Sunday, September 22nd, 2019

Another sunny day, with south-easterly winds gaining in strength until early afternoon, when they reduced once more; temperatures reached 18 degrees C. Seawatching was rewarded with two dark-bellied Brent Geese, a Sooty Shearwater and five Arctic Skuas flying north, with two dark-bellied Brent Geese, 21 Wigeon and 46 Teal moving south.

However, the day’s highlights related to an influx of drift migrants, especially during the afternoon: headlined by a Red-breasted Flycatcher between Old Fall and South Landing, two Yellow-browed Warblers (South Landing & Buckton) and a Wood Warbler caught & ringed at South Landing. A Merlin remained, but most attention was focussed on passerines, with three ‘continental’ Song Thrush, six Goldcrest, seven Willow Warblers, a Garden Warbler, three Pied Flycatchers, two Spotted Flycatchers, 12 Whinchat, five Stonechat, seven Redstart and four Wheatear. A 900-strong flock of Linnets gathered in the setaside near Thornwick.

RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted a Pied Flycatcher, four Redstarts, two Stonechats, two Whinchat and a Grey Wagtail, whilst lone Spotted Flycatcher, Pied Flycatcher and Whinchat were present at Buckton. In addition, at least 36 Bottlenose Dolphins moved south past RSPB Bempton Cliffs and latterly the Fog Station on the outer head late afternoon.  

Red-breasted Flycatcher, by Craig Thomas

Wood Warbler, by Jo Hood

Saturday, September 21st, 2019

The weather consisted of sunny skies throughout, moderate south-easterly winds and temperatures that peaked at 18 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included four Pintail, a juvenile Sabine’s Gull and an adult Pomarine Skua flying south; a Sooty Shearwater and a sub-adult Pomarine Skua also flew north. Two Pink-footed Geese and a Merlin frequented North Marsh. Passerine interest included three Goldcrests, 16 Chiffchaffs, two Willow Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher, three Stonechat, two Whinchat, two Redstarts, two Grey Wagtails, a Siskin, 16 Yellowhammer and 15 Reed Buntings.

Bonxie, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Friday, September 20th, 2019

A sunny day with light/moderate south-east winds and temperatures reaching 16 degrees C. An adult Sabine’s Gull lingering offshore mid-morning before it headed north represented the seawatch highlight; other sightings included five dark-bellied Brent Geese, three Sooty Shearwaters, 100 Common Terns and 5560 Razorbills all flying north.

A skein of 45 Pink-footed Geese flew south over Buckton. Two more Pink-feet and 12 Teal frequented Thornwick Pools, whilst 29 Curlew, four Whimbrel and a Merlin were on the outer head. A Wryneck between Hartendale and South Dykes was presumably a result of the south-easterly airflow, as was a Black Redstart at RSPB Bempton Cliffs and a Common Redstart at Old Fall. Additional passerine migrants included nine Chiffchaffs, two Lesser Whitethroats, three Goldcrests, three Whinchat, one Stonechat and a Yellow Wagtail.  

Fox, Flamborough village, by Mike Smith

Thursday, September 19th, 2019

The weather consisted of light south-south-east winds, sunny skies and temperatures peaking at 19 degrees C. A juvenile Sabine’s Gull feeding offshore of the Seawatch Observatory early evening was the undoubted highlight; it eventually headed south into Bridlington Bay with Common Terns. Other seawatch records included eight Wigeon, 56 Teal and 38 Common Scoters flying north, 59 Red-throated Divers south, with two Sooty Shearwaters, five Manx Shearwaters and 14 Arctic Skuas moving north. 

A skein of 37 Pink-footed Geese flew south over Speeton, with two birds also touring the headland before settling on Thornwick Pools. Passerine interest included four Whinchat, two Stonechat, a Spotted Flycatcher and one Grey Wagtail, whilst a Pied Flycatcher frequented the Dell at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. 

Gannet, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Don Hustings

Wednesday, September 18th, 2019

The day started cool with a moderate NW breeze which later backed to S.  Temperatures reached 15C during a largely sunny afternoon.

