Wednesday, October 31st, 2018

The weather consisted of moderate south-west winds and sunny intervals. During the seawatch, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, six Eider and a Bonxie flew north, with a Red-breasted Merganser headed south. 

Sightings included 14 Wigeon at North Marsh, a Little Grebe, three Water Rails, four Woodcock, eight Snipe, 105 Golden Plover flying south, 31 Lapwings and a Long-eared Owl near North Marsh. Passerine interest included 205 Skylarks, 41 Goldcrests, single Barred Warbler and Siberian Chiffchaff at Old Fall, one Yellow-browed Warbler, a Willow Warbler, four Waxwing, a Black Redstart, three Twite, seven Mealy Redpoll, seven Brambling, a Northern Bullfinch (Bay Brambles), four Crossbill and a Snow Bunting.

West of the Dykes, a Barred Warbler continued to show well at RSPB Bempton Cliffs; interestingly the same individual that had moved from Bempton to Buckton, where it had been rung.

Siberian Chiffchaff, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Willow Warbler, Old Fall, by Andrew Allport

Barred Warbler, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Twite, Golf Course, by Andy Hood

Brindled Ochre, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Tuesday, October 30th, 2018

A day of strong north-north-easterly winds, squally showers and temperatures reaching seven degrees C. Seawatching highlights included 14 Eider, two Velvet Scoter, a Goosander, ten Little Gulls, two Bonxies, an Arctic Skua and five Little Auks moving north, with a Velvet Scoter and two Goldeneye heading in the opposite direction. Sightings from South Landing included single dark-bellied Brent Goose, Red-breasted Merganser, Great Northern Diver, Mediterranean Gull and Little Gull.

Migrant totals included a Water Rail at South Landing, two Hooded Crows, four Woodcock, a Great Grey Shrike (South Landing), 48 Goldcrests, four Chiffchaff, three Siberian Chiffchaffs (South Landing), two Yellow-browed Warblers, 115 Blackbirds, 110 Redwing, 70 Fieldfare, 18 Brambling, nine Siskin and six Mealy Redpoll. The Pied Crow continued its sojourn in the village.

The Coues’s Arctic Redpoll remained at RSPB Bempton Cliffs although it was more elusive; the reserve also hosted a Yellow-browed Warbler and a Barred Warbler.

Coues’s Arctic Redpoll, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Lee Johnson

Coues’s Arctic Redpoll, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Lee Johnson

Hooded Crow, South Landing, by Mark Pearson

Great Grey Shrike, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Siberian Chiffchaff, South Landing, by Mark Pearson

Monday, October 29th, 2018

The weather consisted of moderate east-north-easterly winds, sunny skies with occasional showers. Stealing the headlines, a Coues’s Arctic Redpoll was located along the nature trail at RSPB Bempton Cliffs during the afternoon; it gave superb point blank views to a succession of admirers. No fewer than three Barred Warblers were also present on the reserve. Sightings from nearby Buckton included two Whooper Swans, eight Woodcock, a Short-eared Owl, 19 Goldcrests and a Whinchat; a Barred Warbler and three Common (Mealy) Redpolls were also caught and ringed. Photos showed that the Barred Warbler was one of the individual’s seen earlier in the day at RSPB Bempton Cliffs 1km to the east.

During the morning’s seawatch, the following flew north past the outer head: three dark-bellied Brent Goose, 211 Eider, three Velvet Scoters, 85 Common Scoters, two Black-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, one Red-necked Grebe, 46 Little Gulls, four Bonxies, three Pomarine Skuas, six Arctic Skuas and 59 Little Auks. Two Long-tailed Ducks were again off South Landing.

Great Grey Shrike was located in the Bay Brambles early morning; although elusive, it toured the same area throughout the day. A Short-eared Owl came in off the sea at the same location, where a Water Rail was also obviously fresh-in. The arrival of Siberian Chiffchaffs continued, with no fewer than four birds located – singles near the Lighthouse, Old Fall and two at South Landing. Other migrant totals included eight Woodcock, one Hooded Crow (South Landing), a Waxwing (South Sea Road), 85 Goldcrests, a Yellow-browed Warbler (South Landing), single Willow Warbler and Lesser Whitethroat, 142 Blackbirds, one Black Redstart, a Water Pipit (South Landing), 14 Crossbills, a Twite and five Common (Mealy) Redpolls.

