Friday, November 30th, 2018

A sunny day with moderate south westerly wind. The morning sea watch was productive with the stand out highlights being four Bewick’s Swan (including two juveniles) flying south, closely followed by a flock of 13 Eurasian White-fronted Geese and a single Tundra Bean Goose. A decent supporting cast included 2 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 15 Pink-footed Geese, 1 Shelduck, 1 Gadwall, 28 Wigeon, 10 Teal, 2 Velvet Scoter, 31 Common Scoter, 155 Red-throated Diver, 2 Great Northern Diver, 25 Golden Plover, 1 Bonxie and 1 Arctic Skua. 65 Purple Sandpiper was a notable count in the area around the fog station.

Two additional Eurasian White-fronts overflew the outer headland, with another in fields on the north side. Three Whooper swan similarly alighted in fields before flying off south.  Thornwick pool hosted a Jack Snipe along with 17 Snipe, whilst fresh water bodies across the headland held a total of 168 Teal and 2 Water Rail.  3 Grey Partridge  and a Short-eared Owl were also logged. Passerines on the outer head were represented by 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Mealy Redpolls and 8 Snow Bunting. A single Snow Bunting also flew south east at Bempton. 

Eurasian White-fronted Goose by Andrew Allport

Whooper Swan by Andrew Allport

Thursday, November 29th, 2018

A cloudy day with showers and strong winds but 10c

The headland sea-watch was steady with Teal, Eider, two Common Scoter, 23 Red-throated Diver, 86 Fulmar, 81 Gannet, Knot, Dunlin, 31 Kittiwake, 33 Great Black-backed Gull and a single Puffin. Present below the headland were 20 Turnstone.

The highlight of the day was a Bittern which flew south-east over the fishing pond at Thornwick Pools at 1408. Additionally, a mixed flock of 750 Fieldfare and Redwing at North Dykes.

Teal by Andrew Alport

Wednesday, November 28th, 2018

A poor weather day with mist and rain, winds south to east and force 6.

Headland sea-watching produced two Shelduck, three Wigeon, 14 Teal, ten Red-throated Diver, 40 Fulmar including a dark morph, 38 Gannet and 45 Purple Sandpiper.

Elsewhere in the recording area was a Long-tailed Duck at North Landing, seven Teal, Sparrowhawk, three Woodcock, Chiffchaff and 35 Goldfinch.

Long-tailed Duck by Brett Richards

Tuesday, November 27th, 2018

A fairly clear day to start but cloud soon developing with a southerly force 5 wind and 7c.

The morning and mid-day sea-watch found three Shelduck, 36 Wigeon, 49 Teal, four Common Scoter, Velvet Scoter, eight Eider, a female/immature Goldeneye, 80 Red-throated Diver, 21 Gannet still around, seven Redshank, 84 Kittiwake, 71 Common Gull and a first cy Little Gull. Present off the headland were two Eider, 18 Red-throated Diver and 15 Shag.

The remaining headland had 145 Teal, 22 Wigeon, 16 Common Scoter, Scaup, Great Crested Grebe, three Peregrine, eight Oystercatcher, two Turnstone, four Woodcock, Jack Snipe, 22 Snipe, 23 Black-headed Gull, 52 Common Gull, 36 Skylark, two Coal Tit, Chiffchaff, 33 Blackbird, Grey Wagtail, four Bullfinch and a Lapland Bunting over North Landing.

A Dark Sword Grass moth was recorded at Oceanview, a continental migrant and a first for the site.

Dark Sword Grass by Andy Hood

Eider by Andrew Alport

Monday, November 26th, 2018

An overcast day with light north-easterly winds and a cold 6c

Highlights of the sea-watch were five Teal, 14 Common Scoter, 24 Red-throated Diver, Bar-tailed Godwit and 207 Kittiwake.

The remaining headland had a female Sparrowhawk caught and ringed, 28 Oystercatcher, Barn Owl, Great spotted Woodpecker, two Chiffchaff, two Blackcap, two Treecreeper, 33 Blackbird, seven Redwing, 16 Greenfinch and two Snow Bunting.

