Thursday, May 31st, 2018

Conditions improved after another foggy start, with sunny intervals by the afternoon in much lighter onshore winds. Thornwick Pools hosted an adult Curlew Sandpiper, but there was no sign of the Temminck’s Stint. However, the Dotterel remained on Beacon Hill.

An arrival of migrant passerines occurred during the morning and included one Tree Pipit,  a Redstart, one Pied Flycatcher and eight Spotted Flycatchers. However, the day’s best discovery was of a male Red-backed Shrike at Thornwick Pools.

West of the Dykes, RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted a Pied Flycatcher and three Spotted Flycatchers.

Curlew Sandpiper, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Curlew Sandpiper, Thornwick Pools, by Jo Hood

Red-backed Shrike, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

With thick fog throughout, a seawatch again proved impossible. Thornwick Pools continued to host the Temminck’s Stint, with single Ringed Plover, Dunlin and Redshank also present. On the opposite side of the headland, the Dotterel also lingered on Beacon Hill, where a lone Wheatear was also present. Seventy-two House Martins fed along the sheltered South Cliffs off Beacon Hill, along with eight Swifts.

Redshank, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

A foggy day, with very little visibility at times which precluded any chance of a seawatch and meant general birding was greatly hampered; moderate/strong northerly winds prevailed once more. The Dotterel remained on Beacon Hill, whilst the Temminck’s Stint also remained on Thornwick Pools, where there were also Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover, Sanderling, Redshank and two Dunlin. Elsewhere, a Spotted Flycatcher was located at North Landing and a Redstart near the Lighthouse.

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Spotted Flycatcher and an ‘acredula’ Willow Warbler.

Temminck’s Stint, Thornwick Pools, by Lee Johnson

Monday, May 28th, 2018

A moderate northerly wind featured throughout a largely foggy day. The Temminck’s Stint continued in residence at Thornwick Pools, where there were also eight Ringed Plovers, one Little Ringed Plover, single Sanderling and Redshank. The Dotterel also remained and gave good views on Beacon Hill, favouring the field west of the public footpath. Passerine migrants included six Wheatears, two Spotted Flycatchers, and lone Tree Pipit and Reed Warbler; the latter two birds at Whelkie Winds.

Dotterel, Beacon Hill, by Lee Johnson

Sunday, May 27th, 2018

A sunny day with a moderate north-easterly wind and temperatures reaching 18 degrees C. During the seawatch, three Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, 19 Manx Shearwaters, 16 Sandwich Terns, a Bonxie and two Arctic Skuas flew north. 

Both the Dotterel and Temminck’s Stint remained in situ, whilst a Greenshank and eight Ringed Plovers were new. A Hobby overflew Old Fall, where an elusive Marsh Warbler sang briefly in the morning, whilst North Landing hosted a female Red-backed Shrike. A second Red-backed Shrike, a male, was discovered late afternoon at Thornwick CP. Passerine migrants also included two Pied Flycatchers, a Spotted Flycatcher, one Redstart, a Whinchat, eight Wheatears and two Garden Warblers. 

West of the Dykes, a Marsh Warbler was trapped at Buckton.

Marsh Warbler, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Saturday, May 26th, 2018

A day of moderate northerly winds and sunny intervals, after an overcast start. Seawatching highlights included 69 Common Scoter, eight Red-throated Divers, single Black-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver, eight Manx Shearwater and 656 Puffins flying north, with 22 Sandwich Terns and two Bonxies moving south.

A confiding Temminck’s Stint frequented Thornwick Pools all day, where there was also Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper. On the opposite side of the headland, the Dotterel continued its relatively long stay on Beacon Hill. The adult Rose-coloured Starling also remained at North Landing, and even spent prolonged periods singing. However, a female Red-backed Shrike in bushes along the cliff top south of Sykes Plantation was new. Additional migrant totals included a Quail, one Fieldfare, six Reed Warblers, two Garden Warblers, five Wheatear, four Whinchat, a Pied Flycatcher, two Redstart, a Tree Pipit and seven Corn Buntings.

West of the Dykes, a female Red-breasted Flycatcher was located at RSPB Bempton Cliffs in the morning.

Temminck’s Stint, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Temminck’s Stint, Thornwick Pools, by John Harwood

Ringed Plover (flagged), Thornwick Pools, by John Beaumont

Red-backed Shrike, South Cliffs, by Craig Thomas

Friday, May 25th, 2018

Largely overcast, with a belt of, at times, heavy rain moving through during the middle of the day; temperatures reached ten degrees C in a moderate northerly wind. During the seawatch, six Common Scoter and two Manx Shearwaters flew south, with a Sandwich Tern and 270 Puffins heading in the opposite direction.