Seawatching highlights included a Pale-bellied Brent Goose south and 16 Brent Geese north were not subspecifically identified.  More wildfowl were noted than recent weeks with 92 Wigeon and 5 Pintail flying north while 90 Teal were offshore.  Sea-duck were represented by 2 Eiders (S) and 58 Common Scoters (43S, 15N).  Red-throated Divers were in good numbers (150S, 8N). Manx and Sooty Shearwaters were offshore again with respectively 46S and 22S.  Skua numbers were down on recent days, but included another adult pale-phase Pomarine.  A Siskin was seen to make landfall.

Migrant passerines were limited to 6 Chiffchaffs, 4 Blackcaps, a Pied Flycatcher, 2 Wheatears, 4 Yellow Wagtails and a Lapland Bunting over the Gorse Field.

Bempton Cliffs managed to attract a single Pied Flycatcher and a fine Hawfinch which flew SE.

Then recent run of sightings of Bottle-nosed Dolphins continued with 11 off Bempton Cliffs and 6 off the Fog Station

Wheatear, South Landing (Alan Walkington)

Bottle-nosed Dolphins, Fog Station (Jo Hood)

Tuesday, September 17th, 2019

The weather consisted of moderate northerly winds, prolonged sunny intervals and temperatures that reached 12 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included 24 Teal, 25 Wigeon, 67 Red-throated Divers south, a Balearic Shearwater, 41 Sooty Shearwaters and 54 Manx Shearwaters all north, 14 Arctic Skuas and 60 Bonxies south and two Pomarine Skuas (north & south); five Bottlenose Dolphins were off the Seawatch Observatory mid-evening. 

Fifteen Pink-footed Geese flew south over the outer head, whilst a juvenile Little Ringed Plover and three Dunlin frequented South Landing beach. Passerine interest included eight Goldcrests, two Stonechat and a Whinchat. Birds caught during a ringing session at South Landing included four Blackcaps, three Chiffchaffs and four Meadow Pipits.

Little Ringed Plover, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Blackcap, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Monday, September 16th, 2019

A sunny day, with a light north-westerly veering northerly later and temperatures reaching 16 degrees C. The day’s standout sighting related to a Humpback Whale; first seen off RSPB Bempton Cliffs mid-afternoon, it headed south-east past the headland and was still present south-east of the Seawatch Observatory mid-evening. Three Bottlenose Dolphins were also present; initially seen off Bempton Cliffs, two animals were close inshore off South Landing in the evening. Avian seawatch highlights involved a Pale-bellied Brent Goose, three Sooty Shearwaters, 13 Manx Shearwater and a Balearic Shearwater flying north, with three Pomarine Skuas moving south.

Three Wigeon, three Shoveler and a Ringed Plover were seen from South Landing, with five Ringed Plovers at nearby South Dykes. Raptor passage was evident, with 32 Common Buzzards moving south-west, two Hobbies hawking over the village, a Merlin on the outer head and seven Sparrowhawks also moving south-west. A Cetti’s Warbler located in cliff top scrub immediately west of South Dykes represented the fourth record for the headland. Meanwhile, the Barred Warbler continued to show well in the Dell at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, where a Merlin was also present. 

Humpback Whale, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Ian Howard

Humpback Whale, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Ian Howard

Sunday, September 15th, 2019

Light south-westerly winds early morning, switching to north-westerlies later; a relatively overcast day with temperatures reaching 17 degrees C. During the morning seawatch, 26 Pink-footed Geese headed south, with 450 Black-headed Gulls, 45 Sandwich Terns, 30 Common Terns, four Bonxies and three Arctic Skuas flying north.

Sightings from the headland included two Bar-tailed Godwits, five Whimbrel, 24 Curlew, eight Swift, ten Wheatear, two Whinchat, a Grey Wagtail, one Yellow Wagtail and a confiding Lapland Bunting near North Marsh. RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted 15 Goldcrests, a Treecreeper, six Blackcap, two Stonechat and a Whinchat; best of all, a Barred Warbler was located in the Dell.

Lapland Bunting, Flamborough, by Craig Thomas

Saturday, September 14th, 2019

The weather consisted of increasingly strong south-westerly winds, sunny intervals and temperatures that reached 20 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included 44 Pink-footed Geese, six Shelduck, 35 Teal, 15 Red-throated Divers and five Bonxies flying south; three Pomarine Skuas were also noted (one flew south, with another two individuals heading north). A juvenile Yellow-legged Gull lingered offshore, with five Bottlenose Dolphins also off the Seawatch Observatory during the evening. 

