Thursday, February 28th, 2019

A foggy day that precluded any chance of a seawatch, with temperatures reaching a mere seven degrees C. Notable sightings included the Pochard remaining on Thornwick Pools, a Ringed Plover near South Landing and three Golden Plovers at Hartendale. A Chiffchaff also at Hartendale was almost certainly a fresh-in migrant, as were two Goldcrests on Old Fall Hedge.

Gannet, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Golden Plover, Hartendale, by Brett Richards

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

Another sunny day, with light winds and temperatures reaching 14 degrees C. Reflective of the settled conditions, the seawatch was quiet, with a Ringed Plover heading south and 316 Kittiwakes off the Fog Station notable. Buckton Pond again played host to the Whooper Swan, single Pink-footed Goose and Barnacle Goose remained near North Marsh and the drake Pochard lingered on Thornwick Pools. Passerine interest included sightings of two Nuthatch and one Siskin.

Whooper Swans Buckton Pond, by Alan Walkington

Common Pipistrelle, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, February 26th, 2019

Sunny throughout, with calm conditions and temperatures reaching 11 degrees C. The most unusual record from a relatively quiet seawatch was a single Long-tailed Tit that flew past the Fog Station. The Whooper Swan re-appeared on Buckton Pond, with the lone Barnacle Goose accompanied by two Pink-footed Geese near North Marsh and the drake Pochard still in residence at Thornwick Pools.

Whooper Swan, Buckton Pond, by Kevin Groocock

Pochard, Thornwick Pools, by Karen Thomas

Monday, February 25th, 2019

Another sunny day, with light south-wet winds and temperatures reaching ten degrees C. Two Puffins were recorded during a relatively quiet seawatch. In addition, the Barnacle Goose lingered near North Marsh, but a drake Pochard at Thornwick Pools and eight Lapwing were new arrivals. Passerine interest included two Lapland Buntings, one of which overflew Thornwick Pools.

Pochard, Thornwick Pools, by Andy Hood

Sunday, February 24th, 2019

The weather consisted of light, variable winds, hazy sunshine and temperatures that reached ten degrees C. During the seawatch, 43 Wigeon flew south and the year’s first Lesser Black-backed Gull headed in the opposite direction. A Whooper Swan rested on Buckton Pond before flying south, whilst a single Barnacle Goose, initially on the sea off the Fog Station, was refound on fields near North Marsh. Both single Little Egret and Hooded Crow were located on the beach between Beacon Hill and South Landing, whilst a Short-eared Owl was seen at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. Nearby, 75 Yellowhammers and 50 Corn Buntings remained at Buckton. The Pied Crow continued its sojourn in the village, again spending considerable time on Beech Avenue.

Corn Bunting, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Barnacle Goose, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Saturday, February 23rd, 2019

A foggy/misty day, with a light south-easterly wind. Visibility was significantly impaired, resulting in a quiet day. The day’s highlight related to the morning discovery of two Swallows at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. This represented the county’s earliest ever record (previously, two at Bolton-on-Swale on 3rd March 1995) and was followed by southbound single(s) during the afternoon at Holmpton and Spurn.

Skylark, North Landing, by Alan Walkington

Friday, February 22nd, 2019

The weather consisted of very light southerly winds, sunny skies with increasing cloud and temperatures reaching ten degrees C. A skein of 40 Pink-footed Geese flew north over the Fog Station during the morning, whilst the headland’s freshwater sites hosted three Shelduck, 33 Wigeon, 83 Teal, two Grey Herons and a Snipe; a Woodcock was flushed for the cliff top near the Fog Station during the afternoon. Thousands of Guillemots were on the cliffs, along with several hundred Razorbills rafting close inshore and four Puffins at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. Visible migration accounted for three Lapwing, 23 Jackdaw, 39 Skylarks, eight Chaffinch, five Linnets and a Greenfinch flying south over the outer head. Two male Stonechat at North Marsh were presumably spring migrants.

Kestrel, Hartendale, by Mike Smith

Thursday, February 21st, 2019

Another spring-like day: sunny throughout, with light winds and temperatures peaking at 14 degrees C. Six Common Buzzards toured the area, whilst the Short-eared Owl showed well hunting the Lighthouse Grasslands.

Short-eared Owl, Lighthouse Grasslands, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, February 20th, 2019

A mixed day with occasional light showers and sunny spells. Wind was a light to moderate south westerly. The days highlight pertained a Red Kite which flew south over North Marsh and later west over South Landing. Four Pink-footed Geese flew west over the village. 14 Red-throated Diver and nine Common Scoter were also noted.

