Tuesday, June 30th, 2020

A relatively overcast day, with moderate south-west winds and temperatures that reached 17 degrees C. During the seawatch, 95 Common Scoter, a Red-throated Diver and 12 Manx Shearwaters flew south, with 17 Manx Shearwaters and two Bonxies heading north. A first-summer Mediterranean Gull lingered off the Fog Station; the latter had been ringed as a juvenile in the Netherlands in 2019, spent the winter in southern Spain and then returned north to Flamborough via Minsmere.  

Away from the sea, further interest was provided by single Hobby and Cuckoo, 1030 Swifts, the majority involving birds drifting south, two Crossbills and 23 Siskin.

Siskin, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Monday, June 29th, 2020

Near gale force south-westerly winds once again on a day of overcast skies, light showers and temperatures that only reached 14 degrees C. The seawatch was quiet, with two Manx Shearwaters and a Grey Heron flying north and six Common Scoters and two Curlew moving south. Thornwick Pools attracted a Little Ringed Plover and four Dunlin.

Razorbill, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Alan Walkington

Sunday, June 28th, 2020

Near gale force south-westerly winds dominated an overcast day with squally showers and temperatures reached 16 degrees C. Raptors provided the highlights, with two Honey Buzzards coming in off the sea at the Fog Station in the morning; the first at 0730hrs and the second at 0830hrs. In addition, a Hen Harrier toured the headland during the afternoon.

Notable sightings during the morning’s seawatch included 15 Common Scoters, three Manx Shearwaters and 14 Curlews flying south, with an adult summer Mediterranean Gull and 12 Sandwich Terns heading north. For the second day running, a substantial movement of Swifts took place: 1590 flying south during the morning. 

Puffin, Flamborough, by Alan Walkington

Saturday, June 27th, 2020

Generally overcast, with occasional sunny intervals and squally showers; temperatures reached 16 degrees C. During the morning’s seawatch, two Shoveler, five Teal and five Manx Shearwaters flew south, with 40 Common Scoter and a first-summer Mediterranean Gull heading north. Thornwick Pools attracted single Little Ringed Plover, Ringed Plover and Dunlin.

A southerly movement of 878 Swifts took place during the morning, split between birds moving around the entire headland and others cutting down the Dykes. In addition, a Hobby flew south between Buckton and Speeton. A Marbled White was recorded for the second day running, when one was located at High Holme.

Kestrel, Flamborough, by Andy Hood

Friday, June 26th, 2020

The weather consisted of sunny intervals, temperatures reaching 19 degrees C in a light onshore breeze, with thunderstorms by the evening. 

Thornwick Pools attracted three Teal, three Little Ringed Plovers, a Ringed Plover and two Black-tailed Godwits. An Osprey flew south over the outer head mid-morning, when 16 Sandwich Terns moved in the opposite direction. A Willow Tit at Old Fall which sang briefly was a major surprise – a species that isn’t annual on the headland; a Grey Wagtail overflew the Fog Station. Butterfly interest included the Dark Green Fritillary for its second day and a Marbled White.

Dark Green Fritillary, Lighthouse Grassland, by Craig Thomas

Thursday, June 25th, 2020

Sunny throughout, with a light/moderate easterly breeze and temperatures reaching 19 degrees C. 

Eleven Shelduck flew south past the outer head, together with 93 Common Scoters, four Curlew and 33 Black-headed Gulls, whilst six Sandwich Terns headed north. Twelve Crossbills were present and a Corn Bunting frequented the outer head. However, the day’s most notable sighting related to a Dark Green Fritillary near the Seawatch Observatory. 

Whitethroat, RSPB Bempton Cliffs, by Jo Hood

Wednesday, June 24th, 2020

A warm sunny day, with light east-south-easterly winds and temperatures reaching 18 degrees C. Birds on the move included five Shelduck, 27 Curlew, one Whimbrel, a Green Sandpiper and 452 Swifts. However, more notable still were 195 Siskins that flew south during the morning, with seven Crossbills also moving in the same direction along the Dykes. Ten species of Odonata included two Red-veined Darters

Red-veined Darter, Flamborough, by Andrew Allport

Tuesday, June 23rd, 2020

The weather consisted of prolonged sunny intervals, a light south-westerly wind backing south-easterly and temperatures peaked at 19 degrees C. 

Sightings off the Fog Station included 41 Common Scoters, two Red-throated Divers, a Manx Shearwater and an adult Mediterranean Gull; a first-summer Mediterranean Gull frequented South Landing. A Green Sandpiper and a juvenile Wheatear were already moving south towards winter quarters, whilst a Common Rosefinch near South Landing was a reminder that spring migration isn’t over yet.