Barn Owl by Geoff Carr

Sunday, November 25th, 2018

A moderate easterly wind with heavy showers throughout the day. The morning sea watch proved productive with 1 Little Auk, 1 Bonxie, 1 Manx Shearwater, 19 Red-throated Diver, 24 Common Scoter, 2 Velvet Scoter, 15 Eider, 2 Wigeon and a single Dark-bellied Brent Goose.

The Nuthatch remained at South Dykes. A Black Redstart in paddocks off Water Lane was new. 3 Chiffchaff and 2 Woodcock were on the outer headland, with a third Woodcock logged at Bempton and 3 Corn Bunting at nearby Buckton.

Sparrowhawk, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Saturday, November 24th, 2018

A cloudy day with light north easterly winds. A single Black-throated Diver flew north on the sea watch, with other notable counts including 41 Red-throated Diver and six Common Scoter.

Land birds were headlined by a Waxwing briefly in a village garden. A single Nuthatch was present at South Dykes; likely representing one of the lingering individuals from earlier in the year. The Pied Crow also remained in the village.

A Snow Bunting flew in off the sea at Bempton along with 60 Golden Plover, whilst a Woodcock was present in the Dell.

Peregrine, North Cliffs, by Mark Pearson

Friday, November 23rd, 2018

A cloudy day, with light rain during the afternoon and a light south easterly breeze. Highlights from the sea watch consisted of four Velvet Scoter, along with 11 Common Scoter, 2 Goosander, 3 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 9 Wigeon, 8 Teal, 187 Red-throated Diver, 3 Little Gull and a Bonxie. A Long-tailed Duck loitered off South Landing with a Great Crested Grebe. A further Goosander passed Bempton.

Highlights on the land consisted of a Lapland Bunting and 2 Snow Bunting in fields near North Dykes, 2 Chiffchaff, 12 Mealy Redpoll (ringed), 7 Lesser Redpoll, 27 Redwing and 2 Water Rail. The Short-eared Owl remained at Bempton.

Mealy Redpoll, South Landing by Jim Morgan

Thursday, November 22nd, 2018

Another overcast day with some drizzle and 7c.

The headland sea-watch highlights were Dark-bellied Brent Goose, 15 Teal, 22 Eider, two Velvet Scoter, 17 Common Scoter, Long-tailed Duck, 61 Red-throated Diver and two Great Northern Diver. Present there were 30 Shag, 20 Turnstone, 34 Purple Sandpiper and two Peregrine.

Other parts of the headland had a Whooper Swan at North Marsh, 74 Mallard, 56 Moorhen, 15 Oystercatcher, four Curlew, five Redshank, Woodcock, two Great Spotted Woodpecker, Chiffchaff, two Treecreeper, 42 Blackbird and seven Redwing.

Highlights from ringing today were five Goldcrest, a surprise Willow Warbler and Common Redpoll.

Goldcrest by Geoff Carr

Wednesday, November 21st, 2018

A rather poor day, overcast with some showers, a force 6 southerly wind and only 6c.

The sea-watch highlights were ten Teal south, ten Red-throated Diver south and two north, Great Northern Diver north, 335 Fulmar south and 25 north, 52 Kittiwake south and a Little Gull south.

Around the area were 30 Teal, 57 Mallard, Velvet Scoter South Landing, Water Rail and two Redshank Thornwick Pools, five Curlew, Woodcock at South Landing, Peregrine, two Chiffchaff, 30 Blackbird, seven Redwing, Treecreeper and 21 Greenfinch.

Redshank by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, November 20th, 2018

Very strong north-easterly winds and squally showers featured throughout. Seawatching highlights included a Brent Goose and three Bonxies moving south, with 44 Eider, a Velvet Scoter, one Black-throated Diver, three Great Northern Divers, 918 Kittiwakes, 49 Little Gulls, an Arctic Skua and 13 Little Auks heading north.