Yellowhammer, Buckton by Kevin Groocock

Tuesday, February 19th, 2019

A day of light south-westerly winds, increasing cloud after a sunny start and temperatures reaching ten degrees C. During the seawatch, a Shelduck and 18 Red-throated Divers flew south, whilst 144 Cormorants congregated offshore. In addition, 15 Pink-footed Geese flew north and the change in status of Common Buzzard was further evidenced by a pair displaying over the Dykes.

Shag, Fog Station, by Craig Thomas

Monday, February 18th, 2019

The weather consisted of moderate south-west winds, sunny intervals and temperatures reaching ten degrees C. Seawatching was quiet, with seven Purple Sandpipers below the Fog Station the most notable sighting, along with four Rook heading south; a not unusual record during ‘early spring’. 

A skein of 60 Pink-footed Geese flew north, eight Eider sheltered on the sea between the Fog Station and South Landing, whilst five Lapwing and a Woodcock frequented the Oceanview area, where a single Lapland Bunting was also located. Sightings from Buckton included 100 Yellowhammers and 30 Corn Buntings.

Collared Dove, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Sunday, February 17th, 2019

The weather consisted of largely sunny skies, light/moderate south-south-westerly winds and temperatures reaching 12 degrees C.  A count of 126 Razorbills was the main feature of an otherwise quiet seawatch, whilst a Puffin heading south past RSPB Bempton Cliffs further illustrated that some seabirds were returning to inshore waters.

Two Pink-footed Geese overflew the village, with Thornwick Pools attracting 21 Teal and a Coot. Passerine interest included four Mistle Thrushes at South Dykes, a male Stonechat at South Landing and 49 Linnets near Thornwick; two Chaffinch at the Fog Station perhaps indicated relatively early emigration. 

Short-eared Owl, Lighthouse Grassland, by Alan Walkington (15/2)

Saturday, February 16th, 2019

Light south-westerly winds, prolonged sunny intervals and temperatures reaching 12 degrees C. During the seawatch, a Shelduck flew south, along with 383 Gannet, only a single Kittiwake and 21 Razorbills. A female Stonechat frequented the cliff top just east of Grange Farm, whilst a lone Siskin flew south over the Fog Station.

Bullfinch, South Landing, by Kevin Groocock

Friday, February 15th, 2019

A sunny day, with light south-south-westerlies increasing in strength during the day. The Short-eared Owl again hunted the grasslands on the outer head, whilst sightings from the village included three Mistle Thrush over Hartendale and the Pied Crow once again on Beech Avenue. A Merlin frequented the cliff top at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, where 170 Pink-footed Geese flew north. Nearby, Buckton attracted 11 Meadow Pipits, 130 Yellowhammers and 90 Corn Buntings.

Pied Crow, Flamborough village, by Andy Hood

Thursday, February 14th, 2019

A day of light/moderate south-westerly winds, sunny intervals and temperatures reaching 11 degrees C. Seawatching produced 437 Gannets and 127 Razorbills, along with the first sign that a movement of Pink-footed Geese was underway; in total, 532 Pink-footed Geese flew north, including 112 that headed past the Fog Station.


Curlew, South Landing, by David Hutchinson

Wednesday, February 13th, 2019

A mild cloudy day with temperatures peaking at 9 degrees and light south westerly wind. 37 Red-throated Diver flew past on the morning sea watch, along with 11 Fulmar, 324 Gannet, 12 Kittiwake and 97 Razorbill.

On the land, the Short-eared Owl continued to entertain around the lighthouse grasslands and golf course area. 2 Whooper Swan and a Little Egret flew over the village and the Pied Crow remained in residence.

Starling by Andy Hood

Tuesday, February 12th, 2019

The weather consisted overcast skies, light south-westerly winds and temperatures rising throughout the day, peaking at nine degrees C. Seawatch highlights included the first appreciable arrival of Razorbills, with a minimum of 34 birds present amongst hundreds of Guillemots. On the headland, the goose flock consisted of 153 Greylag and 17 Canada geese.

Common Seal, South Landing, by John Beaumont

Monday, February 11th, 2019

A light north-west wind, initially overcast skies before brighter spells and temperatures reaching seven degrees C. A seawatch from South Landing was rewarded with seven Eider, 17 Common Scoter, two Goldeneye, 96 Red-throated Divers and 90 Cormorants. Thornwick Pools attracted two Shelduck, 14 Teal and a Water Rail, whilst the Short-eared Owl continued its residence around the Lighthouse Grasslands.