The Dotterel continued its residence on Beacon Hill, whilst the Rose-coloured Starling gave good views along St David Lane throughout. Nearby, a female Red-backed Shrike was located at North Landing, showing in the vegetated ravine near the Old Lifeboat Station. The rain also induced the arrival of additional passerine migrants which included 11 Wheatears, three Whinchat, two Redstart, two Pied Flycatchers, a Spotted Flycatcher, two acredula Willow Warblers, a Chiffchaff and one Garden Warbler.

West of the Dykes, single Pied Flycatcher and Redstart were located at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Rose-coloured Starling, North Landing, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, May 24th, 2018

Another day of moderate/strong northerly winds, misty conditions with sunny intervals and subdued temperatures that reached 11 degrees C. During the seawatch, six Common Scoter, four Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, eight Manx Shearwaters, a Ringed Plover, one Bonxie, tens of thousands of Guillemots and Razorbills, together with 301 Puffins flew north. 

A Ringed Plover overflew North Landing, whilst one Little Ringed Plover remained at Thornwick Pools. The Dotterel was present of Beacon Hill for its third day, whilst the female Grey-headed Wagtail again frequented Thornwick Pools. However, the continued presence of the adult Rose-coloured Starling provided the day’s highlight, with the bird again giving superb views along St David Lane at North Landing.

Dotterel, Beacon Hill, by Andrew Allport

Rose-coloured Starling, North Landing, by Tony Dixon

Rose-coloured Starling, North Landing, by Andrew Allport

Rose-coloured Starling, North Landing, by Lee Johnson

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2018

Another day of strong northerly winds, with low cloud for much of the morning, with some clear skies during the afternoon. The days stand out highlight was the discovery of an adult Rose-coloured Starling at Thornwick pools during the late afternoon. The bird later relocated to the chalets around North Landing. Yesterday’s Dotterel was still between South Landing and Beacon Hill, whilst the Grey-headed Wagtail was seen sporadically at Thornwick pools.

The morning sea watch produced a reasonable total of 38 Manx shearwater, along with single Common Scoter, Red-throated Diver, 37 Sandwich Tern and an Arctic Skua.

Grey-headed Wagtail, Thornwick Pools by Andrew Allport.

Rose-coloured Starling, North Landing by Andy Hood.

Rose-coloured Starling, North Landing by Lee Johnson.

Dotterel, Beacon Hill by Andrew Allport.

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2018

A generally overcast day, with sunny intervals during the afternoon; however, the main feature was the strong northerly wind. During the seawatch, eight Common Scoters, three Manx Shearwaters and 841 Puffins flew north. 

A Dotterel spent most of the day sheltering on the leeward side of Beacon Hill. Passerine migrants were understandably hard to locate in the conditions, although a flava wagtail showing features of Grey-headed visited Thornwick Pools and a Spotted Flycatcher moved along the South Cliffs.

Dotterel, Beacon Hill, by Andy Hood

Monday, May 21st, 2018

Sunny intervals predominated, with a north-easterly wind pegging back temperatures compared to inland areas. Thornwick Pools attracted a drake Shoveler, three Ringed Plover, two Little Ringed Plover, a Grey Plover and a Sanderling.

Shoveler, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Grey Plover, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, May 20th, 2018

Thick fog began to clear by mid-afternoon, though the sun only came out briefly before fog rolled back in mid-evening. Wind was a moderate south easterly, with temperatures peaking at 12 degrees centigrade.

Birding on the land was hard work with the weather conditions. A single Spotted Flycatcher was near North Landing, whilst a Lesser Redpoll was at Oceanview. Thornwick Pools hosted 2 Dunlin, 1  Ringed Plover, 3 LRP and a drake Shoveler.

A single Little Tern and Manx Shearwater were reported from a sea watch at North Landing during the afternoon.

Skylark, Oceanview by Andy Hood

Saturday, May 19th, 2018

Another sunny day with a light south westerly wind. In what has been a good spring for the species, a singing male Firecrest was near North Landing. Otherwise, new migrants were thin on the ground, with single Lesser Redpoll, Siskin and 2 White Wagtail. A pair of Goosander overflew Old Fall during the early morning, representing a rather unseasonal record, whilst wetlands on the outer head held 3 Ringed Plover, 2 LRP and 3 Lapwing. A 2nd calendar year Yellow-legged Gull was north of Thornwick during mid-afternoon and 7 Lesser Black-backed Gull were at Stainforths Flash.