Cormorant, South Landing, by Trevor Charlton

Monday, November 19th, 2018

The weather consisted of largely overcast skies, although with brighter spells in the afternoon and an increasingly strong east-north-easterly wind. Seawatching highlights included 117 dark-bellied Brent Geese (107 south, ten north), 47 Wigeon, four Pintail, 81 Teal, 129 Eider, three Velvet Scoter and three Red-breasted Mergansers all north, 358 Common Scoter (165 north, 193 south) and two Goldeneye south. A Manx Shearwater headed north, as did an Avocet; the latter accompanied a flock of Eider heading north, having been at South Landing earlier. Sixty-six Little Gulls were also recorded (62 north, four south), as were seven Bonxies south.

Away from the sea, a Whooper Swan remained in residence on North Marsh, but three Woodcock were presumably fresh in.  

dark-bellied Brent Geese, Fog Station, by Mark Pearson

Eider with Avocet, South Landing, by Mark Pearson

Dunlin, Thornwick Pools, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, November 18th, 2018

A sunny day, with a light/moderate easterly wind and temperatures reaching 11 degrees C. During the seawatch, two Pink-footed Geese, six Shelduck, a Tufted Duck, 112 Common Scoters, four Goldeneye, a Great Northern Diver, one Red-necked Grebe, 83 Little Gulls and five Bonxies flew south; 68 Eiders moved north. 

A White-fronted Goose was located at Oceanview, but the day’s highlight related to a Bittern that was flushed from Greenacres and flew north towards Thornwick. Nearby, North Marsh attracted 11 Grey Partridge and a Short-eared Owl. A late Northern Wheatear at North Dykes was notable.

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included single Water Rail, Woodcock and Ruff, 35 Redwing, ten Fieldfare, 90 Skylark, a Redpoll sp. and 40 Yellowhammers.

Grey Seals, Fog Station, by Alan Walkington

Saturday, November 17th, 2018

Light/moderate south-easterly winds, with sunny intervals developing after an overcast start and temperatures peaking at 11 degrees C. Seawatching was rewarded with: 29 dark-bellied Brent Geese (21 north, eight south); two Shoveler, 31 Wigeon, 71 Teal and eight Goldeneye all south; 180 Eider (170 north, ten south); 52 Red-throated Divers and four Great Northern Divers south; a Black-throated Diver north; single Sooty Shearwater and Manx Shearwater south; a Mediterranean Gull north; five Bonxies, a Pomarine Skua and one Arctic Skua south and a Lapland Bunting in off the sea. In addition, 150 Little Gulls were seen off the Fog Station, but most of these moved into Bridlington Bay, where 747 Little Gulls fed offshore between New Fall and South Landing.

Further wildfowl interest was provided by a Whooper Swan on North Marsh, six Shelduck that flew north at South Landing, 79 Teal on Thornwick Pools and four Pochard off the North Cliffs. Migrants included four Woodcock and a Short-eared Owl that hunted the Gorse Feld. Passerine interest included 12 Goldcrests, eight Chiffchaff, 670 Blackbirds, 135 Fieldfare, 600 Redwing, two Siskin, four Mealy Redpolls at Old Fall, a Hawfinch at North Landing and a Snow Bunting along the North Cliffs.

West of the Dykes, a Richard’s Pipit overflew the trap at Buckton, where there were also Short-eared Owl, 75 Blackbirds, 45 Redwing, 25 Fieldfare and five Song Thrush; two Mealy Redpolls were present at nearby RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Eider, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Mealy Redpoll, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Trevor Charlton

Mottled Umber, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Friday, November 16th, 2018

An overcast day, with thick mist/fog developing during the morning and a relatively light southerly wind. Seawatching highlights included a Mute Swan off the Fog Station that later flew south, a Shoveler, six Gadwall, 72 Wigeon, 145 Teal, two Tufted Duck, three Eider, a Long-tailed Duck, one Goosander, 48 Red-throated Divers, a Manx Shearwater, one Little Egret, 39 Knot, 18 Dunlin, 133 Little Gulls, a Mediterranean Gull and one Bonxie all flying south; an additional 36 Little Gulls moved north.