Wheatear, High Holme, by Craig Thomas

Monday, June 22nd, 2020

Moderate south-westerly winds featured throughout a largely sunny day, with temperatures reaching 20 degrees C. During the seawatch, an Eider, 21 Common Scoters, ten Sandwich Terns and three Common Terns flew north.

Proof positive that it’s rarely ‘too late’  before June is out, a Golden Oriole sang at South Landing early morning only and a Common Rosefinch rested briefly in the Lighthouse bushes. Other notable sightings included a Ringed Plover, 228 Swifts moving south, a ‘migrant’ Reed Warbler on the edge of the Gorse Field, one Grey Wagtail, nine Siskin and two Crossbills.

Common Rosefinch, Lighthouse bushes, by Andrew Allport

Sunday, June 21st, 2020

Moderate southerly winds initially veered south-westerly in the afternoon during a day that featured sunny intervals after a damp start; temperatures reached 19 degrees C. A total of 264 Common Scoters flew past the Fog Station during the morning’s seawatch along with single Red-throated Diver and Manx Shearwater; one Bonxie lingered off the headland. 

An influx of Swifts occurred with 600 birds present, including 74 flying south over the Fog Station during the seawatch. A Little Ringed Plover, five Curlew, a Hobby and two Siskin were also recorded.

Puffin, Fog Station, by Jo Hood

Saturday, June 20th, 2020

Sunny conditions throughout, with a light/moderate south-east wind and temperatures that reached 18 degrees C. During the seawatch, 47 Common Scoter, two Manx Shearwaters and 12 Sandwich Terns flew north. However, the highlight was an Ocean Sunfish which attracted the unwanted attentions of a Grey Seal before swimming off. Thornwick Pools attracted a Dunlin, with a Hobby flying over the same location. A Wheatear at the Fog Station was late, whilst Oceanview attracted four Siskin. 

Ocean Sunfish/Grey Seal, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Friday, June 19th, 2020

The weather consisted of sunny intervals, showers post-lunch and a south-easterly wind that gradually increased in strength; temperatures reached 17 degrees C. During the morning’s seawatch, five Shelduck, 20 Common Scoter and 12 Knot flew south. A lone Common Tern moved north, a Bonxie lingered offshore and the year’s first Guillemot chick to leave the ledges accompanied an adult off the Fog Station.

The discovery of a singing Blyth’s Reed Warbler at Old Fall was the highlight; the second individual of the spring, it proved elusive throughout. Other notable sightings included a Tufted Duck, three Grey Herons, a Hobby, two Little Ringed Plovers, a Redshank, one Curlew and two Siskins.  

Guillemot & chick, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Thursday, June 18th, 2020

Moderate northerly winds throughout an overcast day, with rain during the afternoon; temperatures reached 13 degrees C. During the morning seawatch, two Shoveler, a Manx Shearwater, three Sandwich Terns and a Bonxie flew north.

Single Teal and Tufted Duck were in situ, whilst wader interest included two Little Ringed Plovers, a Whimbrel and four Curlew; the latter typically starting to increase in number during the latter half of June.  The only migrant passerine was a Reed Warbler singing at Old Fall. 

Notable sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included 74 Common Scoters, one Curlew and a Bonxie. 

Ghost Moth, South Landing, by Andrew Allport

Wednesday, June 17th, 2020

Foggy conditions prevailed at both ends of a day that also featured brighter spells and temperatures that reached 17 degrees C. Once again, the conditions rendered a seawatch impossible. A Whimbrel flew north, a Little Ringed Plover remained in residence and two Sandwich Terns flew south over Thornwick Pools.

Whitethroat, Stylefield, by Brett Richards

Tuesday, June 16th, 2020

An overcast day, with mist drifting ashore at times due to a light easterly breeze; temperatures reached 15 degrees C. The day’s undoubted highlight related to a Kingfisher ringed at Oceanview; the first ever caught on the headland. A Hobby over North Landing was also of interest, continuing the run of almost daily sightings over recent weeks. 

Elsewhere, a Golden Plover flew north-west over RSPB Bempton Cliffs, where a juvenile Stonechat remained.

Kingfisher, Oceanview, by Andy Hood

Monday, June 15th, 2020

An overcast day, with periods of mist drifting ashore on light north/north-east winds. The headland’s freshwater sites attracted two Tufted Duck, whilst wader interest included a Golden Plover, one Little Ringed Plover, two Dunlin and a Redshank. In addition, a Hobby graced the skies above South Landing. The only passerine migrants were confined to a Wheatear at the Fog Station and 42 Siskins. Even over the last two weeks, additional Sedge Warblers have established territories and a total of 42 singing males are present east of the Dykes; a significant increase on recent summers.