Coues’s Arctic Redpoll, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Trevor Charlton

Coues’s Arctic Redpoll, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Trevor Charlton

Water Rail, Bay Brambles, by Vaughan Grantham

Great Grey Shrike, Gorse Field, by Andrew Allport

Barred Warbler, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

Another great seawatching day, with strong north-easterly winds, sunny intervals and occasional showers; temperatures peaked at 7 degrees C. During the seawatch, five dark-bellied Brent Geese, eight Shelduck, 134 Wigeon, a Scaup, 244 Wigeon, four Velvet Scoters, 500 Common Scoters, two Long-tailed Ducks, six Goldeneye, a Red-breasted Merganser, five Black-throated Divers, six Great Northern Divers, a Storm Petrel, one Sooty Shearwater, 29 Manx Shearwaters, two Red-necked Grebes, a Grey Phalarope, 3900 Kittiwakes, 365 Little Gulls, 34 Bonxies, 46 Pomarine Skuas, seven Arctic Skuas, 175 Little Auks and a Black Guillemot all flew north.

Two Long-tailed Ducks lingered offshore at South Landing, an adult Glaucous Gull flew north late afternoon, whilst two Short-eared Owls, 550 Starlings and 11 Crossbill flew in off the sea. Other migrant totals included a Water Rail (South Landing), 11 Woodcock, a Long-eared Owl, one Hooded Crow (South Landing), 42 Goldcrest, four Siberian Chiffchaffs, ten Chiffchaffs, two Blackcap, 300 Blackbirds, a Hawfinch (South Landing), two Twite and one Snow Bunting.

West of the Dykes, two Barred Warblers frequented the Dell at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, with one of these caught and ringed; one Short-eared Owl, a Ring Ouzel, 1500 Starlings and a Crossbill were also present. Sightings from Buckton included 17 Eiders, a Velvet Scoter and 410 Common Scoters flying north, 12 Woodcock, two Long-eared Owls, including one caught and ringed, 15 Goldcrest, 50 Blackbirds and 300 Starling.

Little Auks, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Long-eared Owl, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Saturday, October 27th, 2018

The weather consisted of gale force northerly winds, prolonged heavy showers of sleet/rain and temperatures of four degrees C. Once again, seawatching proved productive, with 305 Wigeon, 120 Teal, 16 Mallard, three Pintail, eight Scaup, six Red-breasted Mergansers, a Long-tailed Duck and six Goldeneye flying north. Ten Barnacle Geese and three Great Northern Divers flew south into Bridlington Bay, with two of the latter pitching down off South Landing, where a Red-necked Grebe also flew in from the south. A Storm Petrel, six Sooty Shearwaters, 40 Manx Shearwaters and a Grey Phalarope headed north, whilst 12 Bonxies flew south. A total of 26 Pomarine Skuas were noted during the day, with 15 birds flying south and 14 north. Best of all, a Black Guillemot flew north past the Fog Station, with 17 Little Auks heading in the same direction. Four Short-eared Owls flew in off the sea, along with 675 Starlings.

Bridlington Bay also sheltered two pale-bellied Brent Geese, six dark-bellied Brent Geese, two Velvet Scoter, a female Long-tailed Duck, two Red-breasted Mergansers, four Mediterranean Gulls and ten Little Gulls.

South Landing attracted four Woodcock, ten Hooded Crows (including a flock nine strong), a Ring Ouzel, 200 Blackbirds and 20 Brambling, whilst a Short-eared Owl, Chiffchaff and Brambling were seen on nearby Church Lane. An additional Woodcock and a Long-eared Owl were present in the Bay Brambles.

West of the Dykes, sightings from Buckton included two Brent Geese, ten Manx and a Sooty Shearwater, ten Pomarine Skuas and three Woodcock.

Curlew, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Friday, October 26th, 2018

The day began with moderate north-westerly winds, with strong northerly winds establishing during the afternoon; temperatures peaked at 9 degrees C before dropping to 5 degrees C, whilst showers, occasionally heavy, featured throughout. During a dawn till dusk seawatch, the standout record related to 156 Pomarine Skuas that flew south (third best count after 330 on 10th November 1985 & 201 on 9th October 1992). Other highlights included a Velvet Scoter, 170 Common Scoters, four Goldeneye, eight Goosanders and 78 Red-throated Divers flying south, a drake Long-tailed Duck, one Black-throated Diver and a Great Northern Diver moving north. A total of 606 Kittiwakes, nine Arctic Skuas, 29 Bonxies, a Sandwich Tern and an Arctic Tern also flew south. Another feature was the arrival of significant numbers of passerines in off the sea, including 105 Starlings, 1125 Fieldfares and 61 Redwing; they were accompanied by a Merlin and two Woodcock in off the sea.