Three Pink-footed Geese, 17 dark-bellied Brent Geese and 90 Teal were also present, including 89 of the latter on Thornwick Pools, where there was also a Water Rail. An arrival of late autumn migrants occurred during the morning, with eight Woodcock, nine Chiffchaffs, 52 Blackbirds, 280 Fieldfare, 495 Redwing, three Brambling and a Lapland Bunting all located.

West of the Dykes, Buckton attracted eight Golden Plover, a Chiffchaff and 300 Fieldfare/Redwing.

Mute Swan, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Goldcrest, Lighthouse, by Steve Meredith

Thursday, November 15th, 2018

An overcast morning, with a light south-west wind; sunny intervals developed during the afternoon. During the seawatch, two Gadwall, 34 Common Scoter, 58 Red-throated Divers, 87 Golden Plover and a Mediterranean Gull flew south. Little Gulls lingered offshore throughout, with 150 off the Fog Station mid-afternoon. South Landing attracted a finch flock that contained three Brambling.

Rock Pipit (Norweigan ringed), South Landing, by Andy Hood

Wednesday, November 14th, 2018

A cloudy start to the day, with early morning drizzle followed by sunny intervals later; temperatures reached 13 degrees C. Seawatching highlights included a Pink-footed Goose, two Eider, a Velvet Scoter, two Great Crested Grebes, a juvenile Pomarine Skua and an Arctic Skua all flying south. Later in the day, a Brent Goose flew south and 100 Little Gulls fed offshore of Selwick’s Bay. A high tide roost of waders near the Fog Station contained 60 Turnstone and 47 Purple Sandpipers.

Passerine interest included ten Yellowhammers and eight Corn Buntings near North Dykes. A total of 30 birds were also rung at South Landing, including six Goldcrests, two Chiffchaff and a Lesser Redpoll.

Great Spotted Woodpecker, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Tuesday, November 13th, 2018

The weather consisted of bright, sunny skies and a moderate south-westerly wind. A total of  1199 Pink-footed Geese (inc. 324 on seawatch) and 42 Whooper Swans (inc. 32 on seawatch) flew south during the day. Additional seawatch sightings included single Little Gull, Bonxie and Pomarine Skua flying north. 

Additional sightings included five Golden Plover over South Dykes, one Short-eared Owl, a late Swallow, 17 Goldcrests, one Blackcap, two Brambling, a Corn Bunting and one Lapland Bunting; the latter flying over the Fog Station.

Pink-footed Geese, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Monday, November 12th, 2018

A sunny day, with a moderate south-south-westerly wind increasing in strength and temperatures peaking at 12 degrees C. During the seawatch, a dark-bellied Brent Goose, 40 Common Scoter and 65 Red-throated Divers headed south, with a Bonxie moving north. Thousands of Guillemots were again on the cliffs, a feature of recent days after an absence since breeding.

Six Mute Swans that flew south over the outer head were unusual, less so the 40 Pink-footed Geese logged during the day. Additional sightings included the Pied Crow still in the village, a Twite that flew south over the Fog Station/Cattlemere and two Snow Buntings on the outer head.

West of the Dykes, RSPB Bempton Cliffs hosted a Short-eared Owl and a Snow Bunting, whilst three Shore Larks were north-west there.

Blackcap, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, November 11th, 2018

The weather consisted overcast skies and showers during the morning, brighter in the afternoon, with a lighter south-westerly wind. Seawatching highlights included two Shelduck, a Pintail, one Velvet Scoter, a Long-tailed Duck, 169 Red-throated Divers, 37 Little Gulls, one Bonxie and a Little Auk flying south, with a Manx Shearwater moving north.

