Monday, December 31st, 2018

An overcast day, with temperatures reaching 11 degrees C in light south-west winds. Seawatching highlights included a Blue Fulmar loafing offshore and a Bonxie flying south.

A total of 42 Red-throated Divers were offshore between Sewerby and Booted Gully, along with 16 Common Scoters, ten Great Crested Grebes, five Eiders and a Little Egret; four Goldeneye flew south, whilst 25 Curlew overflew Beacon Hill. Two Chiffchaffs were present, including an individual at Thornwick Pools, whilst four Lapland Buntings and 55 Yellowhammers were along the cliff top east of Booted Gully. The Pied Crow was again present in the north-west corner of the village.

West of the Dykes, Buckton attracted a very impressive bunting flock, with 200 Yellowhammers and 180 Corn Buntings present.

Great Spotted Woodpecker, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Corn Bunting, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Sunday, December 30th, 2018

A relatively bright day, with light westerly winds and temperatures attaining 11 degrees C. During the seawatch, a Blue Fulmar and 67 Shags flew south.

A skein of 38 Pink-footed Geese flew south over the headland mid-morning, whilst a minimum of 31 Teal and 65 Teal remained in residence. Better still, two Slavonian Grebes were located on the sea between South Landing and South Dykes. Thornwick Pools hosted both a Coot and Water Rail, whilst a Woodcock was present in South Landing.

West of the Dykes, a Lapland Bunting flew south-east over RSPB Bempton Cliffs; on the opposite side of the head, seven Great Crested Grebes and 13 Curlew were present at Sewerby.

Grey Seals, Fog Station, by Don Hustings

Saturday, December 29th, 2018

After an overcast start, brighter spells established mid-afternoon; moderate/strong south-westerlies gradually dropped in strength, with temperatures peaking at 11 degrees C. An afternoon seawatch was rewarded with a Great Northern Diver and a juvenile Iceland Gull flying south.

Three Whooper Swans rested on the outer head, with 120 Teal at North Marsh. Passerine interest in South Dykes included 17 Long-tailed Tits and the Pied Crow remained in Beech Avenue. A Chiffchaff was the most notable sighting from RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Whooper Swans, Lighthouse Road, by Craig Thomas

Friday, December 28th, 2018

The weather consisted of light westerly winds, bright skies and temperatures that reached eight degrees C. During the seawatch, nine Eiders flew north (also two south), with two Razorbills also heading north. 

A total of 32 Wigeon frequented the North Marsh area, as did a minimum 63 Teal. Seven Great Crested Grebes loafed offshore between South Dykes and Sewerby; the same area attracted 82 Oystercatchers and 1400 Common Gulls that roosted in the bay. Twenty-seven Curlew fed in fields near South Dykes, where two Nuthatch, four Treecreepers and four Goldcrests were located, whilst a Stonechat fed on nearby South Landing beach.

Dark Chestnut, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, December 27th, 2018

A relatively overcast start to a day that featured prolonged sunny spells in the afternoon, with light northerly winds winds and temperatures reaching six degrees C by late morning. The seawatch was quiet, with 199 Fulmars, ten Gannets and 85 Kittiwakes logged. Sightings on the headland included 36 Lapwing, a Woodcock, four Goldcrests, 107 Skylark, four Lapland Buntings, 22 Reed Buntings and 44 Yellowhammers.

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

Goldfinch, South Landing, by June & Malcolm Fox

Wednesday, December 26th, 2018

The weather consisted of light south-westerly winds, misty and overcast skies during the morning, brighter later, and temperatures reaching eight degrees C. Thirty Wigeon and 35 Mallard flew south past the Fog Station, presumably disturbed from North Marsh, with 85 Purple Sandpipers on the nearby rocks. Two Barn Owls frequented Oceanview, while passerine interest included two Treecreepers at Whelkie Winds and the Pied Crow at Beech Avenue.

