneye, 1 Red-breasted Merganser and 37 Red-throated Diver. 70 Shag left the roost.

The Richard’s Pipit reappeared in fields east of North Dykes, having not been seen since the 22nd December. Fields between North Dykes and Thornwick also produced 5 Lapland Bunting and a single Snow Bunting. Two Nuthatch remained around the feeders at South Dykes. Other counts from the outer headland included 104 Fieldfare, 22 Redwing, 4 Snipe and a Water Rail. Bempton held 38 Fieldfare, 14 Redwing, 20 Yellowhammer and 11 Corn Bunting.

Roe Deer by Mike Smith

Friday, January 5th, 2018

A relatively overcast day, with light south-west winds and temperatures reaching five degrees C. During the seawatch, 25 Red-throated Divers and 414 Fulmars flew north, a Blue Fulmar lingered offshore and 40 Purple Sandpipers frequented the outer head. An influx of Fieldfares, presumably linked to cold weather further east, occurred with a minimum of 266 making landfall. Fifteen Song Thrush and 18 were also indicative of an influx of thrushes.

The North Dykes area attracted 44 Lapland Buntings, 27 of which were east of the Dykes. Additional sightings in the same area included 40 Skylarks, 50 Tree Sparrows, 30 Reed Buntings and 20 Corn Buntings. Additional Tree Sparrow sightings included 40 on Beacon Hill and 26 attending a garden feeding station on Church Lane.

Cold weather movement was also witnessed at Bempton Cliffs RSPB including 16 Fieldfare, 12 Redwing, 22 Song Thrush and 120 Chaffinch, with an adult Mediterranean Gull flying south-east.

Fieldfare, Beacon Hill, by Mike Smith

Thursday, January 4th, 2018

An overcast day, with an increasingly strong south-westerly wind and rain for much of the day. During the seawatch, a juvenile Glaucous Gull flew north, with 14 Fieldfare and two Redwing flying in off the sea.

Thirty-four Great Crested Grebes frequented the sea off Sewerby, whilst a Chiffchaff at Whelkie Wynds showed some characteristics of an eastern form. 

Chiffchaff, Whelkie Wynds, by Brett Richards

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

A strong westerly wind persisted throughout the day, with wind speeds gusting in excess of 50mph. Despite the weather, three Fieldfare were observed coming in off the sea during the sea watch, with ten RT Diver and 91 Fulmar including 1 blue morph also noted.

A juvenile Glaucous Gull flew east over North Landing and later the Golf course mid-morning, whilst the Jack Snipe remained at Thornwick pool.

Barn Owl, Thornwick by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

Increasingly strong south-westerly winds were a feature of a day that started dry, but relatively light rain arrived late morning. During the seawatch, a Blue Fulmar flew north and a juvenile Glaucous Gull headed in the opposite direction.

Two Water Rails frequented the hedge line running south of the Lighthouse and the Jack Snipe remained at Thornwick Pools. Three Fieldfares included two in off the sea. 

Jack Snipe, Thornwick Pools, by John Beaumont

Monday, January 1st, 2018

Happy New Year to one and all!

A relatively overcast day, with sunny intervals and a moderate south-westerly wind; temperatures never exceeded five degrees C. The seawatch was quiet, with 100 Shag leaving their roost and 30 Purple Sandpipers below the Fog Station notable.

A total of 39 Barnacle Geese flew south at the outer head, 53 Great Crested Grebes were off Sewerby, the Jack Snipe showed well at Thornwick Pools and six Grey Partridge were located at Oceanview. A Nuthatch remained in South Dykes, whilst a minimum of 93 Tree Sparrows were recorded, including 88 at Oceanview. However, the day’s highlight undoubtedly related to the discovery of 20 Lapland Buntings over cliff top fields near North Dykes.

West of the Dykes, Bempton Cliffs RSPB attracted a Common Buzzard, 40 Yellowhammers, ten Reed Buntings and five Corn Buntings. Buckton hosted single Water Rail and Jack Snipe, the long-staying Willow Tit and 80 Linnets.

Stonechat, South Landing, by Andy Hood