Elsewhere, Thornwick Pools hosted a Little Grebe and a Jack Snipe. Two Woodcock were also located on the headland, together with six Twite and a Hawfinch; the latter at South Landing.

Little Grebe, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Thursday, October 25th, 2018

The airflow switched to a north-westerly during a day of extended sunny intervals and temperatures that reached 15 degrees C. The highlight related to a count of 134 Pomarine Skuas that included a minimum of 100 birds heading south past the Fog Station between 3.15-4.15pm; 34 birds were seen during the morning, 30 heading south and four tracking back north. Other noteworthy records included a Black-throated Diver, two Great Northern Divers, three Manx Shearwaters and nine Little Gulls flying north, with six Bonxies and five Arctic Skuas also logged. A Short-eared Owl came in off the sea and two Twite frequented the outer head cliff top. Away from the outer head, two Yellow-browed Warblers remained at South landing.

Cormorant, Thornwick Pools, by Don Hustings

Wednesday, October 24th, 2018

Another sunny day throughout, with light westerly winds and temperatures reaching 15 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included two Velvet Scoter, seven Manx Shearwaters and 45 Little Gulls moving north, with an adult Mediterranean Gull and two Arctic Skuas heading south. An additional 300 Little Gulls fed offshore.

An arrival of migrants occurred during the day, but one of the more notable records related to a Little Owl seen near the entrance to Thornwick Camp. Notable records included two Water Rail, two Woodcock, a Jack Snipe, a Short-eared Owl, two Chiffchaff, three Yellow-browed Warblers (Old Fall, South Landing, South Dykes), a Blackcap, 375 Redwing, 176 Fieldfare, a Water Pipit at South Dykes and four Brambling. The Pied Crow was seen once again along Beech Avenue.

West of the Dykes, single Chiffchaff and Blackcap were present in the Dell at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Kestrel, Fog Station, by Karen Thomas

Water Pipit, South Dykes, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, October 23rd, 2018

A sunny day, with a moderate/strong west-north-west wind and temperatures reaching 17 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included nine Whooper Swans, 48 Red-throated Divers, a Great Northern Diver, a Sooty Shearwater, two Manx Shearwaters, 11 Bonxies and ten Arctic Skuas flying south, with two Velvet Scoters moving north. A Red-breasted Merganser and 370 Little Gulls were seen off the Fog Station. 

The Water Rail remained at Thornwick Pools, a ringtail Hen Harrier flew west over Hartendale mid-morning and a Short-eared Owl frequented the Gorse Field. Two Yellow-browed Warblers included a single at South Landing. The Pied Crow continued its long stay in the village being seen once again on Beech Avenue.

West of the Dykes, presumably the same Hen Harrier was seen at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Short-eared Owl, Gorse Field, by Andrew Allport

Migrant Hawkers, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Monday, October 22nd, 2018

A bright, sunny day with a light/moderate north-westerly wind. Seawatching highlights included a pale-bellied Brent Goose, 19 Whooper Swans, two Shoveler, a Pintail, one Eider, 30 Red-throated Divers and seven Bonxies flying south, with two Manx Shearwaters and two Mediterranean Gulls heading in the opposite direction. A total of 1500 Little Gulls fed offshore, whilst further sightings at the Fog Station included a Short-eared Owl in off, three Snow Buntings overhead and a Twite that lingered in the area all day. 

Fifteen Whooper Swans rested on the beach near New Fall, a Jack Snipe showed well at Thornwick Pools, whilst a first-winter Common Tern graced South Landing. Passerine interest was relatively limited, with one Wheatear, two Lesser Redpoll and nine Crossbill; the latter flying over Holmes Gut. Butterfly interest included two Small Coppers near the Fog Station.

Jack Snipe, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Twite, Fog Station, by Andrew Allport

Small Copper, Lighthouse Grassland, by Andy Hood

Sunday, October 21st, 2018

A relatively bright day, with light south-west winds and temperatures reaching 17 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included a juvenile Pomarine Skua flying south and 400 Little Gulls feeding offshore.