Additional sightings involved 26 Pink-footed Geese and ten Golden Plovers flying south, ten Teal on Thornwick Pools and 78 Cormorants on the beach below Beacon Hill. Passerine interest was limited to single Spotted and Pied Flycatchers and seven Goldcrest, whilst RSPB Bempton Cliffs hosted two Whinchat and four Stonechat. Nearby Buckton attracted 200 Meadow Pipits; ten of these were ringed along with eight Blackcaps and five Robins. 

Migrant Hawker, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Friday, September 13th, 2019

Light westerly winds first thing, veering easterly by the afternoon; prolonged sunny intervals and temperatures reached 17 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included 17 Red-throated Divers, six Manx Shearwaters, 453 Common Gulls (north), four Bonxies and an Arctic Skua. Thornwick Pools attracted five Teal, a Little Ringed Plover and two Dunlin. Passerine interest included a Spotted Flycatcher, ten Wheatear, eight Whinchat, one Stonechat and two Redstarts. Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included the headland’s third Barred Warbler of the autumn; in addition there were three Goldcrests, three Whinchat, three Wheatear and 24 Yellow Wagtails.

Wheatear, Thornwick, by Don Hustings

Thursday, September 12th, 2019

A warm, dry day despite the fresh south-westerly wind with temperatures reaching 22C.

South Landing produced waders again with 2 Bar-tailed Godwits, a Dunlin and a juvenile Knot while a Little Stint flew towards the beach there.  The juvenile Little Ringed Plover remained at Thornwick Pools joined by 2 Dunlin, a Snipe and 5 Teal. The Golf Course  held 43 Curlew and 5 Whimbrel while Bempton saw 7 Golden Plover flying south.

A juvenile Merlin hunted over the Outer Head while the number of Swifts was limited to only 8. Hirundines were still present in numbers with 340 House Martins and 165 Swallows.

Passerine passage remained at a relatively low ebb on the Outer Head with a Spotted Flycatcher at Old Fall otherwise there were 2 Wheatears, 6 Whinchats, 2 Lesser Whitethroats, 2 Garden Warblers and 7 Goldcrests.  A distinct increase in Meadow Pipit passage with 50 at Thornwick and 180 on Outer Head were joined by 2 Lapland Buntings.  Thornwick held 5 Corn Buntings. Bempton hosted a Spotted Flycatcher, a Garden Warbler, 4 Whitethroats, 4 Blackcaps, a Chiffchaff, 3 Willow Warblers, 6 Goldcrests and  5 Yellow Wagtails.

Juvenile Knot, South Landing (Andy Hood)

Wednesday, September 11th, 2019

The day started damp with occasional light showers on a moderate south-westerly wind.  The cloud-cover eased late morning to give a largely sunny afternoon with the temperature reaching 17C.

The morning seawatching highlights included 20 Red-throated Divers (19S), a Whimbrel S, 5 Little Gulls along with 50 Sandwich Terns, a single Arctic Tern and 32 Common Terns all north.  Skuas were restricted to 3 Greats and 6 Arctics.

South Landing beach provided greatest wader interest with 10 Ringed Plover, a juvenile Little Ringed Plover, 8 Dunlin, 10 Turnstone and 3 Bar-tailed Godwits.

Hirundine passage was evident with a single flock of 40 Sand Martins witnessed flying directly out into Bridlington Bay at South Landing, 108 House Martins (along with a single Swift) flying south at Bempton Cliffs.  Other passerines included a Spotted Flycatcher at Highcliffe while 3 Blackcaps, 2 Chiffchaffs, 4 Whinchat, 5 Goldcrests and 15 Yellow Wagtails were seen at Bempton Cliffs.

Bar-tailed Godwits, South Landing (Alan Walkington)

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019

Light onshore winds, sunny intervals after an overcast morning and temperatures that reached 16 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included two Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 66 Common Scoters, a Sooty Shearwater, three Little Gulls, 46 Sandwich Terns, 308 Common Terns and four Bonxies heading north, with a Gadwall, 18 Teal, a Grey Plover, three Little Gulls and five Arctic Skuas moving south. South Landing attracted three Bar-tailed Godwits and four Dunlin, with 18 Teal, a Little Ringed Plover, two Snipe and three Dunlin at Thornwick Pools. A Barred Warbler in the Bay Brambles was new; additional sightings included three Swifts, two Garden Warblers, a Pied Flycatcher, three Redstarts, a Wheatear, 13 Whinchat and three Yellow Wagtails.