Sedge Warbler, Thornwick, by Craig Thomas

Sunday, June 14th, 2020

After a foggy start, a generally overcast day, with periods of mist drifted onshore by a northerly wind. Single Shelduck, Wigeon and Tufted Duck were present, along with a Golden Plover, single Grey Plover flying south over the headland and one Little Ringed Plover. Passerine migrants involved two Willow Warblers, a Reed Warbler (RSPB Bempton Cliffs), four Spotted Flycatchers (including one at RSPB Bempton Cliffs) and no fewer than 43 Siskin. 

Golden Plover, Flamborough, by Brett Richards

Saturday, June 13th, 2020

After a misty, damp start, the skies brightened late morning leading to a warm, sunny afternoon; light easterly winds gradually strengthened after lunch. 

Wildfowl interest included two Teal, two Tufted Ducks, a pair of Shoveler, five Eider, a Little Grebe, single Golden Plover, Ringed Plover, Little Ringed Plover and three Curlew. Migrant passerines included single ‘out of breeding habitat’ Reed Warbler and Willow Warbler, two Marsh Warblers on the north side of the headland, the singing Greenish Warbler at Old Fall for its second day, a Wheatear, three Stonechat, a Crossbill and 26 Siskin.

Marsh Warbler, Flamborough, by Lee Johnson

Marsh Warbler, Flamborough, by Lee Johnson

Friday, June 12th, 2020

Conditions were overcast throughout, with mainly light rain for prolonged periods during the morning and afternoon; there were moderate north-north-easterly winds and temperatures peaked at 12 degrees C. An hour’s seawatch during the morning was rewarded with 13 Manx Shearwaters, four Sandwich Terns, two Little Terns and 149 Puffins flying north. 

The day’s star bird was a Greenish Warbler discovered early afternoon in Old Fall; it sang and showed sporadically over 90 minutes before disappearing; albeit, during difficult viewing conditions of driving rain and moderate winds.  

Twelve Teal were shared between North Marsh and Thornwick Pools, a lone Redshank frequented flood near North Marsh and a Green Sandpiper flew west over Old Fall. A Cuckoo visited the outer head, a Willow Warbler in Old Fall was a migrant, a juvenile Stonechat visited North Marsh, six Siskin lingered in Old Fall and a Crossbill was noted at Old Fall Steps. Sightings from RSPB Bempton Cliffs included six Shelduck flying south and a juvenile Stonechat. 

Roe Deer, by Brett Richards

Thursday, June 11th, 2020

The weather consisted of moderate/strong north-easterly winds, overcast throughout, with rain arriving mid-afternoon and temperatures that reached 11 degrees C. Highlights of a morning seawatch included 17 Manx Shearwaters, 31 Sandwich Terns and 159 Puffins flying north; a Bonxie rested on the sea off RSPB Bempton Cliffs.

The run of Hobby sightings continued when a lone bird flew over Hartendale, whilst a Quail called from crop near North Dykes.

Tawny Owl, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

Moderate south-easterly winds, overcast skies and persistent, but mainly light rain featured throughout the day. During a morning seawatch at North Landing, eight Eider flew north, with 63 Common Scoter and 369 Puffins heading south.

The Thornwick area attracted three Tufted Ducks, a Little Grebe and a Little Ringed Plover, whilst a Hobby was seen nearby; another Hobby frequented airspace at Speeton. Passerine migrants were limited to a Reed Warbler at RSPB Bempton Cliffs, with four Siskin and a Corn Bunting on the outer head. 

Great Spotted Woodpecker, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, June 9th, 2020

A day of sunny intervals, light onshore winds and temperatures that reached 13 degrees C. During the seawatch, 184 Common Scoters, 35 Manx Shearwaters, a Whimbrel, 21 Sandwich Terns and a Common Tern flew north. 

Land-based records of interest included a Quail calling near the Golf Course, a creamcrown Marsh Harrier, two Ringed Plovers, a Little Ringed Plover, four Dunlin, a Tree Pipit at Old Fall and two Siskin.

Siskin, Flamborough, by Mike Smith

Monday, June 8th, 2020

Light/moderate northerly winds continued, with occasional sunny intervals and temperatures reaching 12 degrees C. An impressive seawatch once again was dominated by an appreciable northerly movement of shearwaters: a total of  1828 Manx Shearwaters were logged during the day, a June record and the second highest tally of the last decade. Other notable northbound sightings included a Blue Fulmar, 412 Fulmars, 61 Common Scoter, a Red-throated Diver, 22 Sanderling, 29 Sandwich Tern, three Arctic Tern, four Arctic Skuas and 916 Puffins. Away from the sea, a Cuckoo called near the Grange, a male Pied Flycatcher graced South Landing and six Siskin were scattered at various locations.