The morning sea watch yielded 2 Whimbrel, 1 Red-throated Diver, 1 Manx Shearwater and 10 Sandwich Tern.

Swallow, Thornwick pools by Andrew Allport

Puffin by Alan Walkington

Friday, May 18th, 2018

Another day of sunny skies and light northerly to north easterly winds. Seven Manx Shearwater heading north were the highlight of the morning sea watch, with 7 Common Scoter, 1 Red-throated Diver and 71 Sandwich Tern also recorded.

On the land, Thornwick pools held 2 Little Ringed Plover and a Dunlin. 16 Shelduck were counted across the headland and included a brood of 10 ducklings at South Landing. Two Common Swift were also noted.

Common Whitethroat, Thornwick Pools by Don Hustings

Thursday, May 17th, 2018

A sunny day throughout, with a moderate northerly breeze. The male Eastern Subalpine Warbler continued to frequent Old Fall hedge, showing on and off during the morning. With no sightings during the afternoon the bird then reappeared very briefly during the evening. Close by, yesterdays male Firecrest continued to sing at Old Fall steps, whilst 2 Lesser Redpoll were in the plantation. A Long-eared Owl was at Thornwick chalets during the morning before flying along North Marine Road and a Little Ringed Plover flew over Oceanview.

Three Great Northern Diver flew north on the morning sea watch along with 4 Red-throated Diver, 8 Common Scoter, 160 Fulmar, 1 Arctic Skua, 1 Bonxie and 11 Sandwich Tern.

Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Old Fall hedge by Tony Dixon.

Great Skua, Fog Station by Alan Walkington.

Wednesday, May 16th, 2018

A day of moderate northerly winds, sporadic sunny spells, but temperatures of only 11 degrees C. The day’s standout highlight was the discovery of a male Eastern Subalpine Warbler at Old Fall early morning; it remained on the adjacent hedge south of the plantation until early evening at least. Additional sightings included a Marsh Harrier at South Landing and a singing Firecrest at Old Fall Steps; the latter continuing the excellent spring for the species. The Grasshopper Warbler was again present at South Dykes.

West of the Dykes, another singing Firecrest remained in residence at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Eastern Subalpine Warbler, Old Fall, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, May 15th, 2018

The weather consisted of light northerly winds and sunny intervals. Thornwick Pools hosted an Oystercatcher and a Little Ringed Plover. There were few obvious signs of new passerine migrants, although Oceanview attracted a Siskin. West of the Dykes, the singing Firecrest remained in residence at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Oystercatcher, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Monday, May 14th, 2018

A sunny day, with a moderate northerly wind. A summer-plumaged Great Northern Diver flew north on the seawatch, with two Red-throated Divers, a Whimbrel and 11 Sandwich Terns also recorded. A Hobby appeared over Thornwick Pools and latterly Oceanview, whilst a Marsh Harrier flew east over the sea off Old Fall. Oceanview also hosted a Hooded Crow and a male Firecrest. Additional records included one Garden Warbler and a Tree Pipit along Old Fall Hedge. Several migrants were caught at South Landing during a ringing session, including one Spotted Flycatcher.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Little Egret, a singing Firecrest, an acredula-type Willow Warbler and a Garden Warbler.

Spotted Flycatcher, South Landing, by June & Malcolm Fox

Sunday, May 13th, 2018

An overcast and relatively cool start, with light/moderate northerly winds which later abated when sunshine also dominated. During the seawatch, four Manx Shearwaters, a Whimbrel and five Sandwich Terns flew north. 

Two additional Whimbrel flew over the headland, but the day’s highlight related to two Dotterel (male & female) that were located on the field between South Landing and Booted Gully; unfortunately they were flushed by the Coastguard helicopter and flew off north-west. A Short-eared Owl was also present at nearby Oceanview. Three Spotted Flycatchers were the year’s first, with additional migrants including six Willow Warblers, two Chiffchaff, increased numbers of Whitethroats and six Wheatears.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Hobby, two Cranes that flew south-west at 0820hrs, a Garden Warbler and two Wheatears. A female Black Redstart was present in Bempton village.

Common Whitethroat, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Orange Tip (female), South Dykes, by June & Malcolm Fox

Saturday, May 12th, 2018

Cloud developed after a bright start, with rain arriving by late afternoon; winds were light and variable. Seawatching highlights included single Tufted Duck, Manx Shearwater, Bar-tailed Godwit flying south, along with 188 Sandwich Terns. 

