Monday, October 21st, 2019

After overnight rain, the day was mainly cloudy with a fresh northerly wind, temperatures struggling to reach 12C.

Birds passing the Fog Station was the main focus for the day and this provided top-notch late autumn seawatching.  Although the number of birds were never great, there was constant interest with plenty of variety and included some high quality birds.  The undoubted main feature was a White-billed Diver which passed north at 0950, other divers included a Black-throated, 4 Great Northerns and 49 Red-throats.  Most birds were heading into the wind and other highlights comprised a Storm Petrel, 13 Sooty and 24 Manx Shearwaters, 17 Great, 20 Pomarine, 17 Arctic and 3 Long-tailed Skuas. Amongst the steady stream of auks was 193 Puffins and 42 Little Auks.  Wildfowl was also well represented by 5 Whooper Swans, 9 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 125 Wigeon, 47 Teal, a Pintail, 19 Eider, 3 Velvet and 132 Common Scoters and 3 Goldeneye. Also seen were a Grey Phalarope, a single Sabine’s, 2 Mediterranean and 24 Little  Gulls, a Sandwich, 3 Common and 11 Arctic Terns.  Owls were also noted coming in off the sea with a Short-eared, a Long-eared and two other unidentified Asios.  Five Twite also flew over.  

Though the sea drew most of the attention, land-based birding also proved profitable with a few new migrants being found.  Two Yellow-browed Warblers were both considered new arrivals as were a Richard’s Pipit, 8 Mealy Redpolls, 10 Siskin and 18 Brambling. Seventeen Whooper Swans headed south over South Landing where the Velvet Scoter remained along with a House Martin overhead. Other immigrants included 2 Woodcock, 13 Goldcrest, 9 Chiffchaff, 3 Blackcaps and 2 Grey Wagtails.  Thrushes, particularly Redwings, were fewer than in recent days though Blackbirds still numbered 150.  

Meanwhile, at Bempton there were 2 tristis Chiffchaffs, including a new one, a blythi Lesser Whitethroat, a Willow Warbler and a Bonxie feeding on carrion.

Mealy Redpoll,
Old Fall (Andy Hood)

Sunday, October 20th, 2019

The weather consisted strong north-north-west winds, rain showers until md-morning followed by sunny intervals. Seawatch highlights included four Velvet Scoter (one south, three north), 77 Common Scoters south, a Goldeneye north, four Red-breasted Mergansers, four Goosanders and a Great Northern Diver south, two Sooty Shearwaters, 17 Manx Shearwaters, a Great Crested Grebe and 41 Little Gulls north. Eight Bonxies and seven Arctic Skuas flew south and three Little Auks north, whilst a second-winter Glaucous Gull and a Mediterranean Gull headed south.

A total of 27 Whooper Swans were recorded (19 south, 8 North Marsh), along with 37 Pink-footed Geese. Additional migrants included a Woodcock, one Short-eared Owl, two Yellow-browed Warblers, a Willow Warbler, three Ring Ouzel, a Whinchat, two Common Redstarts, 1830 Fieldfare west, 450 Redwing west, 95 Brambling west and 26 Siskin.

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included two Siberian Chiffchaffs, a Willow Warbler, one Lesser Whitethroat, 15 Goldcrests, a Mealy Redpoll and eight Brambling.

Chiffchaff, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Trevor Charlton

Common Redstart, Flamborough, by Jacob Davies