Friday, January 24th, 2020

The weather consisted of light south-westerly winds, increasing amounts of sunshine and temperatures that reached eight degrees C. The seawatch was quiet, with three Shelduck flying south and 21 Purple Sandpipers in residence; in addition, the first-winter Black Redstart made one of its sporadic appearances around the Fog Station. North Marsh and its immediate environs attracted ten Pink-footed Geese, the Russian White-fronted Goose, two Shelduck, 25 Wigeon, 15 Teal and a Grey Heron. A Chiffchaff frequented a garden near South Landing.

Sparrowhawk, Flamborough village, by Rob Little

Thursday, January 23rd, 2020

A day of light south-west winds, sunny intervals and periods of fog; temperatures reached seven degrees C. The highlight of the morning’s seawatch was a Black-throated Diver that flew south, whilst the long-staying Russian White-fronted Goose remained on the outer head. Eight Snipe along Water Lane represented the highest count for some time. 

Kestrel, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020

A relatively overcast start, with brighter spells developing during a still day; temperatures reached seven degrees C. Although the seawatch was quiet, a Mistle Thrush at the Fog Station was an unusual visitor there. Wildfowl interest was provided by the White-fronted Goose and four Pink-footed Geese. Passerines at Thornwick included eight Meadow Pipits, 41 Goldfinch, 47 Linnet, and 38 Reed Buntings; a total of 14 new birds caught during a ringing session included three Starlings and four Reed Buntings. Three Short-eared Owls frequented RSPB Bempton Cliffs early afternoon. 

Starling, Flamborough village, by Jo Hood

Tuesday, January 21st, 2020

Sunny throughout, with temperatures reaching seven degrees C after an overnight frost and light westerly winds. The White-fronted Goose and four Pink-footed Geese remained in residence, while passerine interest included a Grey Wagtail near Lighthouse Road.

Grey Seal, Fog Station, by Alan Walkington

Monday, January 20th, 2020

The weather consisted of prolonged sunny intervals, light westerly winds and temperatures that peaked at seven degrees C. During the morning’s seawatch, five Eider and 23 Red-throated Divers flew south. Passerine interest included 50 Magpies, a Mistle Thrush, 25 Reed Buntings (Thornwick) and seven Corn Buntings. Four Short-eared Owls frequented RSPB Bempton Cliffs during the afternoon. 

Short-eared Owl, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Kevin Groocock

Sunday, January 19th, 2020

A sunny day, with a light north-west wind and temperatures reaching five degrees C after an overnight frost. During the morning seawatch, a Black-throated Diver flew south. Sightings along Lighthouse Road included a Woodcock, one Grey Wagtail and ten Redwing; a Chiffchaff frequented Hartendale. In addition, two Short-eared Owls were at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Yellowhammer, outer head, by Craig Thomas

Saturday, January 18th, 2020

Sunny throughout, with light west-north-west winds and, after a frosty start, temperatures reached seven degrees C. The White-fronted Goose and three Pink-footed Geese remained in residence, a Water Rail frequented a pond immediately east of the village, whilst single Snipe and Jack Snipe were located near Thornwick Pools. Passerine interest included eight Redwing, 80 Linnets, 55 Reed Buntings, 70 Yellowhammers and 24 Corn Buntings. Two Short-eared Owls were at RSPB Bempton Cliffs during the afternoon. 

Grey Heron, Beacon Hill, by Brett Richards

Friday, January 17th, 2020

The weather consisted of light westerly winds, temperatures briefly touching eight degrees C in the morning, before heavy showers precipitated a drop to three degrees. During the morning seawatch, two Shelduck and a Wigeon flew south, 28 Red-throated Divers were seen off the Fog Station and 42 Razorbills represented a substantial increase. 

A Whooper Swan flew west over the village, the Russian White-fronted Goose and three Pink-footed Geese remained with the Greylag flock and 35 Wigeon were near North Marsh. Passerine interest included a Redwing and 28 Snow Buntings, the latter at Cattlemere. RSPB Bempton Cliffs hosted a Short-eared Owl, a Redwing and 40 Corn Buntings.

Shelduck, Thornwick Pools, by Kevin Groocock

Thursday, January 16th, 2020

Strong winds featured yet again, with southerlies, relatively overcast skies after a bright start and temperatures reaching seven degrees C. During the seawatch, five Kittiwakes and seven Razorbills represented a subtle increase on recent days, whilst at least 10,000 Guillemots were also present. Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included 114 Pink-footed Geese flying north, 89 Skylark, 95 Linnet and 110 Corn Buntings.