RSPB Bempton Cliffs hosted a Goldcrest, three Spotted Flycatchers, a Redstart, two Whinchat and 18 Yellow Wagtails.

Garden Warbler, North Landing, by Andy Hood

Reed Bunting, North Landing, by Andy Hood

Monday, September 9th, 2019

A relatively overcast day, with spells of light rain and a light/moderate south-westerly wind. During the morning’s seawatch, 52 Teal, 126 Common Scoters, four Sooty Shearwaters, a Little Gull, 49 Sandwich Terns, nine Bonxies, an adult Pomarine Skua and 12 Arctic Skuas all flew north; birds heading in the opposite direction included 133 Teal, three Pochard, 14 Red-throated Divers, eight Knot and 26 Common Terns. The day’s highlights related to a Barred Warbler that showed well at North Landing and an Icterine Warbler caught and ringed early morning at South Landing. Additional records involved a Hobby over North Marsh, a Whimbrel, two Bar-tailed Godwits, five Goldcrests, two Swifts, two Redstarts, four Wheatears and a Pied Flycatcher. 

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included 26 Teal and 17 Oystercatchers flying south, a Hobby, a Green Sandpiper and 171 House Martins south, a Redstart, three Whinchat, a Stonechat and 23 Yellow Wagtails again moving south.

Barred Warbler, North Landing, by Andy Hood

Sunday, September 8th, 2019

Sunny throughout, with light north-north-westerly winds during the morning, switching to easterlies later, when temperatures reached 15 degrees C. During the seawatch, northbound birds included two Pale-bellied Brent Geese, 38 Wigeon, 97 Teal, 195 Common Scoters, 26 Sooty Shearwaters, 145 Manx Shearwaters, three Balearic Shearwaters, four Mediterranean Gulls, 61 Sandwich Terns, 169 Common Terns, five Arctic Terns, 15 Bonxies, ten Arctic Skuas, a juvenile Long-tailed Skua and an adult Pomarine Skua; 30 Red-throated Divers moved south. Thornwick Pools attracted five Teal, a Little Ringed Plover, one Redshank and a Dunlin, with 165 Teal, four Bar-tailed Godwits and three Ringed Plovers at South Landing. In addition, there were 100 House Martins and three Swifts around the Lighthouse, five Goldcrests, ten Whitethroats, seven Lesser Whitethroats, Reed Warblers at Old Fall and Thornwick Pools, four Chiffchaffs, 20 Willow Warblers, a Wood Warbler on the outer head, four Pied Flycatchers, 430 Meadow Pipits (including 257 birds in off the sea heading north), one Whinchat and a Wheatear. 

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included 50 Pink-footed Geese, eight Ringed Plovers and a Greenshank over, five Goldcrests, nine Whitethroats, two Lesser Whitethroats, six Blackcap, a Garden Warbler, four Chiffchaff, two Willow Warblers, four Whinchat, two Stonechats, 115 Meadow Pipits heading north-west, 34 Yellow Wagtails (including 14 south-east) and a Lapland Bunting that flew west mid-morning.

House Martins, Lighthouse, by Rob Little

Saturday, September 7th, 2019

Moderate/strong northerly winds gradually abated from mid-afternoon; it was relatively sunny throughout. Seawatching highlights included four Pale-bellied Brent Geese, a Great Northern Diver, 13 Sooty Shearwaters, 41 Manx Shearwaters, a Mediterranean Gull and 60 Sandwich Terns flying north. Birds heading south included 27 Red-throated Divers, 48 Oystercatchers, 37 Curlew, 21 Bonxies and 30 Arctic Skuas flew south.