Thirteen Common Buzzards drifted onto the headland before moving back inland, whilst a Hobby appeared over Hartendale. Thornwick Pools hosted single Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover and Redshank, together with seven Dunlin. Four Swifts fed over the village and there was an appreciable arrival of House Martins, with a minimum of 52 present. A trickle of migrant passerines were also located in addition to existing territorial birds, including three Sedge Warblers, two Garden Warblers, an acredula-type Willow Warbler, a White Wagtail and six Wheatears (including a minimum of two Greenlands).

West of the Dykes, a male Black Redstart frequented Bempton village, whilst sightings from the nearby RSPB reserve included single Garden Warbler, three Willow Warblers, Redwing, a Tree Pipit and 38 Corn Buntings. A French-ringed Sedge Warbler was caught at nearby Buckton, where there were also four Greenland Wheatears.

Sand Martin, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Sedge Warbler (previously rung in France), Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Friday, May 11th, 2018

A south-easterly wind gathered in strength during a day that featured increasing amounts of cloud. Seawatching highlights included two Gadwall, two Tufted Ducks, 17 Common Scoters and 19 Sandwich Terns flying south. 

A Pink-footed Goose and three Tufted Ducks frequented North Marsh, whilst a summer-plumaged Great Northern Diver flew ‘north’ along the cliff at Old Fall. Wader interest included three Whimbrel, three Dunlin, single Common Sandpipers below the Fog Station and at Thornwick Pools, where there was also a Little Ringed Plover. A Hobby hunted over the village early morning and notable passerines included a Grasshopper Warbler at South Dykes and a Whinchat at Thornwick.

Common Sandpiper, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Common Sandpiper, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Roe Deer fawn, South Dykes, by Brett Richards

Thursday, May 10th, 2018

Light/moderate westerly winds were a feature of a relatively bright day after a cloudy start, with temperatures reaching 13 degrees C. During the seawatch, two Manx Shearwaters flew north and 21 Sandwich Terns headed south. Sightings included a Pink-footed Goose, three Tufted Ducks, one Little Ringed Plover, six Whimbrel, one White Wagtail and a Yellow Wagtail.

Tufted Duck, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Yellow Wagtail, outer head, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, May 9th, 2018

A cloudy start to the day, but clearer later, with winds south-westerly and 15c. The morning seawatch had 24 Common Scoter, Red-throated Diver and Great Northern Diver, 94 Sandwich Tern, two Common Tern, 88 Puffin and, strangely, 30 Carrion Crow flying out to sea. A Whimbrel was also present off the headland.

Both a Long-eared Owl and a Short-eared Owl were in the vicinity of the lighthouse, with a Little Ringed Plover at Thornwick Pools. Other sightings included three Buzzard, two Swift, 27 Sand Martin, five Wheatear, four Chiffchaff, four Willow Warbler, six Blackcap, four Whitethroat, one Sedge Warbler and a late Fieldfare all on the headland, with a Ring Ouzel at Church Lane. 

Ring Ouzel, Flamborough village, by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, May 8th, 2018

A sunny start, with cloud from mid-afternoon, a moderate south-westerly wind and temperatures in the high teens. During the seawatch, two Manx Shearwaters, a Little Ringed Plover and 71 Sandwich Terns flew south. 

Sightings on the headland itself included one Pink-footed Goose, three Tufted Ducks, two Golden Plovers, two Little Ringed Plovers and three Dunlin. The year’s first Hobby flew north-west over Thornwick. Six Swifts represented a small arrival, as did 13 House Martins. Eleven Wheatears included two Greenlands, whilst three Yellow Wagtails were also logged.

A Shag seen off the Yorkshire Belle off Flamborough on 7th May was ringed on the Isle of May on 31st May 2016. Subsequently, it was seen at Flamborough on 6th February 2017 and again on 18th June 2017.

Pink-footed Goose, Thornwick, by Brett Richards

Yellow Wagtail, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Monday, May 7th, 2018

A sunny day throughout, with a light south-south-easterly wind establishing late morning and temperatures reaching 19 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included a Shoveler, two Tufted Ducks, 48 Common Scoters, a Little Ringed Plovers, 87 Sandwich Terns and a Little Tern flying south.  

Two Pink-footed Geese remained, as did a Little Grebe at North Marsh. Three Little Ringed Plovers and two Dunlin frequented Thornwick Pools, two Dunlin and a Lapwing were on Stainforth’s Flash and a Whimbrel toured the outer head. A Long-eared Owl was discovered near Old Fall Steps, but later flew towards the Golf Course. Passerine interest included one Redwing, three Wheatear, a Yellow Wagtail, one White Wagtail, a Redpoll and four Corn Buntings.

