Sunday, March 31st, 2019

The weather consisted of light/moderate north-easterly winds, sunny intervals and temperatures that reached nine degrees C. Seawatching highlights included 157 Fulmars, three Manx Shearwaters, a Great Crested Grebe, one Bonxie and a Sandwich Tern flying north, whilst two Eider, a Bonxie and an Arctic Skua flew south.

The day’s unquestioned highlight related to a male Bluethroat (presumed White-Spot) at South Landing early morning seen by two birders; unfortunately, there was no further sign after the initial views. In addition, the Hooded Crow remained at North Marsh and the female Firecrest was still present on the outer head.

The highlight from RSPB Bempton Cliffs was a male Ring Ouzel, two Redwing and a Wheatear. Sightings from nearby Buckton included three Eider flying east, two Teal, two Coot, two Grey Partridges, three Chiffchaff and two Wheatear.

Wheatear, Buckton, by Paul Reed

Saturday, March 30th, 2019

Sunny skies dominated the morning, with increasing cloud later; light westerly winds switched to the north later, with temperatures reaching 11 degrees C. Two pairs of Shelduck were in residence, with five Curlew, a pair of displaying Lapwing, two Snipe and a Golden Plover also present. Two Firecrests made landfall: a female in gardens on the outer head and a male on the north side of the headland. Additional sightings included two Sand Martins, 33 Magpies, a Hooded Crow still at North Marsh, 13 Goldcrests, 23 Chiffchaffs, 16 Redwing, one Fieldfare, two Wheatear, a Stonechat, four Siskin and a Brambling.

A Bonxie lingered at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, where eight Common Buzzards drifted south-east.

Curlew & Oystercatcher, South Landing, by Don Hustings

Friday, March 29th, 2019

A glorious early spring morning, with sunny skies throughout, light south-west winds and temperatures that reached 15 degrees C. 

A total of 36 Teal frequented North Marsh and Thornwick Pools, a Ringed Plover flew south over the former site and a single Woodcock was located on the outer head. In addition, a 2nd/3rd-calendar Iceland Gull flew north over the headland mid-afternoon. Passerine interest centred on the discovery of the year’s first Firecrest at Old Fall. Other highlights included two Hooded Crows at North Marsh, 20 Chiffchaffs, seven Goldcrests, eight Redwing, a female Stonechat, three Wheatear and a Brambling.

A Hooded Crow that flew north past RSPB Bempton Cliffs was presumably one of the two aforementioned individuals that had earlier been flushed from North Marsh and headed north.

The day’s best spectacle, however, related to a pod of c.20 Bottlenose Dolphins than swam south close inshore past the Golf Course/Fog Station early morning.

Firecrest, Old Fall, by Rob Little

Bottlenose Dolphins, outer head, by Craig Thomas

Thursday, March 28th, 2019

The day consisted of relatively light south-westerly winds, prolonged sunny spells and temperatures reaching 13 degrees C. During the morning’s seawatch, a Teal and 16 Red-throated Divers flew south, with 63 Puffins also recorded off the Fog Station. Two Hooded Crows were recorded: one lingered in the vicinity of North Marsh during the morning, with another flying north past RSPB Bempton Cliffs at the same time; a Black Redstart and 90 Corn Buntings were also present at the latter location.

Small Tortoiseshell, South Landing, by June & Malcolm Fox

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

The weather consisted of bright, but generally overcast, skies, with light/moderate westerly winds and temperatures reaching ten degrees C. The year’s first Sandwich Tern flew north during the morning’s seawatch, along with 86 Puffins. Thornwick Pools attracted three Shelduck, six Teal, three Snipe and two Chiffchaffs, whilst a male Black Redstart was located at Oceanview.

Lapwing, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Jackdaw, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Don Hustings

Tuesday, March 26th, 2019

A relatively bright, but overcast day, with light north-westerly winds and temperatures reaching nine degrees C. Seawatching highlights included a Blue Fulmar and 13 Puffins flying north, whilst a Red Kite that had toured the outer head for a couple of hours eventually flew east out to sea; an Osprey was also reported flying north over the village early morning. The Hooded Crow lingering in the environs of Beacon Hill, 13 Chiffchaffs, ten Goldcrests, two Nuthatch, five Treecreepers and a Siskin provided additional interest.

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included one Wheatear and a Black Redstart. Nearby, 50 Pink-footed Geese flew north over Buckton, where three Teal, two Coot, two Mistle Thrush and a Chiffchaff were seen at the Pond.

Red Kite, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Monday, March 25th, 2019

The weather consisted of moderate/strong north-west winds and sunny skies, with temperatures reaching eight degrees C. During the seawatch 14 Whooper Swans flew north, with five Red-throated Divers heading in the opposite direction. A Red Kite overflew South Landing, whilst passerine interest included ten Chiffchaffs and a Siskin.