Ten Whooper Swans flew south over the outer head and a single rested at North Marsh in the morning. Two Short-eared Owls flew in off the sea near the Fog Station, including one on the morning’s seawatch. A local record 15 Little Egrets were recorded: a flock of ten birds flew south over the outer head, four flew south past South Landing and another headed in the same direction over Thornwick Pools. Woodcock and Water Rail frequented South Landing, where a Velvet Scoter and Red-breasted Merganser rested offshore, whilst Thornwick Pools hosted another Water Rail and a Jack Snipe. Three Yellow-browed Warblers lingered, including a single at Old Fall, as did a Ring Ouzel. A total of 38 birds ringed during the day included eight Blackbirds, a Chiffchaff and three Blackcap.

West of the Dykes, a ringtail Hen Harrier came in off the sea at Bempton, with first-winter Mediterranean Gull, Ring Ouzel and Coal Tit recorded at Buckton.

Brambling, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Saturday, October 20th, 2018

The weather consisted of light south-westerly winds and bright, m but generally overcast, skies. During the seawatch, eight Wigeon, 15 Teal, one Common Tern and an Arctic Skua flew north, with two Pink-footed Geese and a Pomarine Skua heading south. In addition, a Great White Egret flew in off the sea from the south at 0825hrs (and later overflew Old Fall), as did a Short-eared Owl.

Away from the sea, four Whooper Swans headed south, a second Great White Egret flew west over Old Fall/Hartendale at 0815-0820hrshrs, three Woodcock and five Jack Snipe were also recorded, including two of the latter at Thornwick Pools, whilst North Marsh hosted nine Wigeon. Passerine interest included five Yellow-browed Warblers, six Chiffchaff, five Blackcaps, one Ring Ouzel, a Redstart, five Lesser Redpolls, a Twite, four Crossbill and two Lapland Buntings

A total of 91 birds were ringed during the day, including a Sparrowhawk, 30 Blackbird, six Redwing, two Song Thrush,  two Blackcap, a Chiffchaff, one Yellow-browed Warbler, three Yellowhammer and 21 Tree Sparrow.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included three Whooper Swans and 65 Pink-footed Geese heading north-west, a Goosander and eight Golden Plovers moving south, 213 Skylarks in off the sea and four Stonechats.

Sparrowhawk, North Landing, by Jim Morgan

Yellow-browed Warbler, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Friday, October 19th, 2018

A bright day, with prolonged sunny intervals and a light south-west wind. Seawatching highlights included six dark-bellied Brent Geese (two north, four south), 26 Wigeon, two Tufted Duck, a Great Northern Diver flying south, 136 Little Gulls north, three Bonxies south, five Arctic Skuas north, a juvenile Pomarine Skua lingering offshore and a juvenile Long-tailed Skua doing the same.

Eighteen Whooper Swans (16 and two) moved south, along with eight Pink-footed Geese, whilst a Water Rail sheltering in a cave in Selwick’s Bay was undoubtedly ‘fresh in’; a Jack Snipe was also flushed from the nearby Lighthouse Grassland. Although not on the scale of earlier in the week, an arrival of passerines took place, headlined by two Waxwings. Additional sightings included 96 Skylarks, two Jays, 910 Starlings (inc. 620 in off during the seawatch), 155 Blackbird, 40 Song Thrush, 430 Fieldfare, 270 Redwing, three Ring Ouzel, five Yellow-browed Warblers, the Barred Warbler, six Lesser Redpoll, 30 Brambling, eight Crossbill and a Lapland Bunting. A total of 69 birds were caught and ringed, including 16 Blackbird, nine Redwing, five Song Thrush, a Treecreeper and two Lesser Redpoll.

West of the Dykes, sightings from Reighton included ten Whooper Swans and 20 Crossbill. RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted 60 Skylark, 180 Redwing, one Ring Ouzel, a Whinchat, five Brambling and 30 Chaffinch.

Whooper Swans, Beacon Hill, by Mike Smith

Waxwing, Bay Brambles, by Craig Thomas

Green Brindled Crescent, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, October 18th, 2018

A day of light north-westerly winds and sunny skies. Seawatching highlights included three dark-bellied Brent Geese (two north, one south), two Red-breasted Merganser and 16 Red-throated Divers south, three Manx Shearwaters and a Mediterranean Gull north, with two Bonxies and three Arctic Skuas heading in the opposite direction. Six Pintail and a Great Northern Diver flew past the Fog Station during the evening.