Blue Fulmar, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Blue Fulmar, Fog Station, by Brett Richards

Sunday, June 7th, 2020

Overcast throughout, with light but persistent rain until mid-afternoon, a strong northerly wind and temperatures reaching ten degrees C. Seawatching highlights included four Gadwall, 658 Manx Shearwaters, 705 Fulmars, the year’s first Little Tern, 25 Sandwich Tern, 1463 Puffins all flying north, with two Bonxie lingering off the headland. Two Curlew, 17 Oystercatchers and two Knot frequented the rocky shore near High Stacks. 

Thornwick Pools attracted a drake Teal and Common Sandpiper, North Marsh the long-staying Wigeon. 

Shag, outer head, by Alan Walkington

Saturday, June 6th, 2020

A moderate/strong south-westerly wind veered north and increased in strength by late afternoon; heavy showers featured throughout a day where temperatures only reached ten degrees C. Seawatch highlights included 210 Fulmars, 103 Manx Shearwaters, two Sandwich Terns and 479 Puffins flying north, with 15 Canada Geese moving south; a Bonxie lingered off the Fog Station. 

Puffin, outer head, by Alan Walkington

Friday, June 5th, 2020

The weather consisted of heavy showers, occasionally of hail and sunny interval. Temperatures varied between 6 and 12 degrees C dependent of whether showers were passing through, with a moderate north-westerly wind. Highlights of today’s seawatching were nine Common Scoters, a Red-throated Diver, 40 Manx Shearwaters, two Sandwich Terns, four Arctic Terns and 643 Puffins flying north, with a Bar-tailed Godwit moving south. 

On the headland itself, two Pink-footed Geese, a Little Ringed Plover and one Common Sandpiper frequented the Thornwick area.

Barn Owl, Gorse Field, by Lee Johnson

Thursday, June 4th, 2020

Force five northerly winds from early morning gradually dropped in strength during the day; after an overcast morning, sunny intervals prevailed later on and temperatures reached 12 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included two Eiders moving south, with other notable sightings all heading north, including: the year’s first Storm Petrel, 240 Fulmars, a Blue Fulmar, 78 Manx Shearwaters, a Common Tern, an Arctic Skua and 376 Puffins. In addition, a Hobby frequented the cliff top between Bempton and North Dykes. 

Hobby, North Dykes, by Dave Bywater

Hobby, North Dykes, by Dave Bywater

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2020

A dramatic change in weather, with overcast skies, light rain and a moderate/strong northerly wind. Thirty Manx Shearwaters, 14 Common Scoters, a Whimbrel, three Sandwich Terns and two Common Terns were recorded during the morning’s seawatch which also featured 505 Puffins moving north. 

The run of Hobby sightings continued, with an individual hunting the outer head, whilst wader records included single Little Ringed Plover and Common Sandpiper. A Grasshopper Warbler at RSPB Bempton Cliffs comprised the most notable passerine record. 

Tawny Owl, South Landing, by Alan Walkington

Tuesday, June 2nd, 2020

The weather consisted of moderate north-north-west winds, sunny intervals and temperatures that peaked at 16 degrees C. Seawatch highlights included 61 Common Scoters flying south, with four Manx Shearwaters and 13 Sandwich Terns.

The two Pink-footed Geese and Wigeon remained, five Grey Herons included three birds that eventually flew north-west and aa Hobby over the Gorse Field continued the recent good run of sightings. Wader sightings included two Ringed Plovers, two Little Ringed Plovers and a Common Sandpiper. A Rosy Starling discovered early morning near the Lighthouse was the day’s highlight; it alternated between feeding in the Gorse Field and the Golf Course. Other notable sightings included a migrant Willow Warbler, a Spotted Flycatcher, a Siskin and three Crossbills.

Rosy Starling, outer head, by Lee Johnson

Rosy Starling, outer head, by Craig Thomas

Monday, June 1st, 2020

Another sunny day, with light northerly winds and temperatures that reached 16 degrees C. During the morning’s seawatch, 47 Common Scoter, a Red-throated Diver, 13 Sandwich terns and two Bonxies flew north.

Wildfowl interest included two Pink-footed Geese, a Wigeon and a Tufted Duck. A Marsh Harrier flew east and a Hobby appeared over Old Fall, whilst a Greenshank flew north over Old Fall Steps. The only transient passerine migrant was a Spotted Flycatcher at the latter location. 

Skylark, Fog Station, by Brett Richards