Fulmar, Thornwick Bay, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, March 24th, 2019

An increasingly strong westerly wind established during a largely sunny day, with temperatures reaching nine degrees C. During the seawatch, an Eider, nine Puffin and a Grey Wagtail flew north. 

A total of 177 Pink-footed Geese flew north in two skeins, the Hooded Crow re-appeared on the rocks below Beacon Hill, and additional sightings included 12 Chiffchaff and a Black Redstart at the Lighthouse.

Black Redstart, Lighthouse, by Brett Richards

Goldcrest, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Saturday, March 23rd, 2019

A generally sunny day, with light to moderate north-westerly winds. There was a significant arrival of early spring migrants with 31 Chiffchaff, 16 Wheatear, three White Wagtails and five Siskin. Continuing the good run of Red Kite records; one was over Head Farm during mid-morning. In addition, 3500 Starling continued to build around the outer headland.

For the second day running, a single Dark-bellied Brent flew past on the seawatch, along with five Eider, a Common Scoter and 23 Red-throated Diver.

Starlings, Lighthouse by Andy Hood.

Friday, March 22nd, 2019

A mild, but cloudy day, with light south-westerly winds. On the seawatch, a single Dark-bellied Brent Goose flew south along with three Eider; seven Common Scoter and 11 Red-throated Diver were also logged. Nine Pink-footed Geese flew north over South Landing, with four over Bempton. Further spring passage was evidenced by 12 Chiffchaff on the outer headland, with an additional three at both Bempton and Buckton. Four Wheatear were at Bempton and four White Wagtail were across the wider headland.

Guillemot, Thornwick Bay, by Alan Walkington

Thursday, March 21st, 2019

A cloudy start to the day, but becoming brighter and the temperature rising to 15c. Seawatch observations included 16 Whooper Swan on the sea at 1025hrs which left north five minutes later, two female-type Goosander, 21 Red-throated Diver, 74 Puffin and two Chaffinch in-off; also present were nine Oystercatcher and 80 Common Gull.

Other parts of the headland had a reasonable mix of species with three Whooper Swan north over the village, 31 Teal, five Woodcock, an Avocet at Thornwick Pools, five Buzzard, five Great Spotted Woodpecker, seven Wheatear, two White Wagtail, a Nuthatch, Hooded Crow at Beacon Hill, nine Redwing, 11 Chiffchaff, 15 Bullfinch and a Brambling.

Further north at Bempton there were Short-eared Owl, nine Wheatear, three White Wagtail, two Chiffchaff, 120 Linnet, 85 Corn Bunting, whilst nearby, there were 19 Whooper Swan in a field north of Buckton Manor.

Buzzard by Geoff Carr

Wednesday, March 20th, 2019

More spring-like conditions resulted from light south-west winds, sunny intervals and temperatures peaking at 16 degrees C. During the seawatch, two Eiders flew south and 62 Puffins were also recorded.

Another Red Kite over the outer head eventually flew west and was later relocated over Buckton village; Common Buzzards were displaying over Mid Dykes and, more unusually, east of the village. Migrants included seven Chiffchaffs, 1400 Starlings, seven Redwing, one Fieldfare, a male Stonechat near Old Fall, two Wheatear, 14 Pied Wagtails, a White Wagtail and a Snow Bunting; the latter flying south-west over Old Fall. A ringing session in South Dykes caught the two Nuthatch; the first ever to be rung at Flamborough.

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included five Whooper Swans flying north, a pair of Gadwall on the sea, a Chiffchaff, two Wheatear and a White Wagtail.

Nuthatch, South Dykes, by Jo Hood

Tuesday, March 19th, 2019

A day of sunny intervals, but also overcast at times, with light south-west winds and temperatures attaining 11 degrees C. Sightings during the seawatch included seven Eider, a Bonxie flying north and 78 Puffin; the latter part of a significant increase along the cliffs.

Two Whooper Swans flew north over the village, whilst a Red Kite initially over the outer head was presumably joined by another mid-morning, when two Red Kites circled over Hartendale. Passerine interest included increased numbers of Meadow Pipits, Pied Wagtails and Starling, with a minimum of 1200 of the latter gathering on the headland. In addition, there were 13 Bullfinch, 32 Yellowhammers and 13 Reed Buntings, the latter including a flock of 12 males near Hartendale.

