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