Tuesday, March 31st, 2020

An overcast day, with light north-north-east winds and temperatures that only reached six degrees C. Highlights of the morning seawatch included five Eider, a Blue Fulmar, one Lesser Black-backed Gull and 40 Puffins flying north. Sightings on the headland included a Pink-footed Goose, six Common Buzzards, a Goldcrest, seven Chiffchaffs, two Nuthatch, a Black Redstart, one Grey Wagtail, 54 Meadow Pipits and 33 Yellowhammers. 

Roe Deer, Flamborough, by Andy Hood

Monday, March 30th, 2020

Strong north-westerly winds again featured during an overcast day with temperatures reaching eight degrees C. During the morning’s seawatch, 261 Fulmars and a Manx Shearwater flew north; only a single Puffin was seen. Bottlenose Dolphins appear to be in semi-residence, with at least ten present offshore; presumably the sightings relate to the pod of 15 present over recent weeks.

A Great White Egret visited Northcliff Marsh late morning. Passerine interest included two Mistle Thrushes and nine Chiffchaff. 

Chaffinch, Flamborough, by Brett Richards

Sunday, March 29th, 2020

Force seven north-north-east winds, temperatures that barely reached seven degrees C and occasional hail/sleet showers; it felt a long way from spring. During the morning’s seawatch, three Common Scoter, 246 Fulmars, a Manx Shearwater and a Bonxie all flew north. Thornwick Pools hosted a Shelduck, 13 Teal and a Snipe. Elsewhere, a Scandinavian Rock Pipit remained along the North Cliffs.

Lapwing, by Kevin Groocock

Saturday, March 28th, 2020

The main feature of the weather were strong northerly winds, coupled with sunny intervals and temperatures that reached eight degrees C. During the seawatch, two Common Scoter and four Puffins flew south, a Knot lingered on the outer head; there were relatively few auks in residence, with none on the cliffs. A pod of at least eight Bottlenose Dolphins swam south and three Eider sheltered off South Landing. 

A lone Pink-footed Goose accompanied the Greylags and Thornwick Pools attracted 14 Teal and a Snipe. However, passerine migrants were thin on the ground due to the conditions, with two Chiffchaffs, one Goldcrest and a Stonechat meagre pickings. 

Peregrine, Flamborough, by Steve Meredith

Friday, March 27th, 2020

Sunny throughout, with a light/moderate north-easterly wind and temperatures that peaked at eight degrees C. Sightings included two pairs of Shelduck, 46 Teal, 12 Wigeon, two Snipe and a Jack Snipe. A typical early spring migrant, a Long-eared Owl was new for the year. Additional records included six Chiffchaff, a Firecrest (new individual), two Fieldfare, two Black Redstarts and a Brambling. Fifteen Bottlenose Dolphins lingered off the south side of the headland during the morning. 

Long-eared Owl, Flamborough, by Craig Thomas

Bottlenose Dolphin, South Cliffs, by Craig Thomas

Thursday, March 26th, 2020

Sunny throughout, with a light easterly wind and temperatures that peaked ten degrees C. During the morning’s seawatch, eight Pale-bellied Brent Geese, seven Eider, a Manx Shearwater and 290 Common Gulls flew south.

On the headland, migrants included five Snipe, nine Chiffchaffs, the year’s first two Firecrests, five Goldcrests, five Redwing, a Fieldfare, four Black Redstarts, two Stonechats, a Wheatear and three White Wagtails. The long-staying Richard’s Pipit remained near North Landing, with additional sightings including two Brambling, two Siskin and a Snow Bunting.

Firecrest, Flamborough, by Craig Thomas

Wednesday, March 25th, 2020

Moderate winds initially from the south-west backed south-east during the afternoon; sunny skies throughout, with temperatures reaching ten degrees C. An adult Mediterranean Gull provided the highlight of the morning’s seawatch; only the second of the year.

A Pink-footed Goose remained on the headland, as did 12 Wigeon, four Grey Herons and two Grey Partridge. A Red Kite flew south-west over the outer head mid-morning. Passerine interest included the year’s first Swallow, a Nuthatch, ten Chiffchaff, nine Redwing, three Black Redstarts, a Wheatear, three White Wagtails, two Siskin, 60 Yellowhammers and 12 Corn Buntings.