A Jack Snipe overflew South Landing. A total of nine Yellow-browed Warblers remained, as did the Barred Warbler (Bay Brambles) and Olive-backed Pipit (North Landing). Three Ring Ouzels, five Stonechats, a Wheatear, one Pied Flycatcher, seven Twite (flock of five and two singles on the outer head) and two Lesser Redpoll were also located. A Little Bunting near Old Fall and then west represented the first of the autumn.

West of the Dykes, Buckton attracted 170 Lapwing, 35 Golden Plovers, a Whinchat, 80 Skylark and two Snow Buntings.

Olive-backed Pipit, North Landing, by Paul Reed

Wednesday, October 17th, 2018

The weather consisted of light south-west winds and overcast skies, with brighter intervals later. Seawatching highlights included 21 Red-throated Divers, a Black-throated Diver, one Great Northern Diver, two Mediterranean Gulls and four Arctic Skuas flying south.

A Little Egret frequented the shore below the Fog Station, 12 Common Buzzards and three Short-eared Owls were present, which included two of the latter coming in off the sea. On the passerine front, the Olive-backed Pipit remained at North Landing, giving good views on occasion along the eastern path leading onto the cliff top. Two Waxwings were new arrivals, which included one bird watched flying in off the sea on the outer head, whilst other migrants included 44 Goldcrest, seven Yellow-browed Warblers, the Barred Warbler (Bay Brambles), 560 Redwing, 15 Ring Ouzels, 560 Tree Sparrows, 41 Brambling, five Lesser Redpoll, 23 Siskin, seven Twite and three Snow Buntings. The Pied Crow continued its protracted stay in the village.

Olive-backed Pipit, North Landing, by Mark Breaks

Barred Warbler, Bay Brambles, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, October 16th, 2018

A fantastic arrival of migrants occurred during light south-west winds and overcast skies. A Merlin was seen near North Landing, whilst wader interest included a Dotterel accompanying Golden Plovers over the headland, with 86 of the latter recorded, one Woodcock, a Jack Snipe and two Snipe. A Short-eared Owl also frequented the North Landing area. The day’s highlight related to the discovery of an Olive-backed Pipit mid-afternoon at North Landing by a visiting birder. Additional passerine totals included: a Swallow, 35 Goldcrest, 21 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Barred Warbler (Bay Brambles), ten Blackcap, 12 Chiffchaff, 35 Skylark, 7350 Redwing, 1110 Fieldfare, 760 Song Thrush, 17 Ring Ouzel, 375 Blackbirds, 120 Starling, two Wheatear, three Stonechat, a Redstart, one Pied Flycatcher, a Grey Wagtail, 125 Brambling, one Lesser Redpoll and three Crossbill. A total of 103 birds were caught and ringed which included five of the aforementioned Yellow-browed Warblers, 24 Redwing and 21 Song Thrush.

West of the Dykes, sightings from Buckton included a Jack Snipe, a Yellow-browed Warbler, 3000 Redwing, 150 Song Thrush, 100 Fieldfare, 14 Ring Ouzels and eight Brambling.

Yellow-browed Warbler, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Monday, October 15th, 2018

An overcast day, with a moderate north-easterly wind and rain until mid-morning. Seawatching highlights included two dark-bellied Brent Geese, 22 Wigeon, 27 Teal, 54 Common Scoter, five Eider, a Red-breasted Merganser, 14 Red-throated Divers, two Manx Shearwaters, 44 Golden Plovers, two Bonxies, four Sandwich Terns and three Mediterranean Gulls flying north, with three Great Northern Divers, a Red-necked Grebe, eight Bonxies, seven Arctic Skuas and 12 Little Gulls heading south. Two Slavonian Grebes close inshore off the Fog Station were more unusual still, with a Common Sandpiper at South Landing and a Short-eared Owl in the Gorse Field.

Passerine migrants included eight Swallows, 12 Goldcrests, a Willow Warbler, four Chiffchaffs, seven Yellow-browed Warblers, six Wheatear, 890 Redwing, 380 Fieldfare, 40 Song Thrush, 25 Blackbird, two Mistle Thrush, 75 Chaffinch, 92 Brambling and a Hawfinch; the latter at South Landing.

West of the Dykes, single Short-eared Owl, Long-eared Owl and a newly arrived Yellow-browed Warbler were seen at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, whilst 60 Lapwing, two Ring Ouzels and five Brambling graced Buckton.