Pied Crow, Flamborough village, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, December 25th, 2018

Firstly, and most importantly, all at Flamborough Bird Observatory wish all our supporters and followers a very Merry Xmas!

The weather was relatively benign; misty with overcast skies and light winds, whilst temperatures reached five degrees C by late morning. During the seawatch, four Goosanders flew north, but the highlight pertained to a count of 110 Purple Sandpipers on the rocks below the Fog Station; the latter representing an all time record tally. Meanwhile, the Pied Crow continued its stay on Beech Avenue.

Purple Sandpiper, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Monday, December 24th, 2018

A light north-westerly wind, sunny intervals during the morning, although with increased cloud in the afternoon and temperatures that reached seven degrees C. Seawatching highlights included a Velvet Scoter flying south, 60 Common Scoters, 41 Red-throated Divers, 308 Gannets and 84 Kittiwakes.

Common Scoters, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, December 23rd, 2018

An overcast day, with persistent rain until late afternoon and light south-west winds. Due to the inclement weather, coverage was virtually limited to the seawatch: 16 Common Scoters and 15 Red-throated Divers flew south, with a Little Egret heading north.

Greylag Geese, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Saturday, December 22nd, 2018

A bright day, with sunny intervals, light south-west winds and temperatures reaching nine degrees C. Highlights of the seawatch included 344 Pink-footed Geese, four Eider, three Velvet Scoters, 48 Common Scoters, 96 Red-throated Divers and an adult Little Gull flying south, with a lone Puffin heading in the opposite direction. Better still, 30 White-beaked Dolphins fed offshore from first light until mid-morning. 

The White-fronted Goose and Pink-footed Goose continued their stay in the North Marsh area, as did 20 Wigeon and 83 Teal. Three Velvet Scoters (potentially those seen earlier on the seawatch) appeared off South Landing, with 34 Curlew notable. Passerine interest included two Goldcrest, a Chiffchaff, two Waxwing (near Lighthouse), two Fieldfare, two Redwing, eight Stonechats, 53 Meadow Pipits, 19 Reed Buntings and two Lapland Buntings (Golf Course).

West of the Dykes, sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included 163 Pink-footed Geese and four Whooper Swans flying south, a Short-eared Owl, a Snow Bunting and 16 Corn Buntings.

Yellowhammer, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Friday, December 21st, 2018

A relatively overcast day, with periodic rain during the morning and early afternoon; winds remained light and temperatures reached six degrees C. Seawatching highlights included 23 Wigeon, two Eider, two Velvet Scoters, 20 Common Scoters and 60 Red-throated Divers flying south, with a Great Northern Diver moving in the opposite direction.

The White-fronted Goose and 137 Teal frequented North Marsh and its immediate environs, whilst a 24-strong flock of Curlews fed on fields adjacent to Hartendale. Three Stonechats were located, with a pair at Thornwick Pools and a lone bird on Beacon Hill.

White-fronted Goose, North Marsh, by Craig Thomas

Thursday, December 20th, 2018

A day of light south-west winds, with a belt of heavy rain arriving early afternoon after a bright start; temperatures reached six degrees C. During the seawatch, 28 Wigeon and 27 Red-throated Divers flew south, whilst 27 Purple Sandpipers were on the rocks below the Fog Station. A Little Egret that overflew Mid-Dykes was later seen at Bempton, with passerine interest restricted to a Waxwing near the Lighthouse and a Chiffchaff at South Landing.

Kestrel, Flamborough, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, December 19th, 2018

An overcast morning, with sunny intervals from mid-afternoon; south-westerly winds featured throughout and temperatures reached six degrees C. The seawatch was quiet, with 24 Red-throated Divers, seven Kittiwakes and a Razorbill the most notable sightings. A Grey Heron toured the headland,  nine Waxwings that flew north-east over Oceanview represented the day’s highlight; the same site also hosted 92 Skylarks and two Lapland Buntings. South Dykes sheltered four Goldcrests and two Chiffchaffs, whilst the Pied Crow remained in the village.