Short-eared Owl, Lighthouse Grassland, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, February 10th, 2019

A light north-westerly wind developed during a largely overcast day, with temperatures reaching five degrees C. The Bay attracted 11 Common Scoters, seven Eider, 75 Red-throated Divers, 180 Cormorants and 35 Great Crested Grebes. The Short-eared Owl continued to hunt the Lighthouse Grassland, whilst a Siskin was notable. Sightings from Buckton included a Short-eared Owl and 30 Corn Buntings.

Roe Deer, Flamborough village, by Karen Thomas

Saturday, February 9th, 2019

An overcast morning, with brighter skies later, although near gale force westerly winds during the first half of the day were the main feature; temperature peaked at nine degrees C. During the seawatch, a Shelduck, 51 Red-throated Divers, 204 Gannets, nine Kittiwakes and 85 Great Black-backed Gulls moved south, whilst an adult Mediterranean Gull headed north. An Eider, 27 Red-throated Divers and nine Great Crested Grebes sheltered on the sea off the Fog Station. A Mistle Thrush near the Dykes represented the most notable passerine record.

Greenfinch, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Friday, February 8th, 2019

Strong southerly winds throughout, with sunny intervals developing in the afternoon after an overcast, wet morning; temperatures reached nine degrees C. The morning seawatch was again quiet: two Eider, 29 Red-throated Divers, a Great Crested Grebe and 177 Gannets were accompanied by moderate numbers of Guillemots either on the sea, or heading south.

Grey Heron, South Landing, by June & Malcolm Fox

Thursday, February 7th, 2019

After a wet morning, brighter intervals were a feature of the afternoon; moderate west-north-winds developed during the day. During the seawatch, 118 Gannets and an estimated 10,000 Guillemots flew south; with only four birds heading north.

Shelduck, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

During the seawatch, 30 Red-throated Divers and a Blue Fulmar flew south. On the headland, wildfowl interest included 30 Wigeon and 77 Mallard, whilst a Woodcock was located at South Landing. The Short-eared Owl continued to show well at the Lighthouse Grasslands.

Short-eared Owl, Lighthouse Grasslands, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, February 5th, 2019

Thick fog at daybreak was slow to clear, with brighter intervals giving way to overcast skies; moderate southerly winds and temperatures reaching five degrees C. Seawatch observations were negated by the visibility, although 25 Purple Sandpipers were on the rocks below the Fog Station. Thornwick Pools hosted two Shelduck and a Grey Heron.

Grey Heron, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Monday, February 4th, 2019

Moderate south-west winds, bright skies after an overcast start and significantly higher temperatures, with a peak of seven degrees C. During the seawatch, 40 Red-throated Divers flew south and nine Great Crested Grebes sheltered on the sea. Six Whooper Swans rested on the sea off Hartendale, with a Merlin in the vicinity.

Cormorant, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards

Sunday, February 3rd, 2019

A relatively bright day with prolonged sunny spells until mid-afternoon, but despite light winds, temperatures only reached a mere two degress C by mid-day. During the seawatch, 17 Red-throated Divers and a Great Northern Diver flew south, with 152 Fulmars and 93 Gannets heading in the opposite direction. 

The Bittern was again seen at dusk at Thornwick Pools. A Woodcock frequented Greenacres, 14 Ringed Plovers and two Purple Sandpipers were located on South Landing beach, whilst the Short-eared Owl continued its stay near the Lighthouse. Passerine interest included two Nuthatch in South Dykes and four Song Thrush on the outer head.

The Black Redstart continued its stray at RSPB Bempton Cliffs and sightings from Buckton included a Water Rail and 200 Corn Buntings.

Water Rail, Buckton, by Mark Thomas

Saturday, February 2nd, 2019

A day of moderate north-north-west winds, sunny intervals and occasional wintry showers; temperatures peaked at three degrees C. During the seawatch, an Eider, 174 Fulmars, 79 Gannets, seven Kittiwakes and ten Razorbills flew north. The Bittern showed well at Thornwick Pools during the afternoon, whilst a Merlin hunted the cliff top near North Dykes. 

 The following is a link to a video of the Bittern taken by David Hutchinson at Thornwick Pools this afternoon: https://vimeo.com/user852616/review/314998540/8f3e3fd992

Coal Tit, Flamborough village, by Jo Hood

Friday, February 1st, 2019

The weather consisted of moderate north-easterly winds, snow showers and temperatures reaching three degrees C. Again the seawatch was quiet, with 52 Red-throated Divers, 11 Kittiwakes and two Razorbills of note. 

The day’s highlight related to the reappearance of the Bittern at Thornwick Pools from late afternoon. Other sightings included eight Eider off South Landing, 32 Great Crested Grebes between South Dykes and Sewerby, three Ringed Plovers at South Landing, two Barn Owls and three Mistle Thrush at South Dykes.

Bittern, Thornwick Pools, by Brett Richards