Slavonian Grebe, Fog Station, by Mark Breaks

Brambling, South Landing, by Craig Thomas

Sunday, October 14th, 2018

A day of moderate north-westerly winds and rain throughout. Seawatching highlights included four Eider, a Velvet Scoter, a Mediterranean Gull and an Arctic Skua flew south. An increase in Blackbirds was apparent despite the inclement birding conditions, with a Ring Ouzel remaining in the Gorse Field.

West of the Dykes, seven Pintail, three Chiffchaffs and a Yellow-browed Warbler were present at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. 

Feathered Rununculus, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Saturday, October 13th, 2018

The weather consisted of strong south-westerly winds and generally overcast skies; the day’s striking feature were the warm temperatures, peaking at 21 degrees C well after dark. During the morning seawatch, 32 Wigeon, 47 Teal, a Goosander and seven Little Gulls flew south. A juvenile Pomarine Skua flew north early afternoon, whilst an additional seven Little Gulls headed south later. 

Thornwick Pools attracted two Greenshank and three Dunlin; four Mediterranean Gulls were also in residence. Migrants also included four House Martin, four Swallows, ten Yellow-browed Warblers, two Whinchat, three Redstarts, three Stonechat and 14 Ring Ouzels, with the latter including several arriving late afternoon.

West of the Dykes, an Olive-backed Pipit flew south-east over RSPB Bempton Cliffs late morning which represented a reserve first; a Ring Ouzel frequented the chalet park in Bempton village.

Mediterranean Gull, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Friday, October 12th, 2018

Gale force southerly winds were the main feature of an overcast day with occasional light rain. Seawatching highlights included a pale-bellied Brent Goose, a drake Mandarin Duck, 130 Wigeon, 557 Teal and 42 Dunlin flying south, with two Little Gulls flying north.

Thornwick Pools hosted 19 Teal, single Wigeon and Dunlin, together with two Snipe. Despite the strong winds, it was evident that some migrants remained from yesterday’s influx: six Yellow-browed Warblers were equally split between the outer head and North Landing, with four Ring Ouzels at the latter site and a Redstart on the former.

Curlew, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

juvenile sinensis Cormorant, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Thursday, October 11th, 2018

A genuine easterly airflow for almost the first time in living memory resulted in a significant arrival: heavy rain for a couple of hours gave way to sunny intervals, whilst moderate south-easterly winds featured throughout.

North Marsh attracted 47 Teal and three Wigeon, whilst a ringtail Hen Harrier quartered fields in the same area before heading west over Holmes Gut. Eighteen Snipe made landfall, whilst five Golden Plovers toured the headland. An impressive arrival of passerines occurred during and after the rain, with: a Barred Warbler at North Landing, 21 Yellow-browed Warblers, that included a bird in off the sea at the Fog Station, ten Chiffchaffs, 12 Blackcap, a Willow Warbler, 410 Skylarks, four Stonechat, three Wheatear, seven Whinchat, 11 Redstarts, 11 Ring Ouzels, 380 Redwing, 560 Song Thrush, 60 Blackbirds, 76 Fieldfare, 84 Chaffinch, two Hawfinch (Old Fall Steps, North Landing), 262 Brambling, two Siskin, a Snow Bunting and four Corn Buntings.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included three Yellow-browed Warbler, a Willow Warbler, 35 Song Thrush, three Ring Ouzels, a Redstart, one Pied Flycatcher, a Hawfinch, 23 Brambling and two Siskin.

Hen Harrier, North Landing, by Andy Hood

Common Redstart, North Landing, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, October 10th, 2018

The weather consisted of sunny skies and light south-west winds. During the seawatch, an adult Pomarine Skua, seven Arctic Skuas and two Bonxies flew north, whilst an adult Mediterranean Gull lingered offshore. Elsewhere, four Eider were off Beacon Hill and a Short-eared Owl frequented the North Landing area.

Passerine interest included nine Yellow-browed Warblers, an acredula Willow Warbler, one Garden Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat showing characteristics of blythi, 55 Skylarks, one Ring Ouzel, two Stonechat, three Snow Buntings and three Corn Buntings.

West of the Dykes, sightings from Buckton included a Pink-footed Goose, 350 Skylarks moving south-east and six Stonechats. 