Mediterranean Gull, Fog Station, by Andrew Allport

Friday, September 6th, 2019

A moderate/strong south-westerly during the morning, with a switch to a west-north-westerly late afternoon; sunny intervals prevailed after an overcast start, with temperatures reaching 19 degrees C. Seawatching produced two Teal south, nine Red-throated Divers (five on sea, four south), two Manx Shearwaters, eight Arctic Skuas south, nine Bonxies (five north, four south), 20 Common Terns (18 south, 2 north), one Arctic Tern north, 45 Sandwich Terns (38 north, 7 south) and a first-winter Mediterranean Gull flying south; 14 Swifts also flew south over the sea, with a Wheatear on the cliff top. Thornwick Pools attracted a Little Ringed Plover and eight Dunlin, with four Bar-tailed Godwits, two Whimbrel and two Dunlin on South Landing beach.  Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included 42 Swifts and six Yellow Wagtails flying south, with two Goldcrests, two Willow Warblers, three Chiffchaffs present.

Little Ringed Plover, Thornwick Pools, by Matthew Binns

Thursday, September 5th, 2019

Overnight moderate/strong north-west winds gradually dropped in strength, backing westerly by the afternoon; sunny intervals throughout, with temperatures peaking at 17 degrees C. The conducive seawatching conditions produced a dramatic improvement, with highlights including: two summer-plumaged Great Northern Divers (flying south), 25 Red-throated Divers (20 south, five north), four Balearic Shearwaters (three north, one south), 51 Sooty Shearwaters (north), 371 Manx Shearwaters (357 north, 14 south), a Long-tailed Skua south, three Pomarine Skua (two south, one north), 83 Arctic Skuas (79 south, four north) and 135 Bonxies (121 south, 14 north), along with 34 Little Gulls (south). Elsewhere, South Landing beach attracted nine Bar-tailed Godwits, two Dunlin and two Ringed Plovers.

Ringed Plover, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, September 4th, 2019

A day of strong westerly winds, temperatures reached 18 degrees C, with spells of sunshine and showers. During a seawatch, a Shoveler, three Red-throated Divers, a Manx Shearwater, two Ringed Plovers, 39 Curlews and 32 Swifts flew south. Thornwick Pools attracted four Teal, a juvenile Little Ringed Plover, one Ringed Plover and three Dunlin, whilst South Landing attracted four Bar-tailed Godwits and 50 Turnstone. Pink-footed Geese were on the move, with three skeins totalling 72 birds heading south. Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included three Goldcrests, three Wheatear, three Whinchat and 22 Swifts flying south.

Bar-tailed Godwits, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

South-westerly winds strengthened during a day that featured sunny intervals and temperatures that reached 22 degrees C. Autumn’s first Pink-footed Geese were heard heading south over the village late evening. The Thornwick area attracted six Teal, three Dunlin, a Snipe, 28 Swifts, 11 Wheatear and five Whinchat. Meanwhile, South Landing hosted a Bar-tailed Godwit and four Dunlin, with a Spotted Flycatcher at nearby South Dykes.

Bar-tailed Godwit, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Monday, September 2nd, 2019

The weather consisted of moderate south-westerly winds, increasingly overcast skies, with occasional light showers. During a morning seawatch, two Manx Shearwaters, 46 Cormorants, a Snipe and four Bonxies flew south; an Arctic Skua moved in the opposite direction. 

Thornwick Pools attracted four Teal, two Dunlin and a Green Sandpiper, whilst two Greenshank overflew Oceanview. A Cuckoo also frequented the latter site, with a Hobby observed hunting around nearby Old Fall. Passerine interest included 26 Willow Warblers, the autumn’s first four Goldcrest, four Pied Flycatchers, two Redstarts, five Whinchat and five Wheatear. Impressive numbers of finches fed in setaside fields, including 880 Linnets and 380 Goldfinch.

Meadow Pipit, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Goldcrest, South Landing, by Andy Hood

Sunday, September 1st, 2019

A largely sunny day, with blustery showers in the afternoon; westerly winds veered north-west mid-afternoon, with a subsequent reduction in temperatures from 18 to 12 degrees C. An evening seawatch produced single Red-throated Divers north and south, along with nine Manx Shearwaters, 136 Common Terns and single Arctic Skua and Bonxie all flying south. Thornwick Pools attracted two Grey Herons, four Teal, two Snipe, one Redshank, a Dunlin and one Ringed Plover; 22 Curlews frequented the Golf Course. A tally of 18 Wheatears represented a significant arrival, with additional sightings including a pair of Grey Partridge, 66 Swifts and four Whinchat.

Wheatear, Thornwick, by Craig Thomas

Moorhen, Oceanview, by Andy Hood