Kestrel, Gorse Field, by Alan Walkington

Black Oil Beetles, outer head, by Jo Hood

Monday, March 18th, 2019

The weather consisted of prolonged sunny intervals, light winds, generally with a northerly component and temperatures that reached eight degrees C. During the seawatch, two Eider, 231 Fulmars, a Manx Shearwater, 2650 Kittiwakes and 22 Puffins flew north. Three Lapwing visited Oceanview, whilst migrant passerines included single Chiffchaff, White Wagtail and Siskin.

Gannet, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Don Hustings

Sunday, March 17th, 2019

Another windy day, with strong west-north-west winds, sunny intervals and occasional showers. Highlights of the seawatch included 289 Fulmars flying north, along with a Ringed Plover, one Lesser Black-backed Gull and two Puffins; another Puffin headed south. Three Red Kites over South Landing eventually headed off west over South Dykes, whilst 20 Curlews and 25 Turnstone frequented the shore between these locations. Migrant passerines included two Chiffchaff at Oceanview, a White Wagtail at Cattlemere and a Fieldfare at Thornwick.

Yellowhammer, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Saturday, March 16th, 2019

A wet morning was followed by brighter spells and showers during the afternoon, a strengthening westerly wind and temperatures that reached ten degrees C. During the seawatch, 11 Golden Plover flew south and two Fieldfare came in off, whilst an additional Golden Plover moved south over the headland.

A minimum 55 Teal frequented North Marsh, with two Snipe and a Jack Snipe at Thornwick Pools. Two Chiffchaff included a fresh arrival in the Golf Course Willows, as was a Scandinavian Rock Pipit on Stainforth’s Flash.

Moorhen, Flamborough village, by Craig Thomas

Friday, March 15th, 2019

The day featured gale force westerly winds, sunny intervals and temperatures that reached 12 degrees C. During the morning’s seawatch, single Eider and Red-throated Diver, 210 Fulmars, 81 Kittiwakes and a Lesser Black-backed Gull flew north; signs of visible migration over the Fog Station included seven Rook.

Single Chiffchaff were located at both Oceanview and South Dykes, with a Nuthatch also at the latter location. Two Redwing were undoubtedly migrants, as almost certainly were the bulk of 40 Chaffinch.

Cormorant, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Thursday, March 14th, 2019

Very strong west-north-west winds gradually abated during a day that started wet, with sunny intervals then dominating, whilst temperatures reached 12 degrees C. During the morning seawatch, a Red-throated Diver, 117 Fulmars, 34 Kittiwakes and six Razorbills flew north, with a Peregrine also touring the outer head. Passerine interest was limited due to the wind strength, although 13 Yellowhammers attended feeders in the South Landing/Church Lane area.

Oystercatchers, South landing, by Karen Thomas

Wednesday, March 13th, 2019

A day of strong westerly winds, sunny intervals and temperatures reaching 11 degrees C. During the seawatch, 220 Fulmars flew north, with eight Red-throated Divers and a Great Crested Grebe heading south. Sightings from South Landing included four Eider offshore and a Chiffchaff in the ravine. However, the day’s highlight was the re-appearance of the Bittern at Thornwick Pools which was seen flying across the pool between the two areas of phragmites.

Teal, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, March 12th, 2019

A mixed day with strong south westerly winds and rain during the morning, becoming sunny with lighter winds by mid-afternoon. 23 Red-throated Diver represented the highlight of the morning sea watch. On the land the single Barnacle Goose remained around the outer headland and 2 Chiffchaff were at Bempton.

Gannet by Alan Walkington.

Monday, March 11th, 2019

A moderate/strong westerly wind, sunny intervals and temperatures reaching seven degrees C. During the seawatch, 21 Red-throated Divers flew past the Fog Station, whilst 349 Fulmars moved north. The Barnacle Goose remained in residence and two Common Buzzards again displayed over Mid Dykes. The Pied Crow reappeared on Beech Avenue, but two Chiffchaffs and a Goldcrest at South Landing were new arrivals.

Stock Dove, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Sunday, March 10th, 2019

The weather consisted of increasingly strong westerly winds, overcast skies, with a belt of rain crossing the area during the middle of the day before brighter spells later; temperatures reached four degrees C by late morning. During the seawatch, three Eiders flew north, whilst Puffins returned to the cliffs near the Fog Station and also at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, where a minimum of 22 birds appeared. The Barnacle Goose lingered and 30 Curlews frequented the headland. The Hooded Crow was relocated on the beach below Beacon Hill, having been last seen on 24th February, whilst a Scandinavian Rock Pipit was at nearby South Landing.

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, South Landing, by Brett Richards

Saturday, March 9th, 2019

A day of moderate/strong west-north-west winds, sunny intervals and showers, with temperatures reaching eight degrees C. During the morning’s seawatch, a single dark-bellied Brent Goose flew north, whilst four Eiders sheltered off the Fog Station. Away from the sea, the Barnacle Goose and 22 Wigeon lingered near North Marsh, with 27 Curlews located on the south side. Passerine interest included three Redwings and a Scandinavian Rock Pipit.