The day’s highlight was the mid-afternoon discovery of a Pallid Swift from the almost completed Seawatch Observatory building. It showed very well hawking over the cliff top until dusk and represented the first rarity seen from the excellent, new facility. Other sightings included the Water Rail in South Landing, whilst passerine migrants included 26 Goldcrests, six Brambling and a Snow Bunting.

Pallid Swift, Fog Station, by Trevor Charlton

Pallid Swift, Fog Station, by Trevor Charlton

Saturday, November 10th, 2018

The weather consisted of sunny skies during the morning and increasing amounts of cloud post-lunch, with a moderate south-westerly wind increasing in strength towards dusk. During the seawatch, seven Eider and two Little Gulls flew north, with 40 Red-throated Divers and a juvenile Arctic Tern moving south. A total of 107 Red-throated Divers was on the sea, with an additional 40 birds flying south.

Seventy Pink-footed Geese rested on fields adjacent to Stainforth’s Flash, with a further 105 birds flying south during the day. A ringtail Hen Harrier that overflew Sixpenny Plantation was relocated hunting the cliff top at Buckton. Other migrants included 27 Lapwing, a Short-eared Owl at Thornwick, 58 Goldcrests, six Chiffchaffs, a Grey Wagtail and a Snow Bunting. A total of 53 birds were rung at South Landing, including 38 Goldcrests and four Chiffchaffs.

West of the Dykes, RSPB Bempton Cliffs hosted a further 20 Goldcrests.

Goldcrest, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Friday, November 9th, 2018

Strong south-south-easterly winds were a feature of a day with sunny intervals and temperatures reaching 12 degrees C. During the seawatch, eight Little Gulls and an Arctic Tern flew south, with a further four Little Gulls lingering offshore.

The day’s highlight was a Hume’s Warbler located in private gardens on the outer head; unfortunately it proved elusive and failed to show after the initial find. Other sightings included three Pink-footed Geese with the Greylag flock, 12 Wigeon, 31 Teal, two Water Rails, two Woodcock, 14 Snipe and a Short-eared Owl (North Landing). Passerine interest involved 35 Goldcrest, three Chiffchaff, one Siberian Chiffchaff (Old Fall) and three Snow Buntings (Golf Course).

Scarce Umber, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, November 8th, 2018

A day of moderate south-south-west winds and sunny intervals. Seawatching highlights included four Whooper Swans, 54 Red-throated Divers, two Great Crested Grebes, 15 Lapwing, ten Dunlin and a Little Gull flying south.

The day’s highlight related to a Rough-legged Buzzard that flew north-east over RSPB Bempton Cliffs at 1300hrs. Additional migrants east of the Dykes included three Woodcock, small parties of thrushes, including 90 Redwing, Starling and Skylarks arriving in off the sea, a Brambling and two Northern Bullfinch.

Curlew, South Landing, by Don Hustings

Wednesday, November 7th, 2018

Moderate/strong south-south-easterly winds featured throughout an overcast day, with spells of rain. During the morning’s seawatch, a dark-bellied Brent Goose and ten Eider flew north, with a Shoveler, 45 Wigeon, 31 Teal and nine Knot heading south. Thornwick Pools attracted 17 Teal and the Little Grebe, whilst a Black Redstart was located in the Lighthouse garden mid-afternoon.

Little Grebe, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, November 6th, 2018

An overcast day, with a moderate south-south-west wind and temperatures that reached 12 degrees C. Eighty Pink-footed Geese flew south over the village and an additional 55 rested on fields near Stainforth’s Flash. The Little Grebe remained on Thornwick Pools, where a Sparrowhawk caught a Water Rail. Lone Little Gull and Siberian Chiffchaff were seen at South Landing, with the latter singing early morning, whilst a Swallow flew south over the Fog Station. West of the Dykes, two Short-eared Owls hinted the cliff top fields at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Sparrowhawk with Water Rail, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Monday, November 5th, 2018

The weather consisted of moderate south-easterly winds, occasional sunny intervals and temperatures reaching 13 degrees C. During the seawatch, an Eider, 22 Common Scoter, nine Red-throated Divers and a Knot flew south, meanwhile two Bonxies headed north.