Sparrowhawk, Flamborough, by June & Malcolm Fox

Wednesday, January 15th, 2020

The weather consisted of moderate/strong south-south-west winds, overcast skies in the morning, before brighter spells and temperatures that reached six degrees C. Five Pintail flying south during the morning’s seawatch were notable, as were 50 Purple Sandpipers frequenting the nearby rocky shores. Passerine interest included 80 Linnets and nine Corn Buntings at Thornwick.

Guillemot, Breil Nook, by Craig Thomas

Tuesday, January 14th, 2020

Another day of strong south-south-west winds, rain during the latter half of daylight hours and temperatures that reached a mild 12 degrees C by dusk. The seawatch was quiet, with two Great Crested Grebes offshore, 20 Red-throated Divers, two Razorbill and four Kittiwakes.

Kestrel, Fog Station, by Alan Walkington

Monday, January 13th, 2020

Strong south-south-west winds increased in strength during an overcast day, with temperatures reaching eight degrees C. Seawatch highlights included single Pink-footed Goose and Gadwall flying south, together with 46 Red-throated Divers. The Black Redstart again appeared on the cliff top in front of the Seawatch Observatory. In addition, 60 Pink-footed Geese overflew the outer head and headed towards North Landing, whilst Thornwick Pools attracted a pair of Shelduck and a lone Coot. 

Coal Tit, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Sunday, January 12th, 2020

A day of predominantly light westerly winds and brighter spells developing after a band of rain; temperatures reached seven degrees C. Seawatch highlights included two Velvet Scoter and a Knot flying south. The White-fronted Goose and three Pink-footed Geese frequented fields near North Landing, whilst 27 Snow Buntings remained at Cattlemere. 

Black Redstart, Seawatch Observatory (10/1), by Phil Buxton

Saturday, January 11th, 2020

Cloudy, mild and dry all day. The strong south-westerly blew at force 7-8 all day. Maximum temperature 11°C.

At the Fog Station, apart from thousands of Guillemots, little passed though there was interest on the sea in the shape of 21 Red-throated Divers and a Great Crested Grebe while 10 Purple Sandpipers fed on the rocks.

The local goose flock still retained the adult White-front and 3 Pink-feet.  A lone Coot was at Thornwick Pools. 

Purple Sandpiper, High Stacks (Andy Hood)

Friday, January 10th, 2020

A chilly start, then a mainly dry, bright day with some lengthy spells of sunshine with a light to moderate westerly. Maximum temperature 8°C.

A White-fronted Goose and 4 Pink-feet were with the local gaggle of Greylags still and a further 9 Pink-feet flew over. A Merlin was hunting on the Outer Head and  a Black Redstart appeared on the cliff top path in front of the seawatching observatory. Buntings were again evidence with 28 Snow Buntings commuting between Cattlemere and North Marsh area while Lapland Buntings numbered 3 at Cattlemere and 5 over North Marsh. South Landing held 17 Turnstones and a lone Eider, a single Great Crested Grebe and a couple of Red-throated Divers were offshore there.

A single Barn Owl and 3 Short-eared Owls continued to hunt at Bempton Cliffs RSPB and a single Lapland Bunting flew over.

Snow Buntings, Cattlemere (Andrew Allport)

Thursday, January 9th, 2020

After overnight rain driven by strong easterly winds veering westerly, the day was overcast, with spells of lighter rain and a temperature that reached ten degrees C. The juvenile Iceland Gull flew past RSPB Bempton Cliffs early afternoon and re-appeared off the Seawatch Observatory two hours later. Thornwick attracted a pair of Shelduck, 60 Linnets and 21 Corn Buntings. Two Short-eared Owls and an additional 30 Corn Buntings frequented Bempton.

Kestrel, Lighthouse, by Brett Richards

Wednesday, January 8th, 2020

The weather consisted of light westerly winds, overcast skies and temperatures that reached nine degrees C. Juvenile Glaucous and Iceland Gulls were present off the outer head during the course of the day. Elsewhere, one Whooper Swan, four Pink-footed Geese and a White-fronted Goose were present, together with 36 Wigeon, with a flock of 30 Lapland Buntings along the cliff top east of North Landing. RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted two Short-eared Owls, a Snow Bunting and 48 Corn Buntings.

White-fronted Goose, Lighthouse Road, by Ian Howard

Tuesday, January 7th, 2020

An overcast day, with spells of relatively light rain during the morning and a strong south-westerly wind; temperatures peaked at 12 degrees C. Single Great Northern Diver and Bonxie flew south during the morning seawatch. The Whooper Swan was still present, along with three Pink-footed Geese and the Russian White-fronted Goose. Although the favoured stubble field near North Marsh has now been ploughed, it still contained at least 42 Lapland Buntings and 20 Snow Buntings; 22 Snow Buntings were also present at Cattlemere. 

