Tuesday, December 11th, 2018

A sunny day, with light winds and temperatures reaching 5 degrees C after an overnight frost. Thornwick Pools hosted 17 Teal and, more unseasonably, a flock of 27 Meadow Pipits. Sightings from Oceanview included a Grey Heron, 18 Curlew, two Golden Plover, 13 Grey Partridges, 65 Skylarks, 26 Yellowhammers and a Lapland Bunting.

Grey Heron, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Monday, December 10th, 2018

A sunny day, with moderate north-north-west winds and temperatures reaching six degrees C. Seawatching highlights included three pale-bellied Brent Geese, three Velvet Scoters, a Goldeneye, one Blue Fulmar, 621 Fulmars, 198 Kittiwakes and three Little Gulls flying north. Three Great Northern Divers were recorded (two north, one south), and other birds moving south included two Mediterranean Gulls, a juvenile Iceland Gull (first of the year) and 17 Bonxies. Elsewhere, seventeen Corn Buntings frequented fields near Mid-Dykes.

West of the Dykes, RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted a Black Redstart.

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, South Dykes, by Andy Hood

Sunday, December 9th, 2018

Moderate/strong north-westerly winds featured throughout a largely sunny day, with increasing amounts of cloud later. Seawatching highlights included ten Whooper Swans, three Bean Geese (probable Tundras), 48 Common Scoter, 33 Red-throated Divers and four Bonxies flying south, with 620 Fulmars and a Little Auk heading in the opposite direction. 

A Water Rail frequented Thornwick Pools, one Woodcock was flushed from South Landing, a Short-eared Owl hunted the Lighthouse Grassland, whilst single Blackcap and Brambling visited a village garden.

Short-eared Owl, Lighthouse Grassland, by Craig Thomas

Saturday, December 8th, 2018

A day of strong westerly winds, sunny intervals in the morning, with overcast skies and rain later. Seawatching highlights included five Whooper Swans, three Velvet Scoters flying south and 450 Fulmars moving in the opposite direction. Wildfowl interest on the headland included four Pink-footed Geese, a White-fronted Goose and 39 Teal in the North Marsh area.

Carrion Crow, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Friday, December 7th, 2018

A relatively overcast start with occasional rain, although brighter spells by the afternoon; moderate south-westerly winds strengthened during the day. The morning’s seawatch was quiet, with 36 Common Scoter, three Great Crested Grebes and 17 Kittiwakes noted. 

On the headland, five Whooper Swans flew south over Thornwick Pools, a White-fronted Goose accompanied four Pink-footed Geese near North Marsh. Passerine interest was restricted to two Chiffchaffs near Greenacres.

Whooper Swan, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, December 6th, 2018

A relatively overcast day, with light south-west winds and spells of light rain. Seawatching highlights included two dark-bellied Brent Geese, a Goosander and one Black-throated Diver flying north, with 30 Turnstone and 20 Purple Sandpipers below the Fog Station.

Fifteen Whooper Swans (12 adults, three juveniles) toured the headland, whilst 18 Wigeon and 55 Teal visited Stainforth’s Flash, where 13 Grey Partridges were also present. Unusually, a Shag visited Thornwick Fishing Pool early morning. A first-winter Mediterranean Gull frequented South Landing beach, where a Snow Bunting flew over. Elsewhere, a Chiffchaff remained in South Dykes, whilst a count of 28 Corn Buntings near mid-Dykes represented a noteworthy record.

Whooper Swans, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Mottled Umber & Satellite moths, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Wednesday, December 5th, 2018

After yesterday’s sun back to poor weather again today with cloud and rain, a moderate southerly wind and a raw 6c.

The usual morning sea-watch had no great numbers but some quality with two Velvet Scoter, 24 Common Scoter, 27 Red-throated Diver, two Great Northern Diver and 52 Fulmar.

At Thornwick Pools, five Teal, 19 Mallard, Sparrowhawk, Barn Owl, seven Linnet, six Yellowhammer and a Reed Bunting.

Linnet by Geoff Carr

Tuesday, December 4th, 2018

A cold day with an overnight frost and sunny skies throughout. Wind was a light westerly. Highlights from the morning sea watch included 3 Great Northern Diver and 9 Little Gull. Supporting cast was provided by 19 goose sp, 2 Eider, 14 Common Scoter, 46 Red-throated Diver, 280 Fulmar and 6 Bonxie.

6 Whooper Swan flew south over Booted Gully and a Snow Bunting headed north over South Landing. A single Chiffchaff clung on in the less than favorable temperatures  at Whelkie Wynds. A Norwegian ringed Rock Pipit was re-trapped at South Landing, whilst a Stonechat was also ringed. The Pied Crow was still in the Village. 

Sparrowhawk, Whelkie Wynds by Brett Richards.

Monday, December 3rd, 2018

A mixed day with sunny spells, some light rain showers and a moderate north-westerly wind. It was another day dominated by large movements of Pink-footed Geese, with a minimum of 2005 birds recorded heading south; the movement took place from dawn until 1030hrs in the main, with smaller flocks until 1140hrs and none subsequently. A single Whooper Swan also over flew the outer headland. Seawatch counts included 30 Wigeon, 4 Teal, 3 Eider, 102 Red-throated Diver, a Great Northern Diver, 1 Little Gull and a Bonxie. 

Two Lapland Bunting and a Corn Bunting were in the lighthouse grassland. Whilst other highlights from the land included a single Eurasian White-fronted Goose, 2 Chiffchaff, 1 Mealy Redpoll and a Water Rail. The Pied Crow remained in the village.

Pied Crow, Village by Andy Hood.

Pink-footed Geese by Andrew Allport

Sunday, December 2nd, 2018

A mild and generally sunny day, with occasional light showers. The good run of Long-tailed Duck sightings continued, with a single bird getting up off the sea near the fog station and continuing north mid-morning. The sea watch was otherwise relatively quiet with 2 Common Scoter and 15 Red-throated Diver the only other notable species.

The main focus of the day was a significant passage of Pink-footed Geese, with a minimum of 800 birds heading south in 7 flocks. A single group of 25 Whooper Swan also headed south over the outer headland. 13 Grey Partridge at Oceanview was a particularly high count for the outer headland,  given the species decline on the headland in recent years. 6 Snow bunting flew north at Cattlemere during the morning and a Corn Bunting was near Thornwick.

Stonechat, Thornwick bay by Andy Hood.

Saturday, December 1st, 2018

A cool and wet day, with light southerly winds. Due to weather conditions, the morning seawatch was conducted from North Landing, where highlights included a Long-tailed Duck, one Black-throated Diver, 165 Red-throated Divers, 11 Common Scoter, one Great Crested Grebe, a Dark-bellied Brent Goose and a flock of 29 ‘grey’ geese including at least one Tundra Bean Goose.

Scandinavian Rock Pipit (ringed in Norway), South Dykes, by Andrew Allport