Barn Owl, Thornwick Pools, by Steve Meredith

Friday, March 8th, 2019

After a sunny start, increasing cloud brought light rain during the afternoon; chilly despite relatively light south-west winds, with temperatures peaking at six degrees C. Seawatch highlights included 38 Red-throated Divers, 898 Fulmars, two Manx Shearwaters and 2588 Kittiwakes flying north. The Barnacle Goose, 27 Wigeon, 60 Teal and a Coot frequented North Marsh. Passerine interest included two Redwing and a Chiffchaff, but pride of place went to a House Martin that flew east at RSPB Bempton Cliffs; the latter potentially Yorkshire’s earliest ever.

Barnacle Goose (with Canadas), North Marsh, by Craig Thomas

Thursday, March 7th, 2019

The weather consisted of moderate to strong south-westerly winds, generally overcast skies with occasional rain; temperatures peaked at six degrees C. A juvenile Glaucous Gull flying north represented the highlight of the morning’s seawatch, with a lone Puffin heading in the opposite direction.

Gannets, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, March 6th, 2019

An overcast day, with a moderate southerly wind and rain around dawn and showers later. Highlights of the seawatch included a Great Northern Diver, 422 Kittiwakes, a Mediterranean Gull and one Puffin flying north. Meanwhile, a Chiffchaff continued to frequent the hedgerow adjacent to Hartendale WTW, the Pied Crow overflew South Dykes and a Siskin visited a village garden.

Fox, Flamborough village, by Mike Smith

Tuesday, March 5th, 2019

An overcast day, with a moderate south-westerly wind and temperatures reaching six degrees C by late morning. Sightings during the seawatch included aggregations of 55 Turnstone and 30 Purple Sandpipers. Elsewhere, the Barnacle Goose and 21 Wigeon remained in residence. Passerine interest included a minimum of two Scandinavian Rock Pipits on South Landing beach.

Shelduck, Thornwick Pools, by Alan Walkington

Monday, March 4th, 2019

A rather cloudy day with moderate westerly winds.

The morning sea-watch recorded two Common Scoter south, Black-throated Diver north, 22 Fulmar north, 12 Great Black-backed Gull and present off the headland were 350 Gannet, 15 Shag, 29 Cormorant, a large flock of 330 feeding Herring Gull and 1000s of Guillemot. 

East of the Dykes was the usual Barnacle Goose, 150 Grey-lag Goose, two Shelduck, 28 Wigeon, eight Teal, Grey Heron, Peregrine, Buzzard, 44 Black-headed Gull, 45 Great Black-backed Gull, 12 Curlew at Hartendale, the resident Pied Crow on Beech Avenue, two Treecreeper and two Tree Sparrow.

Tree Sparrow by Mike Smith

Roe Buck by Mike Smith

Sunday, March 3rd, 2019

An overcast day that featured increasingly strong south-west winds, light rain from early afternoon and temperatures that reached nine degrees C. During the seawatch, a second calendar-year Yellow-legged Gull flew south, whilst a significant feeding frenzy formed off the headland that included 550 Herring Gulls. 

The Barnacle Goose visited Stainforth’s Flash early morning, whilst a Water Rail was heard ‘singing’ at Thornwick Pools. Passerines included a Chiffchaff at Oceanview, two Siskins in the village and a Lapland Bunting near North Landing.

Chiffchaff, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Saturday, March 2nd, 2019

South-westerly winds strengthened throughout a day that started overcast with brighter spells later; temperatures reached 11 degrees C. Wildfowl interest on the headland included the Barnacle Goose, four Shelduck, 74 Teal, 25 Wigeon and the Pochard, whilst two Grey Herons also toured the freshwaters. Three Red Kites spent the best part of an hour over the village/Dykes late morning, before they headed strongly west; at times, they shared the same airspace as four Common Buzzards and a pair of Peregrine. The Chiffchaff remained at Hartendale, whilst three Goldcrests were also present.

Kestrel, Old Fall, by Brett Richards

Red Kite, Flamborough village, by Brett Richards

Friday, March 1st, 2019

A largely overcast day after a brighter start, with a light south-west wind and temperatures reaching seven degrees C. Sightings included the long-staying Barnacle Goose and Pochard along Lighthouse Road and Thornwick Pools respectively, 40 Teal, two Coot and 29 Curlew. Passerine interest involved 38 Magpies, one Goldcrest, five Scandinavian Rock Pipits, seven Bullfinch and a Siskin.

Guillemots, Fog Station, by Alan Walkington