Lapland Bunting, outer head, by Andy Hood

Monday, January 6th, 2020

An overcast day, with a strong south-south-west wind and temperatures peaking at seven degrees C. Once again the seawatch was quiet, although two Puffins that flew south were notable. The Whooper Swan remained on the outer head, as did 37 Wigeon and 15 Teal; two Shelduck returned to Thornwick Pools, after an absence since late summer. The day’s highlight was a juvenile Iceland Gull that followed the plough on the northern side of the headland. After sightings in late 2019, a Jay in South Dykes indicated a wintering presence for the first time ever. Finally, 33 Lapland Buntings were again present on the northern side of the headland.

Iceland Gull, outer head, by Andrew Allport

Iceland Gull, outer head, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, January 5th, 2020

An overcast day, with a light south-west wind and temperatures reaching seven degrees C. Waterfowl interest included the Whooper Swan, 32 Wigeon and a Coot. Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included three Short-eared Owls, a Snow Bunting and 40 Corn Buntings.

Treecreeper, South Landing, by Jo Hood

Saturday, January 4th, 2020

The weather consisted of moderate westerly winds, sunny intervals and temperatures reaching nine degrees C. Seawatching was rewarded by a Great Northern Diver flying south. The Whooper Swan and at least five White-fronted Geese lingered on the outer head; a single White-fronted Goose also flew east over South Dykes early morning. A Nuthatch was located in South Dykes, whilst 25 Snow Buntings and five Lapland Buntings frequented stubble fields.

Greylag & Pink-footed Geese, outer head, by Andrew Allport

Friday, January 3rd, 2020

A strong north-north-westerly gradually relented during the day, with sunny intervals establishing after an overcast start. The seawatch was quiet, with 32 Red-throated Divers moving south and a Razorbill offshore.

A total of 30 Russian White-fronted Geese were present on the headland (flock of 27 and a group of three), along with three Pink-footed Geese and the Whooper Swan. Thirty-four Wigeon were a slight increase on recent days.  Two Woodcock and a Sanderling represented the most notable wader records, whilst passerine interest included a Chiffchaff, 25 Lapland Buntings, 38 Snow Buntings and a Corn Bunting. However, more significant numbers of the latter were seen at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, where there were 120 Corn Buntings mid-morning; a Short-eared Owl was also present there.

White-fronted Geese, outer head, by Andrew Allport

Thursday, January 2nd, 2020

An overcast day, with moderate/strong south-south-west winds and temperatures reaching eight degrees C. During the seawatch, a Barnacle Goose, two Whooper Swans, a Gadwall, nine Golden Plovers and a Lesser Black-backed Gull flew south; 70 Turnstone and 40 Purple Sandpipers frequented the adjacent rocky shores.

Twenty-eight Russian White-fronted Geese came in off and landed on the outer head early afternoon; they were still present at dusk, with the flock consisting 23 adults and five juveniles. The long-staying White-front also remained, along with three Pink-feet. The Whooper Swan lingered in fields alongside Lighthouse Road, where 25 Golden Plovers and three Lapwing flew south, with a Chiffchaff nearby. 

Barnacle Goose, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Wednesday, January 1st, 2020

Happy New Year from all at Flamborough Bird Observatory!

A better than average winter day with a tally of 95 species; in part, due to the improved coverage that the start of the year brings. A moderate south-westerly wind featured throughout, with heavily overcast skies at either end of the day sandwiching a spell of sunshine; temperatures reached five degrees C. 

The seawatch proved rewarding, with an appreciable (in the local context) passage of wildfowl, including ten Shelduck, 11 Shoveler, 18 Gadwall, 65 Wigeon, 14 Mallard, three Pintail, 75 Teal, five Pochard, two Tufted Duck, a Scaup, one Velvet Scoter and two Goldeneye; the vast majority of these moved south, with the tallies of Gadwall and Shoveler the observatory’s highest ever January counts. Two Dunlin and two Puffin also headed south. 

Wildfowl interest on the headland included the long-staying Whooper Swan, Russian White-fronted Goose and four Pink-footed Geese, together with 33 Teal and 28 Wigeon. A Woodcock was flushed from the cliff top near North Marsh, whilst 37 Curlew were also present. Passerine interest included 34 Redwing, 130 Tree Sparrows, 135 Yellowhammers, 50 Reed Buntings, 35 Lapland Buntings, 28 Snow Buntings and six Corn Buntings.

Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included a Merlin, two Short-eared Owls, one Stonechat, six Yellowhammers and 57 Corn Buntings.

Flamborough Lighthouse by Chrys Mellor