Yellow-browed Warbler, Holmes Gut, by Andy Hood

Goldcrest, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Tuesday, October 9th, 2018

A moderate to strong south westerly wind continued throughout the day making birding on the land hard work. Rewards included six Yellow-browed Warbler (with an additional bird at Bempton), a Barred Warbler, 5 Chiffchaff, 2 Blackcap, 1 Wheatear, 2 Lapland Bunting and a Stonechat. 39 Teal were spread across the headlands fresh water bodies. Yesterday’s Little Stint remained on Thornwick Pool during the early morning but became flighty as the morning progressed and was not seen after midday. Similarly the Goldeneye was also on the pools first thing but had departed by mid-morning after a brief foray onto the fishing pool. A Mute Swan flew over.

Highlights on the morning sea watch included 2 1st winter Mediterranean Gull, Shoveler, 8 Common Scoter, 5 Red-throated Diver, 1 Manx Shearwater, 1 Bonxie and4 Arctic Skua.

Yellow-browed Warbler by Paul Reed.

Monday, October 8th, 2018

A cloudy day, with occasional sunny spells and an increasingly strong south westerly wind. Counts from the morning sea watch included 12 Wigeon, 1 Pintail, 16 Teal, 1 Pochard, 1 Goldeneye, 31 Common Scoter, 13 Red-throated Diver, 2 Grey Plover, 1 adult Little Gull, 1 Sandwich Tern, 1 Bonxie and 3 Arctic Skua. An additional 9 Pintail flew over the village.

Many of the previous days highlights remained with the Barred Warbler still in the Bay brambles, 15 Yellow-browed Warbler (including 6 at South Landing and four at Old Fall), 12 Brambling and small numbers of Redwing and Fieldfare. Ringing totals from South Landing included 2 Yellow-browed Warbler, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Blackcap and 1 Goldcrest.

A Little Stint and 3 Dunlin dropped onto Thornwick pool during mid-afternoon, with a Goldeneye and Water rail also there late in the day. A Barnacle Goose was at Oceanview and the Pied Crow continued to roam around the village.

Bempton held 2 Yellow-browed Warbler and a Ring Ouzel.

Little Stint, Thornwick Pools by Alan Walkington.

Barnacle Goose, Oceanview by Andy Hood

Barred Warbler, Bay brambles by Lee Johnson

Sunday, October 7th, 2018

Before reading further, could I please ask you to kindly help us fund the construction of our observatory building. Once in situ, it will secure seabird monitoring moving forward  and the data obtained from studies will help conserve our threatened species. Click here for further details and how you can help…. FBO SEAWATCH OBSERVATORY APPEAL Thank you – all your help is very much appreciated!

A relatively bright start to a day that featured increasing amounts of cloud, with a strengthening westerly wind. Seawatching highlights included two dark-bellied Brent Geese, 195 Common Scoters, ten Sooty Shearwaters, 37 Manx Shearwaters, a Red-necked Grebe, 2288 Kittiwakes, two Mediterranean Gulls, 28 Bonxies, two Pomarine Skuas and 26 Arctic Skuas flying north, with 12 Pink-footed Geese, two Pintail, a Red-breasted Merganser moving south; 12 Eider were also recorded, with eight north, four south.

A Whimbrel over South Landing represented a relatively late record, with single Woodcock and Jack Snipe also making landfall. Passerine migrants included a Barred Warbler at Bay Brambles, two Goldcrest, 17 Yellow-browed Warblers, a Lesser Whitethroat, four Blackcap, five Chiffchaff, 240 Redwing, 203 Fieldfares, five Ring Ouzels, 93 Skylarks (including many heading west, after making landfall on the outer head), a Spotted Flycatcher, five Grey Wagtails, 31 Brambling and 46 Siskin.

West of the Dykes, a Barred Warbler and two Yellow-browed Warblers were present at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, with the former caught and ringed.

Yellow-browed Warbler, Flamborough village, by Paul Reed

Yellow-browed Warbler, Flamborough village, by Paul Reed

Yellow-browed Warbler, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Saturday, October 6th, 2018

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A day of moderate north-north-east winds, rain until early afternoon and brighter spells by the evening. Seawatching highlights included 14 Wigeon, 32 Teal, two Pintail, a Tufted Duck, two Pochard, 286 Common Scoter, a Velvet Scoter, three Sooty Shearwaters, a Bar-tailed Godwit, one juvenile Long-tailed Skua and a second-winter Mediterranean Gull flying north. A drake Goldeneye flew south, along with a Leach’s Petrel at 1620hrs, whilst four Pomarine Skuas were logged: three adults moved north and a juvenile headed south. Elsewhere, a Barnacle Goose visited Thornwick Pools.