Kestrel, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Peacock, Thornwick, by Brett Richards

Tuesday, March 24th, 2020

A largely sunny day, with a moderate/strong south-south-westerly wind and temperatures that rose markedly during the afternoon to a peak of 12 degrees C. During the morning’s seawatch, six Eider, two Great Crested Grebes, 55 Black-headed Gulls and 132 Common Gulls flew south. 

A Little Ringed Plover that visited Thornwick Pools was the first of spring. Two Black Redstarts frequented the outer head and 1000 Starlings gathered at North Landing; Hartendale attracted a Brambling and 30 Yellowhammers.

Brimstone, South Landing, by Rob Little

Black Oil Beetle, Flamborough, by Jo Hood

Monday, March 23rd, 2020

A day that felt cold due to strong south-east winds and temperatures pegged back to seven degrees C, despite sunny intervals. During the morning’s seawatch, two Pintail, 14 Common Scoters, four Little Gulls and two Lesser Black-backed Gulls flew south. Raptor interest was provided by two Marsh Harriers heading south, three Red Kites and a male Merlin, whilst a Grey Plover visited flooded fields. Passerine interest included 2500 Starlings, seven Chiffchaffs, four rubicola-type Stonechats, a Black Redstart, a White Wagtail, four Siskin and 30 Yellowhammers; the latter at Hartendale. Two Goldcrests, a Chiffchaff and 12 Siskin were recorded at Buckton.

Red Kite, outer head, by Andrew Allport

Grey Plover, outer head, by Andrew Allport

Stonechat, High Holme, by Andrew Allport

Starling, Lighthouse Road, by Phil Buxton

Sunday, March 22nd, 2020

A moderate/strong south-south-east wind, sunny intervals developing after an overcast start and temperatures reaching six degrees C. A typically quiet March seawatch, with two Eiders flying north and a Lesser Black-backed Gull south.

One Pink-footed Goose remained, whilst a Goosander flew south over the headland. Passerine interest included the singing Cetti’s Warbler in the reedbed near Thornwick Bay and a Black Redstart still in the Gorse Field; additional sightings included two rubicola-type Stonechats in the Gorse Field, a Wheatear, two Scandinavian Rock Pipits at South Landing, a Grey Wagtail, 49 Pied Wagtails and a White Wagtail.

Grey Wagtail, South Landing, by Craig Thomas

Saturday, March 21st, 2020

Moderate/strong east-south-east winds were a feature throughout a day that ended overcast after a bright start; temperatures peaked at nine degrees C late morning, before dropping to six degrees by mid-afternoon. A Grey Plover that flew south during the morning’s seawatch represented the year’s first.

One Pink-footed Goose lingered, 12 Wigeon were on flood near North Marsh and a female Tufted Duck was present on Thornwick Pools; fields north of Thornwick attracted a pair of Grey Partridge. The Cetti’s Warbler relocated to the Thornwick roost reedbed, whilst four Chiffchaffs and eight Goldcrests were also recorded. Four Stonechat were spread across the headland; a pair of which in the Gorse Field showed plumage features associated with the rubicola subspecies found in continental Europe; the same area again hosted a Black Redstart. A male Grey Wagtail frequented the beach at South Landing, the year’s first two White Wagtails were near Old Fall, while 33 Pied Wagtails represented an influx. The Richard’s Pipit continued its stay near North Landing, with a Scandinavian Rock Pipit at South Landing. Twelve Siskins overflew the outer head, 35 Yellowhammers were seen near the Grange, whilst 12 Corn Buntings were at Thornwick. Sightings at Buckton included three Stonechats and Bempton Chalet Park attracted a White Wagtail

Curlew, Water Lane, by Alan Walkington

Friday, March 20th, 2020

A sunny day, with a moderate north-easterly wind and temperatures reaching a mere seven degrees C. During the seawatch, ten Common Scoters, a Bonxie and 32 Puffins flew north. 