Three Pink-footed Geese joined the resident Greylag flock, whilst sightings from Thornwick Pools included single Grey Heron, Little Grebe, Cormorant and a Water Rail. Lingering passerine migrants included three Siberian Chiffchaffs (two at South Landing and a lone bird at Old Fall), a Willow Warbler at Old Fall and the Little Bunting at South Landing.

West of the Dykes, RSPB Bempton Cliffs hosted a Short-eared Owl.

Water Rail, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, November 4th, 2018

An overcast day, with occasional light drizzle and a moderate south-south-westerly wind. During the seawatch, a Great Northern Diver flew north, with 11 Wigeon and 14 Red-throated Divers moving south. During the afternoon, a Long-tailed Duck rested on the sea off Hartendale and, nearby, a Little Auk flew ‘north’ past South Landing.

The Little Bunting was caught and ringed at South Landing in the morning. Other sightings included two Water Rails at Thornwick Pools, nine Curlew, six Stonechat and a Snow Bunting on the Golf Course.

Little Bunting, South Landing, by June & Malcolm Fox

Saturday, November 3rd, 2018

After sunny intervals during the morning, increasingly overcast with a blustery south-westerly wind. During the seawatch, six Wigeon, five Common Scoter and an Arctic Skua flew north, with a Great Northern Diver heading south.

The White-tailed Eagle left its roost in North Dykes at 0645hrs, but almost immediately dipped below the treeline and promptly disappeared. However, the Little Bunting in South Landing proved to be more co-operative and showed well late morning feeding in the canopy of sycamores immediately south of the car-park. Other sightings from the South Landing area included a Short-eared Owl, one Yellow-browed Warbler and two Siberian Chiffchaffs. A Snow Bunting was located near Thornwick and 11 Corn Buntings frequented North Dykes.

Little Bunting, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

White-tailed Eagle, (2/11), Flamborough, by Heidi Saunders

White-tailed Eagle (2/11), Flamborough, by Heidi Saunders

Friday, November 2nd, 2018

Light westerly winds and sunny skies after a frosty start, resulted in good birding conditions. During the seawatch, a dark-bellied Brent Goose and one Sooty Shearwater flew north, with 200 Pink-footed Geese heading in the opposite direction.

The day’s highlight related to a juvenile White-tailed Eagle that flew in off the sea from Bridlington Bay at 1550hrs; it had earlier flown north over the Humber at Spurn. After touring the headland, it eventually landed in a tree at North Dykes where it went to roost.

A Water Rail frequented the main ravine in South Landing, whilst a Swallow appeared near the Old Lighthouse. A Shore Lark that overflew the outer head appeared to land at Cattlemere, but wasn’t relocated. South Landing hosted both a presumed blythi Lesser Whitethroat and a Yellow-browed Warbler. Three Siberian Chiffchaffs remained (two South Landing, one Old Fall), although two Snow Buntings were new. The autumn’s second Little Bunting was discovered late afternoon, feeding in sycamores at South Landing.

West of the Dykes, a Barred Warbler and three Lapland Buntings were seen at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

White-tailed Eagle, Flamborough, by Craig Thomas

(presumed) blythi Lesser Whitethroat, South Landing, by Trevor Charlton

Little Bunting, South Landing, by Jo Symon

Little Bunting, South Landing, by Trevor Charlton

Thursday, November 1st, 2018

Cloudy for much of the day, with persistent light rain until early afternoon, and light winds. During the seawatch, a Long-tailed Duck, 43 Red-throated Divers and a Great Crested Grebe flew south, whilst one Great Northern Diver headed north. 

A Hooded Crow frequented fields near Old Fall and two Siberian Chiffchaffs continued their stay at South Landing. RSPB Bempton Cliffs continued to host a Barred Warbler.

Little Grebe, Greenacres, by Craig Thomas