Reed Warbler, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Sedge Warbler, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Sunday, May 6th, 2018

Cloudless skies and temperatures that reached 18 degrees C were the main feature of the weather, with a light south-easterly breeze developing by late morning. During the seawatch, 82 Sandwich Terns flew south. The headlines were stolen by a Bee-eater that flew south over the Bay Brambles/Lighthouse at 0820hrs; despite calling repeatedly, it remained invisible. A Blue-headed Wagtail between Thornwick and North Dykes was also new, but otherwise migrants were relatively thin on the ground. Two Shoveler and a pair of Tufted Ducks frequented North Marsh, a creamcown Marsh Harrier flew south over South Landing, whilst wader interest included a Little Ringed Plover, one Ringed Plover, five Whimbrel, a Green Sandpiper and two Dunlin. Passerine interest included nine Wheatears, single Yellow, White and Grey Wagtails, together with a Lesser Redpoll.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Bonxie, a Garden Warbler, eight Wheatears and a Tree Pipit.

Puffin, outer head, by Alan Walkington

Saturday, May 5th, 2018

A sunny day, with light south-westerly winds and temperatures that reached 16 degrees C. During the seawatch, single Pink-footed Goose and Whimbrel flew north, with 59 Sandwich Terns heading in the opposite direction. 

Two Pink-footed Geese stayed in residence on the headland, where three Whimbrel and a Little Ringed Plover were also present. A Bonxie that overflew the headland at Oceanview represented an unusual record. Passerine interest included three Reed Warblers, five Sedge Warblers, Black Redstart, 23 Wheatear, a Whinchat, a single Tree Pipit, one Redwing, a Brambling and a single Corn Bunting.

West of the Dykes, RSPB Bempton Cliffs hosted one Bonxie and a Grasshopper Warbler. Sightings from nearby Buckton included a pair of Little Owls, two Redwing, three Sedge Warblers and three Wheatears.

Wren, Fllamborough, by Andrew Allport

Wheatear, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Friday, May 4th, 2018

A bright, relatively sunny day, with light south-westerlies and temperatures reaching 15 degrees C. During the seawatch, two Tufted Ducks flew south, whilst three Arctic Terns, 26 Sandwich Terns and 283 Puffins flew north. 

Single Pink-footed Goose and Wigeon were present, with wader interest including a Whimbrel and two Little Ringed Plovers. A late Redwing sheltered in Old Fall during the morning, whilst two Goldcrest were also relatively late. Additional passerine interest included two Pied Flycatchers, 30 Willow Warblers, seven Sedge Warblers, three Reed Warblers, two Garden Warblers, 14 Blackcap, 42 Whitethroats, six Whinchat, 35 Wheatears (inc. three Greenland), two Tree Pipits and three Corn Buntings.

Fulmar, Flamborough, by Don Hustings

Thursday, May 3rd, 2018

A bright day, with increasing cloud during the afternoon bringing slightly higher temperatures in light, variable winds. During the seawatch, single Manx Shearwater and Common Tern together with six Arctic Terns flew north, with 43 Sandwich Terns heading in the opposite direction. 

A Pink-footed Goose remained in residence, single Great Crested Grebe and Sanderling frequented South Landing, whilst a Whimbrel flew north. Passerine interest included a Firecrest at Old Fall Steps, a Ring Ouzel on Beacon Hill, a male Pied Flycatcher at Old Fall, seven Wheatears, three Common Redstarts, six Yellow Wagtails and a White Wagtail.

Pied Flycatcher, Old Fall, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2018

A day of moderate south-westerly winds that switched to west-north-westerlies following the cessation of rain early afternoon. An arrival of migrants induced by the rain included a Swift, 25 Swallows over Head Farm, four Blackcap and a male Pied Flycatcher in Old Fall, 43 Willow Warblers, a Common Redstart, 18 Wheatears and two Grey Wagtails.

Tufted Duck, outer head, by Andrew Allport

Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

The weather consisted of moderate south-westerly winds and sunny intervals. During the seawatch, two Eiders and a Whimbrel flew north; once again, relatively few auks were on the cliffs.

A creamcrown Marsh Harrier hunted fields near Old Fall, a Whimbrel rested on fields near Hartendale and the Short-eared Owl remained in residence. Passerine interest was provided by a Firecrest at Old Fall Steps, three Pied Flycatchers, a male Common Redstart, one Whinchat, three Yellow Wagtails and a Siskin. 

Sightings from Bempton included a Ring Ouzel on the RSPB reserve and the Ring-necked Parakeet over the village. Buckton Pond attracted a pair of Tufted Ducks.

Pied Flycatcher, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Pied Flycatcher, South Landing, by Les Day