Wildfowl and wader interest included a Pink-footed Goose, 59 Teal (45 North Marsh, 14 Thornwick Pools) and 11 Wigeon, whilst a lone Snipe and 21 Curlew were also located. A singing Cetti’s Warbler discovered early afternoon was still present in Thornwick reedbed (near the cliff top cafe) until dark. Meanwhile, after several days with no sightings, the ever elusive Richard’s Pipit showed again near North Landing. Three Black Redstarts included two birds in the Gorse Field, with the other near the village green. Additional sightings included the year’s first Sand Martin at Thornwick Pools, six Goldcrests, seven Chiffchaffs, two Wheatear on the Golf Course, a Redwing, 16 Pied Wagtails, a Grey Wagtail and a Scandinavian Rock Pipit; the latter at South Landing.

The first ringing session of spring resulted in 24 birds being caught and ringed, including a Barn Owl and three Goldcrests.

Barn Owl, South Landing, by Jim Morgan

Dunnock, South Landing, by Don Hustings

Thursday, March 19th, 2020

The weather consisted of sunny intervals, light north-west winds and temperatures that peaked at seven degrees C. Three Egyptian Geese flew north past the Seawatch Observatory before u-turning south and eventually settling on flashes adjacent to Water Lane. One Short-eared Owl showed well between Old Fall and South Landing, with a second bird at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. A Ring-necked Parakeet that frequented gardens on the southern edge of the village added to the day’s exotic theme. Elsewhere, the Black Redstart remained in the Gorse Field, whilst 13 Corn Buntings congregated on setaside near Thornwick. The pod of 15 Bottlenose Dolphins swam north past South Landing, the Seawatch Observatory and latterly RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Egyptian Geese, Water Lane, by Rob Little

Egyptian Geese, Water Lane, by Jo Hood

Ring-necked Parakeet, Flamborough village, by Craig Thomas

Short-eared Owl, South Cliffs, by Andy Hood

Bottlenose Dolphins, South Landing, by Andrew Allport (composite)

Wednesday, March 18th, 2020

An overcast day, with temperatures dropping from seven to five degrees by mid-afternoon in light north-west winds. Five Pink-footed Geese lingered, whereas newly arrived migrants included the year’s first two Wheatears on the Golf Course; additional sightings included five Chiffchaffs, the female Black Redstart in the Gorse Field and three Stonechat. The pod of 15 Bottlenose Dolphins swam past South Landing at midday.

Reed Bunting, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Tuesday, March 17th, 2020

The weather consisted of relatively overcast skies during the morning, with sunny intervals later and a moderate south-west wind. Migrant passerines included 2000 Starlings on the outer head,  three Chiffchaffs, three Stonechats, a Black Redstart in the Gorse Field and a Hooded Crow that overflew South Landing; Thornwick attracted six Corn Buntings. Once again, 15 Bottlenose Dolphins entertained as they swam south past RSPB Bempton Cliffs and, latterly, the outer head. 

Starlings, North Marsh, by Andrew Allport (16/3)

Bottlenose Dolphins, outer head, by Andy Hood

Monday, March 16th, 2020

Light winds from the north-west at first light backed south-west later, sunny intervals and temperatures reached 11 degrees C. A Bonxie flew south during the morning’s seawatch, but the main feature was the large arrival of Puffins, with in excess of 500 birds present.

Migrant interest included a Water Rail at North Landing, Woodcock at South Landing, a Hooded Crow south of the Lighthouse, six Chiffchaff, four Goldcrests, an impressive 5890 Starlings, eight Redwing, a Black Redstart in the Gorse Field, two Grey Wagtails and a Siskin. Three Short-eared Owls were recorded at RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

Short-eared Owl & Kestrel, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Greenfinch, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Sunday, March 15th, 2020

An overcast day, with moderate south-westerly winds and temperatures reaching 11 degrees C. During the seawatch, five Teal, an Eider, a Lesser Black-backed Gull and 13 Puffins flew south. Five Pink-footed Geese lingered along with 57 Teal, while a female Shoveler at Thornwick Pools was a new arrival. A Red Kite toured the Dykes during the morning, the second sighting of the year to date, whilst the Knot lingered on flooded fields near North Marsh. Migrant passerine sightings included two Chiffchaffs, two Stonechats and five Redwing. In addition, RSPB Bempton Cliffs attracted two Short-eared Owls