An arrival of passerines was precipitated by the rain which included two Jays, no fewer than nine Yellow-browed Warblers, 14 Coal Tits, 12 Goldcrest, 16 Chiffchaff, one Willow Warbler, a Lesser Whitethroat, eight Blackcap, 145 Redwing, nine Song Thrush, three Ring Ouzel, ten Fieldfare and 89 Brambling. 

Reed Bunting, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Friday, October 5th, 2018

An overcast day, misty at times and drizzle during the afternoon; calm at first, with a moderate northerly developing later. Rewatching highlights included 74 Common Scoter and a Red-breasted Merganser flying north, 53 Red-throated Divers and a summer-plumaged Great Northern Diver south, a first calendar-year Mediterranean Gull, two Bonxies and 14 Arctic Skuas. 

The Barnacle Goose and three Pink-feet remained with the Greylag flock, whilst a Short-eared Owl came in off the sea on the outer head. Passerine migrants were scarce, but included five Goldcrest, a Willow Warbler, three Chiffchaffs, four continental Song Thrush, two Redwing, a Wheatear and a Snow Bunting.

Short-eared Owl, Lighthouse Grassland, by Craig Thomas

Thursday, October 4th, 2018

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An overcast day, with light south-west winds and temperatures reaching 16 degrees C. During the seawatch, six Wigeon, two Sooty Shearwaters, nine Manx Shearwaters, 17 Little Gulls, nine Bonxies and 12 Arctic Skuas flew north, two Pomarine Skuas were recorded (north and south) and a Little Egret also flew south. In addition, a Minke Whale headed north past the Fog Station.

Away from the sea, two Whooper Swans frequented Oceanview, whilst the goose flock attracted 27 Pink-feet and a Barnacle Goose

Wheatear, North Marsh, by Don Hustings

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

A relatively overcast morning, with occasional sunny intervals during the afternoon and light south-west winds. During the seawatch, 13 Sooty Shearwaters, 63 Manx Shearwaters, 34 Bonxies, nine Pomarine Skuas, 36 Arctic Skuas and a Long-tailed Skua flew north, whilst three Velvet Scoters headed south. 

Six Whooper Swans rested on the sea off South Landing and 40 Barnacle Geese were recorded; 23 flew north-west, 13 moved south and four east. A Little Egret remained on the outer head, whilst a first-winter Mediterranean Gull followed the plough on Beacon Hill.

A significant influx of thrushes and Skylarks occurred, with 1857 Redwing making landfall between 0830-1215hrs. Additional totals involved 70 Fieldfares, six Song Thrush, a Jay, 128 Skylarks (including 88 at Oceanview), 44 Meadow Pipits, 15 Chaffinch, 19 Siskin and 12 Lesser Redpolls which included nine caught & ringed at South Landing.

Sparrowhawk, Flamborough, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, October 2nd, 2018

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The weather consisted of light north-west winds at dawn, which strengthened to force six north-north-westerlies. by the middle of the day before ameliorating once again. Seawatching highlights included a Shoveler, 101 Wigeon, 13 Pintail, a Velvet Scoter, one Great Northern Diver, a Storm Petrel, 12 Sooty Shearwaters, three Bar-tailed Godwits, 20 Snipe, one Red-necked Phalarope and four Arctic Terns flying north. Birds heading south included four Eider, a Little Egret, 53 Red-throated Divers, a Leach’s Petrel, 27 Bonxies, a Pomarine Skua, 38 Arctic Skuas and two Snow Buntings

Elsewhere, five Whooper Swans flew south over the headland and the Pied Crow remained in the village.

Little Egret, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Monday, October 1st, 2018

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The day began with strong north-north-west winds that gradually reduced in strength before a more westerly airflow re-established; bright spells were interspersed with squally showers during the morning. Seawatching highlights included: 22 Pink-footed Geese moving south, with three dark-bellied Brent Geese, 80 Wigeon, a Pintail and three Velvet Scoters flying north. A total of 161 Manx Shearwaters also flew north, together with a Great Shearwater at 0853hrs and 55 Sooty Shearwaters. Skua interest was provided by 51 Bonxies, 50 Arctic Skuas and nine Pomarine Skuas, including five adults flying north during the evening. Two Little Egrets and a first-winter Mediterranean Gull lingered around the outer head. 

Elsewhere, the Pied Crow remained in residence in the village and a Snow Bunting was located near the Gorse Field.

Stonechat, Buckton, by Paul Reed