Grey Heron, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Tuesday, December 18th, 2018

An overcast day, with heavy rain during the afternoon and strong south-south-easterly winds; temperatures reached eight degrees C. During the seawatch, a Blue Fulmar flew south, along with 384 Fulmars and 51 Red-throated Divers; a single Razorbill was also recorded amongst much larger numbers of Guillemots.

Mallard, Thornwick Fishing Lake, by Andy Hood

Monday, December 17th, 2018

A sunny day with light south westerly wind. Highlights on the morning sea watch included single Black-throated Diver and Velvet Scoter heading north, with a supporting cast of 33 Wigeon, 2 Common Scoter, 195 Fulmar, 50 Red-throated Diver and 32 Shag.

2 Great Northern Diver were on the sea off Bempton. A Little Egret flew south over the outer headland golf course during the afternoon, whilst a Water Rail and Stonechat were at South Landing. The Pied Crow remained in residence in the village.

Peregrine, Breil Nook by Brett Richards

Sunday, December 16th, 2018

The weather consisted of a light south-westerly wind, sunny intervals and temperatures that reached six degrees C. During the seawatch, single dark-bellied Brent Goose, Shoveler, Pintail and Gadwall flew south, along with seven Wigeon, 30 Teal and 15 Eider, while 70 Red-throated Divers and 11 Great Crested Grebes were offshore.

The Short-eared Owl again hunted the Gorse Field/Lighthouse Grassland, the two Nuthatch made a welcome re-appearance in South Dykes, along with eight Goldcrests and four Treecreepers. West of the Dykes, sightings from Buckton included a Water Rail, 21 Snipe, 70 Linnets, 30 Reed. Buntings, 80 Yellowhammers and 60 Corn Buntings.

Nuthatch, South Dykes, by June & Malcolm Fox

Saturday, December 15th, 2018

A generally overcast day, with eventually gale force south-easterly winds and temperatures that reached a meagre three degrees C. During the morning’s seawatch, seven Wigeon flew south, whilst 228 Fulmars and 68 Kittiwakes were also recorded; good numbers of Guillemots were also present on the cliffs. A Water Rail frequented the path leading to the hide at Thornwick Pools.

Guillemot, North Cliffs, by Craig Thomas

Friday, December 14th, 2018

The weather consisted of light/moderate south-easterly winds, sunny intervals followed by light drizzle and temperatures that struggled to five degrees C. During the seawatch, two Shelduck and two Eider flew south, whilst 132 Kittiwakes were also logged. The lone White-fronted Goose and Pink-footed Goose again frequented the North Marsh area, where there were also 26 Wigeon and 60 Teal. Passerine interest included two Goldcrest, a Grey Wagtail and three Corn Buntings.

White-fronted Goose, North Marsh, by Craig Thomas

Thursday, December 13th, 2018

A day of moderate/strong south-south-east winds, overcast skies and temperatures reaching six degrees C. During a seawatch from North Landing, two dark-bellied Brent Geese, three Shelduck, 15 Wigeon, two Eider and a Blue Fulmar flew south, with a Great Crested Grebe moving north. The lone Pink-footed Goose and White-fronted Goose continued to tour the outer head, with 18 Wigeon and 77 Teal also present. Passerine interest was limited to single Chiffchaff and Stonechat.

Wigeon, North Marsh, by Craig Thomas

Wednesday, December 12th, 2018

An increasingly strong south-easterly wind picked up during a day of overcast skies, with occasional sunny intervals. Single Pink-footed Goose and White-fronted Goose lingered in the North Marsh area, along with 86 Greylag Geese, 22 Wigeon and 86 Teal. A single Woodcock was present, along with eight Goldcrest, a Chiffchaff, 109 Skylark, 22 Yellowhammers and three Lapland Buntings. In addition, the Pied Crow continued in residence along Beech Avenue.

Peregrine, North Cliffs, by Andrew Allport

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