Shoveler with Teal, Thornwick Pools, by John Beaumont

Yellowhammer, outer head, by John Beaumont

Saturday, March 14th, 2020

Moderate south-south-west winds were a feature of a largely overcast day, with light rain until mid-morning and temperatures reaching nine degrees C. During the morning’s seawatch, 18 Eider flew south, whilst a pair of Goosanders and three Velvet Scoters flew north. Large numbers of auks returned to the cliffs, with several Puffins in attendance. 

Wildfowl interest included five Pink-footed Geese, two Shelduck, 16 Wigeon and 54 Teal. Five Grey Herons toured the headland, whilst 17 Curlews and a Knot frequented a small flash. Passerine interest included a Chiffchaff, four Stonechats, a Scandinavian Rock Pipit, the long-staying Richard’s Pipit, 35 Yellowhammers and 40 Reed Buntings.

Goldcrest, Thornwick Pools, by Craig Thomas

Friday, March 13th, 2020

Relatively light winds veered from westerlies to north-easterlies during a sunny, but cool day, with temperatures reaching seven degrees C. Seawatching records included two Teal, 433 Fulmars, 4990 Gannets, 1621 Kittiwakes and a Lesser Black-backed Gull flying north. Sightings on the headland itself included six Stonechats, the long-staying Richard’s Pipit, a Grey Wagtail, seven Scandinavian Rock Pipits and a Snow Bunting. A single Short-eared Owl remained at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. 

Stonechat, outer head, by Alan Walkington

Thursday, March 12th, 2020

Sunny intervals, with occasional light showers in the afternoon, increasingly strong south-west winds and temperatures that reached eight degrees C by late morning. Three Barnacle Geese accompanied three Pink-footed Geese and the larger Greylag flock. Thornwick Pools attracted a female Tufted Duck and a Grey Wagtail. However, the most notable passerine sighting related to the Richard’s Pipit still in residence at North Landing.

Tawny Owl, South Dykes, by Brett Richards

Wednesday, March 11th, 2020

The weather consisted of prolonged sunny intervals, increasingly strong south-west winds and temperatures reaching 11 degrees C. During the morning’s seawatch, three Sanderling flew south, whilst four Bottlenose Dolphins swam north. 

The day’s highlight related to two Cranes that flew in off the sea near Thornwick early afternoon before they headed south-west over the village. Additional sightings included three Barnacle Geese that associated with five Pink-footed Geese near Micklemires. Meanwhile, the Richard’s Pipit remained in situ at North Landing.  

Cranes, Flamborough village, by Andy Hood

Tuesday, March 10th, 2020

A relatively overcast day, with increasingly strong south-westerly winds and temperatures that peaked at 14 degrees C. During the seawatch, four Eiders, a Lesser Black-backed Gull and a Puffin flew north, whilst a Bonxie headed in the opposite direction. In addition, 25 Bottlenose Dolphins fed offshore before they headed off north. Land-based sightings included the long-staying Russian White-fronted Goose, 22 Wigeon, the year’s first Hooded Crow near South Dykes, a Grey Wagtail and the Richard’s Pipit; the latter at North Landing.

Richard’s Pipit, North Landing, by Andrew Allport

Monday, March 9th, 2020

A sunny start to the day, although overcast skies established during an afternoon that featured increasingly strong westerly winds; temperatures reached 11 degrees C. The only notable records received related to four Stonechats in residence within the Lighthouse Grassland and the long-staying, but often very elusive, Black Redstart at the Fog Station.

Black Redstart, Fog Station, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, March 8th, 2020

The weather consisted of sunny intervals and occasional showers, with moderate west-south-westerly winds and temperatures that reached 11 degrees C. Five Pink-footed Geese and a Russian White-fronted Goose lingered with the Greylag flock. A total of 22 Great Crested Grebes on the sea represented an increase, whilst a male Merlin overflew Hartendale.

Cormorants, North Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Saturday, March 7th, 2020

An overcast day, with light rain early morning and brighter intervals later; a south-south-west gradually increased in strength and temperatures rose to peak at 11 degrees C in the afternoon. Although there was little bird movement over the sea, cetaceans showed well morning and afternoon; up to 50 dolphins were present, with a pod of at least 12 Bottlenose Dolphins and separate pods of at least 25 White-beaked Dolphins feeding offshore. Elsewhere, the Russian White-fronted Goose continued its long residence, whilst Richard’s Pipit at North Landing was as elusive as ever.

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Friday, March 6th, 2020

The weather consisted of light northerly winds, sunny intervals and temperatures that reached seven degrees C. During the morning seawatch, three Eiders, 368 Kittiwakes and a Puffin flew north. 

Wildfowl interest on the headland included the Russian White-fronted Goose, five Pink-footed Geese, 27 Wigeon and 60 Teal. Two Grey Partridges were located near North Landing, whilst two Red Kites initially seen over there eventually flew south past the Fog Station. The Richard’s Pipit remained at North Landing, with four Chiffchaffs, four Stonechats, five Scandinavian Rock Pipits, 18 Corn Buntings and six Snow Buntings in residence. Two Short-eared Owls frequented RSPB Bempton Cliffs once again.

Red Kite, North Landing, by Craig Thomas

Snow Bunting, South Cliffs, by Mark Pearson

Thursday, March 5th, 2020

Prolonged sunny intervals featured throughout a day of light north-easterly winds and temperatures that reached six degrees C on the outer head. The morning seawatch was quiet, although three Wigeon and a Puffin flew south; the latter was one of several seen, with additional records from North Landing and RSPB Bempton Cliffs. A Woodcock flushed near South Landing was presumably a migrant.

Teal, Thornwick Pools, by Mike Smith

Wednesday, March 4th, 2020

A relatively sunny day, with light westerly winds and temperatures peaking at seven degrees C. The morning’s seawatch was quiet, although a lone Puffin flew north. 

The Richard’s Pipit remained in the cliff top field immediately east of North Landing, the Black Redstart showed well at the Fog Station and 18 Snow Buntings frequented stubbles/plough along the South Cliffs east of South Landing. Additional sightings included a Chiffchaff on the cliff top near Old Fall which then flew north and a Stonechat at Hartendale.

Black Redstart, Fog Station, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2020

The weather consisted of light westerly winds, sunny intervals, especially during the morning and temperatures reached eight degrees C. A northerly movement of Pink-footed Geese was a notable feature: a total of 890 birds flew over the headland. Seawatching was also rewarded by a Goldeneye flying south and 148 Kittiwakes moving north. The year’s first two Puffins returned to RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

The discovery of an unseasonal Richard’s Pipit in the cliff top field immediately east of North Landing provided the day’s highlight. Other notable sightings included the Russian White-fronted Goose, 87 Teal, a Chiffchaff, a Grey Wagtail, 53 Rock Pipits, four Scandinavian Rock Pipits, the re-appearance of the Black Redstart at the Fog Station and 17 Snow Buntings

Richard’s Pipit, North Landing, by Andrew Allport

Monday, March 2nd, 2020

The winds relented at last, with light south-westerlies and prolonged sunny intervals; temperatures reached eight degrees C. Seawatch highlights included 95 Pink-footed Geese flying north; 540 Kittiwakes also represented a significant increase on recent days. Elsewhere, five Stonechats in the Lighthouse Grasslands early morning were probably migrants, whilst 20 Snow Buntings frequented cliff top fields between Cattlemere and South Landing. RSPB Bempton Cliffs hosted a Short-eared Owl

Song Thrush, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Sunday, March 1st, 2020

An overcast morning, with sunny intervals becoming more prevalent during the day; strong south-westerly once more and temperatures reached six degrees C. Thirty-five Red-throated Divers and ten Great Crested Grebes frequented inshore waters, whilst the headland itself attracted five Pink-footed Geese and the Russian White-fronted Goose. Two Short-eared Owls again hunted the grasslands near the visitor centre at RSPB Bempton Cliffs. 

Scandinavian Rock Pipit, South Landing, by Andrew Allport